Ever think about taking a kayak tour with girlfriends in the moonlight? How about a yoga class on a paddle board? Or having a family kayak race to a lighthouse? Well Kim Beaumont has and offers these fun adventures from her surf shop on Five Mile River in Rowayton and her new store in Westport.
Hired to be a kayak guide in 2005, Kim loved her job as manager of then named, Below Deck. Coming from her own business, Kiwi Kreations, which offered empowerment programs for children and adults, Kim decided to incorporate some of her ideas into the programs at Below Deck. She developed kayaking programs, parties, tours, corporate team building outings and a children’s camp that was immediately successful.
A love of kayaking and all things water led Kim to this venture. Certified as a children’s yoga instructor, she is a Level Two ACA (American Canoe Association) Kayaking Instructor. This year she will complete her Stand-up Paddle Board (“SUP” for those in the know) Instructor certification, just in time, as the paddle board sport takes off.
In 2007, Kim became the owner of Below Deck and renamed the destination Downunder, a play on her New Zealand heritage. Her slogan is “give it a go.” Making paddle sports assessable and fun, Kim provides programs for everyone – kids, seniors, teens, singles, and corporate groups. With three kids of her own, ages 19 and twins who are 17, she has lots of help with the two operations. “Kayaking and paddle boarding are amazing activities, so good for you and easy. I feel very fortunate to have my kids working for me and helping me grow.”
Tours range from 2 – 6 hours and take paddlers through natural estuaries, along beautiful shorelines, around local islands, and into natural wildlife sanctuaries. You can glide through Farm Creek, Gray’s Creek, and the Saugatuck River, take in the sites of the islands, Belle, Fish and Cockanoe, have lunch, go bird watching and see diverse habitats depending on your choice of trips.
An advocate for the environment, Kim is committed to keeping the rivers clean and usable and participates in areas clean-ups and education programs designed to preserve the environs where she and her clients kayak and paddle board. “I love being on the water. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation all the time and to run a shop centered around the sport is heaven,” says Kim.
Creative marketing keeps her busy. The new Westport location is year round and available for surf themed parties. Kim will even bring the party to you if you have waterfront access. Taking Kayaking and paddle boarding to new levels, Kim has Family Fun Nights, Fishing by Kayak, Paddle and Pub outings, Sunday Morning Mediation tours and even a Paddle and Pray trip which includes lunch at a local convent. Now that’s creative.
Seems Kim has hit the stream at the right time. I can’t wait to “give it a go.”
Many times you don’t choose a venture, a venture chooses you. Be open when a love of something you’ve had all your life directs you to your venture.