Interview: Chad DeGroot

Speaking of corporate sponsors… remember Lee Pipes?
Fuck man, you are on a roll. That was a team sponsor for Haro. We would get huge boxes of those jeans and the black market was huge those summers at Woodward, selling those for like $10 a pop. If and when we didn’t any sales we would use them to start the quarry fire each night. I mean come on, who needs 50 pairs of jeans. That is just stupid so we used them to make our lives better, with fire and warmth. Sorry Lee. No hard feelings?

You’ve done some pretty serious things in BMX, such as run businesses and win multiple consecutive NORA cups, with a very un-serious attitude. Were you one of those kids who decided at a young age that you were never going to grow into a suit? Or did you just naturally stay awesome?
Thanks for the compliment. I used BMX to learn the industry and gain support for things like Nora cup. You have to market yourself how you want people to see you. Everyday you look at yourself; that is how people will see you. I did that but it worked ‘cause people were starting to relax about BMX and understand that you can gain, and create your style how you want it to be seen. I never knew what a suit was as a kid or really wanted to be a suit. I pretty much did what ever I wanted, whenever, and got away with it for too long. At one point I even had a bouncer back me up where ever I went. Thanks Dave Osato. I did what the fuck ever I wanted and said anything that came to mind and you had no choice but to take it. The more serious you get the more you loose track of really what you want to do. That is my struggle now, being in business with my mindset trying to make everything add up. My head swims with ideas daily of what I want to do and think would be cool, then I realize my fantasy is still going on and I have to back up and make logical decisions to better my business. That is my biggest struggle; taking what’s in my head and making people understand my vision. Its not always clear.

What setup is your son Cooper running? A 10-incher with no pedals? What kind of tricks is he up to?
He was given a balance bike at age one and around age two he was bombing hills. It fucking freaked me out the first time he was out of reach bombing a hill then rode in the grass and jumped off and flipped over on purpose. True stunt man. That bike is made out of wood and I strongly suggest it to every parent for more than a few reasons. Wood floats so when we goto the ocean it will float back to shore. But also that they learn balance and control really fast. I came home one day and my wife had his other bike with training wheels off. I said “no way he is going to get that”. So we went over with him, that it’s the same and he can put his feet down but if he wants he can pedal and go faster. I didn’t know what to do so I just said fuck it and ghost rode him, he put is feet on and pedaled. Got it first try and rode around the block forever. He was so excited so now we try and go on bike rides daily. As for tricks, he can do 360’s and wheelies, that is if for now. He is only four and I don’t want to push him.

Wait, he can do 360s?
He does foot plant 360’s and a weird wheelie 360. He can also do a serious ghost ride. That is his favorite.

What’s the next phase for you? Any new goals?
Next phase. Shit man. I am seeing more gray hairs popping up on me. Raising my kids who are straight comedians. Supporting my wife working her ass off. Building Deco for longevity more than changing BMX. Build my shop and have employees who understand my goals. Keep a smile when I ride flatland ‘cause I am still learning shit. Do tricks that make me happy. Ride what I want when I want. Never deny what BMX can give me. Never take for granted what BMX has given me. Lastly, keep making people open their minds to how BMX and life can change everything they do.

  • Julz

    Awesome dude and even more awesome attitude. When I first started I really looked up to Chad and his innovative out look on BMX, we need more people with Chads attitude in BMX m/

  • Degroot is a legend and icon of midwest bmx at its best! One of a kind!

  • Povah

    Take it for Baco

  • jon r

    So good!

  • Clint Millar

    Loved that VW Squareback back in the day, it’s what got me into those cars then & now. Thanks Chad !!

  • Anwarasibahmed

    awsm, u cn do nythng with ur stuff


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