Would you rent equipment? Subscription model?

Just brainstorming here…

There is a ton of gear churn in foiling. Often the gear is perfectly good (and current model year) but people sell it at a big loss to try new things. The buy/resell market is very inefficient and maybe there is a better way?

What annual “subscription price” would you pay to rent whatever foil you wanted and trade it out at any time? Does anyone already do this - if not why? Is there a better way to go about it? I don’t know enough about the margins in wholesale vs retail to know how viable the economics are here - if anyone can opine that could be helpful. My counterintuitive intuition is that people are willing to pay less for a subscription than they are willing to lose on buy/resell.

@ProjectCedrus - Bundling a sale of your mast (given that its a great mast and is brand-agnostic) into this subscription could be super interesting.

I think this would be a great concept in winging and downwind where you often learn on one size board and then downsize within 3-9 months. This makes it daunting (and expensive) to enter the sport and results in a lot of waste. Problem is that shipping these boards is probably too expensive to make the economics work.

There is a bicycle reseller (theproscloset.com) that kind of does something like this, but its more like a guaranteed buyback vs a true subscription. Im also not sure how successful they have been, although thats probably more to do with overexpansion during covid than a flaw in the business model.

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Thanks @Velocicraptor I think this is an interesting idea. I have toyed around the idea of leasing masts, or “rent to own.” In fact, I actually bought back a few masts from clients who moved on and resold them as “certified pre-owned.” It was obviously less profitable than selling new, but it is a win-wind for me, the client, the environment, and the buyer. I think the business model works really well for Cedrus because it’s on a 5-year lifecycle. An Evolution mast purchased today will still have value 4-5 years from now. Just ask my launch customers from Project Cedrus in 2018. It doesn’t work well for brands who update their product every year. As soon as I have adequate supply to consider alternative business models, I will. I could see renting masts to riders who are going on trips and need a certain length. Or as you say, beginners who need a shorty just to learn. Or having local ambassadors in popular spots with a paid demo fleet and adapters. Flying with gear absolutely sucks. So yeah I’m totally open to exploring these alternative business concepts, when the business has the bandwidth to do so.

Side note RE: theproscloset. They are awesome. I’ve bought two bikes from them, both times trading in used. It’s an excellent product/service, but also a casualty of the COVID-induced bike boom. I think they’ll make it, but like a lot of brands they got a little big a little too fast and now have to sustain those high operating costs during a period of negative growth. Same thing is happening in the foil world. If I would have hired and grown like I probably could have in 2021/22, Cedrus might not exist now. But I stayed small and nimble, and am glad I did. I really admire theproscloset and hope they make it!


Thanks for the response. I was more thinking that it would be a good way to sell your masts - if someone is going to be subscribing to try a lot of gear they will value the brand-agnostic design feature of your masts. I also feel like a good mast is a multi-year investment and doesn’t really need to be traded out as much as other gear (although I’m sure people will disagree with me). That is originally why I got a Cedrus mast and it served me well.

I actually haven’t ever bought from Pros Closet, but I sold three bikes to them during Covid (when there was huge scarcity) and still can’t believe what they paid me! I think they ultimately got hung with a lot of inventory that they paid top dollar for. If I’m not mistaken, they took some PE money and had to chase scale that probably wasn’t there - a tale as old as time…

I would pay a per rental fee, but probably not a monthly subscription fee. Like if I just wanted to try a new front wing or mast out before buying it, I would pay to rent that for a month and send it back.

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I’ve talked to a shop about doing a plan similar to how Apple sells iPhones. Buy it now on a payment plan, in a year you can turn it in for “half price” and keep the payment plan going for the new thing. They will then have a steady stream of used gear to resell. Everyone wants to buy used gear, not new gear. 1 week after release people will be asking if anyone has the latest hotness for sale used.

It’s a lot of money to put out up front for the shop is the issue. Once you have customers doing it then you’d be fine. I think it would work. Just the initial investment for might be to high for a small shop.

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Axis wings for rent!
Try before you buy.

Front wings $100/month rental fee:
BSC 810 (buy for $350)
BSC 890 (buy for $300)
ART 1099 (buy for $350)

Stabs $50/month rental fee
325 Progressive (buy for $175)
375 Progressive (buy for $175)

Renter to pay sale price up front, and then will be refunded difference when returned
If you fuck it up, you buy it.

All wings are in Reno, NV.
Local pickup or renter pays shipping.

