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Catching Up w/ Steve Nowak
So its dawned on me some of our audience may not really understand BMX, many kids of the 90s obviously heard of Dave Mirra or Ryan Nyquist and like myself found BMX through X-Games. Most other just know of BMX style bicycles: they know usually boys ages 6-14 ride them learn to do wheelies and get air, get hurt, then they stop.
Well quick update guys like Mat Hoffman and Dave Mirra pushed the sport by taking tricks freestyle poineers created and going higher, adding more spins, and bold extention. Corportate hands got involved, which bought dollars to the sport and guys were making money competing with the support of the companies who sponsored them. Fast forward and the BMX world seems to have had little growth as a sport but tons of progression as far as what guys and girls are doing on 20" bicycles.
Steve you've recently turned 40 and have kept BMX in your life still riding and competing consistently, all with a full-time job and family that you spend time with. As a BMX lifer explain your experience with the sport and how you've been able to stay active in the sport.
Actually I turn 42 this year, 40 is in the rearview mirror! Funny thing about the age thing for BMX is I didnt start riding till I was 16, and didnt get serious till I was 18. Alot of guys quit riding or move on to mountian bikes,but I never did. I think the longest Ive been off my BMX is when is when I almost died from internal injury in 1998.
Even then I was back on my bike and entered a ESPN comp before I was supposed to be walking up stairs! The look on my surgeons face was priceless when I showed him the video footage. As far as staying active in the sport, I have a supportive wife who knew what she was getting into from day one (I met her when I was on a BMX roadtrip to Atlanta) and now a kickass son who loves to ride his bike. I ride for ME and if my session isn't going great I throw the bike in the car and head home, knowing I will be back the next day!
A lot of bells get rung unfortunately especailly at the level the tricks are growing, that is something people new to BMX expect but don't quite realize the magnitude of the crashes. Riding is all about what you're happy with doing, yet its so challenging and some days it doesn't go right.
So I forgot to ask you last time you came up here, I was watching Nike's "Writing on the Wall" BMX video a few months ago, I'd only seen a few sections so this time I got to see all the way through to the credits and blam there is a special thanks to you, Steve Nowak. I no I recognized some of the spots in the A, so how did that come about?
Well I have been friends with Mark Losey (Nike BMX team manager) since the early 90s, and I got a call from him that they were in Atlanta filming and wanted me to show them some spots. Mark knew I wouldn't roll up with a huge crew, which would get them kicked out of spots fast. I must say it was a treat to watch a young Garrett Reynolds and Dennis Enerson shred downtown ATL. Those 2 are amazing, and to this day 2 of my favorite riders to watch, and they both have great attitudes towards BMX, and want to see it progress in the future. Thanks to Mark for that oppertunity.
Some of my favorite street dogs for sure, Reynolds and Enerson are definitely pushing the sport each putting out some of the greatest BMX videos last year. You're good friends with the guys at Eastern bikes. I know you had been on a Fiend frame while Eastern had a company overhaul. You've been on the Grim 8 just days from this interview so you've had little time to ride it but what do you think so far is it a noticeable difference.
Ive been friends with Mike and Jon years before they started Eastern, and Mike Laird and I were the first 2 team members, so I will always support them. This past year they did a lot of restructuring both with the team and more importantly, the manufacturing side. Last year my frame cracked after 3 months, and I couldnt even get a new one due to nothing being in stock. They switched to a new manufacturer and the quality is AWESOME! The bike feels so solid yet so lightweight! And yes I rocked a Fiend for a few months, thanks to my buddy Dave Brumlow at Emmittbmx.com
Glad to hear of the improvemnts, you've got to take care of business. So any contest/video part you excited for this year?
I can't wait for 2 of my favorite ramp riders, Mark Webb and Harry Main to put their new edits out! Both are coming back after major surgeries and I know they are ready to put out amazing videos. As far as comps go I am stoked to see Simple Session and anything Red Bull does this year. I will definatly be attending some of the Trans Jam comps, but not focusing to hard on comps for me this year. I'm stoked for Indy to ride, so my focus will be riding with him and exloring more places for us to session.
It's awesome to see you an Indy out riding together. Another Webbie Show would be awesome, both he and Harry Main who just opened a new park so expecting something wild from him too.
So how do you compare your riding now to recent years I'm thinking in the 2 years you've done web edits for us this year was a better year same with contests.
