Moto Media

with ... Nate Adams

Hey Nate, introduce yourself to our members!

My name is Nate Adams, I am 26 years old and have been riding Freestyle since I was age 15. I come from Glendale, Arizona and live now in Temecula, California.

Congratulations to a great season! Man, how tight it was at the Red Bull X-Fighters final in Rome. Tell us your view about the title defence! Did you belive that you can win or did you think Villa would do it ?

The whole weekend in Rome was crazy from the start. I can't really explain, what pressure would do to you. It just makes you feel different. I knew the whole weekend that I could do it. I never finished out oft he top 3. Villa bet me through the year. Basically in these moments it is all internally. Whoever got the strongest mental state and who belives into himself. I just went out there and rode, did my thing and ended up beating Andre. So it worked out. I am pumped!

© S. Marko -  Nate took a classic Vespa ride in Rome, before stuff got serious at the venue for him....

You skipped the round in Madrid, was there a point where you regretted that since you threw away your scratch-result ?

Not that I regret it, but I am bummed that I could not got to Madrid. I had a nagging wrist injury from a couple years ago until 2007. When I broke my finger in Madrid a week before X I think I would have taken gold without it instead of getting silver with a broken finger. It's just a business decision. I wanted to heal up and wanted to be fresh for X-Games, so unfortunately I could not go.

You have riders like Kyle Loza who ride pretty much only one or let‘s say a handful of events in every year. Your schedule is pretty hectic: besides riding all the competitions you are one of the headlining riders at the Nuclear Cowboyz Tour and have some overseas gigs. Don‘t you need a holiday ?

I went pretty much 11 months strong this year. I wanna get to the point in my career maybe the next couple years where I can pick and choose the events, maybe a handful events a year, and do appearances for my sponsors. I did 38 weekends this year and I am busy. Not that I don't love it, but I don't wanna be gone for 38 weekends a year hanging it out doing something dangerous. I wanna hang out at home, ride more for fun and going on filmtrips. Ride more with my buddies. I haven't ridden with Stenberg outside of a contest since March! I wanna kind of going back to where things run simpler.

In the beginning of your FMX career you got called a ramp-kid by a few of the OGs. Now you just barely missed qualifying for a AMA Supercross. Is riding SX a thing to shut those OGs off or why do you want to give it a go ?

Well, Supercross was my goal before Freestyle, that's why I am giving it a go. When those guys labeled me a ramp-kid it did not really bother me. It bothered me a little bit but in a way to give me more motivation to beat those guys. So it is not anything to prove anyone to shut down or to prove him wrong. I just wanna do it. That's it.

© O. Schran -   Nate brakes his SX bike in for the upcoming season in Pala, California - December 2010

Last year you had some bad luck at the SX, in 2010 you barely missed the night programm by one spot. Will you give it another go at A1 2011 ?

Actually I qualified in Salt Lake City last year, but I didn't race. I was having bike problems and it was snowing. But I bought a couple bikes, getting a late start in the beginning of December. I want to try some SX, probably not A1. I went to A1 the last couple of years and it is like everyone is there, everyone is healthy, everyone is fast and it is kind of a clustery. So I think I will go there, sit it out and watch everyone riding and hop in second round the very earliest in Phoenix.

A couple years ago you seemed to be the opposite of the Freestyle image: quiet, shy, no tattoos. I bet many people still have that image of you, even though you are covered by a few big tattoos now. How would you describe yourself ?

I would describe myself as clean but edgy. When I was younger I was more focused on doing my thing, that's all I cared about and that is probably where I got my reputation. Now I am still the same person with the same believes, but I am a little bit more edgy. I have been around the world a few times... I have been cultured. I don''t know...

© M. Mougel -  Nate got INK....

Was that "wild guy" always in you? Or did FMX make you become wilder?

I always had that wild man inside of me. When I was young me and my friends shoveled up a jump or whatever I was the first one to hit it, that type of stuff. When I got into freestyle I was tamed. Everybody called me that tame little kid. That is where the motivation came from. I was like „No, I am not that tame little kid. I am gnarly!" I am going toe-to-toe with these guys, that is where the motivation came from.

Maybe you thought "if I want to be a Rapstar, I need to work on my gangster-image and get some ink done"… tell us about your hip hop! We listened to your album and liked it very much !

