James Brockman


What's it like having a gun in your face?

Oh man, that happened to me a couple months ago, like three blocks from my house. I was just in awe–it's hard to think when you have a gun pointed at your face. It sucked man–they took my cell phone and around 30 bucks.

How did you get yourself into that situation?

I had finished skating and I was talking on my cell phone. Then some dudes just walked up to me. I was with a friend of mine, and the same guys had come up to us around twenty minutes earlier. They asked us if we had any change, and we were like, “Naw man, we ain't got no money.” They were basically just scoping us out.

Did you think about pulling some ninja shit on them at the time?

Dude, we thought about it afterward. Once they started walking away, me and my friend jumped in our car and we tried to run 'em over. We were both in such awe, that we didn't think their gun was real. So we just chased after them. Somebody had a cell phone across the street and they called the cops, and that was that.

Do you live in San Diego by yourself?

No, I still live at home with my parents. I just heard on the news that a couple people had been shot within five blocks of our house–in a matter of two weeks. I still think I'm going to stay in San Diego, though.

You had your first real video part in the Osiris video–were you happy with the way it turned out?

Yeah, I liked it. I'm really good friends with the dudes on Osiris, so I just went out with them when I felt like it. It was an easy thing to do, 'cause I've been on the team for three years now, and I was on flow before that.

Do you push yourself harder when you're being filmed?

I don't know. I just think of a trick I wanna do, and then I call somebody to go out and film it. Other times it's just random and a filmer happens to be there.

Is Jamie Thomas getting the next Zero video ready?

Yeah, we're out filming for it right now. But I don't know when it's coming out or anything. I don't hang out with Jamie too much. It's mainly the Osiris guys.

You and Jamie have taken a similar career path, having both ridden for Toy Machine. For you, what went wrong with Toy Machine, and how did you end up riding for Zero?

I was on flow for Toy Machine for a while. Somebody at Osiris had sent in a tape of mine to Tum Yeto. I don't know dude, I was just on flow for so long, and I could sense that Ed (Templeton) wasn't gonna do anything for me. Then Kanten Russell called up Jamie and told him about me. I guess he was into it.

Did you feel that Ed didn't respect your skateboarding?

Naw, I don't know. I just didn't really talk to him 'cause I'm kinda shy. And he wasn't really talkative to me, so it was a little weird. I just ended up being on flow forever.

Was that a trip, 'cause you must've looked up to him when you were growing up?

Yeah, sure.

What's kind of process do you go through when hooking up sponsors?

It's hard to say. I'll just send a tape somewhere, but usually I just end up getting on through friends of mine. I don't like to call up companies and ask to be sponsored. So far it's mainly been natural, through networking with friends.

Do your sponsors pay the bills when you get injured, or is it on you?

I haven't been hurt too bad yet, but if it happened, my parents would probably take care of it. My heel's been bugging me a lot lately. And I can't even remember how it happened.

Do you think Osiris should put more padding in their shoes?

(Laughs) Nah, some of 'em are good.

Do yyou get recognized a lot in San Diego?

I've lived here my whole life, so people seem to recognize me somewhat, whether they know skateboarding or not. Mainly it's little local kids, 'cause I go to the parks all of the time. But I don't consider myself a role model or anything. I'm just a kid who skates. I'm not some rock star.

If you didn't make a career out of skateboarding, what do you think you'd be doing?

I don't know, man, but I really hate working. I had a job working in produce once, and it sucked. I'd much rather go skating than stack vegetables for a living.