When Couchsurfers recall their experience at a Couch Crash, their eyes light up. As they recount hilarious anecdotes, share pictures, and talk about the people they met, you can tell that their Couch Crash experience is one they won’t soon forget.
But what is a Couch Crash?
A Couch Crash is when Couchsurfers from all over the world congregate in a city at the same time. Local hosts all over the city open up their homes, and dedicated organizers plan barbecues, hikes, tours, etc. that showcase the best of their hometowns. Rather than staying with one or two locals, the Couch Crash experience is more focused on experiencing new locations with a group of community members.
Patrick, a Couch Crash organizer in Boulder, Colorado, puts it best: “I mean, when else will you have a weekend full of activities planned by locals and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it! We had people fly in just for the weekend. This is what makes crashes so special.”
Unlike many meetups related to Couchsurfing, Couch Crashes often take a long time to get organized, and require a strong local community to be successful.
“We attended the first-ever Boulder Couch Crash in 2012 and were inspired to organize a similar event” Tom, from Bend, Oregon, said. “We figured it would take two years to prepare. One year to build a local community that would be willing to undertake such an event, and one year to actually plan it. So we hosted our first ever Bend Couch Crash in 2014.”
Jason, a Connecticut local, attended the Bend, Oregon Couch Crash 2014, and realized that, with time, the Connecticut community could support one as well.
“Man… Bend blew me away! The hosts were awesome, the locations for their Crash party were great, and Bend has to be one of the greatest places to experience the outdoors and craft beer! All I remember was that the weather was perfect, the atmosphere laid back, and I made lasting friendships with people I still keep in contact with. The experience made me want to create that same atmosphere in my home state with other local Couchsurfers that I know.”
The Bend Couch Crash will happen every three years – the next one being in 2017.
“We decided after the 2014 Couch Crash to hold the Bend Couch Crashes every three years,” Tom explained. “We figured annually would be a tremendous amount of work, biennially would still seem too soon to build excitement, and every four years would be too much like elections or the Olympics. So we picked three years. The 2017 Bend Couch Crash has already been announced and the excitement it brings to the local CS community is what keeps me motivated! We can join together in the shared goal of building incredible memories for our guests and visitors.” See more about Tom’s experience with Couch Crashes here.
Jason had been organizing Couchsurfing events for the past 6 years with the hope of strengthening the local community.
“I started small by hosting a Couchsurfing potluck cookout for the last 6 years, as well as a pumpkin carving party in October. Started with about 20 people, but last year we had 50! I knew we were getting to the point where we could support a full-blown Crash as more locals kept getting involved.”
After months of planning, ConnectiCOUCH 2016 will be happening this August. ConnectiCOUCH features three days of exciting events – including events such as Heublein Tower Hike, Nautilus Nuclear Sub Tour, Pizza in the Park, and an Oceanside Bike Tour.
“When I have hosted people, they are always amazed at what Connecticut has to offer. I’m a proud Connecticut Yankee and like to show off my state. We really tried to plan events for every taste, whether you are into art, nature, city stuff, or partying, there is something for everyone.”
Organizing a Couch Crash can take a lot of time and energy, and it’s important to have a large group of locals on board and willing to host the weekend of the Couch Crash. Having dedicated organizers that can reach out to nearby hosts is key.
“It is usually fairly easy to find a core group of people who will lead events and organize,” Patrick explains. “It is more difficult to get all the locals on board so that 100+ people will be able to surf in your city. Any surfers who we knew through meetups we really pushed to host more surfers than they normally would. Several surfers really came through and hosted 6-12 people and that goes a long way. By messaging almost every host in the local area several times in the months and weeks leading up to the crash we greatly increased the Boulder capacity.”
Sound interesting? Check out some upcoming Couch Crashes below. Know of one that’s not listed? Let us know in the comments below!
Upcoming Couch Crashes:
Want to organize a Couchcrash? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get started.