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Walking on Waves: North Devon's hotspot for surf lessons and hire

Author: Nathan Crossley February 5, 2019 · 4 Min read
Walking on Waves: North Devon's hotspot for surf lessons and hire

Walking on Waves




Surf Hire


Saunton, United Kingdom

It’s the beaches of Saunton Sands and Croyde that form the British equivalent of surfers paradise along the South-England coastline. These lovely places are also home to Sarah Whiteley, former British and European surfing champion, who runs Walking on Waves—a surf school and hire where she takes pride in teaching the intricacies of surfing to locals and travelers from around the world.

After years at the top of competitive surfing, Sarah returned to the place she grew up to give back to the sport. Now, she’s sharing her knowledge and experience by guiding surfers of all levels, whether it’s the first time they squeeze themselves into a wetsuit, or whether they’re looking to up their surfing game.

The challenges of running a surf shop

Fast-forward a couple of years, and Walking on Waves manages a vast inventory of surfboards, wetsuits, stand-up paddle boards, and body boards, which are also combined into board and wetsuit packages on the company website. It’s an extensive range of equipment to handle.

Before Booqable, understanding and communicating which gear was available became intricate as customers ordered online and booked in-store at the same time. With orders coming in through different channels, Google Sheets wasn’t enough to keep track of surf hires. Staying organized proved extra challenging during the summer months, as it’s the busiest season for Walking on Waves. They needed a more powerful way of managing rentals to ensure quality customer service.


The search for rental software

As the team began researching software solutions, there were several jobs their new product should be capable of doing. Knowing the whereabouts of surf equipment and tying that data to the right customer came first, followed by the ability to view which products are available at all times.

Both were going to help provide customers with quicker answers and prevents equipment from getting lost. And being a company that repeatedly deals with small, non-recurring transactions, a streamlined way to process payments also made the top of their list.

Fewer steps make for big productivity gains

Booqable helps Walking on Waves gain visibility into the status of their surf equipment where they didn’t have such insights before. The software provides a way to see which customers has which gear, without first having to search through tabs, notes, and emails.

When the team receives a new reservation by phone, email, or someone visiting the shop, a concept order gets created in Booqable. The new booking contains the customer’s details, a pickup and return date, and the products they want to rent. An automated quantity indicator shows how many items are in-stock, helping the team avoid mistakes like double booking or reserving too many items. By adding Booqable to the company website, the same real-time availability is displayed to customers after they’ve selected a rental period, instantly setting the right expectations.


Even though bookings come in through a variety of channels, all orders are brought together on the Booqable calendar. Now, they have one place to see how orders and inventory fit together, making it simple to dive into their order history, see what’s coming up, and check which customers can be held accountable for which products.

Making faster payments a reality

Walking on Waves also accelerated their payment process by using the Stripe integration. When they receive a final confirmation, the order gets marked as reserved, making the equipment unavailable for other orders with similar durations. Next, an invoice is created and the client’s credit card gets charged.

This charge may include a 5% security deposit for first-time customers, as returning clients don’t require a damage deposit. Once the customer returns the equipment and everything passes inspection, the gear is marked as returned and the deposit gets refunded. For online orders, payment is required at checkout where customers can use their credit card to pay and complete the booking process.

As Walking on Waves continues to teach and guide surfers by their philosophy ‘Be Coached, Not Watched,’ Booqable helps their rental process go efficiently. Whether the team needs a quick look at the status of their inventory, or need to charge a credit card directly, Walking on Waves found the tools they needed to solve the problems they experienced before. Since adopting Booqable, the way things get done is much faster, allowing Sarah and the team to focus on what they’re all about. It’s surfing first, software second.

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