Budget Rent-a-Car...kooks all of 'em!

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by live aloha, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. live aloha

    live aloha Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    So the wife and I and our 4 month old baby were feeling adventurous and headed down to the Virgin Islands for a week. I haven't ridden a decent wave in "who-the-f#$k knows" how long, and so I was reasonably stoked to see that the lakey shores of USVI might actually get some surf during our visit.

    I picked a beater board and packed it. The plan was to bring it, then leave it to some grom or whatever at the end of the week to avoid the airline fee on our return trip. Anyhow, they charged $150 bucks, which is the most I've ever paid BY A LOT! Normally I used to flirt with the ladies at the check-in table and sweet talk my way to a discount.

    Married life is different. That is no longer an acceptable method, so I sucked it up and gave her my credit card. We board the plane, go to Miami, sit around for 4 hours, change some diapers, yada yada yada, and finally find ourselves in St. Thomas two hours later than expected. We are a 30 minute drive from the hotel, and the front desk had informed us they will be closing up shop in 40 minutes. We dash to the rental car desk, ready to claim our SUV w/roof rack. Again, I used to rent the Geo Metro, but parenting life is much different. We needed the space.

    So. The geniuses at Budget lost (or ignored) our reservation, and so we got a Ford Focus with no roof rack. Little guy is screaming, my wife is pleading with me to hurry the crap up, and I am standing there with my board bag wondering what the hell to do. With literal tears forming in my eyes, I put the board bag behind a bush, wave goodbye, and get in the car and realize it's no surf for me. The next day we drive up to Cinnamon Bay on St. John and see perfect f#[email protected] left's grinding across the reef, and I am torn between feeling excited and wanting to swim back to the other island so I can murder the idiots at Budget Car Rental. But, it's also our one-year anniversary, so I have to suck it up and smile...which is not terribly difficult, especially when you have an awesome wife and rad little boy, but part of me was soooooo damn depressed. I went to Panama in May 2011, and that is the last time I surfed a head-high wave.

    Anyhow, I shared this story because...
    1. Hopefully it's at least a little bit funny. Feel free to laugh at my sh!tty deal, it's totally cool with me.
    2. I guess I'm also hoping some other dad's here have some hopeful advice or encouragement.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    any option of leaving the kid with the grandparents?

  3. wallysurfr

    wallysurfr Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2007
    was it a long board? If not, there are numerous ways to get reasonable sized (6'2"-6'4") boards in a car:

    1. lay front passenger seat down
    2. back seats flip forward, half in the trunk half in back seat
    3. nose on the dash and the board goes straight down the middle of vehicle
    4. tied to roof with leash and other cordage, hand out the window holding as extra precaution
    5. across back seat, nose out the window

    Some of these assume wife would be alright with possibly sitting in the back.

    Remove board from bag fold bag up and smush it with luggage to make room for the stick!

    If it's a funboard then that's the problem, you need a thruster! I would have left a funboard in the bushes BEFORE I left for the trip. lol.
  4. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango Member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Never expect things to work out as you planned. Don't rely on anyone to do what they say they will. The world is full of people who will bend over backwards to help you out, but it's more full of idiots who don't give a rats ass.

    Whatever you are doing, you live and die by the six P's - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

    Always always always bring your own straps. A rolled up towel or two and some long straps and that board goes on top of the Focus just fine, roof racks or no.
  5. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    +1 to this, couldn't agree more. BRING STRAPS!
  6. live aloha

    live aloha Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Oh, I have straps...or "had", rather. It was most certainly not poor planning. I've done many a surf trip in my day. Unfortunately the rackless strappage don't work too well when you only have ~5 minutes to play with, risking leaving your little guy without shelter for the night.

    To the pumpmaster, nah, bringing little amigo was the primary purpose of the trip. The consolation prize was definitely getting him in the water for the first time, which made the whole thing worthwhile after all! I can't wait to find a log and get him into some ankle slappers this summer. :)
  7. live aloha

    live aloha Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Well spoken!
  8. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    bring your own soft racks, or improvised system with tie downs and a towl even.
    Never leave home without them
  9. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Shoulda, woulda, coulda, everyone is going to have the answer! LOL Sorry about your mishap!! And sorry mother nature had to rub it in your face, she's a *****!
  10. StuckontheGulf

    StuckontheGulf Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2012
    Welcome to fatherhood. It will be the first of many sacrifices you will make for the little guy but it will all be worth it when you push him into his first wave. They don't rent boards down there?
  11. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  12. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    or at least a roll of duct tape.

    The 1st time I went to CR solo, I made arraignments with budget and a tico rental. neither showed up. Of course the flight was late and by the time I got my board, the (old) airport was pert near closed. Nobody but me and 2 hooligan looking guys. One asked me if I needed a rental. I said yes and he picked up my bag and started walking around back. I was following with my board on one arm, and a knife behind my back. I was wired for action, thinking I had fugged up royally. He kept looking at me then finally turn and said, "Tranquilo!" Yeah I gotcher tranquilo. But he had a 4x4 and took my credit card, a piece of paper, carbon paper and a spoon. Did it up properly. It was 1am as I was going down the mountain, around a hairpin curve when the dang steering wheel locked. GOOD TIMES.
  13. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Lefts at Cinnamon Bay? It was breaking on the right side of the cay when looking at it from the beach? I have never seen that, any pictures? Are you sure it wasnt Trunk Bay? I must have a different relationship with my wife but she would never let me leave the board behind a bush even with my son screaming. We would have figured it out somehow. I can't even imagine a scenario where she would be pressuring me to get in the car and leave the board unless of course there was a tidal wave bearing down on us and we needed to get out of there fast or die.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  14. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    with all due respect, I have no idea what actually happened here. They pulled a knife on you or rented you a car?
  15. darippah

    darippah Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2008
    I would've tried to leave the kid with the friendly budget attendant
  16. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    funny story... but there is no way on earth i would have left the board. i have built roof racks from things i found in the jungle/on the beach.

    anyhow, if you really cared about getting waves you wouldn't live in annapolis
  17. leethestud

    leethestud Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    live aloha, this rant is not very "aloha".
  18. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    your reading comprehension skills are lacking something. try smoking a fatty and reading it out loud. the part, "I was following with my board on one arm, and a knife behind my back." could be mistaken for the guy renting me a vehicle if his name was I. but being a Costa Rican, his name would have been spelled Hay. I see where you would be confused. Sorry.
  19. funkyspec

    funkyspec Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    Those "Live Aloha" bumper stickers are on like every other car on Oahu. You especially notice them when getting cut off on the H-1 by a big Samoan guy in a beat up Hyundai.

    Back on topic: always bring soft racks plus bungees/rope in case the rack hooks don't fit in the car door channels. Or learn the Macgyver skills someone else mentioned about building racks out of stuff they found in the jungle and on the beach.
  20. Loggerhead

    Loggerhead Active Member

    Oct 29, 2011
    throw a pair of soft racks in your board bag, dummy