The Quiver: an Airbnb way to rent surfboards

Joe Wilson The Quiver CEO joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the outlook for his company amid covid-19.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: You've heard about the sharing economy for cars. You've heard about it for homes. But now there's a company that's using that same exact concept for surfboards. So for that, we want to bring in Joe Wilson. He's the CEO of Quiver.

And Joe, it's great to have you on the show. Let's just start with, how does it work? Because is it similar to what maybe me and a lot of our viewers think of when we go to rent a house on Airbnb, but instead of a house, it's just a surfboard?

JOE WILSON: Thanks, Seana. Thanks so much for having me today. That's right. Quiver is a two-sided marketplace connecting surfers with surfboards on-demand. Think Airbnb, but for surfboard rentals anywhere in the world.


ADAM SHAPIRO: I'm curious, how much does a surfboard cost? And why would someone want to do this, as opposed to just get their own board?

JOE WILSON: We see different-- different prices based on the owners of the boards, and that can range anywhere from $20 a day to up to $60 a day, depending on the condition and the type of the board in the area that it's going to be surfed.

SEANA SMITH: Hey, Joe, you've been around for a couple of years. I think your company started five or six years ago. How has it evolved over those years, just in terms of how consumers' preferences has changed, and also just, I guess, how you've identified new areas of opportunity?

JOE WILSON: Yeah, absolutely. So what started actually as an experiment in California and New York has now grown into a community of surfers board sharing in 20 countries. So we've seen a lot of growth in different markets and where people are connecting and sharing boards. And it's really a special thing to be able to help that connection and-- and see people meeting each other in different parts of the world.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, where are the biggest markets? Is it Australia? Is in California? I doubt it's Manhattan.

JOE WILSON: Yeah, the US and Australia are, by far, our biggest markets. We focus mostly on those two markets, but we have seen board sharing growing in other-- other unique destinations as well.

SEANA SMITH: Joe, what about COVID, because I think a lot of players here in the sharing economy have taken a hit to their business? People are a little bit more hesitant to rent something from somebody else. They want to keep their distance. Have you seen any evidence of that?

JOE WILSON: Sure. Yeah, that's a great question. And actually, surfing is up across the board. Surfboards are flying off the shelves. People have more flexibility now with remote work, and they're using that opportunity to get back out in the water, disconnect from everything else. And surfing is a socially distant sport, and it's also a sport that's not expensive. So we're seeing-- especially here in the US, we're seeing a ton of surfboard rentals and a big increase in business.

ADAM SHAPIRO: So as somebody who's never surfed, I'm curious, the investment that someone who does surf makes in a board, is it $1,000? Is it $5,000? And what do you look for in a board? I would imagine there are different kinds of quality. Are they made of wood? Are they made of fiberglass? Tell us all about that.

JOE WILSON: Absolutely. There are so many different types of board constructions, different dimensions from the length to width, the thickness, the fin setups. There are so many different types of boards that one thing about Quiver that's great is it allows surfers to experiment and test out different types of boards. Typically, you're looking to invest maybe $600 to $1,000 on a new board, depending what type of surfboard, and what brand, et cetera. But with Quiver, it gives you the opportunity to really test out different boards before you invest into buying a board to find out what you really like and what really works for you.

SEANA SMITH: So has the majority, then, of your users been people who are trying it out for the first time because they don't want to invest in a board right off the bat?

JOE WILSON: We actually get a great mix of different surfers. So we get surfers, experienced veteran surfers, who are traveling that don't want to travel with their boards and-- and pay the excessive oversized baggage fees, which a lot of the airlines are charging. And we also get the newer surfer who's experimenting with different types of boards. But we're-- we're trying to give opportunities to all different types of surfers so they can all try different types of boards and experiment with different types of boards, regardless of how long you've been surfing and your experience level.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Joe Wilson, great to have you on the show, CEO of Quiver. Certainly, we'll check in with you in a little bit. All the best to you and your team.

JOE WILSON: Thank you so much for having me.