This week we step into the upside down world of BMX impresario Nathan Philps, who takes us through the communal nature of his Instagram, unfiltered.
Hi, Nathan! Your Instagram pics are fabulous. If for whatever reason you could only save three, which three would you save?
Thank you very much! Of all my pictures I’d have to say this photo series I did with Wayne Cant in December last year are my favourites. We took more than three so I can’t choose them all, but my standout favourite of the lot is that flair no hander (the photo of me upside down with my hands off). It’s the biggest I’ve ever thrown one of them, and I’m so pleased I had a fantastic cameraman there to capture the moment.
Can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how your Instagram came to be?
So I am Nathan Philps, otherwise known as Lanky. This is because I’m 6’3/191cm tall and finding riders taller than me is a challenge. I’ve been riding for over 11 years now and BMX has been my escape, dream, hobby and, in later years, profession and career. Funnily enough, I didn’t start Instagram up because I wanted followers or exposure, it was simply because I had people from all over the world asking me if I had an account. I finally decided to create one in 2014 and am now kicking myself for not realising its worth earlier on!
What do you think is the main driver to people coming to your Instagram daily and following you?
Absolutely my riding. That was the only reason I created it in the first place, to connect with other riders and to encourage younger guys to keep trying their hardest in whatever they’re trying. I receive quite a few private messages asking for tips and tricks so I’m honoured that I’ve reached a point where I’m able to give back to the community through my riding.
What is the main story you like to tell through your images?
The story is the moment of action. The full extent possible to be pushed through a trick. The moment of forcing something as far as humanly possible, and then going even further again. Limits are just a boundary set by your own mind. Through my photos and videos, I try to show that despite my age and size, nothing is impossible if you really think it through and discover the way to reaching your goal.
What is the worst way for someone to try and get your attention on Instagram, and what is the best way?
I suppose for me it’s demanding something of me. I know kids can be blunt because they haven’t learnt how to properly word their thoughts yet, but things like “Oi, give me a shout out” really doesn’t inspire me to do what they’ve asked. However, if someone is genuinely interested in progressing and growing as a human and/or a rider, I don’t care if they’re male, female, black, white or any of the wonderful colours in between, I will take the time out to help you as best I can through what has been given to me.