Courage Adams

Always obsessed with bicycles, Courage started riding BMX relatively late but since then, his rise to greatness in the sport has been astronomical.

June 24, 2024
  • BMX
  • Athletes

If you are into BMX, Courage Adams is a man that needs little introduction. If you aren’t, his story, humility and natural talent transcend the borders of two-wheeled interest. Courage was born in Nigeria, before moving to Spain at a young age. Always obsessed with bicycles, Courage started riding BMX relatively late but since then, his rise to greatness in the sport has been astronomical. The only rider to land a trick on the Lyon 25, several times X Games podium finisher, and nose manual world record holder. Now residing in Madrid, we gave the ever smiling, positive vibe emitting Courage Adams a call to gleam some gems of wisdom.

Give us a little background on yourself.

I’m Courage Adams, I’m 28 years old. I was born in Nigeria but I live in Spain. I'm a professional BMX rider. BMX is my life.

Where are you right now?

I live in Madrid. I grew up in Pamplona but I moved to Madrid four years ago. It’s easier to be based here - traveling in and out, there are more riders to ride with - which is much more motivational for me. There’s also a ton of spots!

You started riding pretty late, aged 12 after having moved from Nigeria to Spain – how do you feel that has shaped you in the rider you are today?

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with everything regarding bicycles – it made me crazy. So by the time I came to Spain, I’d heard about BMX. I was like, “wow this is insane”, you actually have bicycles mixed with action and extreme sports. For me it was like the best combination. I just really feel it. Fell in love with the sport. I got my crew, started riding every day; 24-7 as much as I could and I guess that got me to where I am now.

You’ve been back to Nigeria and ridden and hung out there – how does it compare to life in Spain?

I love Nigeria, it’s chaos – way more freestyle. It’s insane. So much energy. The sad thing is people are still fighting for the necessities in life, food, jobs etc. When you move from there, I feel the way you see life is different, coming from nothing to a place with opportunity. You feel in a safe place to build your ambition which really motivates you to make something from life.

How is your average day?

In the morning, I’m more on an office kind of vibe - replying to emails, planning trips, and so on. From there I eat, I study a little and then in the afternoon I go riding for three or four hours per day. After that, I come back home, ditch the bike and prepare myself to go to the gym for a workout. After that, dinner and bed!

What inspires you within the BMX scene?

I get inspired by the freedom, the creativity. It’s awesome how creative you can be with your riding and match your style to your personality. I think it’s amazing - it’s like clothes, you can build your own style. That freedom. BMX you can wear what you want, ride how you want. That freedom is really motivational for me.

Outside of BMX, what gets you fired up?

I’ve been doing a course of personal training on my fitness game. I discovered this around three years ago - it really helps me a lot for my career as a rider. I feel like we need a healthy life and to start taking care of ourselves at a younger age to maximise the career span on the bike, much like the younger generation do now.

Favourite place to travel and ride?

Tenerife in the Canary Islands is my favorite place to ride. It’s always sunny, there are a ton of spots. It’s like home as it’s Spain in a way but it’s also another world down there, it’s a really inspirational zone – the beaches are awesome – I love it!

Proudest moment of your career?

Proudest moment… I would say last year, as we built the first skate park in Nigeria. That was insane. I never felt BMX would take me that far, to create a legacy in Nigeria is a dream for me. It makes so proud and happy to see how strong the new generation are coming up. I think that’s my ultimate goal in life, to be there for them.

Last five songs you listened to?

  • Circo Loco by Drake
  • Elements by Pop Smoke
  • Afrotrap by MHD
  • Get back by Pop Smoke
  • Love Sosa by Chief Keef.

How would you describe the Vans BMX team?

The Vans BMX team is super international, we have riders with different styles, approaches, mindset and creativity from all over the world. It’s a cool mix as we get inspired learning from each other. There’s always something new to learn from the wide mix!

Favourite Vans shoe to ride in?

Definitely the Slip-On. I wear them every day. If I’m filming something hard or going for a banger; I’ll wear the Old Skool BMX as they have the best ankle support and I love the way they look. Slip-On and Old Skool all the way!

How do you find the balance between park and street?

I like both! I'm down for the old days of BMX where you saw both together the whole time. Nowadays, it's kind of weird because it’s become more separate, although I think in the future we will see both back together. For me the guys that can ride both are heroes, it’s so hard – for street you need adaptability, for park you need predictability. It’s hard to bring the street mentality to contests - especially with the judging criteria.

I’m looking forward to seeing more street riders in contests, we’re going to hang and share some quality time together.

Any advice for people starting BMX?

Restart, reset, and refocus as many times as you need. Never take it too seriously, because sometimes, all you need is just time. Just take your own time - keep working on your own way or your own path. Always believe and have faith that one day everything can change.

Any last words? A message for the internet?

My job is what I'm passionate about - that’s my ultimate goal in life, to be passionate about my work. I’m so thankful that BMX is everything that makes me happy in life.