WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — People are feeling the heat in the dog days of summer, pushing many to the water seeking heat relief.
At Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines, CanoeSport Outfitters rents out kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats at the boathouse. The company has been renting out boats for only two years at that location and so far so good.
“Business has been very good out here we have had lots of rentals,” said Jeff Holmes, owner of CanoeSport Outfitters. “Lots of people trying to get out on boards, kayaks and canoes. So yeah we have been extremely busy this summer.
Holmes says that the boathouse will see 50 to 60 people a day looking to rent out water recreational equipment; and the weekends will bring in more than 100. These are anywhere from first timers to kayaking veterans.
“It is a mix. We do get a lot of first time people people who haven’t been out and paddled before. People who have never been on a boat before. Have to work with them a little bit more and getting them out and used to it,” said Holmes. “We have a lot of repeat business. There is a lot of people that come out here and rent on a weekly basis.”
A veteran kayaker was out on the water on Tuesday. Marlyn Hoksbergen has been kayaking for over a decade and has been on the Mississippi River, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and more. She offers advice for those seeking to wade in the water for their first time.
“A beginner course it is a great way to just to get used to being on the water. getting tips on how to paddle, how to stop, how to back up. and it just gives you a great basis for continuing,” said Hoksbergen.
She also shared that she enjoys lakes over rivers for a variety of reasons.
“I like the big lakes it is a lot of fun to see the different wildlife and landscape off of the lakes, yeah not much of a river person,” said Marlyn Hoksbergen
Hoksbergen also mentioned the changing of water levels and watching shorelines adds to her disinterest of kayaking a whole lot on rivers.