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“Fun afternoon on the Allegheny River”
Review of Kayak Pittsburgh

Kayak Pittsburgh
Reviewed 13 September 2016

My boyfriend and I decided to do something different and try kayaking. The place is very easy to find and the instructor was very informative with the beginner's lesson. It took me a little time to get the hang of it but after a few tries it was very easy. Kayaking is a work out if you haven't done it before. The river was calm and peaceful and very beautiful. I would definitely try it again.

1  Thank tinky1242013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"north park location"
in 4 reviews
"allegheny river"
in 8 reviews
"life jackets"
in 2 reviews
"no wake zone"
in 2 reviews
"calm waters"
in 2 reviews
"the roberto clemente bridge"
in 4 reviews
"north shore"
in 4 reviews
"pnc park"
in 8 reviews
"great afternoon"
in 2 reviews
"vantage point"
in 2 reviews
"boats"
in 9 reviews
"paddling"
in 4 reviews
"beginners"
in 4 reviews
"upstream"
in 3 reviews
"downtown"
in 5 reviews
"scenery"
in 3 reviews
"city"
in 14 reviews
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Reviewed 7 September 2016

My wife and I visited Pittsburgh on a Saturday, 9/4, and the first thing we did after checking into our hotel was visit Kayak Pittsburgh. My wife was very excited to do this so it was our first stop. Below is a summary of our experience with Kayak Pittsburgh.

Arrival:
They have two locations, we visited the North Shore location as that is where we were staying. They are pretty easy to find and located right along the main walkway along the river by PNC Park.

We fancy ourselves intelligent people so it wasn't too difficult to figure out what to do, but their system is a bit screwy and others had no idea what they were doing.

When you walk up, there is one small L-shaped stand. The side closest to where you walk up is the check OUT line, the right side further in is the check IN side. Doesn't make sense but oh well. You must fill out a liability waiver form. My wife and I were good citizens and filled it out before getting in line. Others we then saw were not so kind as they grabbed entire pads of forms and took them into line with them so as not to have to wait an extra minute.

They ask you some basic questions, solo or tandem kayaks. The rate is different for each (solo is 16/hour, tandem is 22.50 per hour but that is a lower per person cost).

You then have to wait in another line to get life jackets and hear a speech they probably have to say for liability reasons but is an indictment of the American education system that it needs to be said. example, don't try to cross the river in front of speed boats or the huge tourist boats. Don't run your kayak up against the big submarine in the water.

This is the only part of the entire adventure I didn't like. We were approximately 15th in line and we had to wait over a half an hour. There were 2 girls working this process and both seemed to not work efficiently. There were LONG gaps of time where no one was getting into the water. Both were getting life jackets which took maybe 20 minutes for 10 people, not sure why. You are either a small/medium/large or XL.

Then they handed out oars, which are color coded by length (smart) and organized by color (smart), but no one is there to put them back so people coming in off the water were just throwing them into whatever corral they wanted (not so smart) when clearly the red blue and green were separated. The two girls who work this line kept fixing them, another lag in time.

We finally got in the water and had an enjoyable time. City is gorgeous, water is sometimes smoother and sometimes very choppy depending on wind and what boats went by recently. Down towards the point the water is MUCH busier. Go past that or go upriver to start and it is very smooth and quiet but less of a view.

The minimum charge is an hour, which makes sense, and then they charge by the half hour. So a 61 minute kayak ride will cost you the same as 90 minutes so plan accordingly. Unless you are going for exercise, there is not much need to go more than hour. My wife didn't paddle as much and I wasn't going aggressively at all and we were done in 50 minutes.

Then you check out and here is where I was confused. If management reads this...I am not a crook. I am not rich but I am not poor so I wouldn't abuse this, but it really was very obvious how easy it would be to do this for free.

They take your license or credit card as collateral when you check in, but you don't really need to check in. The line for life vests and oars is so separate from the check in line, and you PASS the vests/oars line to get to check in. You get no tag, no paper, no bracelet, nothing that says you actually checked in. In fact, I am pretty sure I saw 3 young girls get right in line for vests/oars without checking in, though I honestly think they did it b/c they saw a line and assumed that is where they go. No one else noticed or said anything.

When you get back, they help you out of the kayak and ask you to return the oar and life vest. Put the oar in the bin, put the vest on the ground, and then you are supposed to go back to the register to pay and get your CC or license back.

But if you never checked in, you could just walk right out as these are separate from one another.

Final note: A woman suffered from dehydration/exhaustion and collapsed at the register when we were checking in. An employee helped her immediately, got someone to call 911, and they took out waters from the cooler they sell them out of and poured them on her neck and offered her sips. They seemed well equipped to handle a medical emergency.

Overall, we had an enjoyable time. For $22 bucks we got a little exercise, some sun, and got to enjoy the beautiful views of the city. The only downside was the 30 minute process of getting a vest and oar.

I would recommend this business for the casual traveler for sure.

4  Thank Shaun H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2016 via mobile

Highly recommend this adventure for young and old, experienced or novice. Reasonably priced. Vet get $5.00 discount and on your birthday it is free for 1st hour. Ideal way to see Pittsburgh from its waters. No parking on site but parking available within walking distance. Can rent single or tandem kayak ranging from $18 to $22. Excellent experience for couples.

Thank Joseph T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2016

This place is great - you can rent a solo or tandem Kayak - so much fun and they have different events all summer long

Thank vanmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 August 2016 via mobile

I have been doing Kayak Pittsburgh for many years now and it is still fun. The 3 convenient locations make it easy for anyone in the surrounding suburbs of the city to enjoy kayaking. Their staff are nice and efficient at their jobs. The North Park location is the best if you are looking for a quiet, experience. Overall, each time I visit, I have a wonderful time out on the water

Thank Alexis N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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