Meet Cris Rosario! Along with his wife Susanna, Cris owns Paddleboard Specialists and Nordic Specialists in Oconomowoc. They believe that the right stand up paddleboard (SUP) is not a commodity, it’s an experience. In addition to their expertise on all things SUP, Cris and Susanna, a native of Finland, manages the Nordic Specialists Hut at Lapham Peak to provide rentals for striding and skate skis, as well as snowshoes and Nordic walking poles.
Oconomowoc’s annual Midwest Paddle Fest is organized by Cris and Susanna and is set for July 11, 2020. The event attracts visitors from all over the country with its races, demos, vendors and yoga. It’s a full day of events and fun with proceeds going to causes close to the hosts’ hearts: Clean Water Association, Lapham Peak Snow Making Project and Oconomowoc Sports Booster Club.
Cris and Susanna invite you to grab a cup of coffee or a beer and sit and talk SUP with them in their hip, relaxed shop. We’d like to thank them for sitting down with us and talking about their active, outdoorsy Lake Country lives.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I purchased a paddleboard from the company a decade ago and the owner kept pestering me to work for him, and it all fell into place from there.”
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Lake Country, and what do you love there?
A. “Fresh Baked. Jennifer Betances’ product is unmatched. I love their guava filled croissant, and Jennifer has promised to add cream cheese to it for me. I was born in Puerto Rico and I love that flavor combination.”
Q. How long have you lived or worked in Lake Country?
A. “13 years.”
Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Lake Country?
A. “Sean Osborne, he’s a veteran that quietly does a lot for the community.”
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
A. “The cross country skiing World Cup in Lahti, Finland.”
Q. What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Q. What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A. “Work harder at home than you do at work.”
Q. What is something on your bucket list?
A. “To visit all the National Parks in the United States, starting with those in Wisconsin.”
Q. What is your favorite music? Name three artists you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A. “I enjoy jazz and all types of music. I’d like to spend some time with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Peter Gabriel.”
Q. What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Lake Country?
A. “Sweetie Pie’s.”
Q. Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Lake Country would you have lunch?
A. “Elon Musk. I think he doesn’t think like everyone else. Everyone thinks they’re different, but look at social media. I think it was Dennis Miller that said ‘never have such unimportant lives been so well documented.’ I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast, and Musk and he created this grim picture of humanity, and Musk’s solution is to just be kind. We need more people like him.”
Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Lake Country?
A. “Nature, the lakes, Lapham Peak. Living in the southern Kettle Moraine is pretty amazing, and it’s equidistant to Milwaukee and Madison.”
Q. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A. “Doing the same thing we are now, we purchased this business for the lifestyle that accompanies it.”
Q. Even for friends or family, what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A. “I was trained as an audio engineer and toured South America with Guns ‘n Roses. That was really an eye opener for me. We witnessed a coup in Venezuela and barely made it out. In Colombia, the show was sold out and there were 20,000 angry people that couldn’t get in. There was also an incident where the lobby of the hotel we stayed at was bombed.”
Q. What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word home?
A. “Comfort, family and food.”
Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A.”Sophia Loren or Raquel Welch.”
Q. If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? A Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
The Faces of Lake Country is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured, please click the button below.