Oh, thank you very much! Hiphop has always been in me, I love the hiphop. Listening to Snoop and Dre and 2Pac in my sisters room when I was young and she was in highschool. I always had hiphop in me and was probably 20 when I started rhymin' and writin' and getting into the music. I was into Rock and all kinds of music, playing guitar. It hit me like „I love hiphop, but I don't do that music", so I started doing it.

© O. Schran -   Nate is all set with this ride to roll into the ghetto to meet his HipHop buddies....

How do you write the songs, do you also produce the beats yourself ?

No, I actually have a beatmaking programm on my computer but it is so hard. My beats are not up to par where I wanna put them out to public. So I got a lot of beats of Iggy Chop (Ryan Leyba @ espn fmx) and producers offline.

Did you get any help from a producer to bring out the album ?

No, actually I just emailed the producers where I get beats from, got permission to use the beats and that was it. I started mixing myself, recorded them. I build a studio inside of my house and that was it. I started writing and recording over beats and produced it myself.

In the lyrics are you writing about your own life being a FMX pro or is there other topics ?

Most of my topics are just life. Some stuff comes through out of motocross, but I am not writing specific about motocross stuff. It is all about life, how I am feeling, what's on my mind, what I have seen, what I observe. People, shadyness, good things out of people, things that motivate me, things that bum me, all those things.

Visit to download Nate´s first album!

Rapping is not the only creative thing in your life. You started your glove company DEFT Family two years ago. How did this happen and what is the story behind DEFT ?

You are right, about two years ago me and two of my buddies started DEFT. Basically we are a tight group of guys since I moved out here to California. We all have been, I don't wanna say different, but we had a different outlook on the industry and that had to change. We all agreed on that for years. We wanted to have a company that operated differently, presented themselves differently, did the add campaigns, the media differently, everything. With that in line we all wanted to start off with something that we know needed improvement. We all were sponsored by multiple gear companies and the gloves always sucked. We knew we could do a perfect glove that riders would love and market it great and have a cool lifestyle, too, and people would like it.

©  Nate is DEFT

How involved are you in the daily business of DEFT? Do you have enough time to handle things while still riding a lot to be on top of FMX ?

In daily stuff with DEFT I am involved in but not that much. Brian Foster and Logan Darrien are doing it day to day. Without them I wouldn't be able to handle it. I come in and am doing little things or things when I am needed like paying gloves, paying for ads and stuff like that, talk about who we are going to sponsor, who we are going after for next year, what T-Shirt designs... I am like „yes, no, I like what you guys are doing". Basically I overview it. With Logan and Brian and also Nate Holly they are basically the backbone, and while I am trying with my carrer to get DEFT on TV or do interviews like this.

Where do you see DEFT heading towards in a couple of years ?

Hopefully it is a more established brand in the industry, not only moto industry but as well as music industry, BMX and others as well. Clabbing right now with DC and Skullcandy. so hopefully i will have more clabs with good companies and sponsors of mine. Hopefully we start to make some money and having DEFT as a good company.

Let‘s talk about the dark side of our sport... not the Metal Mulisha! Let‘s talk about injuries. „Full Circle" is a very good documentary about you being on top, having a bad injury and getting back on top. In the film they explained that you had some brain problems as result from a couple concussions. That sounds scary! How did you feel during that time ?

The dark side of our sport I would definitely say is the injuries. Thanks for watching my movie, by the way! Full Circle explains when I broke my shoulder, femur and tore some ligaments in my knee how it can keep you off the bike. And the fans dont see that, they just here the news „Oh, Nate just broke his leg" and some months later I am back at a contest and they dont get to see all oft hat. The video explains getting the wrong sized rod, six months of therapy, three surgeries on my femur, one on my knee, one on my shoulder and on top oft hat I had twenty concussions. And that one was really a hard hit when I broke my femur. I couldnt stand up without getting dizzy for months. Looking back the fact that it took 9 months form y leg to heal was a blessing form my brain.

Was there a point during that bad time where you asked yourself if riding FMX is worth it to risk your health ?

No! You know what? It was always just a question of when can I get back on the bike, will I be the same. There was a deadline and that kept me motivated to go through all those surgeries, physicall therapy and all that. Riding is just in me, I love it!

You started being very succesful in FMX when you were 16 or 17 years old. How many more years do you think will you be a professional rider ?

I have had a great career, I started when I was 15, started having success 1 year or so after – felt like forever- I dont know, I would say 5 years is a good estimate of how much longer I want to stay competitive. I will never stop riding because I love it, but as far as staying on the top level of competition 5 years is a good estimate.

