Cameron Wood: BMX pro, Jesus Carpenter, Entrepreneur … Anything Else?

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Photo: Katie Panzer

For the last 15 years, Cameron Wood has been perusing the back alleys and grungy side-streets of Salt Lake on his BMX bike. Throughout his many years of riding, he has cultivated an impressive amount of talent and respect in the sport. You’ve most likely seen him riding with other local pros, seen his face in other magazine snapshots or heard whispers of his name—he’s been in the biz for a while. Instead of focusing on giving the public more contests or being a poster child for his sponsors, Wood is taking a more unique approach with his involvement in the sport. The Wood Shop, recently opened by Wood, is not just the sole BMX-only shop in Salt Lake, but it is also home to his unique, crafty carpentry designs. I was able to catch him one afternoon and learned how Wood is marking the BMX scene with his own fingerprint.

SLUG:
What inspired the birth of The Wood Shop?
Wood: I decided to open my own shop because I wanted to distribute good bikes to kids in the west. Around April/May of last year, I started collecting wood pieces off the streets and began scrapping out—the grand opening was August 5.

SLUG: How have BMX-ers in the area responded to your shop?
Wood: A lot of people are showing me love. I’m the only BMX-exclusive shop in Salt Lake. Other shops have all kinds of bikes, like road or mountain, but I am specific to the BMX community. Some people have come in thinking it’s just a wood shop, so I’ve been able to get a few carpentry jobs from that. The name of my shop comes from my last name, of course, but it also represents my skill.

SLUG: What’s your carpentry collection like?
Wood: It’s super freestyle, with a lot of wood-burning pieces and some Pepsi and sprocket tables. I’m also trying to do a lot of BMX combined furniture that looks like bike products. I’m going for a grungy, motorcycle, BMX-club-type style.

SLUG: What is unique about your store that we should know about?
Wood: All of my displays are handmade. The shovels used to hang tires and frames are the actual shovels I used to build jumps at Tanner Park. I’ve probably spent a good 100 hours digging with each shovel before it snapped. Most of the time, shops just use slat walls with hooks to display product, but everything in my shop is custom. Having original designs adds a good touch.

SLUG: What is it like trying to run a business and be a pro rider?
Wood: I don’t know if I would consider myself a pro—I’m sponsored. And those aren’t even all the things I’m into. I build jumps for contests, too. I don’t even have time for myself anymore—some bike rider took over my body, and I’m just going with
the flow.

SLUG: If you don’t consider yourself a pro, what do you consider yourself to be?
Wood: A BMX Hell’s Angel. It’s about having fun, really. Being pro is like a J.O.B., but this is a lifestyle. There are people so hungry to get paychecks and it changes the riding. The contests aren’t judged right. Every dude does the same trick. I don’t like the foam pit because I feel like it’s cheating. Style and your own look is what you’re trying
to achieve.

SLUG: Is that thought unique to Cam Wood, or would you say other BMX riders are thinking the same thing?
Wood: Yeah, you’re either a contest rider, and you go to Woodward to train and win, or you just go have fun riding down the road with your friends. Contests were real cool back in the day, but now they’re just different.

SLUG: What advice would you give to riders?
Wood: Just ride. You see something and say, “I bet I could do that.” That mentality didn’t come for years, though. As time moved on, progression moved on, and suddenly, lots of things were possible. It was time spent on my bike that got me to be creative.

SLUG: Where’s your head at when you ride? Any mental games?
Wood: Usually, I’m fired up and things come naturally. When I’m doing something scary and it’s a mind screw, I usually go into it with, “I’m going to land this.” Keeping positive vibes and staying on my bike and not on the couch helps keep my head where it needs to be.

SLUG: Are you a renaissance man, a businessman or a BMX rider?
Wood: I don’t know what time I’m stuck in. I think I have about three or four split personalities inside of me. It just depends on the day, I guess.
Pop into The Wood Shop on 2212 S. West Temple in Salt Lake to check out this newest addition to the BMX community, and say hi to Cam Wood himself. Make sure to look ‘em up on Facebook and at thewoodshopbmx.com as well.

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