Baby arms interview with Adam Banton

Adam Banton's trading card

  • Name: Adam Banton
  • Nickname: ATB
  • Age: 32
  • Height, Weight, Stance: 6′1″, 176 lbs, bth ways depending on what I’m doing.
  • Years Pro: 7
  • Hometown? Nokesville, VA
  • Current residence? Truckee, CA
  • Married?/Kids? Divorced with no kids, traded an older model in for a newer upgraded relationship
    • Clothes(s): UGP
    • Shoe Sponsor(s): DuFFS
    • Board/Bike Sponsors(s): Eastern Bike
    • Other Sponsors: Odyssey, Fender Guitars, Ogio, C.T.i Kneebraces, Chenga

Click onward for the full interview/survey

Toothpick in the ghetto


BMX has gotten so crazy with so many amazing riders out there, I feel really good being lucky enough to ride my bike for a living, and some how I even manage to pursue my other passion: music. I put out two cd’s of my original acoustic music and am currently working my third album this winter.

WHAT’S UP? What’s new? Contests? Team changes? Injuries?

As I type this, I’m in Aspen for the Winter X games, I snowboard too and Fender Guitars (one of my sponsors) was nice enough to treat me to a week here.

What’s your big news this month? I’ll be working on my signature color way in the “4130″ shoe for DuFFS and continue to work on my new design for my signature grip by Odyssey.

Hamilton High smith


How do you fit into your sport? Films or Contests? I like both. Contests are really nerve racking for me and I never have that “competitive aggressive” force in practice at the comp. I usually have a better time talking with everyone on the decks and goofing off, or trying to film one or two original lines in practice. Filming has always been more of a creative outlet for me, a way to try my best and put in hard work, yet the pressure you feel is completely up to you. You can’t really compare it to a contest.

Latest contest finish you’d like to discuss? Placement? Baco Jam ‘08. I rode 3 hours before my run, in the Florida heat. I think I got 47th out of 50. No, wait, it was 46th.

What’s the contest or event you’re looking forward to attending next? Maybe a Metro Jam in the U.S or Baco next year.

Who’s your biggest influence getting you started? Just the friends I grew up around and rode with. I was always the youngest and I think that made me try harder to get good. Being around people better than you helps.

What got you your start in your sport? Just natural progession I guess. I think I did enter a Hoffman B. 3 contest back in the day as an AM, not sure what place I got, it wasn’t first though and for some reason Jay Miron was calling me a cherry picker, I was scared. And entered Pro the next year.

Adam Banton


What was your first and how did you land it? My first real one I guess would be the DK “Intuition” I was on flow with DK and got a letter in the mail saying there was a month left to film for the video. That was the first I had heard about it., but went out filming later that day.

Favorite (most talked about) film part? And why? I haven’t had a personal favorite. I always feel I have more to give but due to cut off dates, winter, or injuries I’ve always feltl I have more to give. I think the Ride “Industry” part caught people off guard. It was my first part in a “non team” video and the first time I rode to my own music. People seemed to like that.

Most recent or upcoming film part and details? That would be Odyssey’s “Electronical”. It’s their 3rd video and I have been lucky to be in all three. It took me about 4 months to film for this one; we traveled all over the U.S and Canada. Will Stroud filmed almost all of my part and we laughed so hard on every trip all the time. It was a blast. When you are filming for a video and you connect with the filmer and people you travel with, to me, that is the best.

Adam Banton, Storm Trooper


What are the 2 biggest events of your career and your thoughts on why each was so memorable?

John Povah asking me to ride for Schwinn. Having the opportunity to ride for a big corporate company was a great experience. Looking back, I really know that was a once in a lifetime chance. All those companies backed out, and by the looks of things they will never make it back in. Thanks John.

Taking the opportunity to do shows at Knotts Berry Farm. Taking this job led me to the above event and many more. I think my life would have been different if I said no.

What’s the biggest misconception about your sport? And, about you? Everyone makes alot of money and how I’m still sponsored for never making it to the X-games.

What excites you most about your sport right now? It’s amazing to see how all of these different styles emerged a few years ago and the level of riding in each one is unbelievable. Any contest that Redbull puts on is going to be awesome and one worth going to.

Fender rider?


Do you have any signature products, describe them? I am actually lucky enough to have some. In 2005 Odyssey let me put my favorite Fender guitar on a grip, and the same year I designed a “rider specific” backpack for Odyssey called the “B.E.T.A Bag”. Fast forward to 2008 and I have designed 5 t-shirts with Eastern bikes and am working on my signature color way with a shoe from DuFFS. Wow. I never would have guessed.

Adam Banton


Just about every athlete picks up a hobby on the road, some have even turned theirs into gold records and TV shows. Which hobbies have you picked up?