Are the young guns like Levi Sherwood, Josh Sheehan, Jacko Strong making you nervous? They seem to be the next generation who grew up with the knowledge that of course you can backflip and 360 a dirtbike !

It is not only the young guns but also the guys who have been around for a while who are stepping up their game. It is not always about doing a good trick, it is a package deal. If you go to a contest and you are going to doubleflip your heart and mind is about that all weekend whereas the guys who are not their minds are on the course and their run.
It pays off for both types of riders, for the guys who hang it out for the big tricks and for the guys who are consistent with semi-big tricks. But it is those young kids like the Sherwoods, the Sheehans and the Strongs who are staying in the back of our head making us know that we can't slack off too much. These kids grew up watching us 360 and backflip and it is no big deal to them, that is why they are out there doing frontflips and stuff.

© J. Mitter  Nate performing a "School Book" 360° in Calgary 2008.

Now we have tricks like the VOLT, frontflips, doublebackflips and the backflip combos are becoming gnarlier. Where do you see the sport head towards? And are you willing to do those tricks in order to stay on top in the competitions ?

I see the sport heading into a direction that is basically as it has always been and that is getting gnarlier. Hopefully I like to see not only the tricks to progress but also the tracks. It shouldnt be only on the riders lap to do a bigger gnarlier trick on the same setup that we have been riding on for the last ten years. It is up tot he promoters to deliver more dirt for bigger and safer courses. I am willing as I said to push myself for another 5 years and we will see how it goes. I say that now but in 3 or 4 years I could be saying that's enough or in 7 or 8 years.

Some people criticise that you have never really invented a new trick but that you were always quick to copy other guys. How is your take on that and anyway: is that a bad thing ?

I dont know if that is a bad thing because everybody copies eeach others tricks, that is how freestyle is. I wont say I have never invented a trick. Lazyboys are my invention, 360 were not my invention but I was doing them right at the same time when everybody learned them. 

When Travis Pastrana learned them I was learning them, too. I haven't invented to many tricks but the 360 Nac, Lazyboy Flip those I am claiming mine. I was always around when a new trick came out. Dont wanna brag about it. I got that reputation because when a new trick came out I learned it. I am not gonna go to a contest where someone is doing something I cant do. That is what freestyle is, everyone copying each others tricks. Kind of sucks that I got that reputation but I feel like I dont deserve it.

© J. Mitter - There is no doubt Nate is the inventor of the org. Lazyboy, if you look at his flip variation of the trick....

Have you ever thought about what to do after your FMX career? Is DEFT your goal for that ?

The last two years I started thinking about what I wanna do after FMX and that is why I satrted DEFT. That is why Logan was wrapping up his racing and supercross career and Foster was wrapping up his freestyle career as well. I see hopefully Deft is what I am doing for the rest of my life as well as hip hop. I have been rhymin for more and more people, I have been rhyming for 17.000 in Prague. Hopefully that is what is coming up and I try to keep myself busy, but DEFT is what I see form my retirement.

You ride dirtbikes, you have your own glove company, you do music… but I am sure there is something that people don‘t know about you. What is it ? Surprise us !

I dont know. For me to let everyone know that I do hiphop was a big step for me. Getting over the fear and nervousness about recording my voice and let people hear it. There is always people who are gonna criticise it but as far as anything that you dont know I think there is nothing, I am pretty honest. I am a person where I am sure that you get to know me much better the more you are hanging with me. Interviews just scrath the surface. I would say form my reputation in freestyle being a ramp kid and that, if you hang with me for 5 minutes you will figure out that this is not true.

What people maybe dont know is that you have a girlfriend.

Oh yeah, I am together with her for more than 2,5 years and her name is Lindsey. She is another important part in my life. So if you did not know that, now you do.

Ok, we are finished with the interview. Is there any words that you wanna tell our readers or anyone you wanna thank ?

Thanks for everyone supporting Deft Family, we are a small company. Everyone who buys gloves, a t-shirt, beanie, sweatshirt, getting some stickers, just supporting us, going on the website, everyone who thinks what we are doing is good: thank you. Also to big thx to my family, all my sponsors, my mechanic Buddy and first and foremost to God for my life and everything I am blessed with. And all the fmxworld members, too: thank you for following us!

© F. Hagena -   Nate going through his tricklist with Mechanic Buddy in Mexico City

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