Our History of Kayaking in New York City
The story starts with German kayak salesman Dieter Stiller and his young sporty son Eric at their Klepper kayak shop in Union Square. A motivated Aussie named Tony walks in and mentions to Eric that he’s planning to circumnavigate Australia – alone – by kayak – and has never kayaked before. Eric volunteers to train him and kayaks with him around Australia.
When Eric returns to NYC, he feels deeply motivated to guide and teach more, yet he loves his home NYC. His solution: use folding kayaks from the store and wheel them to the nearby Hudson River. By 1995, the River had undergone dramatic clean-ups and development, but no one was kayaking on it. Eric found friends with floating docks and other creative places to launch students. Now, the Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 Boathouse is the best home ever for him and his team!
New York City’s Kayak and SUP Trips: From the Midtown Manhattan Skyline to the 30-Mile Circumnavigation
Our team finds joy and excitement just by being on the waters around Manhattan. Our trips combine physical exertion and socializing with picturesque views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, and more.
Being in New York for kayaking and SUPing is unlike any other: the mountain range of skyscrapers reflected on vast waters – an epic contrast to daily life. Stepping onto the water has change our lives and that’s why you’ll see us at the boathouse – we want to share this treasure. We are here to help you learn new skills, discover your capacity to glide on water and become part of the local community.
New York City’s Best Kayak and SUP Lessons
We teach new paddlers to build great habits and stay safe and healthy. We take an in-depth approach to instruction, allowing you to join our weekend guided trips when you are fully ready.
Many of our knowledgeable instructors and guides started as students. Their unique perspective and experience on local waters is valuable for both new and seasoned paddlers.
The New York Kayak and SUP Reward
Paddling Manhattan has the elements of a spiritually rewarding experience: some physical exertion, a little discomfort, plus an almost surreal, wide-angle lens perspective. It’s less theatrical than Central Park and more expansive than the Hudson Yard’s Vessel. It’s an antidote to urban anxiety.
The more you paddle with us, the deeper and richer your experience with this fantastic sport (and your fellow paddlers) will be. Come to the Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 Boathouse at West 44th St. and get started!
Hope to see you soon!
– Eric Stiller and the team