[cs_content][cs_element_section _id=”1″][cs_element_row _id=”2″][cs_element_column _id=”3″][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Mike Gray/Space Brace[/x_custom_headline][/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][cs_element_row _id=”10″][cs_element_column _id=”11″][x_image type=”none” src=”https://backyardbmx.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/30d459_2a6a8f0ce6dc40acb799846dc985abc2_mv2.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]
Safety first! When you are out riding your bike you should always be caring about your body. If you look at most professional riders they wear helmets and shin pads, ankle braces. The ankle brace that a lot of pros such as Dennis Enerson, Ryan Nyquist, Dorian Giordano and even MTB rider Brandon Semenuk use is the Space Brace! The Space Brace is one of the most comfortable braces and protects your ankles. Mike Gray is the one that came up with the idea for the business. I thought it would be best to give a little background knowledge on him before hitting the Space Brace section. I would highly recommend going to spacebrace.com or link is in the bottom of the article and check out this product and review it to your needs.
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Where did you grow up? Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Small town north of Toronto.
Where do you live now? Currently back at home in Newmarket.
How long have you been riding? Basically my whole life! But bmx for about 10+ years now. Time flies!
Who do you look up to riding? A whole bunch of people! Seriously so many amazing original riders out there, each unique in their own ways. Biggest influences though would have to be Garrett Reynolds, Dennis Enarson, Chad Kerley, Bruno Hoffmann, Dan Lacey, Alex Donnachie, Devon Smillie, Dak, Kevin Peraza – too many dudes to name.
What is your favorite piece to ride? Roofs.
Who are your sponsors? Haro BMX, Premium Parts, Vans Shoes, Sensus grips, Space Brace ankle brace.
What injuries have you had in the BMX sense? Broken ankle and fractured wrist. Overall, my worst injury would be the countless ankle inversion sprains (hot pockets) from landing to flat too much.
What is your advice to a BMX rider that in wanted to start a company in the sport of BMX? Make sure you have a unique idea. Treat every customer how you would treat your best friend. Be sure that you truly love what you are doing.
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What made you come up with the idea of a ankle brace? Ankle braces are something I have used on and off throughout my years riding bikes. Mostly used to protect my ankle from getting bruised when learning tailwhips. It was always a challenge trying to find ankle protection from a convenient location (i.e. local bike shop) or one that offered true support and a comfortable fit in your shoe.
About two years ago I broke my ankle at the skatepark and was wearing 1 ankle brace on the opposite ankle than the one I broke. While on the couch healing, I realized this was something that the industry needed. A brace that supported your ankle enough to keep it from rolling, offer enough padding to protect the ankle from bruising, and ultimately get a brace that covers all the grounds that fits comfortably in any shoe, boot of any sort, or any athletic footwear. I felt that a product like Space Brace should be offered at local bike shops and sports stores so that bike riders and athletes in need of ankle protection have access to one that they can trust works. Most braces are made by pharmaceutical companies. I found myself looking in pharmacies or on weird websites to find a decent brace. I wanted to bridge that gap and get the Space Brace available at all bike shops around the world. Just like how you can find knee pads, elbow pads and shin guards, I felt ankle protection should be available as well, especially since it’s the only form of protection I use on my body (besides a helmet). We are also the first company to sell ankle braces in pairs and push the preventive side of injury, which to me makes the most sense.
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When did the company start? Worked on the brand for over a year before launch. About a year and a half.
What was some of the first steps in creating the Space Brace? First and foremost finding a name. Then registering the business, starting the website, sourcing a manufacturer and creating a product that we were confident in… there were a lot more steps then I had anticipated haha.
What technology is in the Space Brace? The technology in the Space Brace is a secret! We spent just over a year working with our manufacturer to create the perfect ankle brace. Between feedback from top athletes, going back and forth with ideas and samples, it allowed us to create the perfect brace. Something that is light, durable, supportive, not bulky, and can take some serious abuse. Our brace comes in 3 different sizes. We offer them in singles and pairs. We want our customers to be proactive and wear Space Braces to prevent injury before it happens. They are also very helpful for recovery to get you back doing what you love after injury.
Does your company sponsor any BMX events? As many as we can! We have done a few smaller events: Joyride Spooky Sessions, Canadian BMX Day, NoWear BMX CornHuckit jam… We have big plans in the near future. We really want to start sponsoring big contests and create our own events as well.
We are very focused on supporting riders. We don’t have any direct sponsorships to any big events yet, but if you follow a lot of the top pro’s riding in these contests, there’s a good chance many of them are wearing Space Braces while competing.
Who created the Space Brace? Just you or others were involved? Myself and my partner Andy Stevenson, the man behind the scenes!
What is the direction you want move the Space Brace into? More protective gear. I have some ideas that I really want to take to the next step. However, we are going to put as much focus into the Space Brace as we can. I feel that it is the most needed product in the sport right now, and the main piece of protective gear I use personally when riding.
What does Space Brace looking forward to in 2018? We are looking forward to helping more and more people in need of the Space Brace and allow more riders and athletes to have access to the highest quality ankle protection.
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Credits: Portrait – Colin Mackay @colinmackaybmx, Manual 180 – Ryan Fudger, Barspin – Broderick @_photatoes, Space Brace – Mitchell Hubble @mitchellHubble
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