What is small, round and green and that we throw on the pétanque court? Answer: the Cocholed of course! This luminous jack that works with a small LED bulb – hence its name – was born from a bet between friends during a beautiful summer evening. Its creator, Raphaël Paesa, is on the barbecue team: he must watch the merguez sausages while his friends tease the balls, before the last ray of sunshine puts an end to the game. Impossible to be both in the oven and in the field… it’s infuriating! His friends brag: with his brilliant skills as an electronics engineer, isn’t he able to find an enlightened solution to this thorny problem?
He takes up the challenge. In his workshop in Castelmaurou, the versatile 34-year-old technician is embarking on a first prototype with his 3D printer. He inserts a led, a small battery and a switch. The result is rather convincing, but not yet solid enough: he solves the problem by having the shells manufactured by a plastic injection process to make a marketable version. Baptized Cocholed, the invention has been on sale since last year on its site at a price of 13.90 euros.
A jack also made for the pros
And it hits! Since his first Cocholed in July 2021, Raphaël Paesa has sold more than 2,300. It is exported all over the world, just as popular with Americans as it is with Swedes. But above all in Occitania. For Cédric Ruault, vice-president of the Puybegon pétanque club (Tarn), “to try it is to adopt it! »
In addition to festive use, the club has been training with the luminous piglets almost every night for the past nine months. Because “petanque is not (only) drinking and laughing! It is a real sport, in full swing, which is becoming more professional and modern. Boules almost became an Olympic discipline! “recalls Cyril Ruault, also a petanque influencer on Instagram and YouTube.
The Cocholed guarantees a minimum of four hours of autonomy. And when it turns off? “Nothing could be simpler, just find a small piece of wood or the equivalent to open it and change the battery,” assures Raphaël Paesa. In addition to the first green version, the color chosen because the human eye detects it particularly well, the Cocholed will get an orange lamp for its first anniversary next month. And other surprises to come? Maybe. Raphaël Paesa is thinking in particular about an “intelligent circle” for professional players who must not “bite” during their throw. But unfortunately, the mechatronics affirms it: the luminous pastis, it is not for immediately.