Behind the scenes – Mad Goats 2019

Behind the scenes – Mad Goats 2019

Foreword

Hey, you crazy goats. I just wanted to start by saying that I really appreciate all of your support. We at Mad Goats are still a relatively young company and we are run by young-ish people. We are pretty much all in our 20’s and still trying to figure out what this whole life is about…hehe. I founded the company when he was around 23 years old – just a little kid, really (pun intended) -and had no idea that we would be where we are today. My original dream was just to get out of the 9-5 workplace so that I could teach whitewater kayaking full-time. Turned out that no-one really wanted to river kayak, so I ended up teaching mostly sea kayaking, as that seemed to be what everyone wanted to do. We are still definitely learning as we go and there is no shame in saying this, as I hope we always will always be learning. Mad Goats are super committed to providing the best service and paddle activities in Oslo and will always strive to do so. If you ever think we could do something better or have any useful feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are open goats after all and do appreciate your point of view. You are the students after all and we need to be able to see through your eyes if we are going to be able to create the best possible product.

Interactive communication 

Of late we have dived deep into new communication strategies in the hope to keep you guys up to date and included in the herd. You may have noticed that on Instagram we have started to ask your opinions on our various new ideas. This is not only for fun;  we do actually take your feedback seriously and is what ends up creating the final product (i.e. our new courses and trips). So please, keep on bleating us your opinions from far and wide – we love it! 

New logo

The Mad Goat herd thought it time to pimp out our old logo so we got Dean the master logo goat onto the job. Here is the finish result. Haha, I will post out some of the designs which didn’t quite make the cut…you may be able to see why. I for one think that this new logo sums us up pretty good: a cheeky goat, nature and kayak and SUP paddles – what more could you ask for?! 

 

Name Change

Since we teamed up with 4elements and have started offering SUP trips we figured that the name “Mad Goats Kajakkskole” doesn’t really encompass all of what we do. To make things easy we have now changed our names to Mad Goats Paddling. This also gives us room to include other paddle actives like canoeing as we progress forward. What do you guys think about the name, any thoughts? 

Ps, if you are interested in checking out 4elements I’ll leave a link right here. 4elements has been swallowed – maybe not the best word for it? – by Mad Goats so that we are now one. Haha, how else could I say that without any weird connotations? Incorporated? Rebranded? Ah well, we are all one big happy herd now anyway! 

New trips and courses

1. Paddling and sauna tour

I would say that this trip is one of my proudest and most innovative trip ideas. This winter I dived head first into Oslo sauna culture. There is something about the extreme heat and cold that just leaves no room for tiredness or feeling sorry for one’s self. But wait, now you can kayak as well as experience the rejuvenating effects of the sauna? Life doesn’t and shouldn’t need to get better than this. Our kayak and sauna trips start up next week on the 29th of March. Just get in touch if you are down.

2. Stand Up Paddling 

As you might already know we are providing stand up paddleboard (SUP) trips and courses now. The courses are held on both the Oslo Fjord and Sognsvann; also guided trips down the magical Akerselva River. We have just completed all the new SUP pages on our website so if you are curious I encourage you to shoot on over and take a look for yourself. 

3. Intermediate guided trip with professional coaching

These courses are something I have been thinking about doing for a while now. I really enjoy teaching but I don’t always want the trip to be about instruction and making you guys pass tests. Over the 2-3 days, we will concentrate on just getting out there and having fun. This could be exploring an interesting cove, rock formations, or water life. It could be playing in the surf and swell, practising techniques or talking theory around the campfire. Basically, I leave it in your hands how much you want to learn. There won’t be any mandatory skills you need to show as there is no formal qualification. I would recommend this trip for those of you who have completed your NPF Grunnkurs and Teknikkurs and want a relaxing and fun place to improve your skills. It could also be perfect for those of you who want to touch up your skills before sitting the NPF Akitivitetsleder Kurs. 

Before I blab on too long, I want you all to know that this trip will be run for both river and sea kayaking. The trip dates will be held on the same dates as popular kayaking festivals so you get to also experience a cool event. For more info check out our website, Facebook or call us! 