In 2013 I put out 2 edits. The first was a street edit which was a learning process for me. I used to ride street daily growing up, but after moving to Atlanta, and having all these concrete parks so close to my house, I got lazy. In 2012 I started filming some street jibs wit my Iphone 4 and played with some editing on my ipad. I realized how much I loved and missed riding real street. Over the year I became more comfortable on my "street" lines and the edit concludes with my handrail down stairs which I have not done in at least 7 years.
In 2013 I gained a new riding buddy in Ryan Smith and he's always down to ride street. He also helped me film my 2013 park edit. Now that Im better at editing and more comfortable riding street, expect some fresh footage by summer. As far as comps went, I won the Vetern year end title for the Trans Jam series and took 1st at 3 of the 4 events so, yeah 2013 was my year for contests!
I enjoyed both edits, well all of the edits you've done for us. Wasn't expecting that handrail clip but you handeled that, easy money. Hopefully we can get some trips together, its looking like Atlanta Supercross will be my first trip to ATL this year. As a team I think the Forever United riders would be happy with getting to hit up some fun spots getting clips and enjoying riding more than a season full of contests. We're going to see what kind of trips we can make happen. Well thanks for the update can't wait to kick it this year Steve.
2nd Annual ProTown BMX BIKE BASH
Aug. 17th Greenville, NC Jaycee Park
Photo above: Nick Logan - Table - Can - Tuck-No Hander
Steve Nowak was in town and like tradition we eat at the Andy's on 10th Street. We met Nowak here November of 2011 the day before the Trans Jam BMX competition.
Well he was back up from the ATL and this guy is always ready to ride. Nowak got to my house Friday we picked up Shrimp and rode ECU. Nowak threw some nice lines some on the first try so he was pumped on that, Shrimp did an impressive drop. After hitting up Jaycee park for a light session before the rain Steve built my new McNeil frame up. We went for more riding at the Animal House before going out for dinner.
Another day in the Greenville BMX scene just doesn't BMX any better. When we heard the Protown BMX Bike Bash was coming back to Jaycee park we were ready to be a part of it. BMX vert pro Mike Mancuso teamed up with Building Hope a local non-profit, Mongoose Bikes, and many other local vendors to bring back the amateur contest.
TeamFUA was represented well with a visit from former park rider, builder, host Steve Nowak who came in to do some judging. Competing we had flow rider
Logan throwing a Nac out over the quarter at the Protown BMX Bike Bash
Some of the competitors lining the deck waiting on their turn at the 2nd Annual Protown BMX bike bash.
Dylan airing the quarter with a euro table at the Protown BMX Bike Bash
Frankie with a 360 Tailwhip over the box at the Protown BMX Bike Bash
Jaycee local Matt Ross locks an x-up in his run at the Protown BMX Bike Bash.
Virginia Beach rider Justin Dowell throwing a tailwhip at the Protown BMX Bike Bash
Nick Logan out, and coming off of a win last year he was bumped up to the expert class to compete against heavier comp. He definitely stepped up his game filling his run with a good variety of solid tricks.
Locals were killing it and the out-of-towners were having a blast as well. Riders were throwing tricks they'd been sharpening over the summer and showing they're ready for the fall contest series.
So for what riding we did see, after dodging rain all morning, was awesome. Crowd was fair and they even tried waiting it out with us. Until it was called midway through the Expert class. No pro demo, auto signing or best trick, so maybe better weather next year. The next day... sunny, a little hot but it was dry.
Trans Jam BMX contest was back in session this time in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Dorton Arena. The indoor stop gave us a break from the usual beaming sun and this particular weekend dry from the downpour. The contest itself again was no disappointment with dozens of riders competing and decent crowds throughout the day. Most of the Forever United BMX cast was in the building, vet rider Steve Nowak made the trip from Georgia while New Jersey riders Chris Przywara and Frankie Day made the trip south to ride. Nick Logan was one of the many Greenville riders in attendance.
Nick kicked the day off for TeamFUA competitors throwing his best tricks over the big box in the loaded novice class. Nick was looking for more extension on his tricks moves like tunk no-handers as well as boosting tables and locking up some nice turndowns and ended his day with a nice 4th place finish. Nick has been working on an edit he's been working on with Thomas Glew. He has been working on some new tricks at Jaycee park in Greenville, North Carolina and all of the other Greenville locals pushing each other is showing.