Well, Like I mentioned before. Music is another passion of mine. So playing guitar kinda happened naturally for me. I have been playing almost as long as I’ve been riding. But it wasn’t until ‘96 or ‘97 I started to record my own music. Once I discovered how to use this old 4 track recorder I traded my friend for a frame, I was hooked. That thing only had 2 working tracks of the 4. But it was perfect for learning. Then I used one of my own songs in the Ride BMX’S “Industry” for my part. When people watched that it seemed to spark an interest and I was getting emails for kids asking how they could get my music. I put out my first CD soon after. And much to my surprise the response was overwhelming.

Funny story: (We all have one) Pretend you’re trying to impress a crowd with your funny stories/experiences; which one do you whip out that always gets a smile?
It happened, probably in summer of ‘98 at the X-Trials in Richmond, Virginia. And it goes like this… After chilling at the comp all day (I had a just blown out my P.C.L. 2 weeks prior) I decided to go and grab some food at one of my old favorite restaurants from when I lived back in dirty old Richmond called the 3rd Street Diner. Had a great chicken sandwich and whatnot and went back to the props rig (that’s where I was staying for the weekend) to meet up with everybody else to go out that night and get loose with the rest of the gang. Saw a Guns ‘n’ Roses cover band and they ruled! Came back to the rig real late where everybody was getting crazy and destroying their rental cars in the parking lot at about 3 A.M. I on the other hand was feeling pretty nasty and tired so I went to bed a little early cause I had to get up early the next day (Mothers Day) and drive home so I could have dinner with my mom (yeah, I know). so at about 3:30 A.M I woke up in my bunk, hit my head on the ceiling, ran outside, and started to vomit so violently it almost knocked me over.

After a good 10 minutes I went to go back in the rig. The door was locked. I knocked on it until somebody, I think Chad DeGroot, let me in. Basically the rest of the night went like that, and yes, every time the door was locked and I had to wake Chad up to let me in. So 8:00 A.M. comes around. I haven’t slept at all and feel like a freight train has hit me and I’m DYING of thirst. But can’t hold any fluids at all. I started to get my stuff together. Somebody mumbles “What are you doing?” and I tell ‘em “It’s Mothers Day and I made a promise to my mom to have dinner with her.” And he’s like “Weren’t you sick all night?”. “Yep”. So I hop in my car get down the road 30 minutes and realized I had forgotten my bike. I am a retard. So I turn around to pick it up and get the hell out of Richmond because I still feel sick.

Adam Banton

About an hour into the drive I notice my left arm kind of feels like it’s going to sleep. As I’m racing home on highway 95 my arm is getting worse. Then my other arm is doing the same thing. What happened next is one of the craziest things that has happened to me. Both of my arms started to seize up. Like somebody had a voodoo doll! Imagine trying to take your middle finger and touch it on your wrist to feel your own pulse. Both hands. WHILE you’re driving! I was starting to freak out and get light headed. I just kept thinking “is this really happening?” Within minutes I could barely hold onto the steering wheel and had to pull over. I really thought I was going to have a seizure. So I just knew I had to get out and flag motorist down to call 911.

The only problem is I can’t seem to open the door to with my arms contorted and non-functional. After a few slight panic attempts I get out and start to throw my arms in a manner as if I were trying to wash windows. And you know what? Nobody seemed to care that a “special” looking stranger was in need of help on the side of the road. I tried to violently flag down people for 10 minutes. Nothing. Finally I just threw myself onto the hood of my car and hoped I was going to have a seizure. Finally a guy pulled over and he had a cell phone and called 911. Within minutes an ambulance and fire truck were pulling over on the highway. I told them what was up with my arms. All they kept asking my was “Did you take any drugs, sir?” No, I didn’t. They gave me an I-V of some sugar fluid stuff and within minutes I was feeling better and had control of my arms! Yeah! So it turns out I had food poisoning from that damn 3rd Street Diner and I was totally dehydrated. They wanted me to hop in the ambulance and go for a $500 ride to the hospital but I declined, telling them I had to make it home today. So I stopped at 7-Eleven to buy the biggest bottle of Gatorade I could find. Only to get pulled over buy a State Trooper 30 minutes later for speeding. I told him the entire story. And I just wanted to get home and rest. Had proof of the ambulance ordeal and everything and that pig still gave me a ticket! What a day! oh, and I did make it for dinner, damn it!

  • What movie do you have to have on DVD? Maybe Anchor Man or Old School.
  • What show do you have to TiVo? I don’t watch that much TV.
  • What would we be most surprised to learn about you? I used to be a garbage man.
  • Everyone is an expert at something. What’s your specialty? How to live really poor and make it fun.
  • What’s your hugest pet peeve? Waking up early to met with people and waiting for the slackers to show up. Knowing they got to sleep in more.
  • Another sport you would like to master? Snowboarding.

Adam Banton

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