4. Guided sea kayaking tours

We now have added a 3hr sea kayak tour around the Bygdøy Peninsula and around the Sandvika   Archipelago. These tours are perfect for absolute beginners and for those who have just completed their NPF introkurs or Grunnkurs and want to get back out on the water and explore more of Oslo Fjord. 

5. Multi-day Sea kayak trips

Mad Goats themselves are not providing these but there is a new kid in town: Nordic Paddling. Nordic Paddling specialises in longer paddling expeditions for all skills ranges. Check them out – https://www.nordicpaddling.no

Office

Since Mad Goats has gotten waaaaaaay busier, we have decided to get a 2 person office down near the Opera House. If you want to come and say hello, the address is Dronning Eufemias gate 16 and is situated in the Barcode area in Bjørvika. Our full-time admin, Michelle, will be working Monday to Friday from 0900 – 1700 and is more than happy to answer all your queries and is always up for a good ol chin wag! I will be there too, but mostly concentrating on business development and creating cool media to keep you guys entertained – whoop whoop!

 

New gear and equipment  

Mad Goats Paddling will be upgrading their kayak fleet this summer. We plan to buy 6 new Northshore sea kayaks from Eian Fritid. These kayaks are top of the line quality and we can assure a comfortable and smooth ride. We will also be ordering in 5 new Dagger RPM’s for our river kayaking courses and Akerselva trips. I learnt how to kayak in these boats way back in the day and have my highest mark of approval. 

New guides 

New goats are joining the herd. We have our head guide, Charles, coming all the way from New Zealand. Karl the Danish canoe and sea kayak expert, Tormod zee Norwegian student kayaker and Filip the Swedish adventurer and tale spinner. Yas, we are lacking in female guides and we are not super happy with that. So please, if you know any ladies out there wanting to guide and instruct paddling, then please send them our way! Ps, I will make a video of the guides and update all guide profiles on our page closer to the season. Stay tuned – meeeeeaaaaaah! 

 

Locations 

We will, of course, be operating down beside the Opera House as we have for the last 3 summers. Our main base this year, where we store all the kayaks, vans and trailers will be at Sollerudstranda in Lysaker. Sollerudstranda is a lovely destination to kayak and SUP and we will launch our Bygdøy, Sandvika and Grunnkurs-hav tour and course from here. It is only a quick 20-minute train ride from the central station, so no worries! And guess what, there is parking! – Yippee.

Picking up rubbish

Recently I have been bleating about our new clean up initiative: we are giving free trips down Akerselva to those people who want to pick up rubbish on the way down. All you need to do is go onto our webpage and sign up and we will draw a winner once every week. 

Bymiljøtaten, Akerselva Venner, Mad Goats and Oslo Elve forum are organising a big clean event down Akerselva on the 7th of May. We will start from Vulkan and make our way down to the Opera House filling up bags as we go. Just get in touch if you want to join. 

As you know, we are all facing an unprecedented plastic and climate crisis. Mad Goats are committed to playing their part in fixing this for future generations. 

 

Projects and future plans 

At the moment, Mad Goats are working really hard to figure out a permanent solution for kayak and SUP storage. It is not easy around the central waterfront, even though we try so hard to give back to the Oslo community and offer healthy and environmental services. Because of this, we have decided to start building a floating paddle storage, since we figure that if Oslo City Council cannot allow us a tiny bit of storage space on land, then they shouldn’t have an issue with us using the vast waters of the Oslo Fjord. Please get in touch if you hear of any storage solutions; we would be forever grateful. 

At the moment there is a larger conflict going on down by the Opera House. All the operators who believe in sustainable and inclusive activities are currently trying to halt the construction of the planned photo museum on Sukkerbiten. This building will use a huge amount of resources and will not solve the root-level societal and environmental problems we are all facing. There are many other places you can build a photo museum but this area should be for the people of Oslo. It is also not in line with Oslo being the Green Capital of Europe. We already have the Opera House, the Munch Museum and the new library. Do we need another resource-draining behemoth in Bjørvika? Everyone should be able to come down here and enjoy activities that bring them closer to each other, the water and the environment. If this sounds like something you would support, then I urge you to go onto Facebook and follow Sukkerbitens Venner. 

 

Thanks for reading you stuffy bunch of amazing goats – catch you on the water! 

Tomas Hansson 

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