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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Leader of the New School


The Target logo on his helmet, along with his clean-cut and professional demeanor, may lead the common, clueless kid to immediately accuse Nate Adams of being an X Games robot looking for a check; another soulless action sports athlete looking to get paid. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Beyond his ridiculous skills on a freestyle bike, Nate has plenty going on off of it, as well.... With influences that include skateboarding, snowboarding, and hip-hop, Nate pours soul and passion into whatever he chooses to pursue. A nice guy who almost always wears a smile, the other side to Nate is an intense, focused individual who cares as much about winning contests as he does about staying true to the roots that got him there in the first place; anything BUT the definition of a sellout.

Using this consciousness of his place in the action sports world, along with the extra time he's had on his hands due to a broken wrist suffered at Anaheim 1, leave it to Patchy to open yet another chapter in his extremely successful (and busy) life... Read on to hear more about Nate's new business venture, as well as his plans for FMX domination this summer...


It's been a while since we've seen Nate all geared up and ready to rip, but ask anyone and they'll tell you '09 has already been written off and Nate's year...

For those who don't know the specifics, bring us up to speed; what happened to your wrist at Anaheim?

Well, I decided that I was going to try my hand at Supercross, which was always a dream of mine since I was a little boy, so I bought some bikes from Yamaha and started preparing. I put about two months of hard testing and training in, and I was ready to go for it. I was feeling really good during qualifying, but then I had the unexpected happen: I accidentally hit a triple jump in first gear rather than second. Needless to say, I framed it really hard and broke and dislocated my wrist. So here we are; today is my second day back on the bike, and I'm just getting back into it.

What were the specifics of your injury? Were you forced to have surgery?

I did. I had a plate, nine screws, and a pin put in. I broke the radius bone about an inch-and-a-half behind the wrist, and the ulna bone dislocated. They set it back into place, then put the plate in the following Tuesday after Anaheim One. I've just been healing since; the doctor said it would take between two and three months. It's been just over two now, so I think I'm ready to start riding hard again.

Yes, so here we are, back at home in Temecula and on the bike for the second time since January. How are you feeling?

It's okay... The first day back on the bike, I went to a local moto track and did laps, and I was having so much fun that I think I overdid it a little bit, so today it's a little stiff and sore. At this point though, I'm definitely itching to get back up to competition and race speed: I just want to get back on my bike and feel like I'm comfortable and in my element again.

Do you plan on returning to any more Supercross races, or will you go back to training for FMX only?

Yes, I've been getting that question a lot lately; the answer is definitely yes, I want to do it again. I put a lot of time and effort into it the first time, and to have it all just crumble right in front of my eyes for something as silly as a mis-shift... I gotta' try it again! I might try Seattle this year, but it's looking iffy with my wrist, so it might have to be next year, Anaheim 1 again.

Southern California rains bring epic riding sessions. You gotta love this time of the year in Temecula.

Back to freestyle, when is your first big competition? Will you have time to be back to 100% health by then?

My first big scheduled contest isn't until this summer, but hopefully I will get into some Red Bull X-Fighters events in the meantime. Hopefully, I'll be 100% by then and just come back strong. It's been a while since I've won a freestyle contest, almost a year, so I'm ready to get back on top and get some more first places under my belt.

It seems that the only time an athlete ever gets a break in his or her schedule is when they're injured. What did you do during your "vacation?"

Actually, I was busy! I used the time to officially start a new company with some friends of mine. We're starting a motocross glove company called "Deft." (deftfamily.com) We don't have any actual product yet; we're at the very beginning stages of developing the gloves, as well as setting the business side of things up. I knew when I started this company there would be more to it than I thought, but there is WAY more to it than I would have ever thought. [Laughs] Getting a company rolling and having a product in front of you that you can actually feel and touch is a long process! We're hoping to have product ready to go by Summer X Games, and we're forming the team now. We want to make it a very core, rider-based "family" rather than just a sponsor that pays people money, so we're obviously being very particular with who we bring on board. The company will be heavily influenced by skateboarding and snowboarding, and it's just going to be more laid back in how we approach things. We're not going to throw money and product to just anyone, because they have a big name; we only want to sponsor riders that we think have sick style and represent the whole package. We definitely plan to be one of the first companies in the motocross industry to bring over that free, more organic vibe from skate/snow. Everyone is an individual, and we'll keep it that way, steering away from a "team" look or corporate vibe.

Will Deft be primarily a glove company, or are there plans to expand the line?

I definitely want it to expand. I'm big on eventually doing goggles, though my partners haven't seen eye-to-eye with me on that one quite yet... Beyond that, we'll start with a full line of T-shirts, jeans, hoodies, beanies; all that stuff. But as far as the core moto product, we'll start as a glove company for at least a year or two. It's going to be a slow, organic process; you're not going to see us blowing up by summertime or anything. It's small; just me, my roommate, and another buddy are building it from the ground up, so we plan on taking our time to do it right.

Wait a second... I thought Nate just started riding again...

Where did the idea to start a glove company come from?

It actually came from the snowboarding industry, more or less. We saw what Danny Kass did with Grenade, and really liked how he put his own style into it. He came in with the attitude of "here's my stuff; if you like it, sweet. If you don't, I don't care." That's exactly how we want Deft to be. We see it having heavy style; heavy hip-hop, snow, and skate influence. We snowboard a lot, and being involved in that so much has let us see what the motocross industry lacks compared to those board sports. Watching the different styles from year to year, my roommate Logan and I have always wished we had more of those influences in motocross, so that's how the idea came about.

Obviously, you're sponsored by Target, who does a line with Shaun White, another action sports hero from your generation. Do you see Deft going that direction one day, or will it stay more "core" and be found only at local MX shops, etc?

You probably won't ever see the actual gloves at a Target, because we want to keep it strictly a core MX company, but I will definitely take over the design on my own Target-branded gloves, as well as perhaps other Target-sponsored athletes at some point. I'm talking to Target now about doing a moto line there, but it would be separate and wouldn't carry the Deft name. That's all just talk right now; but I can tell you that Deft is for real; you'll be seeing us soon!