5 Minutes with... Nate Adams

5 Minutes With... Nate Adams

December 16, 2011 1:00pm
For FMX rider Nate Adams, 2011 was almost the perfect year. He added a couple X Games gold medals to his trophy case, a few Red Bull X Fighters wins and he is finding success as a businessman as well. I say almost because as Nate and I were catching up last week he was still recovering from a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder, the unfortunate side effects of crashing a motorcycle. Still, Nate was smiling and happy to sit down for this interview with Racer X.

What have you been up to, Nate?
Well, I’m not riding right now. I broke my arm and dislocated my shoulder about four months ago. I was riding here in my backyard doing a trick that I’ve been doing for years and it just went wrong. I’ve just been rehabbing that and working on my stuff at Deft, which is coming along really well. Our 2012 stuff is coming out and I’m stoked about that. I’ve got some cool collaborations with Dragon and DC too, so that’s been cool. The goggle with Dragon came out great. I’ve had a lot of good comments from this year at X Games and stuff, so that’s all good.

This was a good year for you, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was. I won two golds at X Games and won three out of four rounds in the X Fighters. The only thing that could have gone better would be if I could have made it to the last X Fighters round that I missed. But if you ride bikes sometimes you get hurt. It happens. I can’t complain. You know, I always put the work in and sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. In the past I’ve had injuries or just had other guys really ride well or whatever. This year things went my way.

This had to feel good because you had a couple tough years.
In ’06 and ’08 I crashed out of X Games and in ’07 I rode with a broken finger. I’ve definitely had a run of bad luck. This year all my events went smoothly. The highlight of the year for me had to be X Games. The X Fighters events are great but there is so much travel and stuff that goes along with each of them. The X Games is right here in our backyard and we get to do so much riding during the week. It's always fun.


Nate had a tremendous year.
Garth Milan photo

Any moment stand out for you?
They were all fun events but winning speed and style was probably the best moment. I didn’t know I had won after I crossed the line. [Mike] Mason is an awesome racer and I was just trying to stay with him. Even if I had passed him he would have just blown me off the track. When I crossed the flag and looked up and saw that I had won it was a really cool feeling. I was stoked.

You’ve been trying to race some supercross the past few years. Was Speed and Style almost like a supercross?
Definitely. I get to get that excitement of lining up with a guy and racing. We are usually on the course by ourselves and we just focus on sticking our own run. The adrenaline really gets going when you get to race one of your buddies for a gold medal. We all have fun in that event because of that. The supercross training that I’ve done the past couple years has helped me in the Speed and Style event because I could adapt to the track quickly and I at least had some practice with it.

Will you try any other supercross rounds?
I think I’m done. I gave it 100 percent for three years and I think it's just time to move on. It bums me out though. It really bums me out. I missed it by one hundreth of a second at the second Anaheim. I broke my wrist at the first Anaheim round I tried. The next year missed by one hundreth of a second and then I actually qualified for the night show in Salt Lake City but my bike was running so badly I wasn’t even going to try and ride. I wish it would have gone down a little differently but it is what it is.


Adams rolled to X Games gold.
Garth Milan photo

There have been a couple of deaths in the sport the past few years with Lusk and now McNeil. It’s incredibly sad for all of us as a spectator but how does that affect a guy who makes his living doing this?
I just went to Jim’s funeral and it is just crazy that he’s gone. I’ve known him since I was a little boy. It does affect me, especially losing Lusk, but I guess I’m still able to just put it out of my mind and do my job. But I know that I was better at doing that ten years ago. You get older and you lose some friends and it starts to hit you. It isn’t just freestyle riders either. We lost Jeff Kargola, Nathan Woods and some other riders this year and it makes you think about it.

What’s new for next year?
I’m still working on a gear sponsor for next year. I’d like to say who it is but it’s not quite done yet. Deft is doing well and our new stuff will be out right before January. Monster, Dragon, Target, DC, Honda, Pro Taper, Uni Filter and all the rest are all back onboard. It’s going to be a great year.

You are a big hip-hop guy. Are you still rapping and writing rhymes?
Yeah, I’ve been doing some stuff. I’m actually going to be rhyming at the RAD awards show coming up for the FMX series. That’s always fun. Other than that I’ve just been hanging out, shooting some guns and taking it easy; living the good ol’ boy life.

I hear you’ve got a lady friend on lockdown?
Yeah, we’ve been dating about four years now, so… I guess it’s getting pretty serious. Her name is Lindsey and she’s pretty sweet.

Adams can still freeride with the best.
Garth Milan photo

You had some problems here at your house with Riverside County. Is all that handled?
They came in and said that I had to tear it down even though I bought it with the dirt the way it was. I had to get permits and put in proper drainage and all that. I talked with every neighbor within 600 feet of me and they were all so happy with me. They all said, “Yeah, the guy who used to live there [Brian Deegan] was loud and always causing problems, blah, blah, blah.” I took all that to the county and they just threw it away. They just make up rules as they go and they try to discourage you from doing anything by dragging things out and running the cost up. I stuck with it though and it’s good now.

Have you been working on any new tricks or dreaming them up in your head?
You know, I was doing the one-handed takeoff flips to spice up my run right before I got hurt but, to be honest, I haven’t been thinking about it much. I just felt like I needed some time to think about anything but motorcycles. But I am getting closer to where I need to start getting focused again. I’ll come up with something.

Thanks for chatting with us, Nate. I hope your 2012 is as good as last year.
Thanks. And thank you to all the great sponsors who supported me this year. I think 2012 is going to be great!