Getting Started

We offer different tours from many locations for all skill levels

Tours are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced programs, plus multi-day programs. Many programs fill up early.

Kayaking is a sport that's easy to enjoy the first time out. You don't need days of lessons to get started in a kayak, and our Beginner tours visit many of the same spots that delight the most advanced paddlers.

Atlantic Kayak Tours provides everything you need as a first-time paddler. All the equipment, introductory instruction, experienced guides - and friendly people just like you. There are some new paddlers on every Beginner tour.

Our Google Plus page has weekly updates, promotions and photos from programs.

A typical full day program: At our meeting place, guides work individually with each client to set you up with the boat and equipment that fit you best. On-land orientation covers paddling basics. On the water, our guides move around and offer help as needed. We try to have one guide for every 4 or 5 paddlers, and almost all of our staff were Atlantic Kayak Tours clients at one time. Beginner tours move at a comfortable pace with rest stops for water and enjoying the view. We take an hour for lunch and usually arrive back at the meeting place about 4:00 PM.

Do kayaks tip over? Capsizes can happen on tours. Men capsize more than women. But if you find yourself in the water, our guides will help you back into your boat in short order. We practice rescues all the time, to maintain our skills and just for the fun of it. On hot days, lots of us will capsize on purpose.

What to wear and bring? A detailed list of what to wear and bring will be sent to you when you register, along with driving directions to our meeting place.

How do I sign up for a program?

Registrations can be done by online, by mail, e-mail or in person the Norrie Paddlesport Centers. Fill out the registration form located on the Registration page, along with a check or credit card information. If the program is within one weeks, you can call to check availability. In the Summer and early Fall some programs fill up a week or two in advance. If the program you registered for is full, we will call you. Registration Form

If you sign up for a program that is not at our Norrie Paddlesport Center, then a boat will be carried to the program for you and you will not have a choice of kayaks. Although you have given us your size on the registiration form, it's hard for us to pick the perfect kayak for you without knowing you. If you are of average size, you're likely to get a kayak that fits you well. The further you are from average size - in either direction - the more important it will be for you to do your first program from a Center. Or, you might like to stop by a Center before your program, and sit in a number of kayaks to get an idea of which boats are a good fit.

Atlantic Kayak Tours has kayak tours in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island, but specializes in the Hudson River. The Hudson Valley offers many beautiful kayak tours. Beginner Kayak instructional programs are offered at our Norrie Point Paddlesport Center in Staatsburg, between Hyde Park and Rhinebeck and in Saugerties.

Saugerties Tour

My First Time

To have the best first time experience you should do a shorter program from the Norrie Point Paddlesport Center. The best first program is our Norrie Short Tour. This is a half day guided programs from our Norrie Paddlersports Centers.

As we have over 100 kayaks and canoes so we can get you into a kayak or canoe the best suits your size and needs. If you don't like the kayak you start the program in, you can try more kayaks when we get back to the Center (at no additional charge). Finding the correct kayak has a great deal to do with your enjoyment of kayaking. Besides the Norrie Short Tour, other good first time options includes;

Norrie Paddlesport Center

Saugerties Programs

If you sign up for a program which is not at the Norrie Centers then a boat will be carried for you on a trailer and you will not have a choice of kayaks. While we have you put your height and weight on the registration form, it is hard for us to pick the perfect kayak without knowing you. If you are average size you are likely to get a kayak which fits you well. The less you are average sized the more important it is to do your first program from the Center or at lest come to the Center and sit in a number of kayaks.

How Do I Learn to Kayak?

Learn skills, not strokes. Strokes place too much emphasis on the paddle. Kayaking is about the body, the boat and the blade. Your first kayak experience should be a shorter program to introduce yourself to kayaking (see Norrie Short Tour, Norrie Sunset Tour).

After a couple of days kayaking, an Instruction program will start to give you the building blocks for kayaking. Then you need time in the boat. Paddle with us or a club and try to do some Saugerties Skill Sessions. Then get on the Core Techniques program. Building your skills on flat water in a safe controlled environment. After Core Techniques, the Safety & Rescue will cover the safety skills that all paddlers should have. Safety & Rescue is one of the most important programs to take.

Once your building blocks have begun to be put in place it is time to start applying them in different environments. Take the Coastal Paddling. A variety of experiences will make you a better, and safer, paddler.