Fri, Jun 11 2010 4:00 am |
The Friday Interview – Catching Up With Jeremiah Smith
Interview and photos by Fat Tony.
From guns to ping-pong and from cars to riding, we caught up with Jeremiah Smith about anything and everything we could think of. Oh, and of course we asked him about being a ridiculously identical lookalike to the world’s most famous snowboarder.
Name: Jeremiah Smith
Location: State College, PA
Sponsors: 5050 Bike Shop, Failure Bikes, SNAFU, Levi’s, DC Shoes, Skullcandy, Woodward Camp
What was it like going from Ohio and riding mostly street and moving to State College, Pennsylvania, and riding mostly Woodward?
Well, it was crazy…going from riding street and some park with all of my really good friends every day to riding just ramps with the best BMX riders in the world every day. It seriously took some time getting use to that. But once I did it was amazing and helped out my riding a lot.
Where are you at right now with your riding? I know you were mentioning kind of being over riding ramps right now and wanting to ride more street around the campus and stuff…
Well, that’s a really good question. I would say that I’m at the point with my riding where I just want to ride what I want, and how I want. I don’t really like putting stress on myself. I was over ramps for a little bit, but now that I’m riding how I want and what I want it’s been amazing, and I have not been more pumped on riding. I do ride a lot more street now since that’s what I love to ride, and I’m going to put out way more street videos.
Describe the “camp life” with all the riders that live either at Woodward or near camp in State College. What’s that whole BMX scene like?
The kids that live at camp go to work, and when they get off they go eat and some chill, some ride, some go ride their dirt bikes and then ride. The riders that live in State College all try to go to camp at the same time so we all can ride together, and for the most part it works out that way. The BMX scene is good at camp. There are some of the best BMX riders here, and the other kids are just really, really good. The only part that sucks about camp is the winter…and when people are salty, because most of the time they are salty about nothing.
“I’m hopping we will get to shoot some guns, blow some stuff up, and hopefully play some ping-pong.”
When you are at home, do you have any kind of daily riding routine or guys you session with on a regular basis?
I’m at home during most of the winter and try to be home as much as I can during the summer. I don’t have a riding routine, but my routine is wake up at 10am, talk to my girlfriend Jessica, then I go to Jorge Jovel’s house to ruin his life and find out when we are going to camp. We try to go in to camp around 3 or 5 because that’s when everyone is riding. I ride with Jorge every day and I try to ride with Seth Klinger, Ronnie Napolitan, Anthony Napolitan, Jamie Bestwick, and whoever else is at camp-the more the merrier.
How’s your current car project coming along?
It’s coming along good. It’s drivable, but if anyone has ever had a project car, they know it’s a lot of money, time, and it’s never done. It’s a ’91 Volkswagen MK2 GTI with a 1.8t motor from a twentieth anniversary. I am building the car for road racing.
I can barely go five questions without bringing this up… The Shaun White thing. Everywhere you go people are staring, talking, coming up to you, etc. Does it get old when people think you are a snowboarder all the time? How do you deal with that in different situations?
Hahaha! Not really. I think it’s really funny, and most of the time I like to play along, but it really sucks when people think I’m Carrot Top or say that I look like that guy because I’m way better looking than that guy. Hahahahaha. Most of the time people are scared to come up and say anything, but for the ones that do, I just play along or say I’m his brother. Hahaha. But after a while of playing along I tell them I’m not him.
Give us a funny story of a time when you played along with it for a while and didn’t tell someone you weren’t Shaun White…
There are tons. Hahaha. Last year pretty much the whole Levi’s team and some other people went out to eat after Dew Tour dirt finals to this nice steak place. When we all walked in people were looking at us and I thought it was because we weren’t dressed up or because there was a lot of big name people walking in. When we all sat down there was this one family that kept looking over at us and I thought that they were going to ask for Jamie’s or Nat Adams’ autograph, since they just won that stop of the Tour. But no, as soon as we ordered our drinks the family came over and asked if they could get a pic with me, and everyone at the table started smiling. Then I looked at Kathy, and she was smiling and then nodded her head, so then I told the family sure, and then after the photo they said, “Thanks, Shaun.” Hahaha.
Ever think about cutting the mane to stop the confusion?
Yeah, all the time, but I hate paying to get my hair cut because most of the time they screw it up. So normally I just wait around ’til someone will cut it for me for free that knows what they are doing.
Most of the time when I see you it’s at contests, but recently we spent a week on the road together… I’m sure each has its ups and downs, so what do you like and dislike about traveling for contests, and doing road trips?
I love traveling to contests. The only thing that sucks about contests is there are times when you can ride on the course and you can only ride for like one or two hours, which also sucks. Nothing sucks about road trips. They are the best!
I never would have guessed this, but you are really into guns. What kind of guns do you have, and how’d you get into shooting? Also, what’s it like for you when you go to the range?
Yeah I am, I just wish I had the money to buy the guns I want. Hahaha. I have an old hand gun. I forgot what kind it is. My grandfather gave it to me. I also have a 3030, 12 gage, 20 gage, 22 rifle, and a 410. When I was a little guy, my best friend’s dad was into hunting and he would let us shoot the guns and the bows, and ever since that I was hooked. This might sound crazy, but it’s really relaxing.
Another thing I wouldn’t have guessed you are into is ping-pong. How’d that come about?
Yeah I am really, really into it. Hahaha. I don’t really know how that came about, but I’m glad I got into it. Hahaha. What’s crazy about it is there are a lot of BMXers that are into it.
Is it true you spent like $150 on a paddle?
No, it was $170. Hahaha.
I hear you are about to go to Iraq to do some demos for the troops over there. What are your expectations, and what are you looking forward to. Are you scared to go into a war zone like that?
Yep, and I can’t wait. It’s going to be an amazing time. I’m hoping we will get to shoot some guns, blow some stuff up, and hopefully play some ping-pong. I heard some of those guys are good. Hahaha. I’m looking forward to flying in a black hawk helicopter. Yeah, I am a little scared. You have to be, but I think I’m more excited than anything.