Connecticut Logo


Don't Get Stuck Upstream without a Paddle - Enjoy it!

By Elisha Neubauer

When it comes to watersports, Downunder in Connecticut does it all. Whether you're looking to rent a kayak or learn how to stand-up paddleboard, they've got you covered.

Downunder got its start when Kim Hawkins was given the opportunity to take over a small kayak boutique in Rowayton. The New Zealand native always had a soft spot for the water, so this was a natural transition. What she didn't anticipate was that her love and loyalty to the shop would create such an atmosphere that customers would flock to her for years to come.

The Rowayton store, which originally only rented out a handful of kayaks, has grown into quite an operation. There are now two locations (Westport and Rowayton) and a wide array of services. Currently, they offer kayak and SUP rentals, lessons, tours, parties, corporate outings, SUP with your pup classes, PaddleFit programs, SUP yoga and meditation. Kids' classes and activities include kayak and SUP camps for ages 6 through 16, lessons, birthday parties, and annual SUPIA kids days.

Of course, no inclusive watersports facility would be complete without a full assortment of goodies to shop through! "We also have a full boutique with clothing and apparel, hard goods including paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards, skim boards, boogie boards, and skate boards, and all the accessories to go with them," cites Karen Jewell, Operations Manager of Downunder.

At Downunder, they're more than just a surfshop. "The Downunder experience is like our lifestyle -- laid back and no worries," says Hawkins. "In true Kiwi (New Zealand) style, we'll treat you like family with personalized attention that ensures you get the ultimate paddling experience." She explains that the company is passionate about empowering both children and adults in the only way they know how - on the water and shares "Downunder is a business dedicated to fun on the water for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life!"

While a large portion of their business is covered by the surfshop and another large portion falling under lessons and camps, Downunder also offers guided tours in both their Westport and Rowayton locations.

In the Westport location, Downunder takes paddlers upriver toward the center of town and the fish ladder at the dam. If the Westport paddlers head downriver toward Long Island Sound, they will see Stony Point, Gray's Creek, Bermuda Lagoon, Cockenoe Island, Compo Beach, and Longshore. The Westport location also offers a July 4th Fireworks tour and Clambakes on Cockenoe Island tour.

Along the way, they will see plenty of fauna and wildlife, including Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, Great Blue Herons, and even the occasional Bald Eagle.

Paddlers visiting the Rowayton location will either head upriver to the tidal waterfall or downriver toward Tokeneke Creek, Farm Creek, and Fish Island. Both locations offer full moon tours throughout the season.

Share this:


Leave a comment:

* Login in order to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join for Free

About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

View Profile

Become an Expert Contributor

Have some knowledge to share, and want easy and effective exposure to our audience? Get your articles or guides featured on Connecticut Homes today! Learn more about being an expert contributor.

Learn More