In The News

Backwoods launches Fort Worth canoe, kayak rental concession on Trinity

by Scott Nishimura | Sep 10, 2012


FORT WORTH -- Backwoods Fort Worth, the outdoors retailer, launched a kayak and canoe concession Friday on the Trinity River downtown.

Backwoods joined Aloha Paddle Boards, which opened a rental concession in May at the Panther Island Pavilion off the parking lot behind the Tarrant County College Trinity River campus.

Backwoods' rental rates: single kayaks, $10 per hour and $20 for two hours; tandem kayaks, $15 per hour and $35 per two hours; and canoes, $20 per hour and $40 for two hours. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.

Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week through September, when Backwoods will decide fall hours, said Ira Ralston, the kayak concession manager.

"My immediate plan is to be open seven days" a week after September, Ralston said. "On paper, we'll be open Thursday-Sunday."

Further into the fall and even the winter, "it's weather permitting," Ralston said. "We would like this to be open as much of the year as possible."

Rentals include life vests and paddles. From the launch, customers can paddle south down the Clear Fork and back, which should take about an hour, or up the West Fork and back, which could take four hours, he said.

Backwoods expects to promote the rentals to groups, including scouting, military and college organizations, Ralston said. It also expects to benefit from river festivals such as the Sept. 15 Trinity River Trash Bash and the summertime Rockin' the River events.

"Really, this is an opportunity for us to get our face out there," Ralston said.

At Aloha Paddles, where rentals are $15 per hour for stand-up paddle boards, manager Blane Todd welcomes the company.

"Hit and miss so far this summer," Todd said this week of Aloha's first summer on the river. He sees the same promise in the river as Backwoods.

Aloha just switched to fall hours and is open noon-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

"We will be here through the end of October and then we'll make an assessment" on the schedule, Todd said.

Backwoods and Aloha leased their concessions from the Trinity River Vision Authority.

Scott Nishimura,

817- 390-7808

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