Brock Crouch Interview: How It Began + Hectic Moments
SoCal roots, industry hookups, life choices—details that describe the man behind the goggles.
An insane snowboarder doesn't even begin to describe Brock Crouch in full. Relaxed, considerate and light-hearted—Brock is a lot easier to hang out with than most professional anythings. True to Southern California stereotypes, Brock grew up by the beach and took to surfing pre-puberty but despite his obvious ability (he has a history of competitive surfing) he opted for a career in the mountains.
“Snowboarding you're so free... you go as fast as you want, fly as far as you want, go as big as you want.” –Brock Crouch
Hyped to announce Brock's addition, we hit him up for insights on the secret sauce that spices up his style. The same sauce that will soon inspire new products.
It goes without saying that Brock Crouch is an insane snowboarder. Brock is one of the homies and has been a part of the family for years. Well deserved, Brock Crouch has officially been voted onto the Nixon Team. Now it's time for everyone to meet the man behind the goggles, sometimes in board shorts and always relaxing.
When did you first start getting hooked up with Nixon? How did it happen? Was it Dave Downing?
Yeah, Dave Downing. I call him Uncle D. My dad and him have been really good friends for a long time and I definitely wouldn't be anywhere I am right now without him. I remember Michel Murciano at Nixon too. They always had my back. They sent me my first ever paycheck when I was seven or eight years old. It was like $500. I was losing my mind. And yeah, Chad is the man. He's done so much other stuff for me in the outside world and has so many connections. So, it’s super cool to be officially part of the fam.
So, you think you were about seven or eight when you first started getting hooked up? That’s nuts. That's a long time. Was that one of your first hookups or what?
It all happened so quickly. Within that six to eight-year-old range. Dave was getting me hooked up by Burton at that point. I got a little contract when I was seven or eight there, then I was working with Chad that year or two. Then I had something with Oakley. I was too young to go on the dope Nixon trips, though. I was into everything. I was such a little skate rat and was obviously loving snowboarding and didn't really catch on to surfing till I was around 11. It was always so sick seeing everybody go on those crazy trips. The team was psycho back in the day, dude [laughs].
Do you remember the first thing you did with Nixon? Did they have you work with product team?
I remember always going into the office to get stuff from Mike and the crew. I feel like Danny Way was always hanging out in the office back in the day. It was crazy. Then one day Bob [Burnquist] would be in there just chilling. I always thought that was kind of crazy. It was the spot right in downtown in the barn zone [Lumberyard] and it was super sick. People were just always in and out of that office. Now we're trying to get it refired up, it's sick.
Brock Crouch's Top Picks
Here's another random one. Jibfest, what’s Jibfest? Break it down for those who don’t know.
Yeah, Jibfest to the snowboard world is probably one of the crazier things that has ever gone down in the sport. I feel like all the old school rail guys and the new school rail guys definitely have respect for what went down at that event. It was always so crazy with how they ran it, and it was an invite thing and Mack Dawg and all these people would go there to film at this sick park. They’d have these wild rails and people throwing stuff out of the trees. Chad talked about it on the Bomb Hole [podcast], so that was super cool to hear his point of view.
What made snowboarding click more than surfing or skating or something else?
We went on like a family trip when I was three and I guess the instructor kept saying, “This kid is pretty good on a board. You guys should maybe come back next weekend” [laughs]. Yeah, I guess it just clicked. Honestly, the first few years seem like a blur but then I see these videos and I fully remember. I did a Burton shoot when I was six or seven. Burton did so much for the groms. Then a few years later I'm eight or nine. I went out in the back country for the first time with Danny Davis, [Dave] Downing, Mike Hatchett and my dad. That's why I say if Downing wasn't there for me, I wouldn't be where I am right now because he did so much for me. It was always super fun. Snowboarding you're so free. You really just make your own line and go as fast as you want, fly as far as you want, go as big as you want. A little bit more speed than skating and surfing. It's more like moto. Just fly through the air and try crazy shit. I don't know, the things we have to try now in snowboarding are pretty stupid. So, every day you wake up and hope to come down the hill in one piece and just live it like it's your last, because life can get snatched right out from you real quick.
