Max Jorge initially viewed snowboarding as a form of chilling out with friends, but after a conversation with Olympian Jamie Nicholls, he now has one aim – to become a professional snowboarder.
The 15-year-old from St Albans first took to the slopes when he was eight after watching his dad growing up, but within a couple of months the Marlborough Science Academy student was completing tricks from the highest of jumps.
Following his rapid rise Max, and prior to the lockdown, found himself travelling around the globe to compete in youth competitions, something which he explains is fun, but also hard to manage.
“It’s obviously a very expensive sport,” said Max - who is being supported by the Backing The Best programme through SportsAid this year. “You need to go away a lot and have all the right equipment. It is hard.
“I'm in Year 10 so it's getting hard and it's only going to get harder. Normally, my school give me work and I take it out with me. I will give myself a day to complete all my studying then I am back out riding and training.
“When I am at school I need to knuckle down because if I ever get injured, I need to have a back-up.”
Despite the struggles of managing his studies and his craft, Max's love for snowboarding has fuelled his ambitions of competing in the Winter Olympics and X Games in years to come.
“I kept falling over so everyone thought I wouldn’t stick at it but then I got better," he added. "Then I started going out on my own and I fell in love with it.
“Within the first couple of months I got better than my dad, I was doing jumps and just progressed from there. It was just so much fun riding with my friends, chilling out.
"I didn’t really look at it as a thing I wanted to do when I got older but then I met Jamie Nicholls and it made me want to be a pro snowboarder. From just speaking to him he inspired me, I can now call him a good friend of mine.
“I want to compete at the X Games and the Olympics in the future, but I need to train hard and practice a lot more so I can compete more and then hopefully rise up the ranks a little bit.
“I have just stepped up to bigger jumps now, my style is coming along, and I am feeling more confident in my riding. When I am watching all the pros I look at their style and how they perform their tricks, to help me become the best athlete I can be."
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