Rutabaga in Madison, WI?

I’m new to Kayaking and will be passing through Madsion, WI next Saturday on my way to the Milwaukee airport. I won’t have a lot of time so I was wondering if you think it’s worth the vist? My wife will kill me if we miss our flight. :slight_smile:


It’s worth it

– Last Updated: Sep-16-05 1:49 PM EST –

but don't get killed missing your flight.

Not only worth it but if you are passing thru on the “belt line” it will only be about a six block detour. Easy off and back on to the belt line.

Oh yeah…
I was just there yesterday. I’m new to the sport as well and had heard great things about Rutabaga. My friend and I went down there and they were the best! John spent probably 4 or 5 hrs with us answering all our questions, explaining things, picking out gear, etc.

I would say leave early so you have a little extra time…that way you’re both happy :wink:

I passed through Madison this summer and found it easily, a short drive from the freeway…and well worth the stop!

While you’re in Madison…
… check out the city’s other outfitter, Carl & John’s Paddlin’ ( Great selection, highly competent staff and they’re having a sale from Sept. 23 - Oct. 2. I recently bought a Magic through them and drove up to pick it up… from western N.C. They’re good.

And no, I don’t work for them, I’m just a satisfied customer.


While Rutabaga is an absolutely great store and a very satisfying shopping experience, don’t miss out on Carl and Jon’s Paddling. Super nice people with a store that strikes me as a place still rooted in it’s long history of paddling. I don’t work there either by the way.

Only one of the finest toy stores around, and the staff seems to be doing what they can to keep the karmic wheel in balance. Good people.

You’re going to miss the flight…

The “beltline” is Highway 12/18, running west of I90. Exit the beltline at Monona drive which is about the 2nd or 3rd exit (only goes north), and take the first left. It’s about 50 yards down on the left, can’t miss it.

Carl & John’s is worth a stop too, but it’s a bit of a drive thru town to get to it.

Carl and John’s Paddling shop
My advice is to put Carl and John’s at the top of your paddle shop list when visiting Madison. It’s still a real paddle shop. In my opinion Rutabaga has gone over too much to the yuppie shop crowd, but still worth a visit if you have time to make two stops.

Bring your Visa
I find it impossible to leave either place without an armful of gear. I also end up staying much longer than planned each time I enter. The staff are great; they really make you feel like paddling is all that matters. They both sponsor good classes, too. Rutabaga taught me to roll. That is no easy task, since I am gravitationally and rotationally challenged.

thanks for the tip!
another place to stop next time I’m up that way…I look forward to it!

Rutabaga skirt order
Ordered a spray skirt tuesday the 20th and recieved it today 22nd, that’s fast friendly service and the staff was very helpfull. I called them three times to ask questions and compare prices. Each time they went and got the item I was asking about and provided a full discription. It helped since you can’t buy a decent skirt within 75 miles of where I live.

Regarding the "yuppie crowd"
Hey Vic, I think I understand what you are saying, and I’ve seen that same comment posted here numerous times, but I have a different take on that. First off, no company has started “simple and basic” to a greater degree than Rutabaga (and without Rutabaga as a training ground, Carl and John’s shop would not exist at all), but they have grown over the years, which is what every good business does. I don’t find any fault with them for being good at what they do therefore becoming a bigger and more diverse shop. Sure, they now sell a lot of high-end clothing and camping gear, but if that means they cater to yuppies, fine by me. The mere fact that they don’t carry ANY junky gear is something I see as a real tribute to their outlook, not as some sort of elitism. After all, you can get cheap junk anywhere these days, but quality clothing and other gear is sold by fewer and fewer shops every year. I don’t blame them one bit for looking for ways to increase their volume of sales, especially since they chose to stay away from the mass-produced trash that most other outfits stock up on when looking to increase profits.

(A yuppie in disguise)