Top image credit: Ming Poon. The freedom and access these passes grant are outstanding. But traveling with all that gear — not so much. Based in San Francisco, Awayco started as surf rental platform for people who already loved the sport. Basically, traveling with a board is a hassle, and on-site gear rentals can be hit or miss. Plus, Awayco teased another launch for cyclists coming soon. First, the elephant in the room: Why rent through Awayco when you can rent on-site? Awayco lists three main differentiators between what it is doing and what on-site rental stores offer. First is timing.
Awayco: Ski, Snowboard Gear Rental
Boards: Try Me Before You Buy Me
The other is at the brands San Fransisco HQ. Awayco Members find and book the gear they want at awayco. Our planet is an amusement park and everyone should have a ticket to ride. By making high-quality gear accessible, Awayco releases its members from the weight of ownership so they can move through the world more freely. Less belongings, more experience. Less planning, more play. The business recently made some changes to the membership model after getting feedback from users, key partners and manufacturers explains co-founder, Adrian Buchan. This new model makes all those things possible. The ability to reserve more than one board at a time and also keep it longer than the original 5 days has added a lot more flexibility and value to the offer.
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Do you typically buy one board per year? You could get by with never buying another board again as an Awayco member. A fair trade? Depends on your particular brand of surfboard promiscuity. More forward-thinking surfers, already accustomed to the sharing economy might even use Awayco as their entire quiver. The selection and booking process is simple. Log-in to the website, pick the location, peruse a bunch of boards, lock in the dates when you find a model you like. Picking up the board is easy. The staff screws in fins, attaches a leash, and in one instance at least, waxed the board while we were chatting.
The site currently lists Australia, California and Bali as locations where you can pre-book a board and pick up on arrival, but the view is obviously towards expanding the reach of the service. As it turned out I recently found myself on the Gold Coast with cyclone Linda looming and my travelling quiver looking decidedly inadequate. Blake Thornton had slung me an Awayco code and the site suggests you can try the concept for a month for free. I had every intention of exploiting the deal, but as it was I got stuck in the Cooly vortex and never made it to the Stacey board-shop in Currumbin where Awayco offer its services. You know who these guys are. While initially open to the Awayco concept, they soon realised that the subscription surfboard model had the capacity to completely transform the whole fabric of the surfboard culture. At first it looked good. A solid pay-day and they were on trend with a new idea that was endorsed by Mr Solid, Ace Buchan, and also backed by a bunch of well-known surf industry figures who had been hired to push the Awayco barrow. By supplying stock to Awayco they were essentially in danger of sabotaging their own buyers market.