I met Franck in early ’94 at Les Arcs, France. We discovered straight away that we had a lot in common and went riding together pretty much every day at La Rosià¤re, his local mountain on the Italian border, with Phil and Patapain (his brother in riding). Franck was the most skate-influenced rider I had ever seen, and we all learned so much just watching him. He was so ahead of his time: that flow and the incredible level of talent he had. At this time only a happy few knew what this guy was capable of-mainly his homeys from Bourg-Saint-Maurice. We talked to photog Scalp about him over and over again, until he decided to witness the phenomenon himself. Then everything accelerated for Screm: He went from a completely unknown rider to a gigantic star in just a few seasons. He was doing well with his sponsors Duotone and Quiksilver.
I didn’t see Franck much for about four years, until that day when he came out of a foggy line in Termas, Chile. I’d found him again! Snowboarding had helped our paths cross once more. But from the way he talked, I could feel a lot of nostalgia for the times when he was just riding with his friends-he wasn’t enjoying the superstar lifestyle anymore. He’d tired of all the traveling, the solitude, and the heavy status he had to carry.
In 2000, he started spending more and more time on his other passion, music. He was a talented rapper, reminding me of another French superstar, the rapper Akenaton (from IAM). He was, of course, still skating as well, but each time I met him I could always feel that kind of sadness in his eyes, and the feeling that he was carrying the world on his shoulders. Something was going wrong …
I had a totally different impression when I rode with him again last April. First off, he showed us that he hadn’t lost any of his crazy skills and style. He reminded everyone why he was the best European snowboarder for such a long time. We talked about how he was motivated again, and he was talking about making a comeback. I was so stoked and ready to help him with Imperium Snowboards. He was talking about going to Snow Summit in the fall.
The news we received at the end of August overwhelmed us. I still don’t understand what our homey has done. Since then, I ride with him sometimes in my dreams. We miss you, Franck. All your close homeboys and your rough boys miss you. You’ll be with us every time we go riding, every time we shape a kicker-in Les Arcs or anywhere else.
Rest in peace, my brother. We’ll see you when we get there.-Demir Julia
There are certain tricks you only dream you could do like the riders you look up to: Devun Walsh’s frontside threes, Terje’s backside airs and Francky’s slob air-his incredile pop, tight stance and solid landings made his style unique. In early September Screm left us to go hang with Biggie, Tupac, Bob and Craig. R.I.P. and one love Francky.-Nico Droz
Les Arcs, France. Photo: Scalp