Scenic, protected waterways are abundant on eastern Long Island. It’s one of the reasons we love living or visiting there, especially in the summer.
If your family enjoys kayaking, canoeing, surfing, or paddle boarding, why not head to the East End, where there are plenty of bucolic spots to enjoy your favorite water sport. From Westhampton to Montauk and all over the North Fork, local shops rent gear and offer instruction. Always call ahead for availability and to make reservations.
For other suggestions on how to enjoy the East End this summer, check out our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork. Visit our Summer Fun Guide for more ways to celebrate the season, and if you're feeling especially ambitious take on a few of our 100 Things to Do With Kids on Long Island.
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Town of Riverhead Stand-Up Paddleboarding Program — Mattituck
The town offers a series of nine classes for teens and older at Strong’s Water Club and Marina in nearby Mattituck beginning June 30. Emphasis is on safety and technique and is open to residents and nonresidents.
Town of Southampton Programs — East Quogue
The town offers low-cost kayak instruction for those ages 10-16 on July 5,6,7 courtesy of Captain Kayak. Students must be able to swim and wear a life vest. Windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding are offered separately in clinics throughout the summer in Noyac and Hampton Bays. Programs are open to residents and nonresidents.
Air and Speed Board Shop — Montauk
Air and Speed is known for its surf lessons and surf camp for kids 7 to 14. Camps run four weeks in July and five weeks in August. In addition to surf boards, it also rents wetsuits, boogie boards, and beach cruiser bicycles.
Adventure Paddleboards and Kayaks — Hampton Bays
This family-operated store offers paddle board and kayak rentals. Double kayaks easily fit a child in the center seat. The shop also has have small kayaks and stand-up paddle boards kids can handle by themselves. Beginning June 28, family fun nights every Wednesday feature paddle boarding to live music, food trucks, and more. The shop also offers paddle board yoga classes for adults and kids.
Captain Kayak — East Quogue
Captain Kayak has its primary location in Sayville, but operates a summer outpost at Docker's Restaurant Marina on Shinnecock Bay in East Quogue. Pedal kayaks, paddle kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards are available for rent. It also offers kayak fishing; lessons are offered by appointment.
Hampton Watersports — Southampton
This full-service water sport shop offers kite boarding, paddle boarding, kayaks, and windsurfing rentals and lessons. Windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding camps are available for kids ages 8 and older, and for adults.
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Paddle along the Peconic River with a board from Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals. Photo courtesy of the company
Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals — Riverhead
Located on the Peconic River, Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals offers kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards rentals, as well as private and themed tours, including adventure, sunset, and moonlight.
Main Beach Surf and Sport — Wainscott
This surf and board shop offers surfboard, kayak, and stand-up paddle board rentals, as well as instruction in all types of water sports. Its MBX surf camp for kids runs for 10 weeks during the summer.
Peconic Paddler — Riverhead
Under new ownership since March 2017, this shop has kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and canoes for rent. It also offers lessons, guided 4- and 7-mile trips along the Peconic River, birthday parties, and tours.
Peconic Water Sports — Sag Harbor, Southold, and Southampton
Kayak, jet ski, and paddle board rentals are available at all three locations, plus it offers water sports camps on both forks and Shelter Island for kids ages 5-14, featuring wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, and wake surfing.
Plaza Surf & Sports — Montauk
The Montauk location of this sporting goods emporium offers kayak rentals by the hour as well as for up to three days.
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Explore Sag Harbor from atop your board. Photo courtesy of Sag Harbor Sailing
Sag Harbor Sailing — Sag Harbor
Sag Harbor Sailing rents out paddle boards and single and double kayaks. Lessons are available for children and adults.
Shelter Island Kayak Tours — Shelter Island
Rent a kayak or paddle board here and you can explore the beauty of Shelter Island. Local maps for self-guided tours are available for download on the company’s website.
Springs General Store — East Hampton
A local hangout since 1844, it’s said artist Jackson Pollock once gave the store owner a painting in lieu of money to settle his grocery bill. Today, the store offers kayak rentals for the whole family, and has infant-sized life jackets. Nearby Accabonac Harbor is the perfect low-key spot for a family-friendly water adventure.
This article originally published in 2013. It was updated in June 2017.
Top photo: Kids will thrill to kayaking. Photo by popo.uw23/CC BY 2.0