Retailer Spotlight: Collinsville Canoe, Connecticut

Collinsville Canoe & Kayak has been outfitting and training paddlers in New England since 1990. Their love of all things paddling is contagious, as their customers (and employees) know well…

About Collinsville Canoe & Kayak

Collinsville Canoe & Kayak is a family-owned business located on the Farmington River in Collinsville, Connecticut. They’re dedicated to:

  • Carrying the largest inventory of canoes, kayaks and SUP boards in New England…
  • Not just selling boats and gear, but selling the right boat and gear to each customer…
  • Providing the training and guiding their customers want so they can enjoy all their paddling experiences…
  • Being an active community partner, in the paddling community and beyond.

Their location on the river allows their customers to “test drive” any boat or paddle before purchasing—a popular and beneficial service.

An Employee Spotlight

The folks at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak wanted to put the spotlight specifically on one of their employees—Nate Hendrick.

Nate started working at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak as a high schooler back in 1994, and continued through his college years. Then his career path, marriage and family took him away from the store and paddling for many years.

Now Nate has returned to teach at the shop. CCK’s Melissa Post shares: “We are so glad to have him back! At Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, we see our staff as part of a larger family. They leave to pursue other interests but often return to help out.”

dad and son canoeing
Nate Hendrick with one of his sons, who’s now a paddler too


Nate shares his own story:

“Coming back to paddling these past couple years has been amazing. Canoeing has been perfect for introducing paddling to my kids. They love kayaking, just like I did when I started. But as a dad, or household Sherpa, the canoe is the perfect craft.  

“The boys are starting so much younger than I did that mixing up the paddling styles is a godsend. And they always have a place to rest when they’ve paddled themselves out!

“I have a different view of paddling as a whole because of where I am now. I can still remember being that 20-year old looking for adventure in a sea kayak. But now I see it as a dad passing it on to a new generation, and watching them grow in the sport.

boys kayaking

“Coming back has also afforded me the opportunity to expand my paddling skills. Translating what I had learned kayaking to canoeing has been so much fun. Working through the similarities and differences has helped me grow as a paddler. I have new ways of thinking about the sport and what to do in it. And it’s given me new ideas on how to teach.

“Teaching now is more fun than I remember it being—and it was fun then! Being able to pass on the basic skills to get new paddlers off on the right foot is fulfilling. Being able to look at the sport as a new paddler is so much fun, and being able to pass on a love of paddling is a nice way to give back to a sport that has been a part of my life for over 20 years.”

paddling family

You can connect with Collinsville Canoe & Kayak on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Need help finding your perfect kayak fishing paddle? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based customer service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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