Linley Lewis and Will Hayler were inspired to start the venture by their own gap year adventures that took them to surfing destinations in South Africa, Australasia and Central America and through that experience Ticket to Ride was born, a company that specializes in gap-year surfing adventures.
Currently Ticket to Ride offers its ‘Riders’ the opportunity to learn to surf and gain globally recognised qualifications as surf instructors / beach lifeguards. Also to travel to developing countries and put something back into the local community
The core aim of Ticket to Ride Limited is to remain the number one provider of gap year, mini gap and career break surf adventure courses.
Although the two founders have stressed that they plan for Ticket to Ride is to become the established platform for people to finally lead more fulfilling lifestyles through extreme sports.
On their experience for their gap year they said:
“We not only improved our surfing, the trip made us independent, gave us self-confidence and the will to ‘get up and go’,” says Lewis. “People’s reactions to our trip made us realize that there is a real demand for similar experiences, so we earned surf coaching and lifeguard qualifications, did three months research in South Africa and after nine months of marketing in the UK, Ticket to Ride was up and running.”
The business have increased turnover by £100k each year since January 2006.
They were awarded the South East Young Entrepreneurs of the year at the SEEDA Business Awards 2008.
They also particpated in a Flyingstart programme which was held at reading university in march 2006, A programme which they said enabled them to experience the benefit of business mentoring and also introduced them to the Surrey Enterprise Hub. As Portfolio members we have been able to draw on a wide range of business resources which we continue to benefit from.