DAPHNE, Al. - Bear Walker's custom plywood skateboards are sweeping through social media, earning him quite a celebrity fanbase.
With woodworking skills he learned from his family's construction business, Walker builds customized skateboards that reflect pop culture. A few of his board designs traveled through social media like wildfire, which lead to collaborations on boards with Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa, Zachary Levi of Thor and Shazam, The Flash CW star Grant Gustin, and rapper Killer Mike.
Walker designed and built a pair of Aquaman-themed skateboards for Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa
Walker begins with custom-pressed plywood commissioned from a California supplier. Then, using a CNC and hand tools, he carves a patent-pending pattern into the top of each skateboard - providing maximum traction without the need for traditional grip tape.
"The ability to create high-quality custom boards for people is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream," says Walker on his website. "For me, grip tape is obsolete. Instead, I strategically carve the wood itself for ultimate traction."
Walker and his three employees work together on all parts of the operation - each covering the required woodwork and administration responsibilities. For limited edition and stock boards, Walker lets his crew handle. But for a custom board, he's the only one to touch it from start to finish.
Walker says around half of his customers ride their skateboards. The other half hangs them up in their homes.
Walker has seen most of his success on Instagram, where he has nearly 87,000 followers.
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