Danny Bearer was a pioneer in the truest sense of the word, developing his fluid and flashy style at the same West Los Angeles schoolyards in the mid-1960s that the Z-Boys would skate a decade later. Danny was a perennial all-star in football, basketball and baseball throughout his youth, and was a runner-up in the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks tennis championship at the age of 12. But by the time he reached high school, he was so passionate about surfing and skating that it was bantered about that he “majored in surfing” at his high school in Pacific Palisades.
In 1963, Danny became one of skateboarding’s first sponsored athletes as part of Larry Stevenson’s original Makaha skateboard exhibition team. The following year, at the ripe old age of 14, he traveled the US as part of the Hobie Surf and Skateboard Team, staging exhibitions in Texas, New York, and all along the eastern seaboard, performing for crowds, many of whom had never seen skateboards before. However, it was back at home in December 1964 that Danny solidified his spot in skateboarding’s consciousness when he was crowned the winner in the men’s division of the National Skateboarding Championships. All this at a time when wheels were clay, tricks were few and style was everything.