The X Brand was created by two of the most knowledgeable goggle guy’s around. With well over thirty years of eyewear experience Rich Taylor and his dad Hook Taylor have been testing, selling, and developing innovative high performance protective eyewear since the early 70’s.
Hook Taylor grew up ski racing as a young boy in the Reno, Lake Tahoe area. Soon out of college he went into the ski industry full time as an independent sales rep for various ski companies of which one was Smith Sport Optics. This was in the early 70’s and Hook would ski all winter and then he would ride his Husqvarna, Ossa, Rickman or Bulltaco,( depending on the year), all summer. Meanwhile Bob Smith, the then owner and founder of Smith sport optics was getting very interested in creating eyewear for the off-road motorcycle market. Hook helped with some goggle ideas and got some motorcycle accounts rolling and the rest is history for Smith goggles.
Hook continued to be an independent ski rep for several years after that working for the likes of Scott Goggle Company and Cebe optics, among many other ski companies, but eventually he returned to Smith where he guided the motorcycle division to record high sales year after year. Hook retired after a very successful reign at Smith to a town outside of Sun Valley Idaho where he raises black labs and rides his dirt bike right out of his back door.
Rich Taylor has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old. He raced professionally for over fourteen years, earning 10 national numbers and producing several top 5 National finishes. Rich is still very involved with professional racing. He now Tests for Team Suzuki and does all of the R&D testing for the new model dirt bikes and he also does all of the preliminary testing on the “works” bikes for the factory race team, which is why Motocross Action magazine rated him one of the top 10 test riders of all time.
RT is also one of the top 50 most popular riders, according to Transworld Motocross magazine. Rich was rated amongst the top 100 most important people in the motocross world by Dirt Bike magazine and RT was also voted as one of the top ten best holeshot artists ever in the March 2007 issue of Motocross action magazine.
Having grown up in Sun Valley Idaho, RT is no stranger to the snow either. He ski raced as kid earning a ranking of 4th in the country in downhill, and 6th in GS.
Since RT was 3 years old he has been wearing a goggle of one type or another. It's safe to say when it comes to protective eyewear, the Taylor’s know goggles!