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Push: Ant Bean

Interview: Callum Rooke

Photography: Luke George and Luke Coulson

OK, introduce yourself please.

I’m Anthony Bean, I’m 24, and I’m from Guildford, Surrey.

Nice. What’s Guildford like?

I think Guildford is good, but a lot of people from here don’t like the place; I don’t know why, maybe it’s just because it’s Surrey and there are middle class people around, but I quite like it. It’s a beautiful place, it’s close to London, it has a good scene for skating. It might not have the best spots, iconic spots or whatnot, but it’s still good.

What inspired you to start skating?

I was never one of those guys where you get into skating early, when you’re a kid, with all the pads, and you’re two foot tall or whatever. I was sort of like the guy who goes to secondary school and gets introduced to things. For me, I got into hip-hop and that street style of clothes, and skateboarding just went with that. People around me weren’t really skating, but I got exposed to it through those avenues. I played football at the time, and that’s quite a ‘go to training, get up at this time, go to this place’ kind of sport, so I liked the aspect of skating where you could just chill out, and do things at your own pace.

Back at the start of 2022, you put out your first section, Dove. How did you end up getting into filming, and working on that part?

I don’t want to be that guy, but basically the people we were skating with were like, “hey, you’re good enough to film something and be on brands eventually, but you have to do it”. My best mate Callum, the guy doing the interview, he wanted to be the filmer. If you’re skating with mates, you need someone who wants to film, you know what I’m saying? Because we were close and you wanted to film, and I was good enough to get clips, it naturally just came about. The filming process, it wasn’t how it normally works, like, “this is a project, let’s start from scratch”, it was sort of like, “let’s just go out and get clips”, so we did that for a bit, then after a while we were like, “oh, this is becoming something”. You and me both know it phased out at times, then came back, we used different cameras, you could see my style changing, learning tricks as I go… it was three years of filming for a two, three minute video. At the end of it, it was good to get the weight off my shoulders, basically, and be like, “right, we can start again from scratch, and do it properly this time”.

And after Dove, did anybody hit you up?

It was these guys, The Skateboarder’s Companion, really. Vague put it up on their website too. They shared it, and I guess that’s all it takes to get recognised by someone, so it makes you want to film another part and keep going. They know your name, so if you put out other stuff they might think, “oh, we recognise this dude, let’s give him a platform”.

A duo of Guildford pedestrians turn a blind eye to Ant’s frontside halfcab flip into the bank. Photo: Coulson.

How is filming for the next part going?

It’s going good so far. We haven’t filmed in a while because of the weather, I guess, but I’m happy with all of the tricks, and I couldn’t say that about the last part. The last one phased out in a sense, but this one, I watch the clips back and I’m like, “yeah, cool, I’ll use them all”.

You’ve always been sick at skating, but the level in Dove is something you’ve completely cleared. It’s been a few years since that came out, but your level of skating is massively different now.

It’s a good reference point for me. I’ve done that, and I can look at it, and the stuff I like about it, like some of the spots might have been really cool, so I can go out and find more spots like that. For the new part, I’m skating more intricate spots, not just stairs, or a line with a ledge at the end or something; we’re skating spots with more variety.

What is the aim with filming your parts? What are you trying to achieve?

I guess I want to get boards (laughs). I want to get boards, I want to get shoes, I want to go on trips. And it reaffirms, as we said before. If someone is hitting you up saying that they like what you’re doing, then it makes you want to do it more. If you feel like you’re putting in work but not getting anything from it, then obviously that’s not going to make you feel good.

I definitely think you can get there. You’re a sick skater and a nice dude, and that seems to work for other people really well, so you just need to keep doing your thing.

I’d like to talk about you as well, Callum. Callum is a skateboarder. He’s one of those filmers that is really good at skateboarding as well; you’re patient with me when we go film, and I think that always helps. And Callum has been getting heavy this year, honestly. He’s got to the point where he could film his own part now, same with Ed CW (Craig-Wood) as well, who made [the Guildford scene video] Cathedral.

Cathedral was another video that took a considerable amount of time to make, like the Dove part, and there were challenges with it, but how do you think that came out?

I think that was fucking sick man, honestly. These are my friends, right, so having all of my friends in a 25-minute video, that’s fucking sick to see. I’m really happy that Ed CW’s the type of person that will prod and prod and prod and get people to do things, and that really helps when you’re trying to film. I was hyped to get my own little section at the end, but that whole thing I’ve watched countless times, when I’m having a coffee on a morning or something. Your part is fucking sick, Ben Mulvihill’s part is fucking sick, my part is fucking sick (laughs), and everything in between. It came together really well.

Ant swaps the safety of the walkway for the mossy uncertainty of the bank via a solid ollie over the red rail. Photo: George.

