Renting sport equipment can be a hassle and expensive. Your only other option would be to bring your own equipment, but who wants to bring a surfboard or a bike on a plane? Nicholas Woodhams, Founder of Adventure Pass, faced that same issue. Luckily, we now have a better option. He set out to create an alternate way that gets you affordable rental equipment without the hassle of lugging it around from place to place, and fits in your back pocket! As Nicholas would say, Adventure Pass is your passport to adventure by providing member-only discounts on gear around the world. As a member of the British army, he’s no stranger to adventure that awaits around every corner and has now made it easily accessible to everyone.
What is Adventure Pass?
An Adventure Pass gets you discounts from 25 -100 percent on sports equipment rental and tuition around the world for an annual fee. You can buy it online or at one of our partner rental shops. Having these discounts at your fingertips helps to turn your travels into adventures.
How is Adventure Pass different from owning or renting sporting equipment?
If you own equipment you and want to travel you will have to pay most airlines to carry it for you. Then you have the hassle of transporting your gear from the airport to your hotel. However, with our passes it’s a lot cheaper to simply forgo those hassles and costs and rent in all the places you are traveling.
Where did the idea of Adventure pass come about?
It was two things really. I toured Iraq and Afghanistan with the British army and I would be given a large amount of leave. I always took off kitesurfing for 5-6 weeks and was very bored of dragging all my gear around the place but rental costs were prohibitively high for that length of time. Secondly, we’re lucky in the army to be given lots of adventurous training for free. The idea is you push soldiers out of their comfort zone so they understand how to deal with fear. I think this is great for personal development whether you’re a soldier or not. So, I set out to make trying adventurous sports cheaper for everyone not just the wealthy and military. I realized if I could get the buying power of a lot people like me and partner with outward bound charities I would be able to arrange sizable discounts on gear rental.
Adventure Pass is launching in September 2017. Who will be the first travelers that are eligible to get this card?
The first people to receive our club pass, which is our 25 percent discount pass, will be disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK who have completed one of the outward-bound courses that our amazing charity partners run. We have four other cards too. Three sport specific passes (green for mountain biking, blue for watersports & silver for snow sports) they give holders free rental for a year of all the equipment specific to those sports. They are aimed at people who have recently taken up a sport and want to try different gear out. Finally, we have the Premier Pass which gets you free rental of all gear and that’s aimed at the long-term travelers, people taking gap years, sabbaticals, career breaks, etc.
Currently, Adventure Pass is in tech development. What has been the biggest hurdle and how was it overcome?
It’s foolish to build tech before you have customers, I think you have find your customers and work out what they need then try and find tech that can deliver and match it to the information you want to get. So, the biggest hurdle is trying not build something because you’re itching to and you know it’s much easier to sell something that exists.
How does the app and website assist with Adventure Pass?
It’s a great interface, it tells you where your nearest shop is, what other users think of that shop, lets you book your gear in advance and look at your history. Also allows you to review the gear you’ve hired and send that feedback to equipment manufacturers. In the future you’ll get snow reports, wave reports weather reports and maps.
You have also been a Business Development Adviser for Advntur and Co-Founder of KiteShare.org. How has these businesses help prepare you for Adventure Pass?
All those businesses were in the same industry and in their own way were solving the same issue, which is that action sports equipment is expensive to buy, expensive to travel with and expensive to rent. Going through the process of customer acquisition taught me about getting the lowest barrier to entry and about making sure you have a singular, clear message/vision for your customers to get behind.
How was the experience being the British army and how has it made you into the traveler you are today?
With the Army, I traveled a lot and saw parts of the world you simply can’t go to. Some of these places are breathtakingly beautiful with the most wonderful warm hearted people trying to eke out very basic lives. I wish we could all visit them because we would not be so quick to advocate violet action against them. So, I travel now because I think that, as Mark Twain said “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”
What are some of the main goals you most want to accomplish in professional career?
The big one is to grow a company that does some good in the world. To get there I’d like to use the leadership skills I gained in the military to grow a strong, happy, inspired team that can execute that goal.
When you are having a stressful day at the office, how do you like to unwind?
If I’m in California, I’ll go surfing. If I’m back in Scotland, I’ll go Kitesurfing or catch a film. I love the escapism of a cinema.
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
I speak a dialect of Farsi called Dari.
More about Nicholas:
Personal Mantra: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
De-Stress Technique: Imagining myself back on a beach in Egypt with my younger self next to me telling me it’ll be OK.
Latest Gadget: Thin collapsible USB wall plug.
Favorite App: Skyscanner
Favorite Travel Brand: The Adventurists
Next Vacation Destination: Oman