The dream that is StokeShare launched in April of 2015. Our mission was clear: change the world…
Can an online marketplace solve global problems? Yes
Can we build a community of thinkers, doers, and adventurers? Yes
Will people be inspired to help connect kids to nature through action sports? Yes
We are creating something beautiful and will need your help in 2016. Before we go there though, let’s reflect on our favorite moments from 2015:
Who is Using StokeShare.com?
Turns out all kinds of people from all over the world: France, Peru, and Australia come to mind. I can’t wait to meet them all but for now, I’ll tell you about a favorite user, from my hometown in Venice Beach, CA. Hilary, a graphic designer, tri-athlete, and most importantly, mother of two young kids. She lists her 11’ Jimmy Styx Standup Paddleboard for $18/day. As a working mom raising two kids in an expensive city, her budget has competing interests. Like all of us, she’d love a new toy—in her case a new bike for triathlons, and she’s working on it. She uses money made on stokeshare.com to fund her next bike.
Responsible and rad…thank you, Hilary.
Making a Dream Come True
Warren and I created StokeShare to fulfill personal needs. We met as sustainability professionals in the Bay Area and started surfing together. During a session at San Francisco’s famous break, Ocean Beach, we talked about action sports we always dreamed of trying but had trouble accessing. I always wanted to kitesurf and whitewater kayak. Warren longed to become an underwater hunter and spearfisher. Looking out at San Francisco from the water, we knew there were people out there that would love to share their stoke with us. We just had to create the community. Fast forward to August of last year, a few months after launching stokeshare.com. Warren was heading to Baja, Mexico for camping, surfing and hopefully, spearfishing. A cool guy in San Diego had all the spearfishing gear Warren needed posted for rent on StokeShare. On his way to Baja, he picked it up, got an introduction to how to use it all safely, and even got some tips on what spots are best in Mexico.
We solved our own problem. Sick.
International Travel Made Easy
Adventurers from around the world contact us every day. We have users in Australia, France, Peru, Argentina, Thailand, the UK, Puerto Rico, and Sweden. All are fueled by a desire to live, travel, connect and explore. A few weeks before Christmas, a dude from Sweden reached out after discovering StokeShare. He and his girlfriend would be traveling to San Francisco, where they would then embark on a California adventure, camping and surfing down the coast on their way to Los Angeles. With no gear to lug around from home, our new friend was able to book camping gear, surfboards, and wetsuits on stokeshare.com in San Francisco. Then, to make the experience even easier, he was able to drop the gear off in Los Angeles with a friend of the lister he rented from in San Francisco.
European travelers got a local experience on the west coast. The best part…the cool people from StokeShare they connected with along the way.
One Watershed – Everything We Do Has an Impact Downstream
Protecting the wild places we love to play in is core to our company. Warren and I wouldn’t have built a company unless we believed it could have a positive impact on the environment. The sharing economy promotes more efficient use of assets, thereby reducing consumption and waste. Enabling easier access to the outdoors will foster environmental awareness across our society. But we knew we had to go further. We wanted to help kids, and specifically, those kids who are less likely to have access to nature. In 2015, we ran three events in Los Angeles and San Francisco where we partnered with at-risk youth non-profits, environmental conservation organizations, and volunteers from the StokeShare community to give kids a fun, adventure experience.
We intend to measure our success not by the money we make but by the number of kids we get outdoors. 2015 was just the beginning…