ROXBURY, NJ – Ramsey Outdoor’s official kick-off of watercraft rentals on Roxbury’s Horseshoe Lake went off without a hitch on Friday, helped along by nice weather and nice people.

Although the retailer has been renting kayaks, paddleboards and canoes on the township-owned lake for several weeks, it offered a “free paddle day” on the township-owned lake Friday and called it the new program’s official kick-off.

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley and other township officials came to the event. “I think it’s fantastic,” Crowley said, as he climbed out of a kayak onto the sandy beach. “Not only do they have all new equipment here, but they also have professional staff to teach people. I’ve been in kayaks before, but I didn’t really know what I was doing.”

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The Roxbury Mayor and Council gave final approval to the deal last month. Ramsey, which charges $20 for the first hour of watercraft rentals, has agreed to donate some of its proceeds to the township and partner in other ways for outdoor events.

“People seem to really be enjoying themselves,” said Ramsey Outdoor Owner Stuart Levine as he watched kayak and paddleboards glide across the lake. The rentals will be available Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We’re hoping it becomes an additional activity for people in the area who’d like to try paddleboards and kayaks,” Levine said. “There are a lot of people looking for something to do during the summer.”

For the Horseshoe Lake service, Ramsey Outdoor - which has stores in Succasunna and Ramsey - bought five stand-up paddleboards, three canoes, two tandem kayaks, four sit-on kayaks and two sit-in kayaks, said Ramsey Outdoor employee Julie Carlin.

“Today’s been the most windy day so far,” Carlin said. Wind can make stand-up paddleboarding tricky, but Carlin said those who tried it at Horseshoe Lake did OK. “We’ve had people who never paddleboarded before and they did fine,” she said.