Top image credit: Ming Poon
Take the hassle out of packing and ‘womp womp’ out of rental gear.
With the growing popularity (and price) of Ikon an Epic passes, it’s increasingly sensible, if not altogether necessary, to hit multiple ski resorts during winter.
The freedom and access these passes grant are outstanding. But traveling with all that gear — not so much. That’s where Awayco comes in. 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.
Well, Awayco’s model proved successful for hanging 10, and today the brand launched a similar platform for skiers and snowboarders. Plus, Awayco teased another launch for cyclists coming soon.
Awayco: Ski, Snowboard Gear Rental
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 members (more on that later) can reserve gear up to 6 months in advance. So you can plan a late-season ski trip in autumn, pick out the skis or snowboard you want, and have it ready for you after the New Year.
The second factor is ease. On-site rentals tend to require paperwork, payment details, and some fitting. With Awayco, users’ information is saved on their profile, so everything — except DIN settings (for legal reasons) — is ready to go when they walk into the Awayco affiliate.
Lastly, Awayco believes its partner brands make a huge difference. While some resorts offer plenty of premium brands, others have a more limited selection. Awayco has skis, snowboards, and splitboards from Rossignol, DPS, Dynafit, RMU, Volkl, Salomon, Fischer, Never Summer, K2, Jones, Burton, and more.
Awayco Gear Rental: How It Works
Awayco’s service works on a membership platform and offers both free and paid options. The key difference is that for $95 per year, paid members receive more comprehensive damage coverage, gear rental discounts, and a more forgiving cancellation policy (more info here).
As for availability, Awayco currently has ski/snowboard partners in the U.S. (Tahoe City and Truckee, Calif.; Durango, Colo.; Bend, Ore.; and Missoula, Mont.); Canada (Whistler, Revelstoke); Japan (Niigata, Hakuba); France (Val d’Isère, La Grave); Germany (Munich); and Switzerland (Saas-Fee).
Users planning a visit to one of those destinations can shop Awayco’s offerings. Plus, they can zero in on a preferred brand and enter details like terrain (big mountain, freeride, backcountry, etc.), waist width, length, turning radius, and more.
This is great, but what about the cost? At first glance, Awayco looks like it’s competitive with high-performance on-site rental services. While final booking costs vary (and go down with longer reservations), a good rule of thumb, according to the brand is:
- About $40-50 per day for freeride alpine skis and snowboards
- About $85 per day for carbon skis with tech bindings and split boards
While beginners will probably benefit with on-site rental options and professional input, experienced skiers who either don’t have the space for loads of gear or don’t want the hassle of taking their gear on trips may appreciate Awayco’s model.
To learn more or sign up for a membership, check out Awayco’s launch page with mountain sport offerings.