Going out for a paddle has always been a staple of summer on the East End, but it is now, more than ever, becoming a must-try activity, in all its forms. Canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) offer a rare opportunity to enjoy something in exactly the same way we did in the pre-COVID-19 world. Social distancing is built into all three sports, provided you share your canoe with a pandemic-buddy relative, spouse or housemate.
Hamptons and North Fork waters are your oyster if you own a canoe, kayak or SUP, but there are also plenty of rentals and tours available right now and throughout the summer. All equipment is fully sanitized between rentals.
219 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road, East Hampton
Founded by Gina Bradley in 2009, this female empowerment-centric (but all inclusive) SUP operation has definitely helped spread the word among well-heeled Hamptonites about the value of the sport for building confidence, getting out in nature and finding moments of peace for mental and physical wellness. Bradley even wrote a book about her philosophies, she’s opened a second location in Boca Raton, FL and she’s only just begun building her paddle empire. Call, visit their website or drop by the Paddle Diva Center on beautiful Three Mile Harbor to book a class or tour, or rent a board or kayak and set out on your own adventure. 631-329-2999, paddlediva.com
Main Beach Xpeditions
352 Montauk Highway, Wainscott
While Main Beach Surf & Sport’s retail store is closed, the shop offers half and full-day kayak, canoe and SUP rentals daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and they deliver all over the East End. You can also find the team with boards and boats at Georgica Pond, just across from the store. Main Beach Xpeditions suggests renters explore Georgica Pond, Sagg Pond, Northwest Creek, Accabonac Harbor and many more serene local waterways and estuaries for a peaceful getaway. Call for details or drop by and see them at Georgica Pond. 631-537-SURF (2716), mainbeach.com
35 Shore Road, Shelter Island Heights
Celebrating their 10th year in business this season, Venture Out is Shelter Island’s go-to spot for paddle excursions and rentals in the gorgeous waters around the island. Join them on Crescent Beach, where Sunset Beach restaurant is usually hopping (in normal times), for walk-up service seven days a week to rent sit-on-top kayaks and SUPs hourly or long term. They offer lessons, creek paddles and tours, as well as free delivery anywhere on Shelter Island. If your safe circle is larger than most, try their giant Megalodon SUP, which holds 6–8 people. Ask about Go-Pro videos and pictures, which can be sent to you after each adventure. Call or visit their website for more details. 631-317-7466, ventureoutsi.com
East End Explorer
Dan’s Best of the Best Platinum winner for Best Kayak, Canoe and SUP Rental on the South Fork, East End Explorer will open on Friday, June 12 for rentals and a variety of exciting guided and self-guided paddle eco tours on waters including the Sebonac Estuary, North Sea Harbor, Clam Island, among others. Call or visit their website for details about custom tours and additional options with this well established outfit. 631-353-5552, eastendexplorer.com
A popular local operation offering kayak and SUP rentals and “we come to you” custom paddle tours, Paddle Hamptons takes clients on adventure and fitness-focused excursions around Southampton, the North Shore and various other locations by request. Meet them at the boat and get out on the water. Also ask about SUP yoga classes and much more. Call or visit their website for details. 631-827-2040, paddlehamptons.com
89 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead
A longtime local favorite for a diverse range of people, Peconic Paddler has been under new ownership since 2017, and they’re now open seven days a week for canoe, kayak and SUP sales, rentals and trips along the Peconic River or Peconic Bay. Choose drop-off points of varying difficulty, or simply head out their back door and paddle to the local pizza shop on the river, just 1.5 miles away. Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean aren’t far, for those who want to rent and explore a bit farther afield. Call for details. 631-727-9895