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What is Rutabaga Paddlesports?


Rutabaga Paddlesports is completely owned and operated by canoe and kayak paddlers. We sell great name SUP boards, canoes and kayaks, along with their accompanying accessories and replacement parts. Experience, advice, and passion for the outdoors are the reason why our customers are so loyal. You will also shop great name apparel for both fashion and paddling at Rutabaga.

More than a store - we strive to grow the community.

Here are a few of our other endeavors:


About Rutabaga Paddlesports.


For over 35 years, Rutabaga Paddlesports has been an authentic, paddler-owned and operated specialty shop. We sell, service and rent the best of the best equipment in Paddlesports.

Rutabaga Outdoor Programs is still the largest flat-water paddling school in the country, with classes for all ages in all disciplines, certification courses for ACA and BCU, and master classes by instructors from all over North America.

Rutabaga was voted Paddlesports Retailer of the Year Award from Canoe and Kayak Magazine for 2003, 2004, and 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011, at which point the award was retired.

We were voted one of the Top 50 Places to Work in the Outdoor Industry by Outside Magazine, one of only three retailers to be placed in such a distinguished crowd. We were also awarded a 2010 Canoe and Kayak Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Outfitters. (We’re not sure what "Outfitter" means, but hey, enough people thought we were good enough to be included.)

We were voted best Sea Kayak Shop in the Midwest by Sea Kayaker Magazine for three years straight. Finally, Backpacker Magazine awarded us the 2010 Retailer of the Year for Youth Participation, which was quite an honor as well.

Rutabaga Paddlesports is proud to present Canoecopia, as well as the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium and other local events, including Water Divas, a program designed to get new women paddlers out on the water.

Message from the owner.


Darren on the Wisconsin River

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin, one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I moved here 26 years ago because I fell in love with a local girl. Two kids and two dogs later, I find myself doing what I love with great people in a great industry. I'm less than an hour from my favorite river (see picture - there's a reason I'm smiling).  I am indeed a blessed man.

Consumers are changing the way they shop.  Our goal with Rutabaga.com is that it's an extension of 220 West Broadway. Rutabaga.com is and will continue to become a mirror of the experience you'd get if you walked in our doors

As a small, family-owned and operated business, I have the opportunity to make choices that larger box stores can't. I'm proud to say we never left value and service. We like being an independent, single-store specialty retailer, because if you call us, you don't get a call center, you get one of us.

We're thankful for you, our customers, for allowing all of us to make a living doing what we love. We promise to do our utmost to provide you with good prices, great gear, and staff-tested tools for great experiences. If we don't measure up to your expectations, call me at 608.310.3850 (my direct line). We'll make it right; we always do.

With gratitude,
Darren Bush
Chief Paddling Evangelist