It’s easy to say the Wisconsin Canoe Company is the best canoe and kayak rental company on the Wisconsin River so rather than expect you to take our word for it, here’s what makes it true.
The Best Customer Service
We’re passionate about the outdoors and sharing the outdoor experience. For you, it means that if we want to keep doing what we’re doing, we have to do everything in our power to make sure your trip rocks by ensuring you’ve got the right gear, the right preparation, and the right attitude. And if an issue does arise, you’ll be dealing with competent people that will do everything possible to get it right. Many midnight emails will attest to this.
The Best Equipment
Our entire fleet of 150+ high quality Old Town canoes and kayaks are, on average, less than 3 seasons old and the highest quality fleet on the river. These extremely durable boats are made of a heavy duty polyethylene composite that is very quiet, doesn’t heat up in the sun like aluminum, and the lack of rivets means you won’t have any of the leaks you’ll find in the average rental fleet. If you tip over they will float and if you run into a rock, they will bounce off. We also have backrests, cupholders, and firewood available plus we provide every customer with comfortable, ski-style lifevests and outfitter grade paddles.
The Best Shuttle System
Your car is parked at the take out point and we transport you upriver at the beginning of your trip. That way, there’s no need to keep an eye on the clock and race to catch your shuttle (or worse, sitting around and waiting hours for it), only to be packed into a bus full of sweaty, sandy people for a long ride back to your car. Instead, when you go with us, you’re free to canoe the river at your own pace, and because your car is already at the end waiting for you, there’s no need to sit around. You just load up the car and go straight for the shower while we make the rounds to pick up your equipment.
The Best Guarantee
You’re planning a trip. Putting money down. Taking time off. Bringing friends from out of town. You’re putting a lot of effort into this trip. When you make your reservation with us, you have a 130% guarantee that every single canoe or kayak you’ve reserved will be ready and waiting for you on the shuttle you’ve chosen for the days you’ve reserved (that’s why they call it a reservation right?). We take our prep work and our spreadsheets very seriously. On the very small chance we screw up, you will get 130% of the cost of your missing boats back (for the math illiterate – that is a full refund AND we pay you 30% for the hassle). Plus, we keep a few extra canoes (admittedly not the nicest ones) out of inventory so you’ll get to continue your trip anyway. Luckily, in 567 8 seasons, we haven’t had to resort to this yet.
The Best Pet Policy
Bring your dog, your cat, even your pet rabbit (this actually happened once). As long as your friend plays well with others, we’re more than happy to load them into the bus and get them on the water. Have you ever seen a leash free dog with its own island to go nuts on? They will literally love you for it.
The Best Communication
Your entire reservation can be completed online instantly. And when that’s not enough, we are always available via phone, email, text message, and facebook – even twitter if that’s your thing (but really, please don’t use twitter). You can also check our current (literally up to the second) inventory when planning your trip and track hourly changes in river conditions. We also maintain a 24 hour emergency line while customers are on the river and provide daily river updates on the front page of our website and automated text notifications when high water threatens sandbar availability or severe weather is imminent.
There are plenty of other outfitters that would be happy to help you get out on a sandbar but I can honestly tell you that not a single one offers all of these features. In fact, most offer three at most which is why there is one big point missing from our list – we do not have the cheapest rates on the river. Our rates trend high because we pay our staff $20/hr. We pay $17k in health insurance for a family of four (2019). We pay $25k each year to maintain our rental quality. And at some point we won’t be able to lift canoes anymore so we contribute to our retirement accounts.
It is completely understandable if cost is your main concern and we would be happy to send you the phone number for one of our cheaper competitors (they don’t have a website) however you should expect a trade off in quality of equipment and outfitter communication/timeliness.