By Jacob Mathias
Divepoint Scuba Paddle and Adventure held a kayaking and paddle board demonstration on Mother’s Day- despite cooler temperatures and windy conditions on the Wisconsin River.
“Usually the weather cooperates but today it didn’t real well,” said Divepoint owner Bob Butt, who is hosting another kayaking demo on Father’s Day weekend. “We’re giving people a chance to try a boat, try before you buy…it’s real hard to tell what you want unless you go out and paddle it.”
Area resident Sean Mantei, who has kayaked for two years, was at the demo to shop for an upgrade. Mantei hasn’t kayaked yet this spring but plans to get out in the next few weeks.
“Right now I have a cheapo kayak and looking to upgrade to something a little bit nicer,” said Mantei. “I just like being out doors and going to explore. I like to do a lot of the smaller rivers so you kind of see things you can’t see from the road, basically get out in nature.”
“It’s a fun sport, you’re out on the water. Once you own a boat it’s fairly inexpensive, you don’t have to keep putting fuel in it,” said Butt. “You’re autonomous in your boat.”
Butt said that he’s seeing an increase in the popularity of kayaking and paddle boarding in recent years. He estimates paddle boaters are about 70 percent female.
“We’ve put six people out on the water so far today,” said Mark Robinson, a sales representative for Bic Stand Up Paddle Boards. “It’s actually pretty easy; it’s not as extreme as everyone thinks.”
The cost of equipment lowers with the expanded popularity, he said, adding the cost of a kayak ranges from $300 to $3,000, and paddle boards start at $800.
Divepoint is located at 944 Main Street in Stevens Point.
Monday: 10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Thursday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Friday: 10 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 3PM