We’re on a Mission

kayaking in Manhattan

We’re on a Mission

Manhattan Kayak’s mission is to bring New York City’s 500-mile-long coastline to you.

New York City is our home and the Hudson River is our local water. We put locals on the water, form a community, and advocate for healing of the water and of the people.

First thing: learn to paddle correctly…that’s why we offer rigorous classes. Once you know how, go exploring safely with a group who’s at your skill level. Kayak and paddleboard along NYC’s granite foundations that support towers shooting into the sky. Feel the vast ocean move beneath you as you paddle faster and farther.

We take frequent paddle trips together and endure ever-changing sea states. Joy comes to us, and so do the fish. We’re friends who flow together. We feel connected to the Earth. And we are alive more than ever. Come join us!


A note from Eric. He wants to tell you how this started!

I’m Eric Stiller, owner of Manhattan Kayak Company. Dieter Stiller, my father, brought the first folding kayaks to the USA in the 1950’s. We spent many days paddling our Klepper kayaks on the Delaware River and the Adirondacks. I went to college in Colorado. Some call me a nature lover. But, New York City grew on me as I worked at our kayak shop in Union Square.

Alone on the water, I dreamt NYC could be a world-class paddling destination. My warp-speed neighbors NEEDED (and still need) some peace, calm, and balance. Over time, I found like-hearted friends to train and guide paddlers in this unlikely place.

I wrote a news column in the early 1980’s about how NYC should increase its “quality of life” with greenways and blueways. Now, thanks to the Hudson River Park Trust, Manhattan’s West Side lives this vision with an accessible, enjoyable, and fun waterfront.

Come join us and use all of your senses to experience the best secret space in NYC: the waterways. Sincerely, Eric