Traveling with surfboards is an enormous hassle. Fees through the roof and board bags knocking small children from their mother’s grasp. Zippers explode at the worst times, spilling soggy wetsuits and moldy towels onto the airport floor. All too often, careless baggage handlers turn your prized possessions into tiny flecks of fiberglass and foam powder, ruining the trip you’ve been planning for months. So what’s the answer? Sure, you could rent, but you’ve seen those rental boards. Waterlogged and dinged. Wax full of someone’s chest hair. And never, I mean never as good as your trusty magic stick.
We’re living in an interesting age right now. The gig economy is taking over. Uber and Lyft and Airbnb are padding the bank accounts of anyone who’s got some extra time or some extra room. Enter The Quiver, a newly launched website that connects people with surfboards to people without. Think Airbnb, but for boards.
The lightbulb moment for The Quiver originated five years ago, and the company recently received a complete overhaul. “My partner Rob Bonvetti originally came up with the idea back in 2014 when he was in the market for a new board and researching options online,” Joe Wilson, Founder and CEO of The Quiver, explained. “He then started thinking about how nice it would be to demo a board before actually sinking money into buying one. We shared this same realization that there needed to be a marketplace to rent boards and fast forward to today, we’ve partnered up and I’m leading the big relaunch of The Quiver.”
It’s a pretty simple idea: A person with a surfboard uploads an image of the board, their location, and a description. “From there,” Wilson continued, “you can start searching for the perfect board near you or where you’ll be traveling to. You can then message the board owners directly, submit a rental request with pre-payment, and then receive a confirmation once accepted.”
Chances are good, too, that wherever you’re going, there’s a person there willing to rent you a stick. “The Quiver has enabled a global board-sharing community in 20-plus countries,” Wilson said. “We have thousands of boards listed, with an even larger community of others that are renting them.”
The Quiver takes ten percent plus the Paypal fee for their troubles, while the person renting the surfboard collects the rest. Prices vary widely, but chances are good that there’s a board that will at least tickle your fancy for a few days: from eight-foot Wavestorms to 10-foot Takaymas and Firewires to Albums of all shapes and sizes. Granted, it might not tickle your fancy as well as the board that baggage guy destroyed, but hey, it’s better than mindsurfing — and who knows, you might find your next magic stick.