Imagine being 20 years old, with a knack for spinning your bike in unimaginable ways, defying gravity on two wheels and making a living off of it. This dream lifestyle is one that Nike 6.0 sponsored Nigel Sylvester has been lucky enough to live. Off the back of throwing down implausible tricks, he has gained enough notoriety to prick the ears and eyes of a host of sponsors who have paved the way for this Kool-Aid Kid to open his own BMX boutique store, Format NY. Move over Nicole Kidman, there is a new BMX Bandit in the house!
Yo Nigel, how’s Queens cracking these days?
The Q-boro is chillin’ like it always is, there is this new DOPE shop called Format laying it down in Queens.
Where did your obsession with riding come from?
Obsession... Nah, it's more like a love thing, growing up in Queens I always had a bike no matter what. It was my mode of transportation as a youth and blasting down the street as fast as I can is what became an obsession.
Just how long does it take you to perfect tricks and how many years have you spent grinding on your bike to get to the level you are at?
Well, different tricks take different amounts of time to lock down, it all depends on how hard you go. I have been tricking and pushing myself for the past 7 years now, and when I learn a new trick or land something new I still have that same Kool-Aid smile on my face as I did when I was 13.
BMX is nothing new on the scene, but like skateboarding it seems to be making a massive comeback, no thanks to dudes like you who show such passion and skill at such a young age. Do you think it’s here to stay and how do you propose to stay doing this for the long run?
Yeah, BMX has been around for a while now and cycling has been around even longer than that. I feel the concept of a bike is a staple in society. BMX is here to stay, because there will always be crazy and creative people to riding BMX bikes. As for myself, I'm going to ride or die.
Let’s talk about your deal with Nike 6.0, will there be a shoe in the works and if so what can we look forward to?
NIKE 6.0 is dope. They look out for me and all the people and managers are cool. As far as a shoe I don't know there might be a collabo in the works, we’re just going to have to wait and see. When I go ride I usually throw on my 6.0 Mavrk or Oncore. Those kicks feel real good.
How did your store Format come about? How has opening a BMX store in Queens helped to promote BMXing?
Format was an idea I always wanted to execute. Finally the opportunity arose and there are good people involved so I jumped at the chance to do it. Opening a store that deals with something you feel so strongly about feels good. I’m giving back to the community the "BMX" that has been such a big part in my life. Growing up for me there were no stores like Format so when I see kids come in and they're siked up it makes it all worth it.
What can we find in store? Are you selling apparel and footwear as well as BMX proddy?
Yeah you can find a number of things in Format we got dope kicks to get your footwear game tight, fresh treads so your clothing is right and of course our BMX section where you can find the most up to date BMX parts.
You seem to be hooked up very nicely with all your sponsors. How deep is the list now, and who are you repping?
For real. I’ve got good people around and I first want to say my parents for supporting my habit for so long before all the sponsors came about. Animal bike co. are hooking me up along with MirraCo bikes, NIKE 6.0, Skavenger and Format.
How excited are you that BMX racing has finally become recognised as an Olympic sport at Beijing this year? Any aspirations to become a racer rather than a trick rider?
The Olympics are one of the world’s biggest stages. I think it’s dope that they have finally recognised BMX racing as one of their events, but nah, it doesn't make me want to race. I street race, come see me!
I notice you guys don’t wear any protection when riding. Is there ever any risk that you are going to do yourself in and take yourself out of the game prematurely?
Nah, I don't wear any protection, at least when I ride my bike hahahaha. It just doesn't feel right riding street with a helmet and tons of pads on. Don't get me wrong everyone is their own person that’s just my opinion. I want the kids to stay safe out there.
Do you find it surreal that at such a young age you have accomplished so much already? Where do you go from here and what other goals do you have for the future?
Sometimes I think about where I've come from and where I've been and just say thank you, nothing much more than that. I know I have been blessed but there is so much more I want to accomplish and see, from BMX tricks I want to pull to business plans I have in mind and more travelling, it’s one of my hobbies.
Have you ever seen BMX Bandits? It’s probably one of our best films produced and filmed in Australia!
No, but Amazon said it will be at my house in two days, thanks for the heads up!
Hit up Nigel's page here for more info