The impact that YouTubers have had on skateboarding is no secret. In recent years, we’ve seen some of skateboarding’s most established brands start to lose their footholds in the industry. At the same time, some of the companies based on YouTube accounts seem to be amassing small empires. This fact alone puts these two worlds at odds with each other.

There’s also the question of legitimacy. These YouTubers have not paid their dues in the traditional sense through photos, video parts, and magazine coverage. Is it even fair to call them pros? These are the sorts of questions that usually pop up when discussing this topic. And the subject is certainly open for debate.

Manny Santiago’s legitimacy as a pro is unquestionable, though. He skates SLS alongside Nyjah Huston and Shane O’Neill. His catalog of video parts are all impressive. And he’s one of the elite group of skaters that can say they’ve filmed a Battle Commander for The Berrics. Manny’s resume is as solid as it gets.

Despite all of these accolades, Santiago decided to foray into the vlogging world—a move that he acknowledges as being controversial, but working for him. He launched his MannysWorld YouTube channel a year ago, and has been steadily filling it with content ever since. And, to our knowledge, he’s the only established pro to fully embrace the platform thus far. With all of this in mind, we wanted to find out why Manny decided to become a YouTuber, and what challenges he’s been facing since starting.