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Flying Nortwest to Maui
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Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 3320
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: RE: Flying Nortwest to Maui Reply with quote

yeah there is always that chance. I would definitely pack duct tape and epoxy stick.
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Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2647
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: RE: Flying Nortwest to Maui Reply with quote

I think NW just started flights to Maui so I dont think youre going to get an answer here. A grumpy baggage handler, who would ding your board, can be working for ANY airline though.
Check and print their oversize baggage policy off their website. Show it to the ticket agent, they usually dont know their own company policy for w.s. equip.
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Joined: 10 May 1998
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:09 am    Post subject: RE: Flying Nortwest to Maui Reply with quote

Ill need to dig out an article I wrote years ago and repost - Maui Windsurf - Buy, Bring, or Rent.

The big piece you are missing in your costs is the usage/wear and tear. When you look at how much you spend on gear versus days sailing you will find this is $10-20 per day (100 days sailing a year, $1000-$2000 equipment). Sounds high, but count your sails, boards, masts, booms, etc..

So going for 14 days - the shops will discount if you rent the whole period (and book in advance) so you are looking at ~$300-400. Cost to pack your own gear = $150 airline + $140-280 wear & tear = $290-430.

Add to this airline dings and inconvenience... renting is the way to go...
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Joined: 10 May 1998
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: RE: Flying Nortwest to Maui Reply with quote

See below for a (long winded) article I wrote a few years ago on the costs of renting vs bringing windsurf gear to Maui.

Maui Windsurf – Bring, Rent, or Buy
We travel to Maui for three weeks each year for a combined family vacation and windsurfing trip. Of the three weeks I general plan to sail 10 to 14 days. I have on one occasion brought my own gear, and on all others have rented gear there. The question is, which is the best solution? In this article I’ll present the numbers I came up with, and some tips for making the decision for your trip planning.
Unless you own a place there you may not be particularly interested in the “Buy” option, but the numbers do illustrate an important aspect of windsurfing so I am including this option as well.
Authors Perspective – I am not a windsurfing gear rental company, and have no alliances with these companies. In other words, aside from personal opinions I have no financial bias toward any one solution. Some of this may read as though I am selling one concept over another – this is just how the numbers fall and what I have found as my preferences.
Windsurfing - Cash flow verse Cost
The simple solution to the “bring verse rent” gear question is just cash flow – how much cash does it take to carry the gear verse renting for a given period? This is the today’s cash-flow analysis and ignores all other costs like convenience and gear wear and tear. I will get back to these later…
Airlines currently charge approximately $160 to ship gear round trip to Maui. From previous rental shopping I found the shops comparably priced so I will just provide the rental numbers from my last trip . The company I chose charges $50/day to rent gear. If you book multiple days they will discount from there, so assume your cost will be closer to $40/day. With the simple cash-flow analysis it’s cheaper to bring your gear than rent when sailing five or more days. Adding in the real costs changes the equation somewhat.

Bring Cost = $160 (shipping only)
Windsurfing Costs
If you are serious about sailing it is likely you have a couple boards, three to five sails, maybe a couple masts, and an array of supporting parts. If you have been sailing for years you may also have a significant pile of broken booms, worn out sails, and delaminated boards.
Each year I sail there are multiple items needing replacement including broken booms (annually), sails (~3-4 years), boards (3-5 years), and the small parts. While the amount of gear requiring replacement will vary based on the windsurfer, I estimate on average replacement of an entire rig every 2 ½ -5 years. Assuming three sails, mast, two booms, a board, small parts, and smart shopping, this cost may run on the order of $2500 . For most windsurfers this will come to a range of $10 – 20 per windsurfing session. Personally I sail about 50 days a year and spend on average about $1,000 in gear replacing broken and worn out parts. My cost per windsurf session is $20. This cost may be on the high end as I am a bigger windsurfer and sail the gear pretty aggressively.
The estimated cost per day above does not take into account wear and tear on the gear from airline shipping (baggage handling on airlines can be tough on boards… depends on who loads it and how carefully). For the following I will use the $20 per day and assume this includes shipping wear.
Given gear cost (at $20/day in wear) and airline shipping costs ($160 round trip), and using $40 per day to rent gear, you need to sail 9 days to justify bringing your own gear. At 14 days the additional cost of renting is $120. If sailing 14 days you may negotiate a better rate and reduce the gap to only about $60.

Bring Cost = $160 + ($20 per day)
These numbers include the real costs. While the out of pocket is only the shipping ($160), the 14-day cost with wear runs closer to $440. None of the numbers so far take into account convenience.
Convenience – The Good and the Bad
The one year I brought my gear I was ecstatic the first day I stepped on my board at Kanaha and had the foot straps perfect, harness line perfect, and knew the rig. That justified much of what I endured the previous day handling the gear, and later on the return flight. The downside – I had only one board and limited sails. During this trip I had several days slogging my wave board when a wider, floater, freestyle would have guaranteed quality sailing.
When you rent gear the shops generally allow you to swap gear out as necessary. This means one day you are on a 80L wave board with 4.2 sail, and the next a 110L free-wave with 6.0 sail. If you hit the winds right this will not be an issue and you can sail one rig straight through, but be aware in packing your own gear that you need to get it right for the effort to make sense.
While some people may bias toward sailing their own gear, you may also consider renting as a chance to demo many different boards! Most shops have pretty new gear and a good variety. If you don’t like it, try a different one! This last visit I tried a new JP free-wave board that I will probably purchase late this season... nice way to test it out for a few days.
Packing gear on a plane is a hassle. If you have done it, you know the time required to pack, handle, load and unload, etc.. Assigning a number to this hassle I would say it is at least $20 worth each way, so the additional cost is $40 round trip. The bar now raises to 11 sailing days to justify carrying your own gear verse renting. It is likely you may find a shop willing to rent the gear for $500 for 14 days, so the difference here is only $20.

