Co-Rider, a carpooling website dedicated to Surf and Snow riders
A perfect carpooling solution if you wish to go to surfing or skiing in France for budget price
When you want to go riding the waves or have fun in the snox powder, but your budget and transportation are issues, of course you can go for the carpooling solution.
Destination Surf met the founders of a solution 100% dedicated to all surfers, kitesurfers, snowboardeurs and skiers who want to wander the french hexagon to share a session or a weekend together, and also transportation costs.
François Naud founder of Co-Rider website, ansewered to our questions, to explain how it works and not to miss the 2015 summer surf sessions.
François hello, can you tell us who is behind the project and how did Co-Rider ?
The idea came during our long journey from Bordeaux to the coast, these long straight lines surrounded by pine trees where it is advisable to talk and to not fall asleep.
It's much more fun to make the journey with companions, sharing the costs and having also a responsible behavior...
So what is better than carpooling among surfers, when wet and sandy wetsuit are not anymore a problem for the driver.
We are 3 co-founders Jerome and Mathew Verten and myself Francois Naud. Jerome and Mathew are running a weather forecast website LiveOceanData.com. During our discussion, we were thinking on how to inject eco sustanaible notions about surf / ski / snow trips. That's how Co-rider.fr and the idea was finalized.
To launch such a project you need money investment. How did you go and what is actually your goal ?
We spended a lot of time and personal expense on the project. When a project that is close to your heart starts, you no longer think about the investment. We have long worked on the website and how it works, how it should bring services and how to implement these answers.
Our goal is that each session match one or more passengers in order to get as much people in the waves but less cars on parking. Specifically we plan to consolidate 100,000 users on the website after one year of operation.
No taxi drivers angry or Uberpopers to parasitize your business ?
No, no Ubberpop driver identified on the website ! If there is one, he will have to go surfing with his passengers, or risk wasting time and money on his race.
Knowing that the price of a Co-rider.fr session is calibrated on a defray the trip, so very little chance to find a passenger if the price is too high and if the driver's goal is to make money.
Have you received support of institutional (French Surf association, Surf and Ski resorts) ?
Yes we are partners of the French Surfing Federation, with whom we propose carpooling solution for the pro competitors who travel regularly on the stages of the french championship. And also with N'Py which manages 7 of the Pyrenees ski resorts. If you go there with Co-Rider, you can enjoy a 10% discount on packages.
How does the website works and how do you make the business ?
Our website has a very simple objective : the photo of the surf condition of the day in on line, the waves are perfect, it snowed during the night and you have to react quickly to not miss the session. Within 2 clicks Co-rider.fr help you to fill your car or find a place in a session to surf / ski / ride for cheaper and making new friends.
We get payed with a commission of 11% VAT on journeys, positioning us below what is done in the traditional carpooling market that is 12% with a fixed tax of € 1 per trip. The free model is a pin that we studied but it is difficult to create a reliable and powerful tool.
Will you work you segment by community (Surfing, Stand up Paddle, Snowboard ...) and forward all Ride Events (comps, festivals...) that will encourage groupings ?
Yes we communicate through all Ride events on which we offer a responsible journey solution but also to make it easier and cheaper. We are always very well welcome by the managers of the events because there is a high interest in working together.
If one is not necessarily surfer, bodyboarder or snowboarder, does it works also ?
We are strongly organized around water & snow sports but we know that the goal is to go together on the spot, so if a swimmer wants to carpool to share the costs and time at the beach, this is the more important fact... As long as it helps to get in touch together...
This summer, it's the perfect plan for girls who want to chase handsome surfers, taking them in on the front seat of their car ?
Well this is further to my previous answer, it's good for dating ! Afterall, each Co-riders uses the service as he wish. But for the record, we know that some photos profiles are more successful in finding passengers...
Surfers are reputed to be rebels and not always super organized, is there a way to define the good co-Rider ?
Hum, that's not quite true, the surfer is organized, we are even able to organize his day around surfing so when a web tool can help to surf more and in better conditions, there is no hesitation. A good co-rider is above all a person with whom it is very pleasant to carpool and ride.
Any special rules ? No sand on the bench, no wetsuit at the window...
We trust our co-riders, if you want good appreciations it is better done in decency. The number one rule for starting a good session is above all punctuality. A few sand on the floor is almost a detail...
To learn more and register : CO-RIDER
Working for several years in tourism in France and abroad, Jean-Hervé Cristol (aka Jean Révé) also has a large number of kilometer mark traveling around Planet Surf in search of endless summer waves.
In 2004 he created Destination Surf, the first agency specialized in Surf Travel , then Endless Summer a blog with tips, info and travel stories, in order to enjoy and share this rewarding experience with all surf travelers. → Learn more