One Captain’s Course of a Lifetime
Captain’s Log: Sea-date Summer 2019
Captain Andy Lambert reflects on the path he followed towards the founding of Causeway Watersports. And though it’s been nearly 30 years since he got his captain’s license, the story of how a young man from Minneapolis, Minnesota came to live, work and play on the Outer Banks is one that inspires all of us to travel, enjoy ourselves, and truly live.
It wasn’t always dreams of the ocean and sand that inspired Lambert. When he first left home it was for college. After a semester, he decided that his talents were better suited to the hospitality industry. He moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he worked in a restaurant and was afforded the ability to be a self-proclaimed ski bum. Starting out as a steward, he worked his way up to banquet chef. When his boss was promoted to a position on Marco Island in Florida, Lambert decided it was time to make another change and went with him. That’s when his career in the watersport industry really took off—literally. He ended up working for a company that was a pioneer in the Florida parasailing industry. They started off using a premium winch boat and gave Andy Lambert the skills to eventually be his own captain.
Soon after Lambert received his captain’s license, his boss asked him if he would like to go to Duck in the Outer Banks to train others to be captains and teach parasailing. Lambert said, “Ok, but I have two questions: Where is Duck and what are the Outer Banks?” Apparently, he came to love the area and built his life here. Part of that life is his company, Causeway Watersports. His approach to business is simple: Safety is the most important aspect of his company, and customer service is a close second. In addition, he believes any business can be successful by hiring the best possible people to take care of the customers.
Andy Lambert and his staff take time to get to know their clients and he tries to make the experience as great as possible. That’s why he doesn’t check in his clients online—it’s too impersonal. On a parasail, he can “fly” people of varying abilities including those who are paraplegics or wheelchair-bound, since they depart from a marina. He’s had customers as young as 2½ and as mature as 93 take flight as well. His boats only seat 6 passengers so it’s a more intimate experience for those who are flying on the single, tandem, or triple parasails. Causeway Watersports also offers jet ski rentals and this year, they’re adding pontoon boat rentals, tubing, and kayaking as well.
Lambert also believes in fair prices and does not nickel-and-dime his clients. He offers packages on his early bird jet ski tour (highly recommended) which includes one photo and one t-shirt per jet ski rental. He has similar deals on parasailing packages as well and some of the lowest prices around. By exceeding people’s expectations, he keeps them coming back. That, and it’s clear to all that Lambert loves what he does. As he stated, “If someone told me years ago that I could have my own watersports company but I’d be penniless, I would do it all over again.”
While you’re vacationing in the Outer Banks, be sure to visit Causeway Watersports in Nags Head for the thrill of a lifetime and the opportunity to meet a remarkable captain. You can also find them on Facebook or call 252-441-8875 for reservations.