Levi Sherwood is one of the worlds leading Freestyle Motocross riders. He recently picked up a spectacular and hard-fought win at the Red Bull X-Fighters round in Madrid at the weekend. We caught up with the New Zealand rider just before the event to talk X Games medals, Nitro Circus and collaboration clothing ranges…
We’re really excited for your new Levi Sherwood collaboration range with Etnies. We love the look of the Tees and your new Charter shoe! How much input did you have into your range?
Levi: A fair amount, I told the designers I wanted to tie in my collection to the graphic look and design of my bike so that’s why you see purple and arrange hits. We went back and forth and worked it out to final product.
Dubai marked your third victory at a Red Bull X-Fighters event. You’re one of the youngest competitors and still just a few years into your career. What goals does a guy set himself that has achieved so much so soon?
I’m really focused on the Red Bull X Fighters Series, I’ve had some ups and downs early on and this year I want to play it smart and see the series all the way through to the end.
We’d never suggest that riders should take any unnecessary risks but were you disappointed that you didn’t get the chance to compete at the round of X Fighters in Turkey?
Levi: It really was disappointing for us as riders to not be able to put a show on for the fans and it was also disappointing for the people that worked so hard to make the event happen but in the end the decision that was made was the right one I think and it was really in the interest of rider safety.
Your accident at the practice of Nitro Circus in Las Vegas last year put you out of action for most of the 2011 competition season. Although it must have been hugely disappointing, it clearly hasn’t done anything to diminish your skill. Have your injuries led to any long-term effects or adjustments to your riding style?
Levi: I think most professional athletes are managing or playing/riding around an injury at most times but luckily so far (touch wood) I haven’t had to make any what I feel are significant adjustments to my riding style due to injury.
How did you end up hooking up with the Nitro Circus crew in the first place? Do you plan do anything more with them in the future?
Levi: They invited me for the New Zealand round and I think it was at Travis’s request; it was cool to spend time with him and Lyn-Z on the tour.
Congratulations on picking up another X Games silver medal, by the way! Your run was sick! How confident were you on the run up to the games?
Levi: I felt pretty good going in knowing that I had solid trick list and a new trick and the course having limited options due to the size of the venue would put the most pressure to deliver the goods in the air so that’s what I focused on.
That first ramp in the Moto X Freestyle arena looked terrifying! How did you find the course? Were you disappointed to find Taka had just pipped you at the post?
Levi: It did look a bit intimidating but when you think about it it’s really just a normal jump that is elevated, the ramp and the landings are the same as always just higher up in the air.
Do you have any more designs in the pipeline? Anything exciting we can look forward to in future Etnies ranges ?
Levi: For sure, I have a really clear direction on the shoe silhouettes I want to use and we are also working on something really cool to bring to the table graphic-wise that I think people will be as excited about as I am.
Good luck for the rest of the X Fighters and we hope to see you next year at X Games with a gold medal!
Levi: Thanks, I appreciate that, I hope so too! I’ll just do my best and see how it all works out.