Though vet rider Steve Nowak was guaranteed a podium in the classes smallest turnout of the series, it was still a fight for the finish against long time friends and life long shredders Marty Stancil and Duncan Gore. All three came out hard but it was Nowak's back to back 540s on the quarters that pushed Nowak to his 3rd win in as many stops. Nowak ended the day with an abubaca over the sub box. Not only did Steve do the job on the course but he came and helped out at the Forever United booth signing autographs and selling products, a true pioneer of the sport its been great having Steve around he has meant so much to brand and has pushed an involvement in the BMX community to a level I could only dream.
The pro class was full of tough competition as it should be and Frankie Day came through for us with back to back tricks and a solid flow and constant tech in his runs. After taking the year-end overall in the expert class Frankie took the challenge of the pro class. Finishing 12th in pro park Frankie took to the course well and footage will be seen in our Trans Jam BMX Stop 3 edit coming soon. Saturday at the first dirt contest of the series, Frankie took to the trails with a sick run finishing 9th after guys like Scott Wirch, Jared Ward, and winner Zane Bradley.
Watch Frankie's run in this edit below.
Chris Przywara was there to sign some autographs and to push his buddies on, still out on a repaired shoulder he is in high spirits and told me his physical therapy is coming along great! We also talked of the upcoming Recon Tour at Animal House a stop Frankie missed finals just by 1 place at his home Incline Club. Chris is also looking forward to his move to Cali and the trips he's got planned now. Chris and Alex Czuzak his cousin and filmer will be doing what they love in a mecca of BMX. Its great to hear all the hard work and effort these guys put into riding but to see them just there to have fun and relax is what makes the sport so much fun just a bunch of people enjoying riding bikes.
Continued. Stop 1 Trans Jam BMX
all the tables and merch is going in its places as the sun slowly creep through the buildings. Luckily Keith bailed us out just as vendor row because the beautiful spring day would have been pretty brutal without a tent. Well its in the ride for the next outing that's for sure.
#TeamFUA BMX up and comer Nick Logan told us earlier in the year one of his goals was to win an overall at Trans Jam BMX series. Nick rode and was working on some things he wanted to get the past few months so we decided to bring him along, hang out, and check out Charlotte. He returned to the novice class to battle with some tough competition. Finishing 5th was good start of the year, seeing where he could build he says he's ready for the next stop. Stop 2 in Athens, GA is in just a couple weeks in a huge new addition to the Trans Jam series. The contest swings back to NC in May with an all new dirt day and separate park/street/flat day.
Steve Nowak #TeamFUA BMX rider faced another tight vet class riding against "Scooter" Don Weidgt, Showtime Hernadez, and Marty Stancil and yet again these guys were bringing it. These BMX lifers all put down great runs, Nowak's barrage of tech including a 540 tire tap ended up with one of the cleaner runs after a couple guys went big and hit hard a few times. Nowak was super happy with his wife and son there rooting him on and he joined his comrades on the podium.
Mario Spray a Myrtle Beach resident we met through Street Team member Mike Soloman met up with us in Charlotte. He wanted to rep the brand out on the course as he entered his 2nd contest ever after catching the TJ finale last fall. Mario threw some solid tricks down on the Bell Helmet street course He grabbed 3rd in the new Trans Jam BMX street course and we were as stoked as him on his first podium. We'll definitely be back to Myrtle Beach and ride with Mario and some of the other #TeamFUA family and friends we've made that way.
The pro class was another fun one with riders like Keith Smidth, Scott Wirch, Zane Bradley, Josh Perry, Alex Johann, and more. I saw a 180 double whip over a spine, a backflip, x-up, turndown over the box in park to an epic flair to fakie on the street course by Nick Diglieroma. Things were poppin off all over so I can't wait for some videos to drop.
Look for #TeamFUA represented at every Trans Jam BMX stop this year former winner at TJ Frankie Day missed this stop but plans to return to the series. Chris Przywara another stop winner at Trans Jam is sidelined while recovering from shoulder surgery is healing fast and should return to riding later this year.
"I grew up riding street from the late 80s and this edit is me going back to my roots, having fun and not worrying about trends or fads. Thanks to Forever United and Veinbmx.com for supporting an old guy" - Steve Nowak
Watch Nobody Rides For Free the first BMX edit from a #TeamFUA rider!
Chris Przywara shreds some park, street, and dirt, get pumped! Frank Day and Alex accompanied him filming the parts and its definitely a good look into whats to come from Pizz this year!
Filmed & Edited by: Alex Czuzak