Despite growing up along the shores of Southern California, it was not the waves along his hometown of Surfside where he found his strongest passion, but rather the deserts. Dakota took up surfing and still does in his spare time, but his father’s love of motocross riding spurred a family interest in Dakota Tedder and his four brothers.
His father, Matt Tedder, rode professionally in the ‘80s before joining his family business and starting a family of his own. Dakota is the fourth of five brothers, who are Matthew Jr., Chasen, Myles, Dakota, and Maxwell, in order of oldest to youngest.
At an early age for his boys, Matt Tedder began taking them out to the deserts to race motocross bikes. The boys took to the sport quickly and soon a family tradition was born with a little competition built into the trips.
“On the weekends, for recreation we would race motocross,” Matt Tedder said in a 2017 interview with Monster Energy drink. “We wouldn’t go out and ride desert – we would actually motocross race. As a family we had this beat-up, old Winnebago and a crappy, old, enclosed trailer and every kind of bike you could think of with me and my five sons racing.”
The Tedder boys began to get noticed in the motocross community. Up and coming racer Blake Baggett and Dakota became friends Baggett would inspire Dakota to strive to take his riding to the next level. Dakota still trains with Baggett (one of the top riders on the circuit) in Florida during the offseason.
“I was probably 13 years old, or 14 and still just riding for fun,” Dakota said. “I was friends with Blake Baggett and his whole goal was to become a champion. For me it was just like to have fun riding. I just wanted to beat my brothers and have a good time at it on the weekend.”
But the Tedder boys continued to turn heads. Myles won a C Class Amateur title and Dakota would win four amateur championships. The Tedder family had enough of a following to allow Matt to secure sponsorships from companies like Kawasaki, to start Team Tedder and go pro.
Dakota is now teamed with Martin Davalos (ranked 16th in the early season points standings) under the Team Tedder banner. The next event will be the Monster Energy Drink Supercross event on Saturday at Anaheim Stadium. It was this same event in 2018, where Dakota had one of his best professional showings, qualifying for the Main Event.
“I was so excited,” Dakota said. “I actually made my first main event at my first supercross at Anaheim. That was unreal. Most guys I think get nervous, and I was just excited. Literally I couldn’t be more excited. Then the next round I was just straight nervous.”
Dakota would miss the entire 2019 season with injuries. He returned this year in the first Anaheim event on Jan. 4. Saturday’s Anaheim event is the third of the season and Dakota’s chance to get back into the main event.
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit supercrosslivde.com. You can also find more on the team at teamtedderracing.com.