SWAE Sports just might be the salvation of the adventure sports industry as small businesses everywhere struggle to survive these hard economic times. SWAE, an acronym for Snow, Water, Air, and Earth Sports, was founded on the premise of preservation; preservation of both the natural environment and the livelihood of those men and women who have built their professions out of taking us there.
The concept for SWAE was born in 2005 when four students from the University of Colorado at Boulder found themselves struggling to find an outfitter who could take them paragliding. After several hours of phone calls, they finally found a local company to do it, but it was far too expensive for their college budgets. Talking over their ordeal they realized that there were two major obstacles holding back the adventure sports industry: outfitters were too difficult to find, and their trips were far too expensive for many people who would love to be living a more adventurous lifestyle. From this realization grew SWAE, a company who has become the first online home for adventure sports. Through SWAE, everyday people can now find, book, and save on the trip of their dreams
Creating a more efficient outdoor industry is at the heart of their mission for these recent CU graduates. To achieve this objective, SWAE will be launching a fully automated online system on March 01, 2008 that brings adventure and ecotourism vendors together with their patrons. Vendors from around the world are able to post trips on swaesports.comcompletely free of charge. Visitors to the site can then fine-tune their search based on region, sport, difficulty, and other users’ ratings to find environmentally conscious companies who specialize in adventure.
In addition to linking adventure communities together through online bookings, SWAE is also offering annual “Lifestyle Memberships” that provide substantial and unique discounts at area businesses. All the profits generated from this will be donated to a new innovative environmental initiative each business quarter. The coming grant will be awarded to the $10 Bike Project in an effort to help fund the design, development, and production of a $10 bicycle that will be sold in developing world markets meeting both a social and an environmental need.
SWAE Sports was founded to promote both adventure and the preservation of our most beautiful natural places. Beyond this, they see it as their purpose to redefine what it means to be successful in the for-profit world. In essence, it is their fundamental belief that business has the transformative power to change the world for the better. As Daniel Epstein, the company’s founder, has stated, “If we don't preserve and work towards creating a healthier environment, adventure sports and the things we love most will cease to exist for the next generation.” It is with this mentality that SWAE Sports is seeking to change the way the game has traditionally been played starting March 1st in Boulder, CO.