'Been really busy:' Milwaukee Kayak Company sees increased interest as people look to 'escape' COVID-19

MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsinites looking to escape the coronavirus pandemic, if only just for a couple hours, are doing so in a very Wisconsin way -- on the water -- and it's made watercraft like kayaks hard to come by.

With people required to wear masks in cities like Milwaukee, and practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, there's only so much you can do to pass the time.

"It's the pandemic, so we thought, 'What's the safe hobby to get outside the apartment or house,' and we thought, 'Well, 'we've been playing a lot of golf, so we might as well go in the water'" said Jack Swain, kayaker.

Kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding -- you name it -- if it gets you on the water, it's blowing up as a hobby.

"All the paddleboards, which is why we came out here, were all gone," said Swain. " We checked another spot and they're all gone, too."

Elizabeth Handle

Milwaukee Kayak Company is a business focused on personal watercraft rentals.

"It's been really busy," said Elizabeth Handle. "It's been really fun, and we're getting a lot of people on our rivers. The river has definitely become a destination. I think people want to get outside, and it's a perfect social distancing opportunity."

Even outdoor focused shops, like Sherper's in Hales Corners, have seen a significant uptick in customers.

"Once we were able to open back up, it's been hitting the ground running and never stopping ever since," said Adam Rabe with Sherper's. "Not just water stuff, tents, chairs, stoves, backpacks, a lot of new summer clothing."

We all know not to do something just because everyone else does it, but this might be a fun exception to the rule.