PADL rides high tide in #MiamiTech, expands offerings to include kayaks and trail bikes

By Riley Kaminer

Surf’s up for Key Biscayne-born PADL. The self-service paddleboard rental company – which closed a $1.5 million seed round just over a year ago on top of a $250,000 crowdfund – is making waves across Florida. The startup now has 50 locations in the Sunshine State, 17 of which are in the Miami area.

Since launching in 2019, 30,000 users have ridden on PADL’s shared paddleboards. PADL’s pricing starts at $25 an hour. Their membership tiers begin at around $30 per month and give users access to paddle boards for two hours a day.

CEO Andres Avello told Refresh Miami that the company is now cash flow positive, with an ARR of between $1 million and $1.5 million.

At this point, while we’re cash flow positive, we know we can grow a lot faster,” said Avello. To that end, he signaled that PADL plans to fundraise again later this year.

“We keep signing contracts and opening up new locations,” he added. Future fundraises will help to accelerate this growth.

PADL’s expansion is not just about opening new locations, but providing additional services as well. PADL continues to partner with local paddleboarding experts to provide tours through their app. The startup is also starting to offer unique experiences such as a full moon tour to catch the fireworks on July the 4th. And in five locations across Miami, PADL has deployed rental kayaks alongside their paddle board offerings. 

Its flagship Virginia Key location also gives us a good glimpse of what is to come for PADL. There, PADL has also started offering trail bike rentals. Unlike the rest of its locations, its Virginia Key hub is what Avello describes as ‘full-service.’ 

“Self service is great for locals and travelers who want to rent their own equipment, but some people want a little bit more. Sometimes they want to learn the area they’re paddling in, they want to learn something that you wouldn’t get just from a self service. So we’ve expanded our tour operations and with that, we can provide them that experience.”

Also included in these full-service offerings are paddleboarding lessons. And visitors to the Virginia Key location can also get a glimpse at PADL’s core team of seven full-time employees. (An additional team of around 30 people work with PADL as contractors in various markets.)

The PADL team lives and breathes watersports. The latest case in point? This past weekend, co-founder and COO Khalil Khouri [pictured below] took part in the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, a race from Bimini to Lake Worth Beach. Khouri completed the race by himself this year after having participated last year as part of a four-person relay team.

Looking forward, Avello is excited to expand outside Florida – starting with other US states. Top of the list for Avello at the moment are Utah and Colorado, but the Southeastern US is also under consideration. But Avello plans for nothing less than world-wide paddleboard domination: “We want to expand to all the different areas – maybe even the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. But leaving the state at this point would be unhealthy. So we’re keeping a focus on Florida for now, with hopes to expand to other states at the tail end of this year.”

PADL co-founders, from left, Andres Avello, Khalil Khouri and Felipe Jauregui. Below, the PADL team, including the founders, celebrate Khouri’s Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis finish.


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Riley Kaminer