Nate Adams Interview

Nate Adams Interview

NATE ADAMS the shooting star in the US Freestyle Motocross scene. Just nineteen years old NATE ADAMS was the first ever to beat Travis Pastrana in his fabulous triumph at the Gravity Games 2003.

In this impressive season he achieved almost everything: Winning Gold at Vans Triple Crown, Gold at Gravity Games and two Silver Medals at Summer X-Games only to name a few. And the medals keep coming: He just finished third at Winter X-Games in Aspen/Colorado.

We met NATE for an extensive interview in Seefeld/Austria, where he did a demo with "Mad" Mike Jones and Tommy "Tomcat" Clowers at the AIR&STYLE snowboard contest. These guys really rocked the house...

Photos and Interview by Christian Tünnemann

WASSERWERFER: Hi Nate! Welcome to Seefeld. First of all do you like winter?
NATE ADAMS: Yeah I do! But I don't get it really, I don't get winter season where I'm from - no snow or anything - I live in the desert. It's different, a big change for me.

WASSERWERFER: You like this event, the AIR&STYLE?
NATE ADAMS: Its cool! I like snowboarding - I've never been to a snowboard event - so I saw them practice yesterday, these guys go big and they don't have suspension or anything - its really cool to watch!

WASSERWERFER: You also do snowboarding?
NATE ADAMS: Yeah, I do every now and then, just for fun, I'm not to good at it.

WASSERWERFER: You're not gonna try the big kicker later?

WASSERWERFER: It seems quite difficult to jump on snow, what's different?
NATE ADAMS: Basically the major difference is the altitude really, that's what's the big difference is. If the jump is good and icy, there really is no difference ´cause of the spike-tires it can feel just like tacky dirt. But here it is to warm for the ice to get secure and so we're riding on carpet with wood laid down. The run-off is wood with a rubber-mat laid on it. Well, just gonna try and see how it goes, try to do my best - what ever happens, happens!

WASSERWERFER: You've had a tremendous season this year...

WASSERWERFER: What was the most impressive moment to you?
NATE ADAMS: This year the best moment was winning the gravity games. It kinda´ felt like unreal - I didn't know if it really happened and the following days I still was like in shock - it was awesome, an awesome feeling.

WASSERWERFER: So you're starting the next season with a new perspective. What are your goals?
NATE ADAMS: I just wanna try to win as much as I can, if I do - great! If I don't - no biggie you know. I'm gonna just keep practicing as much as I can and just try and do my best and see where it gets me!

WASSERWERFER: What are tricks you are currently working on - what comes next?
NATE ADAMS: I'm working on gettin' a foam-pit pretty soon and I wanna learn 360s and like backflip-seatgrabs (!!!) and stuff, so... but I don't know I really - can't say what's gonna' come next. I'm gonna start practicing, once I get home and hopefully be prepared for that coming events.

WASSERWERFER: Would you say that FMX is at its peek in the moment?
NATE ADAMS: I don't know - cause every time something new comes out, its always as if its at its peek so it always keeps going. It could be at the peek right now - but just can't really tell you know - 'till something else happens - just gotta wait and see, give it a year, see what happens...

Backflip Nate Adams
Nate flipping at the AIR&STYLE (Photo AIR&STYLE)

WASSERWERFER: What do you think about the new 'technical' stuff in FMX, like halfpipe-riding, street and so on?
NATE ADAMS: I mean, some guys are into that and they're really feeling that - but I think you wanna ride street you get an BMX-bike. I think Motocross is Motocross. I don't think its that cool really... I'd rather have jumps, cool courses, where there's different opportunities - but those halfpipes and handrails is just kinda' lame...

AdamsWASSERWERFER: In the beginning the idea of Freestyle Motocross was to be less competitive then racing - nowadays it is very competitive...
NATE ADAMS: Yeah it is... everyone wanted a no-pressure situation, but now its back to the point where its corporate again and its not totally like racing, its got a different feeling to it and give it five years it might even be where supercross is now ::?? who knows.

WASSERWERFER: Are you also into racing?
NATE ADAMS: Yeah I do racing, I think I've done three races this year, just local. I have so much fun when I race - I'll never quit racing. People think that none of us ride tracks or race , but still we're motocross riders so I dig both and I'll never quit doing either!

WASSERWERFER: Are you doing any other demos here in Europe besides the AIR&STYLE?
NATE ADAMS: No, this is it for the rest of the year. So I go home - I just moved to a new house, so I gotta get all that straightened out... so no more competitions for me this year and then there's Christmas and my brother's birthday is a few days after Christmas, so I'm pretty much busy with family-stuff when I get home.

WASSERWERFER: Would you consider yourself a family guy?
NATE ADAMS: Yeah! Oh yeah - like my family is really close, my sister she just had a little baby boy, so she's very happy now - it's really exciting

WASSERWERFER: What's different doing demos compared to contests?
NATE ADAMS: In Demos its definitely taking less risks, because it's not that competion feel, we're just here to put on a show and basically keep the vibe going you know, keep it up - yeah we do push ourselves, we're not just ridin' around, but its not like in X-Games or something like that, where people are going for it, going for broke.

