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5 Minutes With... Nate Adams

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Since first making the scene in 2002, Nate “The Destroyer” Adams has established himself as the best – and most decorated – freestyle motocross rider on planet Earth. X Games gold medalist, LG Action Sports World Champion, AST Dew Tour Champion, and most recently, the Red Bull X-Fighters Champion, Adams has consistently proven himself to be a master of the fine high arts.

All this withstanding, Nate will soon find himself in a radically new set of a boots as a Nuclear Cowboy. Set to perform in the new 15-city Feld Motor Sports-promoted Nuclear Cowboyz freestyle motocross production, Adams has relentlessly been hitting the ramps upon his iron pony in an effort to get his act together. Moreover, come this January, he’ll again attempt to qualify for a supercross race at the season-opening Anaheim and Phoenix rounds of the 2010 Monster Energy Supercross Series. Toss in a new business venture in the form of the Deft Family and an aspiring hip-hop career (he’s been messing around with a microphone as of late) and Adams has one busy winter ahead of him. Today, on a cold afternoon in Corona, California, we got the low-down from Adams himself.


  • Nate Adams very casually displays his new Deft gloves.
Nate, what have you been up to this fine day?
Just kind of taking a day off and resting. I got a ride in a Trophy Truck out at Elsinore today. One Industries was out there with one of their drivers. Otherwise, I’ve just been kicking it all day. That’s about it.

Okay, the main reason I called: Are you part of this “Nuclear Cowboyz will ignite the arena floor with freestyle motocross defying gravity in this post-apocalyptic atmosphere, leaving the audience with an unbelievable and unprecedented adrenaline rush” deal?
(Laughter) If we’re on the same page, I think I know what you’re talking about and I think I’m a part of that, yes (laughter).

Are you the lead dude in this Apocalypse Now drama?
I don’t know about the lead dude, I haven’t heard anything to that effect, but yeah, I know that me and [Jeremy] Stenberg, Mike Mason, Brian Foster – pretty much everyone – is on the tour.

Somewhere between “the Nuclear Cowboyz dancers,” the latest pyrotechnics and pulsating hard rock music, exotic acrobatic fire presentations, sky-high stilt walkers, astonishing fire breathers and the famed “Grindergirls,” you guys are going to have to be riding your motorcycles. I’d assume that’s going to take some serious choreography. To that end, have you guys been practicing?
No, we’ve only had a couple meetings so far. We start rehearsal next Monday.

  • Adams on stage at the AFMXA Awards.
Have you seen artist renderings of what this thing is going to be or look like?
We’ve seen some things. Micky Dymond (rider choreographer and stunt coordinator) and Todd Jendro (Senior Operations Director) and some of the boys came out to my house and we just kind of went through the show plan and everyone kind of had their input. Me and Stenberg have been on the Crusty tour which is kind of a choreographed show, so we’ve done something similar. I’ve been on the Crusty tour since 2004, so everyone just kind of gave their input of how we can make it better and smoother. Basically, all we’ve seen or heard is the idea and what they’re looking for. They kind of want the riders to have a little bit of input and I’m assuming by next weekend we’ll have it all figured out. That’s the game plan.

It sounds like something really outside of the box. Are you excited about it?
Oh, I’m so excited. I’m actually really, really excited for it. Just looking at the month of January, I’m doing the first two supercrosses and then I’m going to jump right back into freestyle. Freestyle is so much fun. There’s the brotherhood and the friendship. Everyone is buddies. Going on a tour like this is really fun because the level is really high. You’re doing all your hard tricks and it’s really fun and you’re buckling down and in the zone and riding the best you can, but there’s not that “I’ve got to beat you! I’ve got to get gold so you can’t!” mentality. Everyone is just riding and having fun. At the end of the night everyone cracks a beer and talks about and then everyone goes to their hotels. It’s just a really fun atmosphere. I’m really excited for it.

