Ever heard of Windells extreme sports camp? You may have if you caught the video we featured a few months back or if you saw it on Road Fools. Up until a short while ago, Windells never allowed bikes into the camp, but lately that's all changed. They're in the process of making the place more BMX friendly. And to do this, they've appointed Micah Kranz as the new BMX camp director. Recently, I caught up with Micah to see what the park and his new job entails.
When did you become the BMX camp director for Windell's and what is your role there exactly?
My friend Matt Doman is a pro snowboard coach at the camp and was slowly taking all of my favorite friends away from Wisconsin to work at the camp. Word got to the owner about what I do and Tim Windell eventually got a hold of me and sold me on the place. I liked how it was rider owned and employed a lot of "like minded" people. Now that I'm here I know it's a good fit.
My daily roles differ from each day. Everyone here wears several hats and helps each other reach their agendas. I do a lot of technical writing, marketing, and when I have downtime I do pick up a shovel, lean on it, and watch other people pack lips, just trying to stay honest.
How come all of a sudden Windell's is allowing BMX into the camp? Weren't they strictly snowboarding and MTB all these years?
Road Fools came through here a few years ago and rode the park. A bunch of locals have built trails here over the years but never got the attention it deserved. The facilities are really nice and they have given us full creative on whatever we want to build, trials or wood. We have basically been working on trails because the dirt is so good and it's a good thing for kids to learn before they take their brakes off and ride foot tall ledges all day. MTB is new to Windells this year as well and this company called North West School of Free Ride is taking care of their campers. BMX and MTB have different coaches and separate facilities. You are of course welcome to ride whatever you would like.
...when I have downtime I do pick up a shovel, lean on it, and watch other people pack lips, just trying to stay honest...
What all is there to ride for BMX and are you guys working on building any current stuff for bikes?
We are building trails all over the place and the lines are starting to work themselves out really well. There is a crew of skateboarders who are also building a ton of really creative concrete stuff which basically makes the campus one big snake run. It's awesome to be in an atmosphere where people are from all different backgrounds and working on the same goal of making the campus as user friendly as possible. We also have concrete bowls, a foam pit, vert ramp, and various other obstacles to shred. We also take kids to the local skateparks that are in the area, believe me those things are deep, fast, and crazy.
What kind of pros have been coming out to the park and who might be coming out in the future?
Right now Lil Jon, Tom Dillon, Myself, Boyd, KC Badger, and Scott Draper are all living on the campus and building. A lot of the "Goods" crue and Portland locals come on the weekend to ride. There are a lot of kids that come to ride during the open weekends so we are excited to get the scene stronger and hopefully get people excited about BMX. I'm pretty sure a lot of people are coming to camp early before Dew Tour happens just because it's a place no one has ridden before and how many times have you seen the same background in shots? It's so epic for backgrounds with Mt. Hood all over the place.
How does Windell's compare to Woodward and what do you think makes it more worth it than going to Woodward?
It's like comparing apples to oranges. We are a camp specifying in Snowboarding and free-ski because it's the only place in the country that you can be on snow all year round. Skateboarding and BMX are offered as both activities and camps which is cool because your not stuck doing one thing the whole time, you can grab a board and go to the mountain or stay on campus and skate. Woodward has their emphasis in other areas and that's cool too. We are trying to provide a really laid back atmosphere where if you want to learn something we have the people and facilities here to help you do that, otherwise a full on camp experience and a summer full of stories and good times is the goal here. We are not a jocked-out BMX training facility, we are a place to come and enjoy riding your bike with like-minded people and make friends. I will always love Woodward and what they are, but Windells is like spending the day on your bike and having a BBQ with your friends at the end the day. Its two different outlooks but both are doing great things for BMX and that is awesome. Supporting rider owned business is just really important to me.