Connor Kostyra stands on the dock in front of his two Mastercraft ski boats as opening day of the summer season begins for Lakeside Watersports. From May 1 to September 30, Kostyra and his team bring a love of all things watersport to kids and adults looking to experience the thrill of riding on a wakeboard, water skis, or a tube behind a fast-moving boat, all while listening to their favorite tunes.
Unfortunately, for most of us, owning our own boat is often out of reach. That’s where Lakeside Watersports comes in. Located on beautiful Candlewood Lake in Brookfield, the company is headed by Kostyra, who has spent his life around boats. An accomplished wakeboarder, he spent many years in Florida and Texas in boat sales and as a “delivery captain” helping new and seasoned boaters understand their purchases. Today, Lakeside Watersports is committed to providing guests with a thrilling experience.
“My goal is to introduce people to the boating experience in a way that is affordable,” says Kostyra. “It’s awesome to help someone learn something new. Teaching a person to wake surf, and then seeing them glide along behind the boat is exhilarating. The thrill never gets old.”
At $300 for an hour boat rental, driver, spotter, and access to top-of-the-line equipment, trying out an oftentimes inaccessible sport like waterskiing suddenly becomes possible. Add to that expert instruction, a commitment to safety, and a family-oriented experience, and you have a recipe for success. Every operator at Lakeside Watersports is first-aid and CPR trained, has a boating certificate, is personally tested and vetted by Kostyra, and has access to training courses.
“Our number one priority is safety. At the same time, we want our guests to have fun. We personalize every experience – from the music they want to listen to to the sports they want to try,” Kostyra continues.
A typical hour rental starts with guests being handed a life jacket and escorted onto the boat. After a safety talk, the crew will connect the guest’s favorite playlist and confirm what the group would like to do. Lakeside Watersports encourages guests to try wake surfing; a slower, more controlled version of wakeboarding. After being instructed on how to get up on the board, the guest is towed behind the boat, releases the rope, and then surfs in the large, deep wake created by the boat. “We try to give as much as we can during the time they’ve booked. Everything is ready to go, so there isn’t a lot of downtime on the boat. We always like to overdeliver on value,” says Kostyra.
The overdelivering doesn’t stop with just providing watersport thrills. While you’re on the boat, and if you’re in the market to purchase your own watercraft, Kostyra will take the time to discuss options with you. Since an entry-level ski boat can cost in the vicinity of $150,000, it’s important to understand the intricacies of boat ownership before diving in.
“Owning a boat is a huge investment,” says Kostyra. “I’ve been around them my whole life and am always available to share my joy and my expertise. I hope everyone gets the thrill of a lifetime when they ride with us.”
To learn more, follow @lakesidewatersports on Instagram, or visit LakesideWatersports.com. •