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Watersports see increase in popularity during pandemic

(NBC15)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 10:56 PM CDT
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Coronavirus has canceled nearly all sports, but not water sports as the pandemic has actually meant more business for one local shop, Rutabaga Paddlesports.

Owner Darren Bush's credits his business' best April in years to Wisconsinites love to get out on the water, and the ability to social distance while being active.

"People want to be on the water, people want to get out." Bush said. "One of the best ways to find your flow and relax is to be on the water. It's just such a magical thing."

"I went paddling 23 miles yesterday and saw one person in 23 miles of river. So paddling is the best way to socially distance."

Lifelong paddler, Luke Bonney was searching for his first canoe and experienced that high demand firsthand.

"It's crazy, I called three or four days ago had three boats potentially selected. By the time I got here, two of those boats had sold out." said Bonney.

A surprise to both water-lovers but fitting for a sport tht can bring families together.

"You can't hike with a 5 year old, but you can put them in a canoe and the whole family gets out." said Bush.

"The wonderful thing is a lot of the things we do. Hanging out with friends, other sports we play we can't do right now. Getting a canoe is going to get us outside and we're able to do it as a family." added Bonney.

In a time when we're all rushing for a return to normalcy, Bush reminds us that it's still important to slow down.

"These (Kayaks) don't go fast. I mean the last one off the water wins, it what I always say."

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