This week we will be posting old photos of Kryptonics fans riding, what else...Kryptonics Wheels. Starting off, we have an interview with Franklin Klock of Pennsylvania. I (Jack Smith) had the the pleasure of meeting Franklin and his wife last summer while skateboarding across America. He is a huge Kryptonics fan, and has been super supportive of the relaunch. I think you will enjoy the interview. Please check back daily throughout the week for more rider photos...you might even see yourself!
When did you first ride Kryptonics?
My earliest recollection of Kryptos is from the summer of 1977, in a semi-banked schoolyard in Lebanon, PA. I saw this kid riding a G&S Fiberflex with Gullwing split axle trucks and first generation 70mm green Kryptos. Seeing that board, with those wheels, was like meeting a celebrity. Up until then, I had only ever seen a setup like that in SkateBoarder Magazine. I got my first set of Kryptonics for my birthday in the spring of 1978.
What color wheels/size did you ride?
Over the years, I’ve ridden every size, hardness, and later on, shape, but my first set of 70mm reds are the ones I’m fondest of.
How better were they from the competition?
I was the first one in my group of friends to get Kryptonics, and like the name implied, Star•Tracs WERE like from another planet…so far and above anything else available. Here in PA, we didn’t exactly have glass-smooth concrete and blacktop so I road red Kryptos as much out of necessity as for any other reason. They just flew over rocks, bumps, crappy sidewalk cracks, and those killer steel cellar doors.
I remember we would start at the upper end of the longest block in town, and bomb the sidewalk. My friends would be pitching out, locking up, falling, and basically going slow because of their inferior wheels. On my Kryptonics, I’d just cruise all the way to the end of the block, waaay ahead of them. I’d look back and be like “HEY! What’s taking you so long?!” After that, some kids wouldn't even skate with me.
What was your favorite Kryptonics ad from back in the day?
The first color ad I remember was “Tomorrow’s wheels today.” with the first generation green, yellow, and purple wheels but I think my favorite, the one that made the most impact, was the iconic “THE FORCE.” That’s the ad, with the unveiling of the new 2nd generation red, blue, green wheels that let us know things were going to be different from now on. Man, were they EVER!
What is your favorite memory of skateboarding from the 70’s and early 80’s?
Hot Summer Sunday afternoons, skating down the middle of a deserted business district sidewalk (most stores here were closed on Sundays) pretending we were surfing, carving back and forth, getting real low like the riders in the magazines. We didn't have any banks to ride, so we would juke in and out of the stores’ entryways like they were waves.
What is your favorite memory in skateboarding?
In June or July of 1976, my father convinced me that I was good enough to enter a local slalom and “obstacle course” contest put together by our towns Bicentennial committee. I quickly threw a crappy board together with whatever parts I could find, entered the contest last minute, and won the thing! Winning was great, but that day my father’s actions showed me that he believed in me, supported me, and approved of my “sport.” I never entered another contest, but after that, my dad took me wherever I wanted to go to skate, and I haven’t stopped riding since.
What are you doing now?
I’m an instructor at an environmental education center, and I have a hobby business, Klock Designs, shaping custom skateboards, longboards, and landpaddle poles. Just recently I have been asked to join the local recreation commission as an adviser for the first-ever skatepark to be built in my town.