place in MN or WI to DEMO Kayaks

Hi - I am hoping to purchase my first kayak this spring and would love to find a place/event to try out a number of different models in one location. I have read about various “demo days” but the only one i could find any info on is in Bayfield WI (which is fine) but it is not until mid June. I can’t wait that long!! anyone know of any events anywhere in MN or WI in march april or may??


Paddle demo
For a paddle demo, check out Midwest Mountaineering’s Outdoor Adventure Expo April 27-29. They have a paddle demo on the 27th (Friday) before the big show on the weekend.


Rutabaga ??
I’ve have not lived in Madison for many years, but Rutabaga used to be the place to try out boats.

There also used to be a boat dealer on the Huron River near Ann Arbor Michigan.

Kayak Demo
If you go to Madison WI and visit Rutabaga and Carl’s Paddlin you will have the opportunity to try almost everything available on the market. This w/o demo days, both shops are on the water and demo when the water is soft.

Piragis in Ely MN and Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis and Chicagoland Canoebase have demo events, but none offer the array of product available in Mad town.


Two Rivers Kayak Swap Meet

Milwaukee & Madison
Laake and Joys is on the Milwaukee river in Downtown Milwaukee. I believe they let you try out boats on the river.

Rutabaga in Madison has a small pond behind their store and you can try out any boat on the pond. Rutabaga also has used boats.

Laake & Joys Co. 1433 N. Water St. Milwaukee

Duluth and Grand Marais
Midnight Sun in Duluth has demo boats. Superior Coastal Sports in Grand Marais may have boats you can demo.

in Madison. Great time.

The Paddlin Shop Madison
In Madison, the shop formerly known as Carl’s Paddling is always happy to let you test paddle their boats:

Rutabega also always allows test paddling, but it’s sometimes more of a production there. Both are great shops, and Madison is lucky to have two excellent stores. They carry different lines of boats (and both carry used boats), so check out both stores before you buy.

QCC up in northern WI also allows test paddles (just let them know before you show up, of course).

And if you contact kayak clubs, members are usually happy to let you try out their kayaks at meetings (although this does have to wait for spring!)

dealership in AA changed hands
The riverside location (Huron River) on the north end of Ann Arbor was called CanoeSport & carried plenty of kayaks as well. I knew/know the owner Brad B.

Anyways Brad owns a large landscaping biz that demanded his full attn, so he sold CanoeSport to another veteran of the paddleshop world.

They are called Sun n Snow on West Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor. They are dealers for Wilderness, Dagger, Perception,Current Designs, Hurricane AquaSports & others.

They offer two hours to demo a wide choice of KAYAKs (not canoes) on a nice stretch of the Huron. Demo fee $10 which can be used as a credit on any store item. Demos begin mid to late May depending on water.

If the poster can/wants to come out to Ann Arbor pls. e-mail me for more details, directions.

Spring Creek Outfitters…
carries a huge inventory of factory seconds at great prices and you can demo boats with them. They are located in Mountain Iron, MN which is about little over an hour north of Duluth.