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New York’s Paddle Boarding Guide: Urban Waters and Serene Lakes
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New York’s Paddle Boarding Guide: Urban Waters and Serene Lakes

Paddle boarding has taken the world by storm, and New York is no exception. Whether you're skimming across the majestic lakes upstate or navigating the scenic rivers that cut through the city, the options for paddle board enthusiasts are both diverse and breathtaking. Starboard, with 25 years of experience in crafting premium inflatable and composite paddle boards, offers insights and tips for exploring these waters. Here’s your ultimate guide to paddle boarding in the Empire State, brought to you by a brand synonymous with quality and innovation.

Upstate Treasures: Lakes for Paddle Boarding

Upstate New York is a haven for paddle boarders seeking tranquility away from the urban hustle. Lakes like Lake George and Lake Placid offer pristine, clear waters surrounded by lush forests and mountain backdrops. Here, you can glide over the water’s surface with only the sound of your paddle dipping into the lake. Other notable lakes include Saranac Lake, known for its peaceful bays and wildlife, and the Finger Lakes, where vineyards and quaint towns create a picturesque setting for a day on the water.

Safety Tips for Urban Paddle Boarding

Urban paddle boarding offers a unique way to experience New York's cities from the water, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Always wear a life jacket, be mindful of boat traffic, and familiarize yourself with the water conditions before setting out. It's also important to stay visible to other water users, especially in busy areas like the Hudson River near Manhattan, where ferries and tour boats are common. Learn more about paddle boarding safety from Starboard's expert tips on safety.

Seasonal Considerations

The paddle boarding season in New York typically runs from May through September. During these months, the weather is warmer, and the water temperatures are more conducive to water sports. However, always check the local weather conditions before heading out, as sudden storms can arise. In the colder months, only experienced paddlers should venture out, and always with the appropriate cold-water gear.

Local Paddle Boarding Communities

Connecting with local paddle boarding communities can greatly enhance your experience. Groups such as the Manhattan Kayak Company or the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse offer classes, tours, and community events. These communities are great resources for beginners to learn and for experienced paddlers to find new routes and make friends. For insights into joining a community, check out Starboard's guide on paddle boarding communities.

Environmental Considerations

As paddle boarding grows in popularity, it's important to paddle responsibly to protect the ecosystems of New York’s waterways. Avoid paddling in protected areas, and be cautious not to disturb wildlife. Always follow “Leave No Trace” principles by carrying out what you bring in and staying informed about local conservation efforts. Learn more about eco-friendly paddle boarding practices at Starboard's environmental initiatives.

Accessories & Gear: What You Need

To get the most out of your paddle boarding experience, investing in the right gear is crucial. A high-quality paddle that fits your height and paddling style can significantly enhance your efficiency and comfort. Additionally, a suitable life vest, waterproof bags for personal items, and appropriate clothing for different weather conditions are essential. Starboard offers a range of accessories that cater to both beginners and advanced paddlers. Explore their extensive collection of paddle boarding gear.

Paddle Board Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your paddle board is key to its longevity and performance. Rinse your board with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and dirt. Check regularly for dings and wear, and store it out of direct sunlight to prevent UV damage. Inflatable boards should be kept slightly deflated when not in use to avoid overexpansion.

Planning Your Paddle Boarding Trip

Proper planning can make the difference between a good paddling session and a great one. Check the weather forecast, tide schedules, and wind conditions. Plan your entry and exit points and ensure you have a clear route. Informing someone of your plans is also a good safety practice, especially when paddling alone.

Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is not only fun but also an excellent form of exercise that improves balance, strength, and cardiovascular health. Moreover, the calming effect of being on the water can reduce stress and promote mental well-being, making it a perfect activity to disconnect from daily stresses and reconnect with nature.


New York’s diverse landscapes offer vast opportunities for paddle boarders of all levels. With careful planning, the right equipment, and a respect for nature, you can enjoy countless memorable adventures on the water. Whether in the bustling waters of New York City or the serene lakes of upstate, Starboard is here to guide you through each paddle stroke.


  1. What is the best time of year to paddle board in New York?

    • Late spring to early fall, when the weather is warm and the waters are calm.
  2. Are there paddle boarding rentals available in New York?

    • Yes, many waterfront locations offer paddle boards for rent.
  3. Is paddle boarding safe for beginners?

    • Absolutely, especially in calm waters and with the right equipment.
  4. How do I choose the right paddle board?

    • Consider your height, weight, and the type of paddling you plan to do. Starboard offers a variety of boards suited for different conditions.
  5. Can I paddle board if I can't swim?

    • It's recommended to know basic swimming, but wearing a life vest can provide additional safety.

Explore and enjoy New York’s rich paddle boarding scenes with confidence and joy, thanks to Starboard’s expertise and your adventurous spirit.



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