Always In Progress: Catching up with Derek Dorame
Merritt and S&M's New Mex tech wizard
Coming from the small town of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Derek Dorame grew up like most kids do, making friends going to school and getting to know what you care for in life. Well, from a very young age Derek knew what he wanted, to stay true to his Native American roots and focus on what he loves the most, BMX. Having the advantage of living in the state capital city, that produced the state's very first concrete skatepark, way before prefab parks and plastic pegs were even a thought. Adobe brick isn't the best thing to learn how to grind on but given the determination to become the rider he is today, Derek has used all of his resources quite well i'd say. Check out the latest from the New Mex tech wizard as he tells us more about what got him started in BMX and why he is still doing it to this very day.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from...
I am recognized as Mescalero Apache Indian and I grew up on the Tesuque Pueblo near Santa Fe, New Mexico most of my life. Just 15 miles away from the local skatepark, which happens to be the first concrete skatepark built in New Mexico. I soon decided to pursue bike riding outside of the village in which I grew up. I still live in Santa Fe today and I love it, with all of it's beautiful art work and scenery, amazing food and even better spots! This city keeps me focused and motivated on riding...
Santa Fe has a lot of history and culture on both sides of the spectrum. The BMX scene in Santa Fe has been heavily maintained and is always growing. We have two bike friendly skate parks and amazing trails that are city sanctioned. Shout out to Daniel Coriz for keeping the trail scene alive!
How long have you been riding for your current sponsors?
I've been riding for S&M since early 2011 and I got picked up by Merritt in March of 2015. I've been riding for a long time and it feels so good to be supported by such great brands that have my back!
What is your favorite piece of S&M and Merritt on your bike right now?
Right now I'm riding the S&M Whammo frame and it feels so good, it's strong as hell and the geometry is just how I like it, tight and responsive! As far as my Merritt parts, these wheels just won't stop spinning, I run the Non-Stop Front Hub and the Non-Stop Rear Cassette. Combine those wheels with the hub guards Merritt has and your golden!
What was it that initially got you started riding BMX?
Riding has always been an outlet for me, sharing the good times with great friends is something I wouldn't trade for the world! Being able to capture all this with a camera has always been my passion. Seeing the finished project and the reaction of others is what I thrive on!
When you were growing up and learning how to ride, did you have any mentors or people you looked up to who made BMX real for you?
I would have to say Alex Jaquez. His riding style and outlook on life always kept me in the right mind set to always have fun and push myself at the same time. I was always influenced and motivated by all the older homies, which mainly gave me the knowledge that taught me to always keep riding no matter what...
When did you really get into filming? It seems since you have been filming a lot of your own stuff, you've put out a lot more consistent content.
Watching Industry and Turbulence for the first time is what really got me hooked on filming and riding, oh those VHS days haha. Those videos did it for me. I think I was 17 wen I got my first camera. I also met Andres Velasco around the same time. We would film short web videos and clips for own amusement. After putting out so many short videos, we wanted to start filming full sections of ourselves, so we did just that. Our goal has always been to put out good solid content that people would enjoy and have fun watching. Filming my Four Month Party was definitely a turning point for me. I started being more serious and wanting to get more and more content out there for people to see.
Is there anything different about your riding in your latest video for Merritt than your previous videos?
Definitely, you can see in this video how my riding style has changed a bit due to a back injury I sustained on a S&M trip last October. I feel like I've steered more towards my technical style of riding these days...
"I was always influenced and motivated by all the older homies, which mainly gave me the knowledge that taught me to always keep riding no matter what..."
- Derek Dorame
You've been out to California a few times this past year riding with a bunch of your fellow company riders. How does the thought of living and riding in California settle with you?
I really enjoy my time in California every time I'm out there! The spots and the weather are always so consistent and not to mention the great people and riders that become your friends almost instantly creating the vibes I love... I definitely can see myself moving out to SoCal in the near future.
Is there something special that stands out to you that has happened since being exposed to more riders, spending time in and out of the company of your fellow sponsored riders?
Well I'd have to say that it's so unreal for me to be around riders of such high calibre and skill, I am lucky to be exposed to these people because of the companies I ride for. It's amazing to watch and feed off of, most importantly though I enjoy everyone that's down to ride and have a good time, which in turn curates me into a better bike rider!
Albuquerque and Santa Fe are only 50 miles apart, do you end up down in ABQ often to ride? Is there a good crew down there that you like to ride with a lot?
I've been spending a lot of my time out in Albuquerque, filming with Fatalthug lately, the same dude helping me with this video. Albuquerque has so much to offer as far as spots and good skateparks to go warm up at or just spend the whole damn day there! Mostly, I just enjoy riding with everyone down there, Matty Gutierrez and Ryan Pipkin are always a pleasure to watch ride.
I am in the middle of filming a full section for the S&M DVD, as well as working on a split part with Matt Gutierrez for Moniker Art Wear. We should be wrapping it up by next month sometime. I definitely look forward to more and more traveling next year to see new places and get some filming done, of course!
"Just don't be too hard on yourself, always have fun and be thankful. Don't let other people tell you what you can and cannot do..."- Derek Dorame
You've been doing this for a long time and you don't show any signs of slowing down... Is there anything you can say to keep kids stoked on riding BMX and is there anyone you'd like to thank especially for where you are today?
Yeah, just don't be too hard on yourself, always have fun and be thankful. Don't let other people tell you what you can and cannot do... I wanna thank my friends and family of course, my parents for supporting my wacky ideas. My friends for always motivating me and keeping me sane. Josh at Mythwax, Jack at Moniker, Mike Brennan and Montana Ricky at Merritt, Sean McKinney, Chris Stevenson, Dylan Ambrose, you Wes and most of all Chris Moeller.
"BMX is an addiction. Its like a drug, I need to have it."
“Just have fun, and never take this shit too seriously.”