An Inspiring Profile: Mads Ring

April 26, 2012  //  By:   //  DISCUSS, OFF CAMPUS  //  1 comment

Mads Ring is living an awesome life in Vedbæk in Nordsjælland. He is always active and always has new innovative ideas for how to make something creative. He is very smart having studied at the Technical University of Denmark and he breaks with the typical idea of a snobbish citizen in the northern part of Sealand making a very different profile from the typical student frequented at CBS.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, school, life, interests etc.

Well, I am studying at DTU (Design and Innovation). I love the inspiring and like-minded people at the D&I program, but the university is not the primary focus of my everyday life. I live in a small shack in Vedbæk, between a big forest and the ocean. Vedbæk is probably known to a lot of people as being rich and snobbish, but because people entrench themselves in big, billion kroner houses my buddies and I can go crazy with different stupid projects and parties in the local surf-club without annoying anyone in the neighborhood. I am often in CPH which I love, but I feel my freedom there is limited. It’s the simple, efficient, post-hippie and slow life which determines my everyday life.

Spring is one big busy party. In the winter, I pass the long cold nights by designing/building a hollow wooden surfboard (HWS). The procedure is slow and steady and requires about 2 months, but every year when spring arrives my tiny workshop makes an attack on the front lawn as it transforms into an outdoor and mobile workshop. People drop by the garden with new ideas, a beer or maybe maybe just a comment on the process.

My last project was a 4’9 Paipo (HWS) ordered by a customer, which was completed in just one week, and the product turned out perfectly. Making skateboards, surfboards, repairing windsurf boards, customizing paddleboards, designing furniture, competing in industrial design comps and even building clay ovens are some of the projects I’m working on this spring.
Besides all the studying and creating, my big passion is water. It has formed the way I am. Windsurfing, sup’ing, surfing, fly-fishing, sailing, ice-surfing – no matter the conditions, there is always a reason to get in the water. Most of these activities are done on the northshore of Sealand where low-pressure often generates some rideable waves all year round. I enjoy windsurfing on everything from my small custom waveboards to gigantic 4m long sailboard from 1981!

What is your summer going to look like in 2012, staying in Denmark, traveling?

I used this past January surfing in Chile, so my travel-account still has pretty low-tide! Anyways – contrary to the winter  in Denmark the summer is one of the best places to be! Some of my friends bought a few small sailing-yachts so I think there is a big chance of making a surf-expedition to Anholt or the Baltic sea.

One week every July my bachelor-buddy and I are skippers on charter boats in the Greek Cyclades. It’s like having a holiday from the holiday even though it should be considered as “work”.

Oh – and the 1st of September I am off to Maui for a windsurfing trip!

I know you are a windsurfer, what do you love so much about it? What is your favorite spot, favorite surfer &  favorite trick?

Windsurfing is one of the water-activities where I feel the most freedom and light-minded.

Even though I surfed magazine-perfect waves all over the world, my home-spot  in Hornbæk is still my all-time favorite.

My favorite trick…? Hmm. Well, I can loop pretty well, but it definitely isn’t my favorite trick. If I wanted to do freestyle I would be kiteboarding instead. I think I would say that simply riding waves the way I do is my signature “trick”? Waveriding never tires me, and I have never stopped ANY good wave session because I thought it got boring.

Favorite windsurfer? I have seen a lot of unfamous windsurfers perform just as well as Kauli Seadi or Victor Fernandez (who both are REALLY good)! The world-champion windsurfer is probably the best competing surfer, but I believe that there are a lot more inspiring, excellent and unknown “soul” windsurfers around.

 

What other activities do you do apart from windsurfing? I know you are very creative and innovative.

As I mentioned, I am pretty immersed in fine woodworking, living simply, running the local surf club, making design projects for different companies (school/work related), cooking, travelling, and hanging around in my bungalow with friends and an uke.

I have a lot of inspiring people in my network which all have some different radical and sometimes dumb ideas. It can be anything from icesurfing, building “beer-platform-surf-catamarans,” sunrise sessions in skateparks before it gets invaded by scooters or snowkiting. The local surf-club (Vedbæk-surfklub) is also a base to a lot of really weird projects!

Money is earned through loads of different jobs. I have done different carpeting-jobs, stood-in for a television-program, repaired surfboards, been a sailing coach and windsurf-instructor and I hope to win some design-comps in the near future!

Mention your five favorite activities for the summer:

Ocean activities

Spontaneous garden BBQ’s.

Exploring

Outdoor workshops

Not wearing socks

 

What is your best advice for people who want to get out there and try something away from the usual?

1. Borrow an old car from somebody and take the ride to Nørre Vorupør aka. Nr.Vegas. It’s very different from the rest of Denmark when it comes to landscape, mentality and people. You can rent a surfboard and a bed at surfhostel.dk, and get a taste of the sweet, simple and uncomplicated west coast environment. Takes some time to gear down – but you will get used to it!

2. A lot of the best and most crazy projects I had didn’t cost a lot of money. The lack of money makes you creative. Explore your pond with a backpack and a skateboard.

3.Everything is possible if you are spontaneous and optimistic. Never stick to plans or principles!

What can we learn from Mads?

It is crucial as a business student and when working in a company to  be innovative as this also shows proactiveness. It is important to have an open and creative mindset in order to think out of the box to have an international outlook on a global scale. Mads is great at getting good ideas, but he also makes them happen which is a characteristic many companies are looking for. It proves that he has an open mind, is curious and eager to learn. His overseas travel has given him a global mindset and this has made him able to cut through complexity and get a project or a task done, also when working with a culturally diverse group. Surfing and living in a different culture teaches one to be very patient, respectful and understanding towards other cultures. Thus, even though Mads is not exactly a business student, he has a strong profile which would be highly interesting for many companies.

About the Author :

has a bachelor degree in B.Sc. International Business at the Copenhagen Business School. She is currently getting her second bachelor degree in Law at University of Copenhagen, in order to become a lawyer. She is originally from the Whiskey Belt in Northern Sealand and lived as well as studied a year on the east coast of US and six months on the west coast. She enjoys all sorts of sport, especially playing tennis, windsurfing and all other water sports and additionally loves traveling the world.

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