Bring Cost = $160 + $40 + ($20 per day)
If these costs are taken as “real” numbers, then the difference in cost between bringing your gear and renting becomes nearly irrelevant for a two week trip. At this level the determining factor may shift to how badly you wish to sail your own gear, or on the other side, how inconvenient packing your gear really is!
Buying Gear
Obviously buying gear only makes sense in a few cases – when you can leave it there, when you find gear you like and wish to take it home after the trip, or when you are staying a really long time! Still, buying gear points out an interesting aspect of cash-flow worth looking at.
We go to Maui every year and have an owner’s closet. If I bought a full rig to leave there it would cost approximately $2,500. There are other costs associated with buying cheaper gear, so $2,500 for a good rig is a good starting point. If I sail Maui only 14 days a year, then renting gear would cost approximately $500 per year (so I negotiated down a little). My break-even point for buying gear is therefore 5 years! From a cash flow perspective that means I spend $2,500 today, rather than $500 a year for five years.

By buying gear I lock into one board option (or more investment), and loose the trade out ability of the rentals.
By the end of five years I will already be replacing gear due to both use and closet aging, so the break-even point moves out still further in time. Until sailing Maui more than a couple weeks a year it will be hard to justify buying and leaving a full rig there.
One Final Issue
OK, so you decide you are going to Maui for 14 days and do want to bring your gear. What if the wind does not cooperate? You may only sail 10 of 14 days, and find yourself back in a situation where renting would have been cheaper.
On the other end you may prepay a rental to get a discount, then not use the days you paid for. You need to understand how your rental contract is structured. Most rental companies want your repeat business so they are pretty good with the customers.
There is no single right answer to bringing verse renting windsurfing gear for Maui. Factors will include trip duration, season and likelihood of winds, personal feelings about sailing your own gear verse renting, and whether you are concerned with total costs or just lowering current cash flows. Current cash spending is almost always less when bringing your own gear, but the big picture costs are often more.
I provided one set of numbers based on equipment replacement costs at 20 per day. You may wish to rerun this exercise based on your style, gear cost, and gear life, as your costs could be on the other end of the spectrum closer to $10 per windsurf session. This will lower the total days required to justify carrying your own gear.
Ultimately, if you will have more fun on your own gear, the cost difference probably is irrelevant for most vacations.
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just returned from a one week trip to Maui, and rented all of my gear from Hi-Tech in Kanaha. Wind conditions limited my sailing to a total of 4 afternoons, and I used two different boards, 2 masts, 2 booms and 4 different sails. Another nice option is keeping an account open for your entire trip, so you can rent on nonconsecutive days and still pay the lower price. I just returned the gear at the end of the second day of sailing, and picked up all new gear 2 days later. I think I paid about $180 for all of the gear. This was my second trip to Maui, and on the first trip, there were only 2 sailable (barely) days in the week that I was there. I rented gear as soon as I got off the plane, and returned it after a second session 24 hours later, and only had to pay for one day of rental. If I had schlepped my gear the whole way, I would have been really pissed that I couldn't use it, and I also saved about $110 over what I would have paid to take it on the plane.
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Joined: 09 Jun 2000
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go the Maui every couple years for two weeks in July and always bring my own gear (1 board, 3 sails, 2 masts, 1 boom) because I have it dialed and am particular. The cost to me is a bit of a wash but its cheaper for me to bring my own ($160 for a two week trip). I haven't found schlepping the gear to be a big deal for me at least. I have a custom wave board (8'2", 72L) that just feels so much better to me for typical Maui sailing than any of the new style stuff (my subjective opinion, however I do feel that the new style wider stuff is good in lighter conditions). I've never had an issue with banged up or lost gear. I have a heavy duty board bag and wrap all edges of the board with cardboard, double layer at tip and tail, then a layer of bubble wrap. I do rent once in a while if its too light for what I brought. The shops are excellent in Maui. I think its good to rent if you are a beginner-intermediate. I would reserve before hand if possible. Many higher level sailors I know bring their own. When it gets very windy and I want to rent a tiny board (say 60-65L) I've had trouble finding anything as they all seem to be rented (apparently they don't have many really small boards in rental stock).
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Joined: 06 Jul 1999
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made the trip several years ago via United. The trip was split with a change to Hawaiian Airlines for the last leg to Maui. They both wanted to charge so the cost doubled.

In the end I rented. The rental boards are much better for wave sailing than my gorge board.

The downside was that I could not buy a jibe for the first few days until I got used to the new board.
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18761

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another approach: pick up a cheaper carbon copy of your favorite board at a swap meet or closeout, take it to Maui once, and leave it there with someone for your next trip -- if there's not one waiting at a consignment shop there already. My favored stick is not readily available at any price; there's no way I'm trusting it to airline gorillas. Besides, I like carrying everything in one hand when I fly.

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