What about competitive surfing? How did that come about and what are some of the major events you’ve been in?
When I was probably 11 my dad and one of his good homies (I was friends with his son), they got us surfboards for our birthdays. I went out and my dad was a huge surfer, obviously I knew what it was. I live a mile away from the beach. We'd go and mess around on surfboards. My dad always got me sick little boards. It clicked that summer. Then, when I was like 13 I heard about WSA's (Western Surfing Association), did some of those and then heard about NSSA's (National Scholastic Surfing Association). I won the Championships that year and made it into the USA Primes. If you win the WSA Championships, you get a spot in the Primes. So, then I was doing Primes and NSSA heats when I was 15, 16 and 17. Dude, it was crazy. At a point I remember doing the US Open for Snowboarding. Have you seen that clip of me doing the like 120-foot back 10? I overshoot the whole jump at the US Open. That year was like 2016 and my mom was with me at that event. She drove me right after that down to Denver and I got on a flight to Sacramento, met my surf coach and my dad, went to Steamer Lane and then did the Prime that weekend. Then, I flew from San Francisco to Oslo for X Games. It was the craziest week and a half of my life.
It was sick, though. It was cool to go down that route and all my homies were like, “Dude you should try and go on a QS (Qualifying Series) or something. You can probably do okay, make a few heats.” And I'm like, “Yeah, that would be fun but I don't want to burn any bridges.” Surfing isn’t as much as a community and it's a way different sport. I love like going down to the beach and chilling with my friends and trying to get cool iPhone clips on a log or a wave storm. Then, when the waves are good, I bring out my short board and try to do some shit. Snowboarding is such a cool community, you know? No matter who does good, who does bad—you're all hanging out that night together and everybody's stoked for the person that did the best. People are going to talk shit about judging or whatever, this and that, but we're not out there talking behind people's backs.
Surfing's got a really competitive side.
Yeah, it does. It was really cool to be in that for five to six years. It was fun and really different, and I'm psyched I got to do that. When I was a grom, I was a full skate rat from five years old till pretty much when I started surfing. I started really getting into surfing when I was 13, but I was a full skate grom. I would do King of the Groms and shit. I would skate YMCA with Tom Schaar. Then, I just got burnt out on skating and fell in love with surfing because my dad would take me to the beach every day. He was like, “You're into surfing? Let's go!” I picked it up super quick. Yeah, hopefully one day I have enough money to start an event myself. I think you could do so many cool things with surf, skate and snow.
I'm going to rattle off a couple of quicker, shorter questions . . . what's the most illegal snowboard trick?
Maybe a tindy or something. Honestly, if you can make something look fun, and it feels good for you, I back it. Everyone's out there just trying to be the best.
What feels the best for you?
I don't know, a backside 180, a frontside 360, a method, a pow slash or just chucking meat over like a 70-foot jump.
Alright, now a weird one. What animal would you want to be?
Honestly, I'd love to be an eagle. I got to go to Alaska this year and saw a bunch of eagles. I was like, “Damn, that'd be pretty sick to be an eagle.” It’d also be pretty sick to be a huge grizzly bear . . . but I don't know, I'm not much of a sleeper. I love to hang out with all the boys, and I just don't know if I can sleep all winter. So, I'd probably be an eagle. Just fly around and chow.
Alright, when you're not surf, skate or snowboarding what's the first go-to?
I just went on a fishing trip like two weeks ago with my family right after a huge winter. It was pretty fun. Got bent with all my family. It's pretty cool to go with your whole family and fish. It's definitely a fun experience to see everybody out on the lake. There were a couple of blowouts. But yeah, it's summer now so we're gonna go try and get some tuna. Go on some sick Salty Crew trips and get some tuna for all the boys.