In the current age of entire generations glued to their 5.5″ smartphone screens, it’s hard to believe that anybody would have trouble finding what they’re looking for after 5 seconds on Google, but this website it proving that’s not the case.
Travelling to exotic places goes hand in hand with the spirit of getting lost in the wild and throwing inhibition to the wind, a fact to which any seasoned jet-setter can attest.
When audacious traveller Oli Russell-Cowan found himself abroad with an appetite for living on the edge and no idea where to find it, he decided to take action into his own hands, literally. Fast forward to 2017 and his brainchild Rad Season is a successful online directory for those looking to immerse themselves in the adrenaline of extreme sports and adventures wherever they may find themselves, and Oli’s gift to his fellow travellers.
We caught up with Oli to pick his brains about action, adventure, and what makes a holiday ‘rad’.
Rad Season is a unique booking / information service, tell us about what inspired you to create it?
The concept for Rad Season came about when I was trekking around Latin America on a four month trip on my honeymoon two years ago. I found it hard to find cool events and festivals going on that were a bit different and had an element of adventure and general radness to them.
I knew that there was always something rad worth going to somewhere in the world at one point in time, but there was no single platform bringing information together for like-minded people. If you were to get lucky and hear about an event in time, you still have to pull up multiple websites to work out all your travel details, accommodation, transport, and reviews. I wanted to eliminate the click work by integrating all these elements and making the planning process seamless to get people stoked on discovering their next adventure.
The website covers a lot of extreme sports and activities, any particular favourites of yours?
I’d have to say I’m a little biased towards the surfing and snowboarding events. I spent the last 18 years making most major decisions based around where the waves would be good and then deciding to move there, haha 😉 Not the best corporate career advice, but it’s been fun.
You couldn’t pay me to do Tough Mudder – are there any extreme events you’d never be game enough to try yourself?
I’d love to say I’d be up for doing an ultra marathon one day. However some ultra’s are completely nuts! Like the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, an epic high altitude running race in Mont Blanc, France. There are also loads of crazy running and adventure races in the jungle, deserts and across the Antarctic that I probably won’t be doing this year ;-). We took at look at where to find the toughest events in the world and have to say there are some serious challenges out there if you’re game enough.
You’ve an obvious passion for travel, any hidden gems you’ve found that our readers need to put on their bucket list?
I went to Taiwan last October and absolutely loved it! The Taiwanese are some of the friendliest people in the world. As soon as we landed at the airport, locals were coming up to us asking where we were going and if we needed any help. This happened about 5 times even before we got to our hotel. I was blown away by their amazing hospitality. We were lucky enough to get a Typhoon swell on the East coast of Taiwan when we were there. The waves were all time! It was like Indonesia but without the crowds. The food was incredible, loads of epic street food markets in every major town across the country and if you like gadgets Taipei is the place to be. I would go back to Taiwan in a heart beat.
What does your ‘dream’ extreme holiday entail?
That’s a tricky one. Overall I’m looking for a holiday were I get to combine a rad event with experiencing a sport in epic surroundings. For example, I’d love to check out Red Bull Rampage in Utah in US and see the pro mountain bikers flying down cliffs and then ride some of the less gnarly bike trails in the area. Also I’m super keen to go heli-boarding in Canada. Iceland is also on my list for an Icelandic summer festival/ remote surfing trip.
Where do you see Rad Season in 5 years – hosting your own events maybe?
Haha, we’d love to host our own events one day. The plan is to be the one-stop shop for all action sports events and adventure events and festivals worldwide. We are looking into Rad TV and Rad Jobs and to grow our community where like minded people can find out what’s going on and connect across the platform.
What’s next on your itinerary?
6 weeks ago my wife gave birth to our first child so we are planning on going on an extended trip to New Zealand in May. We will spend 5 weeks in a camper van travelling around the north and south island with the little ‘Radling’. At the end of May we are heading over to Europe for 4 months for work and play. We’re planning on going to a few festivals over there such as Running with the Bulls in Spain. Then we are finishing off in Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest at the end of September. Prost!
Any other ideas for new projects in the pipeline?
We are looking at partnering with Ambassadors to help athletes out travelling for an event or simply going away to train. We are also keen to collaborate with travel writers, photographers, videographers and bloggers going on rad adventures.
We are working on partnering with action sports charities to give back to the community and preserve what we sometimes may take for granted.
What’s your biggest achievement with the website so far?
I am really excited to announce the launch of our new website RadSeason.com and company video. Users can now have access to hundreds of events around the world and arrange their travel and accommodation all from one site without having to research ten different websites to plan their trip.