Story by UW-L student Spencer Hoostal
UW-L Recreation Management major Sarah Weyenberg’s business “5 Toes on the Nose” brings the native Hawaiian water sport of stand up paddleboarding to Wisconsin’s Northwoods.
Stand up paddleboarding is similar to surfing except the surfer uses a paddle while standing on a paddleboard. Paddleboards are more buoyant, wider and longer than regular surfboards.
When a surfer hangs 10 toes off the nose, or front, of the surfboard, it’s called hanging 10. When a surfer hangs only one foot off the nose, it’s called five toes on the nose.
Weyenberg rents stand up paddleboards to vacationers in the Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes, Three Lakes and surrounding areas of the Northwoods in summer.
The Three Lakes, Wis., native says she started “5 Toes on the Nose” in summer 2011 after her brother from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., suggested renting paddleboards to vacationers. Weyenberg thought it was a fun concept and soon found an investor to pay for the initial costs of the paddleboards.
Weyenberg runs her business out of her Volkswagon delivering paddleboards to vacationers who call for reservations. She also provides free lessons, along with free delivery and pickup.
She started the company in the Northwoods because of the fond memories she has of summers spent at her grandma’s cottage. “The Northwoods is where my greatest memories are and I want to help others have the same experience,” Weyenberg says.
Weyenberg says the knowledge and experience gained from “5 Toes on the Nose” helped her land an internship running surf camps and organizing special events this fall at a surf shop in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She plans to expand her business after her internship.
For more information on “5 Toes on the Nose,” including contact information for renting a paddleboard, visit www.5toesonthenose.com.