Updated: Jan 22
A close look at Bristol Yardsale rider Bear Myles’ current set up.
Welcome to Gear Check, a weekly look at that hardware and footwear currently empowering some of UK skateboarding’s most notable humans.
First up is the undisputed mayor of Dean Lane himself, Mr Bear Myles. Having cut his enthusiastic teeth on the legendary downhill concrete of Bedminster, Bear presently earns himself regular boxes of product from Yardsale, Converse Cons, Ace Trucks and SML Wheels. So, without further ado, let’s stick Bear’s current rig under the proverbial microscope and see exactly what gear is fuelling his effervescent skateboarding…
As you’d expect from someone who spends most of his days ferociously pushing uphill at the Deaner, Bear prefers a substantial amount of sturdy wood under his feet, which is exactly what he gets from this slightly larger than average 8.6” wide Yardsale Evolution B board. The concave is mooted as being ‘medium’, with a large nose, and slightly more kick from the shorter tail. Unlike a lot of the regular Bedminster faces, Bear can be found skating a board in the traditional popsicle mould, as opposed to the more transition leaning, pool shaped numbers usually favoured by the DLH faithful.
The graphic, though completely obliterated by slides on Bear’s current board, is an image of the H.R. Giger designed Alien Xenomorph being, taken from Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic Alien. Alien first graced cinema screens back in 1979, a year after the original incarnation of Dean Lane skatepark was opened, and a good few decades before Bear himself was born. In fact, having only just turned 18, there’s a good chance that Bear has yet to watch any of the Alien films. Mind you, that is purely speculation on my behalf. Moving on…
Bear’s undercarriage also tells you quite a lot about this young man’s skateboarding. First of all, his rear truck is covered in mud. Secondly, when have you ever seen wheel bite marks like those? His wide-boy Ace Trucks 55s must be operating on some Matt Rodriguez levels of looseness to be pushing his 55mm SML Wheels into the bottom ply of his board in such a way. In years gone by, Ace has been (erroneously) typecast as the transition skater’s truck of choice, though over recent years, the team has certainly grown to include skaters of pretty much every persuasion, helping the Ace Classic range gain the present day reputation as being a solid all rounder, regardless of your habitual terrain.
Whether you prefer filming 30 trick lines down the Deaner, backside 360ing over uphill funboxes, or ploughing your way through soil, the Ace Classic range can help you tackle them all with ease, apparently.
The nimble feet of Mr Myles are depicted as being housed in the understated CTAS Pro high top shoe from Converse Cons. The CTAS Pro is the latest skate influenced revamp of Converse’s staple Chuck Taylor designed All Starvulcanised basketball shoe (hence ‘CTAS’), boasting of a rubber-backed suede upper offering increased durability, and a moulded PU sockliner for impact absorption and added cushioning.
Thanks to its simple unisex design, the classic vulcanised outsole, and the ankle support that the high top shoe offers, All Stars were first adopted by skaters during skateboarding’s 1960s infancy, and have been a constant presence in the scene ever since. Given the timeless look and proven functionality of the shoe, it stands to reason that for over fifty years now, skaters have been drawn to the Chuck Taylor All Star, and all of its skateboarding inspired modifications.
So now you know. Go forth, kit yourself out with Bear’s gear then try your hardest to recreate just one of his lines down the full length of the Deaner. The only thing we’re missing here is Bear’s otherworldly ability to perform more tricks per minute than anyone else on the planet. Unfortunately, that’s not something your can buy. I swear he’s cracked quantum physics…