7 Scenic Places to Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding in NYC
By Kay Rodriguez
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Updated November 17, 2022
With its many waterways, inlets, and stunning skyline views, New York City is a fantastic place for stand up paddle boarding. While kayaking has historically been more popular, SUP in NYC has become increasingly popular over the last several years. Going out on the water gives you access to some of the best views the city has to offer, and is a great way to escape the concrete jungle for a more active, outdoorsy experience. Whether you’re a beginner who has never set foot on a board or are an experienced SUP practitioner, there are tons of great places to go stand up paddle boarding in NYC!
With over 500 acres of park area, Hudson River Park offers a range of water sports experiences, including SUP rentals from Manhattan Kayak. Offering free to guided tours (recommended if you are a new paddler), Manhattan Kayak is one of the most popular and well-respected paddling companies in the city. Hudson River Park is one of the most iconic places to go stand up paddle boarding in NYC, offering sweeping views of the skyline.
If you are nervous about paddling on higher-speed waters, Manhattan Kayak +SUP offers guided kayak and SUP tours from Pier 84 ranging from 3 to 30 miles, depending on how far you want to adventure. And with views of the Statue of Liberty from downtown and the Empire State Building from Midtown, you may never want to stop adventuring.
How to get there: Manhattan Kayak operates from Pier 84, Downtown Boathouse from Pier 26, and Manhattan Community Boathouse from Pier 96. (Pro tip: Manhattan Community Boathouse offers free kayak rentals on a first-come, first-served basis during the summer and fall!)
While not technically in New York, Hoboken, NJ is a noteworthy spot for picturesque views of the city’s skyline. One of the best ways to see these views is on the water, and luckily, Shipyard Marina is a great spot for kayaking and paddle boarding in NYC. Here, aside from a bustling port and marina area, you’ll find Resilience Paddle Sports, which offers SUP rentals as well as lessons, tours, and even SUP yoga. From the marina, you can capture some of the most stunning views of New York City, including the Empire State Building.
How to get there: Take the metro to Port Authority, then Bus 126 to Hoboken. Then, get off at 14th and Bloomfield and walk to Shipyard Marina.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Rentals Available: No
Located at Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers some of the most scenic paddling in New York City, with a newly redeveloped park that creates a beautiful atmosphere to experience the river. While the local kayak rental company, Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse, does not offer SUP rentals, you can launch your own portable inflatable stand up paddle board (or a normal hard sided one) on the shores of the park. Not every park or waterway allows people to launch their own boats from the Pier 4 beach.
How to Get There: Brooklyn Bridge Park is accessible by several subway lines (A/C, 2/3, 4/5, F, R) and bus routes (B25, B61, B63, B67). Visitors can also arrive via the NYC Ferry at Fulton Ferry Landing.
The Salt Marsh Nature Center is Brooklyn’s largest park, with flora and fauna that transforms the urban space. From Gerritsen Inlet, you can float through the quiet creeks and marshes for a few miles. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, you can paddle all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean or to the Rockaways! With tons of educational programs and learning opportunities, the Salt Marsh Nature Center is especially loved by families, birdwatchers, and photographers.
Because of its unique natural attractions, Salt Marsh Nature Center is a great spot for stand up paddle boarding in NYC. You can rent a stand up paddle board in nearby Marine Park at Wheel Fun Rentals. You’ll need a permit to launch a watercraft on your own here. If you rent, the company will take care of this permit for you.
How to get there: From the Kings Highway metro stop, take bus B100 to Fillmore Ave/Marine Pky, then walk to the nature center.
Located in Queens, Jamaica Bay is another great spot to go stand up paddle boarding in NYC. As one of the few spots on our list where you can paddle and watch the sunset, paddling in Jamaica Bay is perfect for Queens dwellers or any New Yorker looking for a change of scenery. Jamaica Bay is also a wildlife refuge spanning 18,000+ acres of wetlands. If you’re lucky, you can spot a variety of local bird and marine species here as you paddle through the calm waters.
At Jamaica Bay, you can rent a SUP at Rockaway Jet Ski, as well as getting expert advice from their staff or even taking a SUP Yoga class out on the water!
How to get there: It’s easiest to drive or take a rideshare to Jamaica Bay. However, if you’d like to take public transit, take the A line on the metro to the Broad Channel station, then walk ~18 minutes to Jamaica Bay.
Located about an hour north of the city, Croton Point Park is a quieter, more scenic area for New Yorkers to escape the city. Croton Point Park is a beautiful, serene area to explore a different part of the Hudson River, and the environment here is perfect for beginners to learn, since the wind and waves are fairly calm here compared to other spots on our list. Here, there’s plenty of space to paddle out to more challenging waters, or to hang out with friends and paddle around gentle, low-key wooded areas.
How to get there: Take the MTA Hudson Line to Croton-Harmon, then walk ~20 minutes to Croton Point Park.
For another fun and scenic day trip on the water, head toward Stamford, Connecticut to explore the Long Island Sound by SUP. At Boccuzzi Park, SoundWaters offers kayak and SUP rentals so you can get out and explore the sound. The area near the sound is much calmer and more nature-focused than many of the more urban spots on our list, perfect for urbanites looking for respite from the intensity and action of the city.
How to get there: The easiest way to get there is by car. However, if you’d like to take public transportation, you can take the MTA towards New Haven and get off in Stamford, then connect to Bus 324 to Boccuzzi park.
Additional Resources for Stand Up Paddle Boarding in New York City
What to Bring
Swimsuit: Wearing a swimsuit is essential for being out on the water! When canoeing and kayaking, chances are you are going to get wet, so best to be prepared! Click here to compare men’s and women’s styles and prices for our favorite swimsuits.
Sunglasses: Being out on the water is beautiful, but the water can really reflect light! Make sure to bring a pair ofsunglassesand croakies to keep them from falling off.
Hat: It’s best to keep the sun off of your head to keep you cool. Whether you prefer a nice bucket hat or a vintage baseball cap, keeping cool will ensure an awesome trip.
Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated is no joke! Paddling is a great way to exercise and relax, but that means it takes a lot of energy too! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip withthese cool water bottles.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Don’t let the elements stop you from having an amazing paddle! I recommend bringingsunscreen and bug spray in the boat with you to ward off any pests and sunburns.
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