Joey Flotteron of Greenport began working for Global Boarding in Sag Harbor when he was 17. Robb Reid, the company’s owner, taught him how to coach watersports.
“I’ve been riding these bays my whole life,” said Mr. Flotteron, now 23. “Growing up, I used to watch my dad water ski. As soon as I was old enough to, I started trying.”
Taking the skills he developed, he has now launched Peconic Water Sports LLC, the North Fork’s first water sports company, which will moor its boats at Preston’s Dock overlooking Greenport Harbor.
“A big part of this is that there’s a market over here we weren’t touching,” Mr. Flotteron said. “My hope is that there’s enough room for both of us to operate.”
His former boss agrees.
“It’s only going to help the East End out here; it will help all of us,” said Mr. Reid, who sees water sports growing in popularity.
Mr. Flotteron said he spent about eight months working on Wall Street before deciding an office wasn’t where he belonged.
“I knew it wasn’t for me,” he said. “It was sort of an epiphany.”
Whenever he had free time he’d be out on the water. “There is absolutely nothing better than that for me,” Mr. Flotteron said.
Peconic Water Sports will offer lessons in tubing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wake surfing, knee boarding and more. Lessons start at $295 for the one hour, or $495 for two hours, for a boat carrying up to six people. Additional hours are $245. He will also offer a five-day RIDE camp for youths age 7 to 15 for $1,100 per person.
“It sort of teaches kids confidence building and persistence,” said Mr. Flotteron.
His old boss said he knows his stuff.
“He learned from some of the very best wakeboarders on the East Coast,” Mr. Reid said. “He’s right up there in the top ranks of coaches.”
Safety will be a priority, Mr. Flotteron said, with instructors focusing on proper form and equipment handling. Peconic Water Sports will also offer lessons how to safely operate a boat safely. He and his other two coaches are all first aid and CPR certified.
Mr. Flotteron said that when he injured his back performing tricks last summer he gained firsthand knowledge of the importance of safety.
“Growing up we didn’t have anyone to teach us,” he said. “Changing that and giving a people a place to learn safely — there’s none of that over here — is what we are hoping to become.”
His landlord sees promise in the new business.
“He’s a really, really smart and very responsible young man and I think that if anyone is going to do well at that business it would be him,” said Andrew Rowsom, vice-president of Preston’s. “I think it will bring a little bit of activity to the waterfront that we really haven’t seen at all.”
“I’m very comfortable out here. I have very good experience on the water out here so it seems and feels like good fit,” said Mr. Flotteron.
Information on Peconic Water Sports is available at peconicwatersports.com.