AGE: 33
COMPANY: Boydston Masonry
LOCATION: Atascadero, CA

Since 2010, mason Derek Boydston and tender Kevin Earl have dreamt of competing on the biggest stage in masonry. The two would watch YouTube videos of past competitors and study their every move. As they picked up little tricks, Boydston and Earl would practice as much as they could until finally, after several attempts, they qualified for the World Championship.

With a brick count of 526, they beat out last year’s regional champion by a total of 6 brick. “We come from the Wild Wild West, and we were determined to get to Vegas this year,” said Bodyston, owner of Bodyston Masonry in Atascadero, CA.

33-year-old Boydston comes from a strong background in masonry. Both his mother and father were masons and taught him everything he knows. His parents bought him his first bag of mortar, SPEC MIX, and he hasn’t looked back since. Throughout his journey as a mason, Boydston’s mom has been his biggest supporter, and she was there cheering him on at his first regional competition. Boydston lost his mother in 2014, and for him, making it Vegas has a special meaning, “I’m practicing to win it for her. Every time I fire up a mortar mixer, it reminds me of my mom. I know she’s watching over me.”

While Boydston’s family connection to masonry got him started in the business, it’s the art and innovation that keeps him motivated every day. He compares laying brick to playing guitar, “you can express yourself however you want, that’s what’s so cool about it.”