What is your program for the two supercross races you will compete in? Who’ll be helping you out? How have you been approaching the races?
I’ll do Anaheim I and Phoenix. Anaheim is exciting because is close to my home now in Temecula and I was born and raised in Phoenix, so I’m kind of racing in front of both my home town crowds. That’ll be fun. I’ve been training with Ryan Hughes for a couple of months now and I love it. Ryan really knows his stuff and I’m getting a lot out of it. Buddy Morgan is my mechanic. Chris McAvoy from the AMPM team has been helping me. Yeah, I’ve got all the same sponsors and just looking to kind of do it privateer style this year like I did last year and see how it goes.

  • Nate's staying power has been impressive in the always-evolving world of freestyle motocross.
As far as goals for the two supercross races, what would make you happy?
What would make me happy would be just making both night shows and getting out there and, you know, be racing. That’s all I want to do. My goal is just to go racing. Obviously it’s a little far-fetched, but to make a main event would be just fabulous.

Going back to freestyle… You’ve won everything there is to win and the sport has gotten really intense. This is sort of a tough question to ask, but do you think the stakes are getting a little too high?
Somewhat. Yes. Let me explain myself. After the X Games this year myself and a couple riders just had some meetings with some of the people at X Games. I think it can be regulated by the promotional companies, whether it be the X Games or ESPN or the Dew Tour or whatever. They’ve kind of gotten into the habit of letting people into these things because they can send in a video of themselves hucking something into a foam pit. I think that’s kind of where most of the drama has been coming from lately. It’s not from the regular contenders. Yeah, some of the injuries have come from those guys, but a lot of the stuff has come from guys who have not been around that long. We kind of voiced our opinion that we need to have a qualifying system for riders who have not been in competition or been to X Games at all. We did it respectfully, so I think there will be a change in freestyle in that matter.

How about yourself? Do you foresee yourself performing at this high level for a while?
I think I’ve got a solid five years left in me where I’m willing and wanting to compete for gold medals and championships. I feel good about five years. In the last 12 months, myself and Logan Darien started Deft Family, our glove company. We did it because our time is now, you know? We have these connections where we’re in the mix in the industry; we’re good guys and we didn’t burn bridges; we’re friends with everybody for the most part; we decided that now is the time to make something for four or five years from now. We want to start building now. Hopefully in five years I’ll have accomplished my goals in motocross and freestyle. I want to make supercross mains and night shows and stay on top of freestyle and win X Games another time. Hopefully I’ll have done that and have a legitimate, established company, I’ll be set. If it was a perfect world, that would be great.

  • Check out NuclearCowboyz.com to find a show near you.
To my way of seeing things, you’re still the best freestyle rider in the world. How do you see the competitive landscape of the sport right now? Blake “Bilko” Williams seems to be the best young rider I’ve seen come a long in quite a long time…
I think you’re pretty right on. I mean there’s other guys that are always be on top like Mat Rebeaud and Robbie Madison and those guys. For years, it was like we were hearing, “Just wait! There’s going to be this rush of kids who have been watching all you guys!” And it kind of never came.  It’s been here or there. There’s been a Bilko or Cam Sinclair and Mat Rebeaud will show up from Switzerland. Levi Sherwood won an X-Fighters round last year. But it’s kind of far in-between where someone can break through into the scene. In freestyle, one shot is all you got. The spotlight is hot. If someone gives you a shot to ride an X-Fighters contest, you better do good or you’re not coming back. If you show up and crash out of practice, guess what? It’s going to be a long time before you’ll be coming back to another contest, you know what I mean? There’s no structure for this stuff. It’s all done by invite. You have to know somebody and be a good rider also. I’d say Levi Sherwood, if he can stay healthy, will be on the map. Other than that, I’d say the guys we mentioned are the top guys and it’s probably going to stay that way for a while.

Okay, Nate. Thanks for your time. If people want to check out your new business, where can they go?
No problem, EJ. If anyone wants to check out our products, just go to www.deftfamily.com.
 
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