GET ACTIVE: Kayaking fun comes to RiverScape MetroPark

Shaun Tait started paddling when he was just 12 years old and now enjoys nothing more than sharing his passion for paddling.

Taiters Kayak Solutions will offer the opportunity to experience the Great Miami River all summer long with kayak rentals on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. from June through September at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave. The launch takes place from under the Riverside Bridge along the Great Miami Recreational Trail.

“It’s a flatwater paddle, so it’s very safe,” Tait said. “And we’re there to make sure people are comfortable.”

Taiters Kayak Solutions staff will provide visitors with brief instructions and a safety tutorial prior to entering the water. All visitors will be required to wear a properly fitted lifejacket which is included with the rental.

“We have all these beautiful waterways, and this is one more option for people to try paddling,” Tait said. “If I can get everyone on the water, I’ll be happy.”

The kayak rentals are just one of several opportunities to get out and paddle. From group paddles with Whitewater Warehouse to a series of paddling programs with Five Rivers MetroParks, there are experiences for rookie and veteran paddlers alike.

“The goal of programs like ‘Try Paddlesports’ is to give people the opportunity to try a lot of boats and ask questions – they don’t have to figure it out on their own,” said Derrick Keating, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation coordinator. “We want to make paddling accessible and safe.”

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Keating, an experienced whitewater raft guide, knows firsthand how important safety is when it comes to paddlesports.

“It looks easy and that’s tempting for people, but we want to make sure everyone is aware of the hazards,” he said.

According to Keating, the new rental program compliments the existing MetroParks programs.

“It lowers the barriers to entry and adds an element of flexibility,” he said. “We want to do whatever we can to keep growing the sport.”

Kayak Rentals at RiverScape

What: Taiters Kayak Solution is offering walk-up hourly kayak rentals at RiverScape MetroPark

Who: Paddlers must be at least 14 years old. The maximum weight for participation is 325 pounds.

Where: Launching from near the Riverside Bridge, you can paddle from RiverScape MetroPark to Deeds Point MetroPark or paddle under the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights. Those renting will not be permitted to go through the RiverScape RiverRun whitewater feature.

When: Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., June through September

Cost: $10 per hour

Safety Guidelines

  • All participants must always wear a life jacket while on the water. Lifejacket is included with rental.
  • Shoes are recommended, ideally ones with a closed toe and a heel strap. Flip-flops are not recommended.
  • Always remain seated while kayaking. Do not stand or sit on the edge of the kayak.
  • Swimming is not permitted.
  • Alcohol and drugs are not permitted.
  • In case of thunderstorms, participants will have to vacate the water for 20 minutes once lightning has been spotted.
  • Paddle at your own risk.
  • There are no refunds for changes in the weather.

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Get Out and Paddle

Saturday, June 11

Kayak

What: Kayak from Whitewater Warehouse on the Mad River and through both whitewater features of the RiverScape River Run on the Great Miami River. Participants will be using inflatable kayaks. Weather dependent.

Time: 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Who: Ages 14 and older

Cost: $30

Sunday, June 12

Kayak 1

What: A hands-on class in which students will get acquainted with paddling equipment, learn a variety of kayak paddle strokes, flatwater maneuvers, and safety for beginners in recreational kayaks. A portion of the class will be spent learning how to perform rescues which will include capsizing your kayak, swimming, getting in and out of your boat in the water. Equipment is provided. Weather dependent.

Time: Noon to 7 p.m.

Who: Ages 14 and older

Cost: $70

Thursday, June 16

Kayak Rentals at RiverScape with Taiters Kayak Solutions

What: Paddle from RiverScape to Deeds Point MetroPark or paddle under the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights with Taiters Kayak Solutions. Safety tutorial and lifejackets are included.

Time: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Who: Ages 14 and older

Cost: $10 an hour

Kayak Exploring: Twin Creek

What: Float down the Twin Creek from the Germantown Dam to Cherry Street with a Five Rivers MetroParks naturalist and learn about the flora and fauna that exists along this hidden gem. Equipment is provided. Weather dependent.

Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Who: Ages 14 and older

Cost: $30

For more information about any of these programs, visit www.metroparks.org.

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