Do you think that it’s challenging to go skateboarding in Guildford?

That’s a good question, man.

I find it challenging to skate around Guildford, because the spots are quite sparse.

They’re either small, or they’re quite big, or they’re crusty. I guess it’s the same everywhere, but there aren’t really any perfect spots; everything is a bit fucked. But skating in Guildford, if we’re talking about the whole scope of it, over the last ten years or whatever, we skated Stoke Park, which is our local, basically, and that’s the place where we hang out, where we rendezvous to go do things, and you can get hung up in that environment. Once you’re there, your friends are there, the sun is shining, everyone is chilling… and we’ve kind of transitioned out of that now, where we want to experience skateboarding outside of the skatepark. And I think the scene is killing it man, honestly. If you look back to five years ago, the level of our skating at the spots in Guildford, it wasn’t that good. You’d go to the spot, have a trick in mind, you wouldn’t get anywhere near it so you’d get pissed off, then you’d fall back to the skatepark. I feel like in the last few years, because of Ed CW really, he’s really pushed our boundaries, and because we’ve done it as a group instead of it just being me and you going out filming as individuals, that’s helped everyone get better at the same time; that’s why I think Cathedral came out so well.

There were a lot of London spots in Dove, and so far I haven’t skated any London spots for the next part, because I think I’m utilising what’s around Guildford now. I feel like I can go somewhere and just get a clip, instead of having to ‘spot pick' something I can skate in London. Surrey Uni is so good for skating. That’s probably the most condensed place in Guildford for spots. You could film an Atlantic Drift edit there, like they did at St Paul’s.

Your ender in Cathedral was pretty fucked - the ollie over the rail into the bank. Can you tell us about that?

It was a spot that Ed CW was skating with Dougie George - big up Dougie - and a few other heads. The rail into the bank, Dougie did a pull in on it, and he was like, “it would be sick if you could ollie over the rail into the bank”. I think he tried a few times and it wasn’t coming off, so Ed was like, “I’ll get Ant to do that for the Cathedral ender”. So we went there, and that shit is pretty high…

It’s higher than your hips.

I’ve always been the guy with the pop, but I was like, “shit, I can’t get over that”. We went twice. The first time I tried like 30, 40 times, and didn’t really get close, but I did have a fucked board. I’m not blaming it on the board, but I went back with a fresh board and had like 10, 15 tries, then it went down. The frontside flip after as well, I was pretty impressed by that (laughs); it came out of nowhere. That was the first ender I filmed that was an ender, you know? Not just filming a clip and being like, “that could be the last one”. That was a, “shit, the video is coming to an end, and we need this clip to finish it off” situation. And that felt good, personally.

Let’s do some funny ones then stop. Just in case anyone wants to send you some boards, what size deck do you skate?

That’s hard, man. I skate 8.8”, but it’s an egg shape. So I guess, 8.5”, and size 9 Vans shoes (laughs). Please, I’m broke (laughs).

A collision of high and low impact at the local multi-storey. Carpark gap clearance to 5050. Photo: George.

What’s your favourite thing to do besides skateboarding?

I do like computers. I work with them, and I like being on them, playing games.

He’s a nerd (laughs). If you had to compare your ego to a building, which building would it be?

You know what, I was going to say the Flatiron building in New York. I fucking love that building; that one's sick. If you compare that to an ego, that one is a triangle, right? In the centre of two big roads, so you can’t miss it, but it’s elegant, you know what I’m saying? It’s not the biggest, it’s small, and it’s got shape to it, but it’s in your face. And I’d say that’s a bit of me, 100%.

Who’s your favourite skater that has come from Guildford, or has been a big part of the scene?

I can see where you’re going with this…

Not me (laughs).

There’s an obvious answer, and that is Dougie George. He’s fucking crazy, dude. But realistically, the truthful answer… me, baby (laughs). Nah, it has to be Dougie George, honestly.

What else can we get into? I’m not going to make you shout out all the homies…

Nah, I’m going to shout them all out. Alex Pierce, Alfie Crane, Aussie Evan, Ben Mulvihill, Benji Burns, Bert and Bonnie, Callum Rooke Chris and Keith Pulman, Dingle, Dougie, Loz and Luke George, Ed Bailey, Ed and Dougal CW, El Garms, Ethan H-G, George Swallow, Grace Omoigui, Greg at Decade, Ib McGinty, Josh Brider, Josh OC, Loz and Flynn MacArthur, Luke Coulson, Matt Fitz, Milo McCann. My family - David, Marilyn and Leonie. Neeko, Nic Froom, Nug Lord, Ollie Henley, Oscar Manser, Phoebe Jones, Rocky, Sam Elphinstone, Shea Togher, Smasher Asher, Sonny, Tom Foreman and Wun Bun.

Follow Ant - @oozebean

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