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Where to Kayak, Sail, Surf, and Jet Ski Around New York City

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August ends in less than a week, so the OMG-summer-is-over-and-all-I've-done-is-watch-Netflix panic should be setting in. All the concerts in Prospect Park are over, there are no more Manhattanhenges, and there's only one weekend left before Labor Day, so it's time to start cramming in as much summer fun as possible, every single day. Hit up an outdoor movie, bike to all of the season's best public art, relax in a hidden garden, and get out on the water—there are dozens of places where you can kayak, paddle board, jet ski, sail, and surf on the waterways of New York City. Some may turn their nose up at splashing around in the Hudson and East Rivers, but let's be real: are public pools really any cleaner? And the open waters are much more relaxing than an overflowing McCarren Pool on a sunny day (just watch out for that barge), so here are 17 places where you can take to the high seas harbor—sometimes for free!—and pretend like summer is never going to end.

Know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments, or send a note to the tipline.

Note: this map only includes places that regularly host water sports and paddling trips, so seasonal excursions hosted by groups like Open House New York are not included.

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1. Pier 26 Boathouse

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Hudson River Park
New York, NY

The Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking in the Hudson River every weekend from mid-May to mid-October, and during July and August, they offer extended weekday hours in the evening. Boaters get to paddle around in the water off of Pier 26, and while there is a 20-minute time limit, kayakers often stay out longer if no one is waiting. The boathouse provides lockers, changing rooms, sunscreen, and bike locks.

2. Brooklyn Bridge Park - Pier 2

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Furman St
Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Bridge Park added free kayaking to its roster of fun things when Pier 2 opened last year. Like the kayaking at Pier 26, it's completely free, and there is a 20-minute time limit. Unlike Pier 26, it seems that the park is strict on this limit, as there is usually a line of anxious paddlers awaiting their turns. Boaters get to splash about in the East River between Piers 1 and 2 on Saturdays and Thursday evenings through the end of August.

3. Floyd Bennett Field

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1 Aviation Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234
(718) 338-3799
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Situated on Jamaica Bay, Floyd Bennet Field feels like a world away from Manhattan. It's part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy host frequent kayaking excursions in the summer. Most of the remaining tours take place on weekday mornings. You can find the full schedule, and details on how to RSVP here.

4. Pier 96 Boathouse

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The Manhattan Community Boathouse offers free kayaking at Pier 96 on the Hudson River near 56th Street. They operate similarly to the other free kayaking outposts: 20-minute time limit and you have to stay in the protect area. They'll host weekend paddles through October 11th, but evening paddles Monday through Thursday end on September 2.

5. Pier I

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W. 70th St
New York, NY 10069
(212) 362-4450
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The Manhattan Community Boathouse also offers free kayaking on Pier i near 72nd Street every Saturday and Sunday until September 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6. Long Island City Boathouse

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46-01 5th St
Queens, NY 11101

The Long Island City Boathouse doesn't stop the fun once Labor Day passes; this aquatic crew keeps paddling through mid-September (judging by their calendar, it also looks like they'll be participating in Open House New York in October). The LIC Boathouse offers a solid selection of trips for experienced kayakers, including escorting Urban Swim participants through the East River and an annual circumnavigation of Manhattan (it fills up fast, so if paddling in the Harbor under the moonlight sounds like your idea of fun, be sure to sign up in advance).

7. North Brooklyn Boat Club

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437 McGuinness Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Since launching in 2010, the NBBC has been getting wannabe sailors on the water around Williamsburg and Greenpoint—even the intensely polluted Newtown Creek. Outings are offered for different skill levels and on different vessels (canoes or kayaks), and are often paired with another activity, like a boat trip to Red Hook that also includes a pit-stop for brunch.

8. Red Hook Boaters

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Coffey St & Ferris St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231

This Brooklyn boating club holds free kayaking sessions on Sunday afternoons through September 27. Trips launch from Red Hook’s Louis J. Valentino Park & Pier, with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, and afterward, participants help the members of the boating club clean up the shoreline. Of note: These sails may be better for beginners, as they’re limited to the small body of water directly around the pier, and last for only 15-20 minutes.

9. South Beach

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This volunteer-run boat club launches from Staten Island's South Beach, and offers 15-minute windows in which newbie sailors can paddle around the waters off the beach. Sessions begin at noon, but act fast: The last one of the season happens on Saturday, August 29.

10. Manhattan Kayak

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W 44th St.
New York, NY 10036

Don't let the name Manhattan Kayak fool you: the group that runs the water activities at Pier 84 offers more than just standard kayaking. They host paddle board lessons for beginners ($35); hour-long SUP yoga classes ($40); skyline kayak tours ($60); surf-ski, "the fastest one-person paddle craft in the world," lessons ($95); a 4-5 hour tour up and back to the GW Bridge ($125); and so much more. And they keep paddling until the end of October, so the end of summer does not mean the end of water sports.

11. Rockaway Jet Ski

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(718) 318-0111
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As its name implies Rockaway Jet Ski offers jet ski rentals and tours, but they also rent kayaks (1-hour rental costs $30 for a two-seater) and SUPs ($35 an hour for a standard rental) for those who want a more low-key watercraft. Jet ski rentals cost $140 for an hour, or you can take a 4-hour tour around the harbor for $350.

