Heart and Soul:  The Story Behind Downunder

Kim Beaumont

Hi, I’m Kim Hawkins, owner of Downunder…

. . . a business dedicated to fun on the water for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life.

Raised in New Zealand, I LOVE the water, being creative and having a good time.  When my kids were young teens, I got the opportunity to take over a small boutique with a few kayaks in Rowayton, CT, called Below Deck.  It’s grown to three locations, one year round in the neighboring town of Westport, and in 2017 we opened a concession at Weed Beach in Darien.  We laugh that these surf shops are successful in an area with no surf!  Yet they are, and I think the secret is the passion – the love for being outdoors, the ‘surfer’ mindset and lifestyle. The experience you get when you visit Downunder is laid back, easy going, no worries.

In season, we offer SUP and kayak rentals, instruction, guided tours, kids camps, birthday parties, corporate outings, clambakes, SUP yoga, meditation, Sup with your Pup classes, and fitness programs. We sponsor the annual Stand Up For Veterans Charity Event and co-sponsor the annual Soundsurfer Waterman’s Challenge. We host paddle board certification courses such as PaddleFit. We are greatly involved with the community, and have a strong passion for veterans and first responders, offering them free rentals during the week. We cater to several off-site venues for private events, as well.

Westport and Rowayton have boutiques with clothing and apparel, water toys, footwear, jewelry, and accessories, boogie boards, and skim boards. Our Westport location carries hard goods that include paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards, wetsuits, and all the gear that goes with them.

My kids and husband have all been involved in the business over the years.  For me it’s all about family and friends, and empowering them through on-water activities – and in true ‘kiwi’ fashion, everyone is considered family ?

Westport and Rowayton are on flat-water rivers that lead out to the protected Long Island Sound – gorgeous tidal waterways, estuaries, islands – the area is truly magical.  Darien is on the Sound with easy access to local islands, rivers and ponds.  Patrons can be as daring as they want – learn tricks, try yoga, take a fitness class, train to race.  Or simply relax and paddle leisurely, take a tour, meditate.

The Downunder Mission Is To Empower, Energize and Excite

It’s all about enjoying your experience on the water and feeling good about yourself.  We provide the tools, make sure you’re safe and prepared. We make it easy so that you can be successful.  Kids from 3yrs to 80+ are totally capable and welcome.  Downunder promises that a visit will enrich, enliven, refresh, and rejuvenate. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation and will want to come back for more.

Downunder is committed to the environment and its caretakers and to a way of life that reflects our passions and beliefs, our concerns and convictions. We want to make the water accessible for everyone, particularly those with disabilities or special needs. We are here to make a difference.

Join the Family!

Interested in working at Downunder?  Download the Employment Application and email it to [email protected] along with your resume.

Give It a Go! We look forward to seeing you this season in any/all our locations. If you have any questions, give us a call or shoot an email. Kim

Best of the Gold Coast