Justin Brock's southern comforts

David Broach

Justin Brock takes a break from the session.

Justin Brock is a real Southern man. Raised in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the childhood home of actor Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the fanciful town of Mayberry on "The Andy Griffith Show," it doesn't get much more down home than that. Riding for Real, Nike SB and Quiksilver, Brock is constantly traveling the world and racking up tricks. Despite a life on the road, Brock makes his way back to North Carolina and Atlanta nearly any chance he can get. Having just hosted several of his Real teammates in a tour through the south, I caught up with Brock to talk about our shared love for North Cacka and all the southern comforts.

You're from "Mayberry" North Carolina, right?

Born and in raised in "Mayberry"?
Well I was born in Corbin, Kentucky and then raised in Mount Airy, "Mayberry," since I was one year old.

What's Corbin Kentucky's claim to fame?
It's was home to Colonel Harland Sanders and the first KFC.

I know!

How many tourists come through Mount Airy looking at "The Andy Griffith Show" memorabilia?
It's no telling. It goes on all day, every day. People standing beside the statue of Andy and Opie, taking photos up and down the main street, eating at Snappy Lunch and Aunt Bea's Barbeque. Snappy's has the best pork chop sandwich around from what I hear.

I grew up in North Carolina, too but never made it out to Mount Airy. What am I missing out on?
Well, you're missing out on the Blue Ridge mountains and the 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge from Mount Airy. Pilot Mountain is just right around the corner, too. And we have angry cops if you're trying to skate in Mount Airy.

Tell me about the early days in North Carolina. I used to see footage tapes of you doing all types of crazy stuff back there.
My buddy got me into skating. He was from Florida and moved to Mount Airy. We skated any spot we could find together. One was pretty much a 5-stair with one push runway. We skated parking lots and whatever we could make out of our surroundings. Later on I met the older skaters like Billy Childress who I still skate with now. The older guys, Toby Hiatt and Will Jackson, showed me skateboarding outside of Mount Airy. Will owns Canvas Skate Shop right in Mount Airy and those are the old homies that I still hang with when I'm home.

David Broach

Brock tweaks a melon over a naturally occurring asphalt pyramid during Real's "High Voltage" summer tour.

Who is James Tupper and how did you link up with him?
Well, when I was 15 my parents built a skatepark and that's how I met James and the older guys. Tupper is the guy who directed the "Carolina Love" video and is a driving force behind Post 22. The older guys all had cars so we went to Raleigh on the weekends to skate better spots. It's how I met the other guys from Raleigh including Dan Murphy, Connor Champion, Brett Abramsky and the rest of the Raleigh crew.

How did you first start getting hooked up living out in North Carolina?
When I was 16 I missed so much school I was failing out. I lived off my dad's child support checks and skated and eventually I got hooked up. It just sort of worked out for me.

What are the best places to skate on the East Coast right now?
Raleigh, for sure. Atlanta, New York and Washington D.C. are my favorites on the East.

Who is your crew on the East Coast?
Right now my main crew is Sturgil Horn; he's putting me up right now. And Dan Murphy is in Raleigh, too. Down in Atlanta it's Grant Taylor, David Clark and Pat McClain. Everybody knows everybody so it's a tight knit crew out here.

Where did you get the "I'm with Sturgil" shirt from that appeared in a recent Thrasher magazine photo?
It's not even real. I wish it was real. That was Photoshop. I want that shirt, I need that shirt and Sturgil wants one too. Stugil was with me in the photo and he thought the shirt was real!

What are some of Sturgil's greatest qualities?
He's a clean freak and loves his Nissan Altima. He can drink anyone under the table and he'll still be sober. His family is awesome. He's a good dude. You can't help but love him.

Who's the town mayor of Mount Airy?
I don't know.

Should Sturgil run for mayor?
Sturgil could run. He'd have to wear a long sleeve, they don't like tattoos up there. I'd vote for him, though.

Who's the next up and comer from Mount Airy?
My little buddy Colter "Rat Trap" Hawks. He's the man. I grew up with his older brother and I got him into skating. He's the sickest kid we got. That reminds me, I've got to give him a new board; he needs one right now.

How loose are your trucks? I've seen you fall pushing they seem so loose.
I rock 'em pretty loose. I had to tighten up a little from all the wheel-bite, I might put some risers on.

Did you really live off of Mountain Dew, Twizzlers and cigarettes for a year straight?
Yeah. It was pretty much that and some peanut butter sandwiches. Seventy five dollar child support checks helped but there ain't much you can get with that.

What's the best place to eat in North Carolina?
Cook Out and Bojangles. Get the Barbeque tray at Cook Out and the Cajun filet, biscuit combo with that sweet tea at Bojangles.

What about the place to eat in Atlanta?
Eats and Little Five Points Pizza for sure.

Give us three reasons to live in the country and one reason to live in the city.
The country:
1. It's quiet.
2. Mom's cooking.
3. It's beautiful.

The City:
1. More bars and better cell phone service. That's it.

Will you ever lose your southern drawl?
I don't think so. I can't stay away from home long enough to lose it.

Got some words of advice for any up and coming country boy?
Don't ever change.

David Broach

Brock frontside 180s the hard way over the stairs, the rail and the bike.

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