12. New York Harbor Jet Ski

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1301 Sinatra Drive, Shipyard Marina 13th STREET PIER
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(646) 589-5953
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New York Harbor Jet Ski is based in Hoboken, but don't worry, they don't make you sight-see exclusively along New Jersey. The guided tours take you around the harbor, with the 3-hour, $425 Grand New York City Tour being the most expensive outing ($475 for two people). The cheapest option is an hour long $100 ($140 for two) tour of the harbor that highlights Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governors Island, and more.

13. Sea the City

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80 Audrey Zapp Dr
Jersey City, NJ 07305
(800) 979-3370
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Sea the City helpfully maps out each of the three tours that it offers, so you can see exactly where you'll be zooming. For $379 (+ $59 for a second rider), you can circumnavigate Manhattan on a three-hour trip or for $329 (+ $49), you can ride past the Statue of Liberty in addition to seeing parts of the Hudson and East Rivers. The cheapest option is a $159 (+ $39) for an hour-long jaunt around the harbor. Discounts apply if you book multiple jet skis, and they also have happy hour tours Monday to Thursday.

14. Jetty Jumpers Jetski Tours NYC

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South Street Seaport
New York, NY 10038
(917) 567-7595
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Most jet ski tours stick to the man sites in Manhattan, but Jetty Jumpers also offers tour around Coney Island and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as well two sunset tours and three sunrise tours. They operate through mid-October.

15. Skudin Surf

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Beach 67th Street & Beach Front Road
Arverne, NY 11692

Skip the hipster-filled beaches of Rockaway and head east on the peninsula to the much-less-crowded surfing beaches, where you can learn to ride the waves. Skudin Surf has a variety of lesson types, ranging from $65 weekend group lessons to $85 yoga and surf sessions to week-long surf camps for $435. Private and semi-private lessons are also available.

16. Hudson River Community Sailing

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West 26th St
New York, NY 10011

If manning your own watercraft seems too intense, sailing lessons are the way to go. Hudson River Sailing Community offers Intro to Sailing classes for people new to the sport, as open classes for sailers who want to hone their skills. Both cost $95 each and max out at four students. Most boats set sail from Pier 66, but they also have beginner classes launching from Inwood.

17. Liberty Harbor Marina

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11 Luis Munoz Blvd
Jersey City, NJ

After 20 years of operating out of the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, Manhattan Sail was forced to relocate all of its business to its Jersey City location. They offer two introductory courses, plus a handful of lessons for experienced sailers, like how to navigate the coast and waters and "bareboat chartering," which evidently gives you the ability to "rent a beautiful boat and take it sailing with friends or family."

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1. Pier 26 Boathouse

Hudson River Park, New York, NY

The Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking in the Hudson River every weekend from mid-May to mid-October, and during July and August, they offer extended weekday hours in the evening. Boaters get to paddle around in the water off of Pier 26, and while there is a 20-minute time limit, kayakers often stay out longer if no one is waiting. The boathouse provides lockers, changing rooms, sunscreen, and bike locks.

Hudson River Park
New York, NY

2. Brooklyn Bridge Park - Pier 2

Furman St, Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Bridge Park added free kayaking to its roster of fun things when Pier 2 opened last year. Like the kayaking at Pier 26, it's completely free, and there is a 20-minute time limit. Unlike Pier 26, it seems that the park is strict on this limit, as there is usually a line of anxious paddlers awaiting their turns. Boaters get to splash about in the East River between Piers 1 and 2 on Saturdays and Thursday evenings through the end of August.

Furman St
Brooklyn, NY

3. Floyd Bennett Field

1 Aviation Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11234

Situated on Jamaica Bay, Floyd Bennet Field feels like a world away from Manhattan. It's part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy host frequent kayaking excursions in the summer. Most of the remaining tours take place on weekday mornings. You can find the full schedule, and details on how to RSVP here.

1 Aviation Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234

4. Pier 96 Boathouse

New York, NY 10019

The Manhattan Community Boathouse offers free kayaking at Pier 96 on the Hudson River near 56th Street. They operate similarly to the other free kayaking outposts: 20-minute time limit and you have to stay in the protect area. They'll host weekend paddles through October 11th, but evening paddles Monday through Thursday end on September 2.

5. Pier I

W. 70th St, New York, NY 10069

The Manhattan Community Boathouse also offers free kayaking on Pier i near 72nd Street every Saturday and Sunday until September 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

W. 70th St
New York, NY 10069

6. Long Island City Boathouse

46-01 5th St, Queens, NY 11101

The Long Island City Boathouse doesn't stop the fun once Labor Day passes; this aquatic crew keeps paddling through mid-September (judging by their calendar, it also looks like they'll be participating in Open House New York in October). The LIC Boathouse offers a solid selection of trips for experienced kayakers, including escorting Urban Swim participants through the East River and an annual circumnavigation of Manhattan (it fills up fast, so if paddling in the Harbor under the moonlight sounds like your idea of fun, be sure to sign up in advance).

