“The algorithm I created was based on simple physics, that is why it was so powerful and robust.”
“We want surfers to ride the board they deserve...”
- BoardLine® co-founders Louis-Romain Plumerault and Philippe Sabuco
Two Frenchmen venture on a business journey to create a better surfing experience.
Surfing technology is about to get personal with BoardLine®
Both of you work and spend your time between Biarritz and Paris, France - tell us more about your careers?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: I am a Water Sciences Engineer specializing in Environmental sciences. I also have a Ph. D. in fluid mechanics, focused in the field of Coastal Engineering. Furthermore I have studied ocean waves and their impact on coastal protection structures. My advanced education in mathematics and physics has led me to analyzing and improving the make and nature of surfboards.
Philippe Sabuco: I hold a Master of Political Science and a MSc in Banking and Finance. I first wanted to work in the public sector but my plans changed after completing a number of public administration internships. The banking sector came as a surprise, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Given my academic background, I started my career as an economist. Now, I’m a Sales Development Manager. I gradually moved from an analytical to a sales position.
How and why did you develop BoardLine®?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: At the time I was not entirely satisfied with my surfing equipment, when I was going for a surf during my lunch break, I still had the equation from my research work very much in my thoughts. I started to think more about the process of surfing, the nature of waves and the composition of equipment. With this I devised a simple mathematical approach to compute the best dimensions for a surfboard. The algorithm I created was based on simple physics, that is why it was so powerful and robust.
Philippe Sabuco: When Louis-Romain told me about the algorithm that he had developed, I was very enthusiastic. Personally, I was also looking for such a tool as a young surfer. So I told him: “if we are both in need of this, it means that many other surfers are looking for it as well. Therefore we should make it available to the largest number of surfers…”. That is how it all began!
What are your future plans for the business and how do you want to develop the company further?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: We want to help people enjoy and improve their surfing. BoardLine® is all about pleasure and improvement. We have already started to build quite a nice community around the app and we intend to go (way) further with it.
Philippe Sabuco: We want to position ourselves as surfboard equipment advisor's offering services to better help surfers in choosing their boards. BoardLine® app will integrate a number of services and functionalities to guide surfers with their choices. We want surfers to ride the board they deserve – in order to enjoy and improve their experience.
Therefore would the goal be - whenever you think about investing in surf gear - make sure you use BoardLine® first?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: You got us!
Philippe Sabuco: That would be a great achievement!
How did you fund and monetize the business?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: We are in a very productive ecosystem right now, as we are advised by seasoned business individuals who are helping us achieve our goals. Wait until you see BoardLine® V2.0 (soon), it is going be super fun!
Philippe Sabuco: So far, our funding needs have been at a manageable level, Louis-Romain developed the app and we handled everything by ourselves. However, to release a second version of the app, we are looking to raise capital. We plan to fund half of it by ourselves (equity) and the other half thanks to public contribution. We have a number of ideas of how to monetize the set-up which we are keeping confidential for now. Our main challenge is to grow as fast as we can to reach a critical mass as soon as possible. When we reach this point it will be easier for us to gain the trust of investors and develop the business side properly.
Tell us more about your surfing exploits?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: I started surfing with Philippe 15 years ago. Then I went to several countries in Europe, Morocco, the US a few times, Indonesia...It is a bit cliché to say but for me Bali is still one of the best surfing destinations on Earth.
Philippe Sabuco: I have been surfing for nearly 20 years, but I’m an average surfer – I don't practice enough. I love surfing in Biarritz (France), I have also enjoyed surfing in Bali and Costa Rica. This summer I am going to Sri Lanka!
Have there been any highlights since you have launched the company?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: Every time we see a bump in the number of BoardLiners on the planet!
Philippe Sabuco: Every day is a new challenge, but for sure great events happened from time to time. For instance, a few Australian shapers came to France and shared their views on the app with us. We are also part of a business incubation process that will help us grow faster.
If you could name your own planet - what would you call it?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: I think I would call it Karuna - which mean compassion in Tibetan.
Philippe Sabuco: Earth!
Words of advice for the youth of the planet?
Louis-Romain Plumerault: Cultivate your ability to be present to yourself, to 'feel' without thinking. That's where the real intelligence is.
Philippe Sabuco: Be honest with yourself!
Find out more: BoardlineApp.com for more details or connect with BoardLine® on Facebook.