Kayak Lessons

Clothing is an important part of your paddling experience, as it will provide you with the warmth and comfort you need to enjoy your day. Cotton should be avoided as part of your layering system as it often remains cold and wet and it takes a long time to dry out. Synthetic fabrics or wool keep you warmer when they become wet with sweat/water and certain synthetic base layers are designed to wick the sweat away from your skin to keep you drier and warmer. During the warmer summer months paddlers get away with wearing a light synthetic t-shirt, swim/hiking shorts, sunglasses and some paddle shoes! Very often these paddlers find warmth and comfort in their spare set of dry clothes that includes: a thicker synthetic long sleeve shirt and pants, nylon spray jacket and insulating hat. When we get into those colder weather situations paddlers must dress in layers of synthetic fabric and need to be insulated from the cold water by wearing a wetsuit and paddle jacket. Drysuits are warn with multiple layers of synthetic clothing underneath when the water temp drops below 50 degrees F; this keeps you dry and warm when you need it.

The items below are REQUIRED unless otherwise specified. If you have questions about what to bring please call the School at 845-668-2030.

Clothing & Footwear

Synthetic top and bottom
Preferably loose-fitting, quick-dry pants or shorts and synthetic long or short-sleeve t-shirt. Wear something comfortable and avoid cotton materials (see description above). For colder weather paddling where a drysuit is needed, wear lightweight fleece (top and bottom) or wool/synthetic long underwear (top and bottom) under the drysuit.

Paddle Shoes
Appropriate footwear is required for all lessons. You must have closed-toe shoes (no sandals, please).  Water shoes/booties are great, but an old pair of sneakers is a good option, too.  If you need appropriate footwear, please let us know ahead of time and we may be able to accommodate you.  You will not be allowed to take a lesson/tour without footwear.

Additional Items

Change of clothes


PB&J, bagels, trail mix, and granola bars are good options. Avoid soft fruits (such as bananas), as they don’t pack well.

Bottle of water (32 oz)

Optional Items

Croakies                                                                                                                                                                                                            Camera
Bug spray
Dry bag

EMS Kayak School Provides

Appropriate kayak, personal flotation device (PFD), paddle, and nylon spray skirt as needed.

For colder days we may provide you with a wetsuit or drysuit and a nylon paddle jacket.

Helmets are provided for classes that require them.

Eastern Mountain Sports Schools