LINE UK Pro rider Rich Taylor (23) died on Saturday, 7 August 2004, having slipped into a coma after a skating accident near his house in Wales, UK when he sustained head injuries from hitting a lamppost.
Rich is probably better known internationally as a member of the Rollerblade International Team, having been a pro skater since aged 15. He just retained his title as British Inline Skating Champion last month.
Although he skiboarded on an off over the years it was only in the last 6 months that Rich really caught the freeskiing bug, but in that short time he started to perfect his technique and to perform in the park on skis with the same natural ability he had on his skates.
Recently signed to the LINE UK Pro Ski team and skiing on next season's Chronics he took the British Freestyle Skiing Championships by storm in March 2004, winning the Big Air competition and performing an impromptu breakdance to the music of the Cuban Brothers in the town square in Les Deux Alpes, France!
Rich was a legend on skates and was starting to show the same potential on skis. Highly dedicated, disciplined and passionate he was working hard to achieve on snow in the Winter just as he achieved on skates in the Summer but he always had time for younger riders and always a smile on his face. He had no attitude, no pretence, no arrogance like some with half his talent. He was up for a good time, lived for the rush and wanted to share the fun with as many other people as he could.
He had a great future ahead of him internationally on skis and we were looking forward to seeing him show his ability in Europe and the USA. It's a great tragedy that he didn't get the chance... but those who knew him and saw him loving his time on snow will remember him for the inspiration he was.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
Matthew, LINE Skis UK