What’s SUP? Local start-up PADL looking to expand unique service throughout Florida and beyond
Andres Avello, Felipe Jauregui and Khalil Khouri grew up together in Key Biscayne, enjoying water-sports and “pretty much anything water related,” says Avello.
Little did the friends imagine that after leaving the key and going different ways, they would return to the island and form a business called PADL.They also didn’t know that their business -- a unique rental concept involving Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) -- would move so quickly from a prototype location at Key Biscayne Beach Park to an additional six locations in Florida since November.
If the friends have their way, there will be even more expansion coming.
“Our diverse experiences uniquely prepared us for this venture.” said Jauregui, who has an aviation sales background. The expertise of Khouri, son of local doctors Susana and Roger Khoury, is mechanical engineering and robotics. Avello, the start-up company’s CEO, has experience in software development.
To help fund their expansion plans, the three have launched a campaign on the equity crowdfunding website, SeedInvest, in hopes of continuing to expand in Florida and eventually the nation, Avello said.
PADL is, according to their filing, “the first company to bring water sports into the Sharing Economy,” with self-service, automated paddle board rental stations. The company’s patented proprietary technology “makes it easy for riders to seamlessly rent a paddle board from their smart device and get out on the water,” the filing says.
Stand Up Paddleboarding has grown in popularity in recent years, but the boards are large and not convenient to store, Avello said, adding: “Our goal is to make watersports more accessible.”
PADL provides self-serve stations where enthusiasts can rent boards, enjoy time on the water, then return the equipment. Each PADL station is self-sustainable, operating 100% on solar. The stations house four paddle boards equipped with GPS and Bluetooth technology.
PADL’s low operating costs allow them to offer the best hourly rental prices to riders, and convenient monthly memberships.
“When we launched in Key Biscayne, they were charging by the hour for paddle use,” Avello said. PADL opted to use a low $25/month rental fee, and customers can use the equipment two hours per day, seven days per week.
Reception has been excellent, said Avello. Since launching in Key Biscayne in August of 2019, riders have logged 1,200 rides totaling 1,500 hours on the water and more than 450 miles. The paddle boards can measure time used and distance traveled.
PADL continues to expand their stations. “Fiesta Key, just south of Islamorada, is our highest volume location, it is inside an RV resort and campground.” Other stations are now as far north as Vero and Gainesville.
Avello said the SeedInvest capital drive allows the local community to invest in a locally-owned company and “expand with us.” Avello says they hope to add an additional 50 locations in 2021.
Disclaimer: PADL is offering securities under Regulation CF and Rule 506(c) of Regulation D through SI Securities, LLC ("SI Securities"). The Company has filed a Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its offering, a copy of which may be obtained at https://www.seedinvest.com/padl/seed