Portrait Nate AdamsWASSERWERFER: What are your feelings about this years X-Games?
NATE ADAMS: I thought it was a great contest, I love the course, the course is awesome - I thought I rode the best I've ever ridden, so I got second, so no complaints - I was so excited and the next day in Big Air got second again, so two silvers it was awesome, all my sponsors were punked so it's good!

WASSERWERFER: What about fear?
NATE ADAMS: Oh yeah, I'm always afraid - I guess people think we're just kinda like outta` control and just going for it , but man, it's like we know what we're doing it's like when you race you get butterflies before you go and what-not, it's the same thing, same feeling.

WASSERWERFER: In a contest nowadays you don't have a chance to win if you don't flip...
NATE ADAMS: Yeah actually.... I mean not really, you don't have to flip. It just matters what kind of contest you go to, who's judging - but definitely that's the way it's going, people that are not flipping are getting left behind. It can come pretty close sometimes, but like I said it should matter what contest, who's there and who's judging...

WASSERWERFER: What names do come to your head when you think of European FMX?
NATE ADAMS: Edgar Torrenteras, Sidney de Andrés, Manu Troux, Ailo Gaup...

WASSERWERFER: Comparing FMX in Europe and the US what is different?
NATE ADAMS: Yeah, there is a big difference - there's a lot more competition in the states, like everyone over there is really good, everyone over there pretty much has a chance of winning - you have to be on your knees to win...

WASSERWERFER: Your toughest rival at the moment?
NATE ADAMS: Probably Travis Pastrana or Brian Deegan, Kenny Bartram...

WASSERWERFER: When you're doing a heelclicker-backflip, don't you fear to loose control upside down?
NATE ADAMS: Oh yeah - I mean everyone has fears - it's just like anything else, I guess I've just done it enough now to know I can do it. Like I messed it up and knocked my knees on the handlebars when tryin' to do a heelclicker upside-down and I kinda like almost crashed and I tried a one-handed flip, like missed the bar and almost crashed - I missed and had to grab again - but I guess it's just progression. What else are you gonna do? Not do it? You can't sit around just not do it!

WASSERWERFER: How did you start with the backflip?
NATE ADAMS: I went to Travisis house and he didn't have a foam-pit yet but he had XR70s (ed.: Honda Mini-Bike) and we learned upon' those and he had a steep dirt-lid with a pile of bark molds on top to flip on, so we ride on that and we had a landing with a super-kicker-ramp and bark molds on top and pushed it back, to where it was - like 48 feet - and we did that... When I started flipping big gaps, I went back to his house and he had the foam-pit, I started flipping big gaps into the foam-pit. I was gonna land it on dirt at his house, but it started raining for about three days straight so I went home to Arizona and just started to flipping the big gap onto my own landing at home - so, that's the process...

Air & Style Nate AdamsWASSERWERFER: You also got your own track in the backyard...
NATE ADAMS: Yeah, of course...

WASSERWERFER: You're still doing some BMX riding?
NATE ADAMS: Every once in a while. I used to be pretty big into BMX riding, when I was younger, like 13 or 14 but I'm so busy with this and this is what I truly love - I don't really have time for much else.

WASSERWERFER: Did also do BMX-Racing?
NATE ADAMS: No, just dirtjumping. My brother is into racing, I was more into doing tricks and stuff. Just for fun... I was into BMX - like every kid was into BMX

WASSERWERFER: Any other sports you're doing?
NATE ADAMS: I skateboard a little bit, I snowboard a little, motocross racing, BMX and Freestyle Motocross that's pretty much it!

WASSERWERFER: How do Racers and Freestylers go together?
NATE ADAMS: Like a Demo at a race? I think it's a great idea! The racers have a good feel for Freestyle, they wanna see it. And if I go to a race I wanna watch all the best guys race - I'm excited to see a race and I'm excited to see some flips and tricks - I think it's great. Fans came to see a race and they get something more, they see both... it's great!

WASSERWERFER: Do you only practice tricks on your bike - like many snowboarders practice their tricks on a trampolin...
NATE ADAMS: I just practice on my bike... for the basic tricks - everything but a flip or a 360 you can learn on dirt. Foam-pits make you feel sore, you come to a complete halt, you land and go from 30 mph to a complete stop, it makes you sore, your neck hurts, everytime its like a whiplash.

WASSERWERFER: So we're gonna see the flip tonight?
NATE ADAMS: I think so ... I have to see how the whole setup is, I'm supposed to do a flip here, that's what the agreement is so... yeah should be no problem!

WASSERWERFER: Thank you and take care!
NATE ADAMS: Thank you for the interview!

More Interviews:

Mat Hoffman Interview
Max Nagl Interview
Stefan Everts Interview
Bernd Eckenbach Interview

Nate Adams - Career Highlights

Gravity Games: Gold Medal FMX Big Air
Summer X Games: Silver Medal FMX, Silver Medal FMX Big Air
Vans Triple Crown: Gold Medal FMX
Winter X Games: Bronze Medal FMX Big Air


Nate Adams official website - www.nateadams.com
X-Games - www.expn.com
Gravity Games - www.gravitygames.com
Vans Triple Crown - www.vans.com/triplecrown

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