On the Job With: Milwaukee Kayak Co.

Handle explains Milwaukee Kayak Co.’s rules, including bringing a water bottle, always wearing a life jacket and avoiding Lake Michigan.
Handle explains Milwaukee Kayak Co.’s rules, including bringing a water bottle, always wearing a life jacket and avoiding Lake Michigan.

Last updated on October 1st, 2019 at 12:00 pm

After working for Laacke & Joys, Beth Handle decided to open her own kayaking business, Milwaukee Kayak Co., in 2013.

Based in the city’s Harbor District, Milwaukee Kayak Co. rents out its fleet of kayaks, tandem kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards, allowing boaters to experience and explore the Milwaukee River. Staff members work with kayakers to find right-fitting life jackets and paddles, and assist them as they launch from the dock. Though it’s physically demanding, Handle said her job is a “nice, happy, fun place” to be.

The company also teams up with area organizations, such as Milwaukee Riverkeeper and Milwaukee County Historical Society, and hosts educational paddle tours to raise funds for the nonprofits.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story indicated Beth Handle previously worked at Visit Milwaukee. While Milwaukee Kayak Co. works with Visit Milwaukee to promote the city as recreational destination, Handle has not worked for the organization and the story has been updated to reflect that fact.

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