Words from the founder Jake Richardson -
Soon after starting skiing at six years old on the dry slope at Norfolk Ski Club, it was clear that no other sport could come close to the adrenaline hit you get from hurtling yourself down a mountain (or hill!). Some close friends moved over to Bourg St Maurice to start up a ski rental shop, and having been invited out to visit, this is the place where I found my snow legs. Entering the BARSC races in 2002, age 12, I got selected onto the British Children's Ski Team and there began my racing career, taking me all over the planet, unfortunately ending in Colorado in 2009 due to lack of funding. Since then, I have continued to work within the ski industry, starting off at Snowfit, testing and helping buy stock for the shop. We are still working closely with our friends at Snowfit and now order all our kit through these guys at an affordable rate. In September 2017, I left the position of Head Coach at the British Children's Ski Cross Team to start up TXC.
During my alpine racing career as a child/young adult, I was lucky enough to travel the world and was taught by some of the top ski coaches in the world. Whether they'd be from the UK, Bulgaria, Austria or the U.S, I learnt valuable coaching skills from each of them. And every single coach was different. Some taught in a more physical and aggressive fashion, "do this or go home", and some taught more mentally with the simple words such as "you can".
To this day I think back to when I was an athlete, what I wanted from my coach and how I reacted to certain methods of tuition. Now my passion is to see my young protégés succeed with a smile on their face. If they're succeeding but feel forced in doing so, the coach isn't doing their job right. It won't be long until that athlete loses the love and drops out of the sport. Of course intensity rises when you grow older and enter the world of FIS racing, but to get there, you must love your sport, enjoy every second and keep on doing so.
Sure you can ski gates run after run and it will improve how fast you ski that course, on that slope. But that's 1% of the mountain, and soon enough, it becomes boring. I found this out in America where I was skiing with some kids who are now racing World Cup, if the race was called off due to high snowfall (which seemed to happen a lot in Colorado) we would go shred the powder and park as much as our bodies would allow us to, and they were almost as good skiing park and big mountain as they were in a slalom course. I believe this ability to ski everything is one of the reasons why the US have such a high success rate in winter sports, of course living by the mountains helps, but each and every one of them still love absolutely ripping, wherever it may be on the mountain.
Having raced for almost 20 years, then being able to ski whatever I wanted, bought a whole new world of skiing to my eyes. Powder on actual powder skis, touring, freestyle, backflips, ski cross, you name it! Ski cross being something I seemed to be able to drop into naturally, mixing my racing experience with my love for freestyle. You can't be a good ski cross racer without a strong alpine technique, nor can you if you don't have the guts to jump over some pretty damn big kickers. So at TXC I believe it's important to train both alpine and in the freestyle park.
At TXC we work together as one extended family, we help each other out wherever and whenever possible, not just for members within our team. If there are jackets to be taken down at the top of a race hill, it doesn't matter what team you're from, it gets done. We work hard, we're respectful of mother nature, we're well mannered and we don't use mobile phones at the dinner table!
If you think you've got what it takes to be the next Olympian or just fancy a go, get in touch! At some point during the season we'll have a camp to suit everyone.