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CALL US: (1-800-Kayak-99)
AKA (1-800-529-2599)

First Class in Kayaking

Your first class — Fundamentals 1

Beginners start with our Fundamentals 1 class in which you’ll learn basic safety techniques and paddling strokes in a fun and friendly environment.

After a brief introduction in the classroom, we move to the dock to introduce you to the kayaks, paddles, and standard gear.

Before you launch onto the river, we teach you some basic safety considerations and techniques. We then head out into a protected area of the river where you can learn without having to be concerned with current or boat traffic.

The class is taught by one of our expert American Canoe Association (ACA)-certified instructors and assisted by an instructor trainee. We keep our class sizes small, with a staff-to-student ratio no greater than 1-to-4, which assures plenty of individual attention and an eye on your safety.

When is it? And How Much Does It Cost?

Fundamentals 1 classes are held every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. The class is 3 hours long and costs $150. Included is all the gear you’ll need — kayak, paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), spray deck, and safety gear. New York Kayak Company has a fleet of high-quality kayaks and is the North America Distributor of Tiderace brand kayaks.

In the summer season, there is also a class every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. The class is 2 hours and costs $100.

However, for beginners we strongly recommend the weekend classes over the Tuesday class for two reasons: first, the weekend, longer class gives you more time to get to know the boat, the water, and the techniques. Second, on weekend mornings there is less traffic on the river and so the water is a little calmer which makes it easier to learn.

Private instruction is available by appointment only. Call us at +1 (212) 924-1327.

What Do I Need to Bring?

Included is all the gear you’ll need – kayak, paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), spray deck (you’ll soon find out), and safety gear.

You should bring:

  • Bottle of water — any bottle will do
  • Sun-block — waterproof would be best
  • Clothing, summer/warm water — synthetic shirt and shorts and/or swimwear. Not only will cotton shirts not protect your skin from all of the sun’s harmful rays but also soggy ones stay wet and are heavy. Any smooth synthetic shirt will do. Surfing rash-guards are terrific! NYKC sells these in the store. Swimwear may be lighter and dry faster than undergarments
  • Clothing, 3-season/cold water — technical paddling apparel is recommended. NYKC sells some in the store
  • Towel — In case you do get wet and or sweaty, or if you should just want to cool off under the hose.

New York Kayak Company has separate changing rooms for men and women. We also have small lockers for day use. Please bring a lock.

  • Hat — out on the water there is no shade and the water reflects the sun’s rays back up at you. A visor, baseball cap, or brimmed hat will lessen your squinting and protect the top of your head, face, and ears from sunburn
  • Eyeglass Retainers — If you wear glasses, you ought to secure them with eyeglass retainers from the likes of Croakies or Chums. NYKC sells these in the store
  • Shoes — You may not wear flip-flops or sandals as the straps could become tangled in the kayak’s foot-pegs, posing a safety hazard. Also, you must wear shoes from the shop to the dock. Closed-toe neoprene shoes are the preferred footwear of most kayakers. NYKC sells these in the store
  • Lock — anything in the kayak or on your may get wet. We have small lockers for day use. If nothing else, leave your electronics — cell phone, camera, and keys — in one and secure it with your own lock


No previous kayaking experience is required. We recommend that you know how to swim.

Children under 15-years-old may be eligible for private instruction while accompanied by an adult and depending on gear availability.

More questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section or call the shop today.

How do I sign up?

Reservation and advance payment is required. At least 48-hours in advance, call (212) 924-1327 to reserve your spot. View our Calendar for scheduled Fundamentals 1 classses or call for a private class.

I loved Fundamentals 1! Now what?

The Fundamentals 2 class is designed to be the next class.

If you’re feeling really comfortable, you may want to go for a Beginner Tour. Your instructor can advise you on this decision.

All scheduled classes and trips are $50 per hour. Save 20% on 10 hours of classes & tours. And, there are membership options.