Carpooling has come a long way. Sharing a ride in a car heading towards a common destination makes perfect sense, every way one looks at it: economically, ecologically and socially. 15 years ago, Frédéric Mazzella, a highly educated Frenchman, came up with the ultimate carpooling concept known worldwide as BlaBlaCar. Now it is the equally brilliant mind of another Frenchman that applies a similar concept to indoor skydiving.
Meet Vincent Textoris, 38, academically he is a double master, in Sports Ergonomics and in Project Engineering and Management, who has worked for global sports retail giant DECATHLON for more than 10 years as an Innovation Manager and founder of Decathlon Creation.
It was a most fulfilling job he held until the day he threw himself into the blast at a wind tunnel and made his first indoor skydive. It changed his life. He quit his job to do more flying, and soon the flying started to make his savings disappear at a rate he felt no longer comfortable with.
He moved from Lille in the north of France to Bordeaux in the central-southern part of the Atlantic coast and he started thinking about making indoor skydiving more affordable. It took a while until he had the formula of Windiver, his wind tunnel time-sharing platform, refined and a website programmed.
Vincent shares the Windiver credo: "We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to access the pleasure of indoor skydiving. Our mission is to help people discover flying at the best price possible, and to let them share their passion with many others."
We talked to Vincent earlier this week, on the very day he made his first tandem jump at Arcachon. Still hyped by the experience, he pointed out that www.windiver.com had only been soft launched and that negotiations with the tunnel operators and coaches are currently in progress.
The idea is as sound as that of Mazzella, even though Vincent's market will be decidedly smaller. For the time being ;-) ... And whoever thinks that operators could oppose it should think again. Business could increase with more people sharing more flights because they are suddenly less expensive. Think big! The more I share, the more I fly and the less I pay!
Vincent Textoris and www.windiver.com will be present at Indoor Skydiving 2020 | First Global Summit by FAI!
Text: Roland Hilfiker; Picture: Vincent Textoris © Decathlon