For 10 years from 1995, César Mora was one of the world champions of vert skating, an innovator and role model for our young sport. In this series of articles, we have pulled together rare photos and inside stories about the early years of aggressive skating.
Written by Cesar Mora
Photographs courtesy of Cesar Mora
Produced by Mikey Lynch
Edited by Ryan Loewy
These photos and images first appeared on César’s Instagram account @cesarmora.10 and are republished here with his permission.
Skating has been a big part of my life… and for me, that has meant for a big part of my life I have worn skates on my feet, a helmet on my head, knee pads on my knees… sometimes elbow pads, wrist guards —some skaters have even been known to wear bum pads! I never used to wear a helmet, until I went to America, where they don’t allow you to skate anywhere at all without a helmet at least. By this time, I was also a role model to younger skaters too. There were a lot of impressionable young skaters imitating everything the pros did, so I started wearing my helmet all the time to set an example.
Photograph by Ryan Loewy for Be-Mag
I always used Menace or Boneless knee pads, with lots of cushion, and sometimes I’d wear elbow pads if I was trying something crazy. My skates were Roces for the first half of my skating career and K2 skates for the second half. I always used FR wheels, usually my signature C10 wheel; I loved them. My bearings were always Boss Swiss bearings. My helmet was Kramar for a while and then Protec. I was even sponsored by Levis for a few years, too.
Skating was a blessing in disguise. I was playing soccer when I started skating and to everyone’s surprise, I started competing and traveling and stopped playing soccer for ten years. Even though skating will always be my first love, soccer is what I’m best at. Skating allowed me to travel the world and opened my eyes. Skating allowed me to meet amazing (and not so amazing) people and visit amazing (and less than amazing) places. I will never forget what skating gave me: some of the best memories. But on top of all that, just the actual sensation of skating a ramp; flowing and airing and spinning, is hard to compare to anything else I’ve ever done. ⠀⠀