Do I need to book in advance?
Yes! Please book your time slot in advance.
What is your Covid-19 policy?
Please review our COVID-19 policy. We advise participants to follow CDC guidelines. Individuals who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 are asked to wear a mask while interacting with staff. Participants may be maskless when out on the water. We will not require proof of vaccination.
How old must you be to kayak here?
Typically, anyone ages 3+ can go kayaking.
However, some restrictions apply:
- Age 3 (or 35 lbs) to 12 – Must be in a tandem kayak with a parent or guardian, and parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form for each child.
- Age 13-15 – May be in a solo kayak, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the water. Must also have parent or guardian sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
- Age 16-17 – May be in a solo kayak on water alone, but parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
- Age 18+ – Must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
- Minimum weight requirement is 35 pounds.
- Maximum weight limit is 325 pounds for solo kayaks and 575 pounds for tandem kayaks.
What's the weight limit on these kayaks?
The minimum weight is 35 pounds.
Solo kayaks can hold up to 325 pounds.
Tandem kayaks can hold up to 575 pounds.
What if I don't know how to kayak?
Kayaking in our rivers and lakes is perfect for beginners as well as advanced paddlers. Our rivers are slow moving, and our lakes are calm. It is easy to learn and after a few minutes of instruction from our staff, you will be equipped to head out onto the river and enjoy the city from a whole new vantage point.
You can also visit our activities calendar if you’d like to take a Beginner Kayaking course.
Is kayaking physically strenuous?
Kayaking is like riding a bike; you can get in a great workout or just relax and enjoy the scenery. It’s up to you!
How old must you be to SUP (stand up paddleboard) with us?
You must be 13 years or older to go stand up paddle boarding.
However, some restriction may apply:
- Ages 13-15 – May go out on a stand up paddle board on the water alone, but parent or guardian must on the water in a separate watercraft with them.
- Age 16-17 – May go out on a stand up paddle board on the water alone, but parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
- Age 18+ – Must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form
How many people can fit in a canoe?
Maximum 2 adults and 1 child are allow in a canoe at a time (750lbs total max).
Canoes are only available at North Park.
What should I wear?
Wear whatever you’re comfortable in! While you should not expect to get excessively wet, your paddle will drip a bit as you move along the water.
We don’t recommend:
- Bulky clothes
- Flip flops or shoes that can fall off easily
We do recommend:
- Non-cotton materials
- Preparing for direct sun
- Preparing for a cool breeze
- Tennis shoes or sandals with straps
All boaters must wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times. We provide these at the concession, or you may bring your own. See PFD requirements here.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes! You’re welcome to bring your dog (or cat) kayaking. You are responsible for their safety and will need to sign an additional waiver. Please bring life-jackets for your pets.
*NOTE: signing a waiver for your pet is a new requirement. You may have paddled in the past without this, but moving forward we will be taking additional precaution.
Do I have to be a Venture Outdoors Member to rent a kayak?
No, you don’t have to be a Venture Outdoors member to kayak, but you’ll help support our mission AND save on kayaking rental if you are a member!
Venture Outdoors Memberships start at only $35 year and include $5 off the first hour of kayaking.
Also all current Venture Outdoors Members are eligible to receive a 12% discount when buying a Kayak Pittsburgh season pass. Sign up for Membership or learn more here.
Where can I park?
At North Park there is a free parking lot located at the Boathouse.
At Sharpsburg you may park in the James Sharp Landing lot for free, however plese avoid boat parking. If the lot fills, please find street parking. Arrive early to find parking.
Will weather effect my trip?
We love our kayakers and your safety is our highest concern! We closely monitor thunder, rain, riverflow, and wind conditions. The safety of our guests and employees is Kayak Pittsburgh’s utmost priority.
- For every clap of thunder and/or strike of lightening, Kayak Pittsburgh is required to close the rental location for at least 45 minutes. Depending on the longevity and intensity of the storm, the management team may decide to close the location for the remainder of the day.
- The Kayak Pittsburgh rental location will continue operation if it’s raining unless there is a “Flash Flood Warning”.
River flow is measured in cubic feet per second and it’s one of the key indicators of river conditions. We follow a standard rule of 27kcfs or 27 thousands of cubic feet per second.
This means we do not allow kayakers in the water when the flow is above 27kcfs. We use a hydrograph provided by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)andNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help us make this call. Check out the hydrograph for part of the Allegheny River.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date weather updates.
What's your cancel or refund policy?
- If the Kayak Pittsburgh rental location experiences a temporary closure due to inclement weather, you will receive a full refund.
- If you are on the water while a storm approaches, we ask that you safely take shelter. If you are on the water for less than 30 minutes, you will receive a full refund.
- You may cancel your booking up to 24 hours before the start of your rental.
- To cancel email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you choose to cancel your reservation due to inclement weather, but it’s after the 24-hour cancellation policy: please contact us at email@example.com.
- If you have booked and we must cancel due to weather or water conditions we will alert you via phone call, email and/or text message.
These rules will help keep you safe >>
- Always wear your PFD
- No drugs/alcohol
- Stay away from boats, bridges, buoys, debris, and stationary objects
- Along the river paddle close to shore
- Always stay seated in your boat
- Stay clear of people fishing
- Kayak Pittsburgh staff at each location will explain where you are allowed to paddle that day pending water conditions