Manuel Fuentes Interview

There are lots books about skateboard graphics available, but Manuel Fuentes did the first one, that only features boards from ONE year. Get to know Manuel, the story behind "92-ish skateboarding catalog" and his upcoming project.

Text: Ingo Dreckmann
Fotos: Manuel Fuentes

Please introduce yourself: Where are you from, how old are you, when did you start skating?

Hey, there. My name is Manuel. I’m from a small city in Spain. I’m 47 years „young“ and I started skating when I was 12-13 years old. I was hooked since I saw a friend with a Sims Eric Nash Lizard board. I used it when he wasn’t skating and I learnt to ollie on it. Then my parents got me a Zorlac Metallica, one of those with a huge tail.


There are a lots of books about skateboard/deck history available on the market (for example „Disposable“). What sparked the idea of creating your own book?

The idea for the book started during the COVID-19 lockdown. I had the “Disposables” and other essential skateboarding books, but I couldn’t help but noticing huge voids for some eras.
Most of those books try to cover the whole skateboarding history so it’s obvious that some brands, years, etc. are missing. So I’ve started dreaming about a book, that will cover the graphics missing in those books. I had several ideas in mind for a book, but I didn’t have the skills, the knowledge or the contacts to do it. But the good thing of dreaming about something is that you don’t put yourself limits and man, ignorance is a bliss. So I was wondering what year had the coolest graphics, a very subjective opinion I know, I finally chose 1992 and jumped into the pool expecting to find water there!

92-ish skateboarding catalog


Tell us about the progress of creating „92“. How long did it take, how did you get in contact with other collectors, etc…

Once I had the basic idea, I made a very, very basic plan… I went to AOS website (art of skateboarding) and I looked for all the 1992 skateboards listed. Then I started to contact a handful of key collectors, that were essential for the project because some of them have the only survivor of a board known to exist today. Once they all agreed, I saw it was possible to do it and then it was only a matter of contacting people and requesting pics. Research and getting most of the pics (600 in total) took me less than a year of begging and nagging collectors. This is the most exhausting part of the book process, because all the pics for the boards featured in the book where sent by their owners to me. I didn’t “rob” any pics from social media like they did in some other books published recently.

Board & book

Are there some boards, you couldn´t get hold of (getting pictures) for the book?

Oh, yes. A lot of them. You could do a mini-book with those missing from 92. Also, a very odd thing happened, that almost killed the project. One of those key collectors who initially agreed to the project, backed out without any explanations. So I was left with a huge gap in the book for a couple of brands and only had little time to fill it. Somehow I managed to salvage those sections with the help of some amazing guys.


I guess, you also have a board collection. What are some of the „grails“ in it and how many do you own?

Yes, I’m a collector myself. I own around 300-350 boards from different eras. The main focus of my collection is for the brand called Popwar (2003-2007). When I started collecting a decade ago, I noticed that no one was collecting that brand, which was my favorite, and like with the “92-ish” book, I thought: “If no one is doing that, I will do it myself”. Popwar released 250 boards and I have around 185. I also collect G&S, Milk (MSG) and specially TV/Television boards, the Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely company from the early 90s.

A part of Manuel´s collection


Right now, you are in the process of making „93“. How far are you into it and when can we expect to buy it?

Right now it’s almost done, 95 % of it is in. I was hoping to have it ready by Christmas this year, but that depends on several factors, so you never know. For example, last year I was ready to publish in January, but there was a paper crisis and I had to wait five months for the printing company to get it done.


Will there be a „94“ book as well?

Seriously, I have no idea. Right now I would say “No way, Jose“” but because I’m exhausted from the “93-ish”. But: I had the same feeling with “92-ish” and here we are, with another book, so you never know… Maybe there will be a “94-ish” or a “87-ish” or “04-ish”… The possibilities are endless.


Did you expect to sell the whole 1000 copies of „92“, how was the overall feedback?

When I published “92-ish”, something that I did all my own, the creation, layout, publishing and distribution of the book, I never expected to be as successful as it was. I made 1000 copies, hand numebered them and I was hoping to sell half of them in 2-3 years… I never dreamed it to be sold out in 6 months!? Especially since the book wasn’t available on Amazon or any other outlets… You could only buy it directly from me… The support and feedback I’ve got from the collectors community was incredible. They made it happen by word to mouth… One guy told to another and another and the thing snowballed… and suddenly an unknown guy like me, was receiving positive feedback from legends of the skateboarding industry and selling copies to my childhood heroes.


Any funny stories while doing both books?

For “92-ish”, I had a distributor in Spain that was going to take 700 copies and I will would try to sell the other 300. But then, 2 days before sending him the copies, he had some problems within his company and couldn’t do it. So I ended up with 1,5 tons of books and I only live in an apartment. Luckily my parents have a house and I used it as storage. A funny anecdote is that I saw a dude who had a tattoo made and got the graphic from the book, so I’m partially responsible for that.

1,5 tons of books


Any last words? 🙂

Thanks to all who made this crazy idea possible and their love and support. I hope “93-ish” is as well-received and liked as the other one. This time will be 400 pages, 800 boards (give or take) and it will feature a lot of original art as well. Again, 1000 copies, numbered, and it won’t be printed again.

If you want to be updated about the release of “93-ish”, drop me a line here: or
slide in my DM @manu_fuentess







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