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Volunteering for ambassador. I have 2 classic Cedric’s masts and there are a ton of prone foilers at the local, and even more prone,downwind, wing and tow foilers on the island

What do you think someone is willing to pay to be able to swap out gear? Code for a couple months, try the Uni for the next few and then FOne after that… run them all on the Cedrus and don’t worry about resale. seems pretty appealing to me.

I’m genuinely interested as to whether there is a business here.

Its definitely an interesting idea and I would be willing to pay for that. However the cedrus mast wouldn’t work for me as its too draggy, especially on the new wings that are fast, its kind of common knowledge these days. I bought the cedrus classic and was shocked at how draggy it was on the kujira v1. I am now using the Fone sk8 and eagle that are almost double the speed of those kujiras… Those wings are best matched with ~14mm thick masts, Fone and Allure have stiff, thin and non ventillating masts (there might be others, thats what I tried).
For heavier riders and slower foils it might be ok, but you would loose a big portion of customers (rather light and riding fast gear) with a cedrus. Benefit of the doubt on the new cedrus (?), but probably too draggy for a lot of ppl if I had to guess.
The foil shop in california is doing a system that is close to the idea I think, where you can try a bunch of gear before buying.

@foilstate please stop complaining about a mast designed in 2017. The new Evolution Cedrus has just as good if not better glide and speed than any mast currently on the market. This has been validated by multiple team riders and shop owners. Your “guess” is not accurate and not adding any value to this discussion.


I think it’s a smart idea. Cost of entry is a growth limiter for foiling. Not many people can afford $2-3k to just “try it out.” Minimizing the risk with a one month rental is a smart option. I probably would’ve tried the sport a year earlier if there was a rental option.


I think it’s a great idea in theory as a consumer and i would be willint to pay for it. There is no real business there in practice though in my opionin. It would even in a best case scenario only really apply to a small part of the foiling market so you would have a small share of a very small and niche market. It would require a large upfront investment and the marginal operating costs are high per re-use (shipping, handling and probably customer service/replacing damaged foils).

I also think you might be fighting some of the same forces that are making the resell market so bad. I’ve been puzzled by why the second hand market is so bad given how expensive the gear is. My two best theories are that foilers are instagram herd animals where people only wanna ride whatever is currently in the limelight. The other is that the typical foiler is a middle aged man with more disposable income than time. (I have absolutely no supporting evidence for this theory, and I’ll be more than happy to hear counterpoints.) Assuming I’m right though, both of those will be negative for the rental model. If everyone always wants to ride the latest thing at the same time you either have to buy too much inventory that will depreciate too fast or you’ll always have a ton of angry customers that have to wait in a long line. If the average foiler has too much disposable income she (but sadly more likely he) will simply keep buying new as renting is almost as bothersome as dealing with flaky people on online second hand market places

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Fair enough, my apologies. Benefit of the doubt on the new cedrus, can’t judge without trying first.
My point was (beyond cedrus), people wanting to rent or swap gear probably want to try the latest gear coming out, including new masts from brands.

https://www.theridery.com/fr/ offers exactly the service you are talking about here in Europe, well actually they have 2 distinct services:

they do rentals (from hourly/daily rentals up to monthly rentals) which you can either pick up at one of their multiple locations or have the gear shipped to you. Price seem to be 94-102€ per week and 380-410€ per month for a full gear set-up (board + wing + foil)

They also have a leasing program where you sign up for a 12 month lease, with either the option of buying the gear at the end, or sending it back. Then you can either sign-up for a new lease with new gear or buy your own gear.

The system is nice, I believe the company started mainly with kiting gear in 2018 and winging is a more recent addition, it allows you to rent and try gear even if you don’t have shops local to you offering demo’s because they ship the gear. The economic’s seem to work as they have 7 shops now (6 in France and 1 in Belgium), they also offer to rent all accessories like board bags, wetsuits, kiting harnesses, etc …

Disclaimer : I have never tried any of their services, However I feel they do not cater to the kind of crowd here (as in high performance, prone, downwind, etc…), the selection of gear isn’t endless, they offer gear from big name brands (F-One,Takuma, etc …) but it doesn’t seem like you can rent the latest and greatest (Sk8 or kujira II for example) at least from what the website shows. It seems to cater to the beginner/intermediate crowd, to those who don’t want the hassle of buying and selling gear, and to the occasional rider.

For example one of their stores is in Paris, which is a 2-3 hours drive to the nearest coastline. I would imagine someone living in the capital who goes only a couple weeks a year on a trip to the coast or abroad would be the perfect customer to rent gear to, they would rent everything for the trip, adapt what they plan on renting depending on wind/swell forecasts a couple days out, not worry about having to store gear in an apartment, etc …