For their first date, Ryan Mattison and Michelle Jones of Hastings went out for a paddle in a wooden canoe that Ryan designed and built himself.
Several dates and many rolls of masking tape later, the pair stepped off the dock at Lake Hastings into another one of Ryan's boat creations — a lime green, kayak-shaped vessel constructed entirely of cardboard.
The couple displayed their water sport experience in their quick and uniform paddle strokes, which lead them to place first in the adult division of the seventh annual Kool-Aid Days Kardboard Boat Races Sunday.
Their team was one of 17 crews that risked their dignity in the topsy-turvy races, which are intended to draw more laughs than wins, said Marissa Sitzmore, Kool-Aid Days board member and one of the event organizers.
"All the creativity you see out there, it's just a fun time. That's what it's all about," she said.