The best way to help is to volunteer

FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Why are you doing this?

A. We are dedicated volunteers who want to share our love of the New York Harbor with our community.It's that simple.

Q. I love your program and want to get involved. How can I help?

A. The best way to help is tovolunteer. If you can't give your time, your monetarycontributioncan help keep usgoing.

Q. What does it cost?

A. Our weekly walk-up programs are free for visitors - but it does cost money to keep us going. We do appreciate donations ... either in our tip jar on the beachor through Network for Good.

Q. What should I wear?

A. Bring a bathing suit or shorts and a T-Shirt.If you haveflip-flopsor shoes that can get wet, bring them. It's a good idea to have some sort of shoes that you can wear when walking on the beach - It's New York!

Q. Will I get wet?

A. Yes, that's highly likely, since a small amount of water usually finds its way into the kayaks. In hot weather you will probably dry off quickly. But yourfeet will get wet - andlikelyyourbum, too.

Q. Do you have lockers?

A. No, we don't.People generally leave their stuff in plastic storage boxes near our sign-up stand... but we are not responsible for any loss or damage.

Q. Do you have changing rooms and showers?

A. Not really.We have a curtainto change behind and a hose to rinse off with.

Q. What kind of kayaks do you have?

A. All our public kayaks are sit-on-top-kayaks. The boats are unsinkable and self-bailing. Any water that splashes up on the boat drains out the holes in the bottom. If you capsize you can just climb back on top and continue to paddle.

Q.Can I paddle with a friend?

A. Yes! We have both single and double kayaks. A single kayak accommodates one person, a double kayak requires two people. Some of our double kayaks have a space where asmall child can ridebetween the two adult paddlers.

Q. I would like to bring a group to go kayaking. Is that possible?

A. Yes, but we ask that you limit your group to ten or fewer in order not to overwhelm the public program. You line up with everyone else for the walk-up kayakingand wait your turn. If it is not crowded, you and your friends may all get out on the water at the same time, but there are no guarantees.

Q. Can I bringkids?

A. ABSOLUTELY BRING YOUR KIDS! Wehave personalflotation devices ("life jackets") for kids of all sizes, and even a few smaller paddles for school-age kids. However,kids under the age of 14 are not allowed to paddle alone- they need an adult to go in the boat with them. Anyone under the age of 18 needs a parent or guardian to sign a waiver before they can paddle and the guardian must stay on the beach while their child is on the water. Kids who arrive without a parent or guardianto signwill not be allowed on the water.

Q. What is the weight limit?

A. There is no weight limit; we have successfully accommodated some very heavy folks.

Q.Is kayaking ever canceled due to weather?

A. Yes, but very rarely. Kayaking is a water sport, after all, so a little light rain won’t stop us. Heavier rain,strong winds and lightning will. Check ourtwitter updateson the side bar of our home page to be sure. As a general rule, rain 30 min. prior to start time cancels all events.

Q. What are the nearest subway stations? How do I get there?

A. The B61 bus runs close by. Check on ourdirectionspage for the best route.

Q. Can I rent a kayak?What does it cost?

A. NO!You can't rent anything because everything is 100% free. Even though this is New York, and people think that there must be catch ... there isn't. All the equipment is paid for bydonations, all the labor is provided for free by the volunteers. If you want tocontributeyou are welcome to, but it's entirely optional.

Q. Can I reserve a time or a particular kayak?

A. No. Our walk-up kayaking is run on a first come first serve basis. Onbeautiful, warm Sundays, waittimes can be up to 45 minutes...otherwise,the wait israrely verylong. We are generally less busy on Thursdays. 

Q. Do you give lessons?

A. No, we don't give lessons. But there are other kayaking operationsin the city that do - Check ourlinkspage.

Q. Are you open other days?

A. No. Our boats are only available during our walk-ups, specialevents and occasionallyfor private groups.

Q. I am an expert kayaker, and I want to go out of the embayment and into the river on my own, is that ok?

A. No, you cannot takeour kayaksout ofthe embayment, regardless of your skill level.If you’d like to paddle out into the harborwe suggest that you contact one of the several commercial kayak operators in the city.

Q. I have my own boat. Can I store it at the boathouse?

A. No. If you are looking for a place to store your boat, check ourlinkspage and contact some of the commercial operators on the river. Several of them offer storage for a fee. For a fee in addition to membership, the Sebago Canoe Club and Yonkers Paddling program also offer storage.

Q. I have my own boat.Can I launch it at Valentino Pier?

A.Yes.The beach at Valentino park is part of theNew York City Water Trailand is available for the general public to launch from but you must purchase a permit from the Park’s Department. The permit is availablehere.

Q. Do you offer longer trips in the river outside of your embayment? 

A. No. We only do tripsoutside the embaymentfor and with volunteers.

If you didn't find the information you were hoping for? Write us. We'll do our best to answer questions related to the kayaking program.