Playa-Rent: Paddleboards at Your Service

By Susann Kunz

Turning Passion into Innovation with Solid Edge for Startups

Imagine hitting the beach on a sunny day, eager to jump onto a paddleboard and glide through the shimmering waves without any hassle. Thanks to the ingenuity of 25-year-old Nicolas Roche, this dream is now a reality. With Playa-Rent, Roche has revolutionized the paddleboard rental experience, making it as easy and accessible as stepping onto the sand.

The Birth of an Idea

Nicolas Roche, a water sports enthusiast, engineer, and entrepreneur, conceived the idea for Playa-Rent out of a desire to simplify the process of renting paddleboards. Traditional rental outlets often involve reservations, paperwork, and the cumbersome task of transporting equipment. Roche envisioned a solution that would eliminate these barriers, making water sports more accessible to everyone, especially vacationers looking for a hassle-free experience.

Playa-Rent founder Nicolas Roche with his first paddleboard rental station on La Noëveillard beach. (Image: Ouest-France.)

Playa-Rent’s concept is elegant in its simplicity. On the shores of La Noëveillard beach in Pornic, France, stands Roche’s brainchild—a paddleboard rental station. Here, beach lovers can quickly sign liability forms, pay with ease using a credit card, secure their belongings in lockers, and grab all necessary gear, including life jackets, paddles, and GPS-equipped paddleboards. With rental fees set at a reasonable €15 per hour, Playa-Rent ensures that fun on the water is within reach for everyone.

Innovation in Action

Behind the scenes, Roche leverages cutting-edge technology to bring Playa-Rent to life. Utilizing Solid Edge software from Siemens, Roche designs the station structures and components with precision and efficiency. Solid Edge’s intuitive interface and comprehensive features empower Roche to iterate rapidly, ensuring that his rental stations are not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Roche: “The interface of Solid Edge is very user-friendly. Every function, every tool, and every button is easy to understand and helps me make the right design decision.”

Design of paddleboard station in Solid Edge

Roche’s introduction to Solid Edge during college marked the beginning of a transformative journey. To apply for the Solid Edge for Startups program for Playa-Rent was an intuitive decision, complemented by the invaluable support of the Siemens solution partner Fealinx. This strategic partnership granted Roche access to essential CAD, CAM, and CAE software, and expert knowledge on how to make use of the tools.

Employing Siemens’ cloud-based collaboration solution, Teamcenter Share, Roche effortlessly manages data sharing, storage, and organization. With this platform, he seamlessly communicates with his industrial partner, exchanging 3D models to facilitate adjustments, ensuring perfect compatibility of the boards with the rental station’s specifications.

Collaboration platform Teamcenter Share, essential to exchange data with customers, partners and suppliers

Fealinx, a valued Siemens Solution Partner in France, has been instrumental in supporting Roche and Playa-Rent since its early days. “We advised Nicolas on the best modules adapted to Playa-Rent’s needs, including data sharing, realistic rendering, and virtual reality of products on the beaches of French cities,” says Sébastien Debeix, Director of Strategic Development and Communication at Fealinx. This support not only aids startups like Playa-Rent but also contributes to France’s future industrialization. Debeix adds: “Since its inception, Fealinx has been helping young companies and start-ups structure themselves with the best digital solutions to get off to a good start with their innovative projects.”

Steel structures being built for Playa-Rent. (Image: Playa-Rent.)

Looking to the Future

As Playa-Rent gains momentum, Roche sets his sights on expansion. With plans to introduce three more stations in 2024 and aspirations to conquer markets beyond Europe, Roche’s ambitions know no bounds. Beyond paddleboards, he envisions kayak rental stations and even dreams of venturing into far-flung locales like New Mexico.

Roche’s journey underscores the importance of innovation and persistence. His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Trust in your projects and move forward, and don’t be afraid at the beginning of criticism. Utilize available resources, seek support from investors, and government initiatives.” Fueled with passion and technology, Roche’s venture showcases the limitless potential of creativity and determination. Rental concepts represent a significant innovation in water sports, democratizing and expanding the paddleboarding experience.

Visit their company page for more information about Playa-Rent

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at