46-01 5th St
Queens, NY 11101

7. North Brooklyn Boat Club

437 McGuinness Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Since launching in 2010, the NBBC has been getting wannabe sailors on the water around Williamsburg and Greenpoint—even the intensely polluted Newtown Creek. Outings are offered for different skill levels and on different vessels (canoes or kayaks), and are often paired with another activity, like a boat trip to Red Hook that also includes a pit-stop for brunch.

437 McGuinness Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11222

8. Red Hook Boaters

Coffey St & Ferris St., Brooklyn, NY 11231

This Brooklyn boating club holds free kayaking sessions on Sunday afternoons through September 27. Trips launch from Red Hook’s Louis J. Valentino Park & Pier, with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, and afterward, participants help the members of the boating club clean up the shoreline. Of note: These sails may be better for beginners, as they’re limited to the small body of water directly around the pier, and last for only 15-20 minutes.

Coffey St & Ferris St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231

9. South Beach

Staten Island, NY 10304

This volunteer-run boat club launches from Staten Island's South Beach, and offers 15-minute windows in which newbie sailors can paddle around the waters off the beach. Sessions begin at noon, but act fast: The last one of the season happens on Saturday, August 29.

10. Manhattan Kayak

W 44th St., New York, NY 10036

Don't let the name Manhattan Kayak fool you: the group that runs the water activities at Pier 84 offers more than just standard kayaking. They host paddle board lessons for beginners ($35); hour-long SUP yoga classes ($40); skyline kayak tours ($60); surf-ski, "the fastest one-person paddle craft in the world," lessons ($95); a 4-5 hour tour up and back to the GW Bridge ($125); and so much more. And they keep paddling until the end of October, so the end of summer does not mean the end of water sports.

W 44th St.
New York, NY 10036

11. Rockaway Jet Ski

375 Beach 92nd St, New York 11693

As its name implies Rockaway Jet Ski offers jet ski rentals and tours, but they also rent kayaks (1-hour rental costs $30 for a two-seater) and SUPs ($35 an hour for a standard rental) for those who want a more low-key watercraft. Jet ski rentals cost $140 for an hour, or you can take a 4-hour tour around the harbor for $350.

12. New York Harbor Jet Ski

1301 Sinatra Drive, Shipyard Marina 13th STREET PIER, Hoboken, NJ 07030

New York Harbor Jet Ski is based in Hoboken, but don't worry, they don't make you sight-see exclusively along New Jersey. The guided tours take you around the harbor, with the 3-hour, $425 Grand New York City Tour being the most expensive outing ($475 for two people). The cheapest option is an hour long $100 ($140 for two) tour of the harbor that highlights Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governors Island, and more.

1301 Sinatra Drive, Shipyard Marina 13th STREET PIER
Hoboken, NJ 07030

13. Sea the City

80 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Sea the City helpfully maps out each of the three tours that it offers, so you can see exactly where you'll be zooming. For $379 (+ $59 for a second rider), you can circumnavigate Manhattan on a three-hour trip or for $329 (+ $49), you can ride past the Statue of Liberty in addition to seeing parts of the Hudson and East Rivers. The cheapest option is a $159 (+ $39) for an hour-long jaunt around the harbor. Discounts apply if you book multiple jet skis, and they also have happy hour tours Monday to Thursday.

80 Audrey Zapp Dr
Jersey City, NJ 07305

14. Jetty Jumpers Jetski Tours NYC

South Street Seaport, New York, NY 10038

Most jet ski tours stick to the man sites in Manhattan, but Jetty Jumpers also offers tour around Coney Island and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as well two sunset tours and three sunrise tours. They operate through mid-October.

South Street Seaport
New York, NY 10038

15. Skudin Surf

Beach 67th Street & Beach Front Road, Arverne, NY 11692

Skip the hipster-filled beaches of Rockaway and head east on the peninsula to the much-less-crowded surfing beaches, where you can learn to ride the waves. Skudin Surf has a variety of lesson types, ranging from $65 weekend group lessons to $85 yoga and surf sessions to week-long surf camps for $435. Private and semi-private lessons are also available.

Beach 67th Street & Beach Front Road
Arverne, NY 11692

16. Hudson River Community Sailing

West 26th St, New York, NY 10011

If manning your own watercraft seems too intense, sailing lessons are the way to go. Hudson River Sailing Community offers Intro to Sailing classes for people new to the sport, as open classes for sailers who want to hone their skills. Both cost $95 each and max out at four students. Most boats set sail from Pier 66, but they also have beginner classes launching from Inwood.

West 26th St
New York, NY 10011

17. Liberty Harbor Marina

11 Luis Munoz Blvd, Jersey City, NJ

After 20 years of operating out of the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, Manhattan Sail was forced to relocate all of its business to its Jersey City location. They offer two introductory courses, plus a handful of lessons for experienced sailers, like how to navigate the coast and waters and "bareboat chartering," which evidently gives you the ability to "rent a beautiful boat and take it sailing with friends or family."

11 Luis Munoz Blvd
Jersey City, NJ