Just Add Water
Saturday, May 25, 2013 5:01 AM
Carrollton, Ky., resident Brent Leite waited years for someone to open a water adventures business on the Ohio River, but no one showed an interest.
Brent Leite is using Carrollton’s natural resources to his advantage in his new endeavor, Two Rivers Adventures.
So, Leite decided to open his own rental business - Two Rivers Adventures - on Main Street in Carrollton. This weekend will be the first time the business opens to give adventurers a different look of the river - a view from the seat of a kayak or canoe.
Leite, who began his own kayaking adventures nearly two decades ago, has been on his own water adventures throughout the area several times. He's rented equipment from businesses similar to what he hopes Two Rivers Adventures will be. He's paddled the Ohio River, the Kentucky River and several smaller creeks and rivers around Carroll County.
Now he's hoping to encourage others to find a new sport and hobby while also helping to revive downtown.
"I'm venturing into the unknown," Leite said, noting he's always been the customer instead of the businessman.
Yet he encourages everyone from first-time adventures to experts to stop by the store at 402 W. Main St. and check out the store. Anyone more than 30 pounds may rent water sports equipment from the business, although children younger than 17 needs at least one adult for supervision.
"First timers (are) more than welcome," he said. "There's no way to explore (rivers) unless you float down them."
Leite first had the idea to open some type of water adventures rental business nearly 10 years ago.
"I've been kind of waiting for someone else to do this," he said.
While traveling throughout the western United States, Leite noticed towns and cities highlight whatever interesting landforms they had nearby - including several whitewater rafting trips or rental locations for vacationers.
"They do whatever they can with their natural resources," he said, and he hopes to see an increase of businesses that utilize the Ohio River in Carroll County.
While kayaking, canoeing and paddling doesn't have a major following in the area yet - even though the Ohio River is easily accessible year-round - Leite hopes his business might help to change that.
"There's only a handful of us in this town," he said, but Leite feels like there will be more local draw to water sports should a rental business be in the area and equipment more accessible to people.
"It's not anything people need special training for," Leite said. "You just get in and try it."
People should expect to get wet during their adventure, he said, but that's just part of the fun.
Leite does stress the importance of safety while on the river whether someone is kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding. Each of the rentals from Two River Adventures includes the canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard and paddle, as well as a life vest. Each participant will watch a safety video inside the store before setting out on their adventure from Point Park for a half day or full day of paddling on the river, depending on the rental they choose.
He also recommends visitors check the weather forecast before a day on the river, but a little rain never stopped a trip. In fact, rain just makes the adventures better, he said.
"I live my life by the weather," he said, noting two inches of rainfall makes water adventures a little more exciting and makes the rivers a little higher and the currents a little faster.
Visitors should chose the right type of clothing for a day of paddling as well. Wearing clothes with synthetic materials instead of cotton and sandals or old tennis shoes might help should someone fall overboard or end up in the water, he said.
Also, visitors should bring their own fishing pole and equipment if they want to fish during the outing. Two Rivers Adventures doesn't rent fishing equipment at this point, but might in the future as Leite expands his business.
"Bring a smile and bring a camera," Leite said.
Additional information about shuttled trips and prices are available online at www.tworiversadventures.com or on Facebook at Two Rivers Adventures.