Home Sports BMX rider Nigel Sylvester is taking his career to new heights both...

BMX rider Nigel Sylvester is taking his career to new heights both on and off the bike

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BMX rider Nigel Sylvester credits new sponsor Hyperice for helping him in both his pre-and post-ride recovery. (Photo by Ralphy Ramos) Nigel Sylvester is a force within the BMX community. The New York native developed a penchant for riding at a young age and has used those skills and more to carve his own path within the world of professional BMX riding.

Sylvester doesn’t compete in BMX competitions, but you’ll likely find him cruising through various New York boroughs, evading cabs, and quickly identifying the best spots to perfect a new trick. Luckily, the 33-year-old found time in between launching his new foundation, signing on as a Hyperice ambassador, and organizing his massive sneaker haul to speak with Yahoo Sports about the topics above and more.

Yahoo Sports: Let’s start with the basics. How did you get into BMX riding?

Nigel Sylvester

Nigel Sylvester:

Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, BMX bicycling was always a part of my life. Almost like a right of passage. I grew up watching my older cousins and older brothers have cool bikes, and I always found cycling a place where I could truly express myself. You know, what was happening in my imagination and what I was thinking.

I was able to translate those things through BMX riding. At the age of 12, I discovered professional BMX riders were doing this for a living. I was hooked and decided that’s what I wanted to do. I dedicated every moment I had to run tricks, work on my style, and perfect my craft.

YS: What led you to decide not to compete?

NS: My style of BMX is called street BMX. So, we use the elements around us to get around. Like someone would use staircases to get from the ground level to the second floor of a building, we use a handrail or ledge to jump off and attempt many tricks.

As I was coming up in the world of BMX, there weren’t contests catered to that riding style. It was mainly focused on creating content. I didn’t want to be defined by how many competitions I won. So, I decided to stay in this lane instead and use the internet to share my story and control my narrative. I’m happy I made that decision.

YS: Since you don’t compete, what does your training look like, and how does Hyperice play a significant role in helping maintain your form? What are some of your favorite Hyperice products?

NS: I’ve been riding at the professional level for over a decade now. What I put into my body and how I take care of it is crucial because it contributes to my longevity. Partnering with the global leader in the recovery and technology space and a company that cares about athletes and works with some of the most elite athletes was something that really intrigued me. A big part of the longevity of my career is recovery.

After I stretch and get loose for a ride, I reach for my Hypervolt. I use it on my thighs, forearms, and various muscles I use the most. On any given day, we’ll go out for a ride and cover 10-20 miles. Bicycle riding is a full-body workout, first and foremost. When you add the element of doing tricks, it increases the intensity. Post-ride I get into my Normatec to calm down and cool out.

YS: Let’s talk about your foundation. Describe the feeling you had while making the announcement you were starting a non-profit on Good Morning America Thursday?

NS: To be able to launch the Nigel Sylvester Foundation was a dream come true. Two motivating forces inspired me to start this foundation. My mother was very instrumental in teaching me the importance of giving back and the power of a bicycle’s ability to bring communities together. I wanted to tap into that more profound and promote a safe space for people to go cycling. We have some fun things planned in the future, like fundraisers, bike drives, and community bike rides throughout the city.

Actually, I’m doing with Hyperice that’s really cool to create a recovery room at my high school, which will be the first one at the high school level. It will be packed with state-of-the-art Hyperice products, and we’ll be sharing the importance of recovery with students. I hope it will extend the athletic careers of the kids we’re working with.

YS: You have a massive sneaker collection. Besides the pair you created with Nike, what are some of your go-to sneakers?

NS: That’s an excellent question. The shoes in my current rotation are Jordan 1 High and Low, the Charles Barkley Air Max 94, the classic all-white Air Force 1, and the Jordan 3.  Yahoo Sports is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

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