09 April 2005

Reason Number 489 Why Mothers Should Surf

It's a word that strikes terror into the hearts of moms who are still trying maintain an identity separate from their children:

MINIVANS

I hate them and all that they represent . . . or so I thought. If you'd asked me five years ago whether I'd buy a minivan once I had a child, I would have answered, "OH, HELL NO!" But I wasn't surfing five years ago. Now, to my chagrin, the idea of a minivan is somewhat attractive. I only have the one child so it's not like a minivan is a necessity. However, with four surfboards in the family, I'd like to have a vehicle with some space. See, I'm one of those pseudo-environmentalists (my term for myself) who is opposed to SUVs because of the damage they do to the environment. So an SUV is out of the question. That leaves a minivan as the only option. I like the VW EuroVan. It doesn't have that "soccer mom" stigma. Unfortunately, it's also a piece of junk.



And there's the rub. The EuroVan is cool. It doesn't scream middle-America, hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie. Those of you who know me know that stuff is just not me. But the good thing about surfing is at least you can justify owning a minivan. Right? Wrong? I like the Honda Odyssey, especially since it's a ride you can pimp (not that I would).



Perhaps I'm just bitter. I gave up a car I loved—a Subaru WRX—once I had my child. I don't blame him though. The truth is that I cannot drive a fast car slowly. A fast car is meant to be driven fast . . . unless you have a baby in the rear seat. I knew it was time to let the car go when I raced a Honda on the Marina freeway at about 100 miles an hour. And, yes, my baby was in the car. I traded the WRX in not long after that event. (Who won? I did, of course!) Now I'm in an extremely under-powered station wagon. The good thing is that I can get the 9'6" in it when I need to. The bad thing is there are times when I'd like to have two boards at the beach and it would be nice to have something in which I can transport several boards (and the child). Thus the reason why I'm giving thought to a minivan.

8 Comments:

At 4/9/05, 7:26 PM, Blogger Alan_M said...

in all honesty, those honda elements are pretty cool surf vehicles, though low on the power scale... another option, in a word, racks. slap em on whatever, and your boards go too! could be worse, you could be driving a pontiac aztek(shudder)...

 
At 4/9/05, 9:32 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Can't get a 9'6" log in an Element. I also don't like that you have to open the front door in order to open the back door. I have racks on my car. But unlike so many others, I trust no one and never leave a board on top of my car (unless I'm in my own neighborhood since no one there surfs so no one steals boards).

 
At 4/11/05, 7:47 AM, Blogger RuggerJay said...

We're probably getting a Nissan Quest, if it makes you feel any better. Not that I'll be personally affected, since I'll get to drive our Xterra. And a surfer friend of mine who spent some years in Oregon told me that minivans are big with surfers up there - very practical, especially when changing in/out of a wetsuit in 40 degree weather...

 
At 4/11/05, 11:23 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

I just test-drove a Prius sedan. We opened up the hatchback and folded down all the seats. I think I'm going to be able to get my 9'7" in there! I should have brought my surfboard to the dealership to see for sure... But Greg gets his 9'8" Tyler into his Audi sedan, so I don't see why this won't work.

 
At 4/11/05, 1:56 PM, Blogger crustyripper said...

Hey, you might want to check out the Toyota Matrix. You either love or hate the style, but the interior engineering is awesome. I took my 9'6" to the dealer and there was so much room (with seats folded flat), I could have put in a 10', easy. Plus, they are good on gas. Ultimately, we got an 05' Honda CRV, a great vehicle, because my wife didn't like the look of the matrix. But, since I have two kids in carseats, it won't be the surf rig for a while. Be careful on minivans, though, they're not much more evironmentally friendly than the average SUV mileage wise.

 
At 4/11/05, 2:38 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Don't forget. I'm talking about putting putting two boards in a vehicle along with a carseat that is always anchored to the backseat. Crustyripper, the mileage of minivans doesn't appeal to me. However, I think the emissions standards for minivans are similar to those for cars (whereas the standards for SUVs are similar to those for trucks). I won't be getting a new vehicle any time soon. I can't afford it. I'm still paying for surfboards!

 
At 4/11/05, 5:49 PM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Crustyripper -- I thought about getting the Toyota Matrix and it's still a consideration, but I'm sold on the Prius because the emissions are 90% lower than regular gasoline engines. I might as well be doing something good for the environment if I'm buying new.

 
At 4/12/05, 2:34 PM, Blogger crustyripper said...

Yeah, you're going to have to go minivan or full size SUV to put in longboards and keep the carseats installed. Lay them up on top of the seats, but then you can't have the kids in the car. I saw a group of bozos the other day in the parking lot load up a minivan with kids, then put two shortboards inside with them. Imagine the effect of two boards in the car during a major accident! And, the van had racks, but they didn't use them. I think the best place for boards is in the back of the truck, or on a roof rack.

Gracefullee, I wanted to get a Prius too, for the same reason, but as a family rig it is too small. Plus, I've been told that if you do a lot of freeway driving, you're using the gas portion of the powertrain mostly with a hybrid, so it's not a panacea. I think a Matrix is still considered a "green" low emission vehicle.

 

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