Dynamic Paddlers

Think you aren’t physically able to enjoy the water? This organization helps people of all ages and abilities develop independence, confidence and personal fitness through kayaking. Each private lesson is tailored to meet an individual patron’s needs. Dynamic Founder Larry Gioia is one of only a handful of people in the world certified by the American Canoe Association as an adaptive paddling instructor trainer.

Photo courtesy of Cruisin’ Tikis.

Cruisin’ Tikis

Take a tropical vacation on the Mon, mon! Gather a six-pack of pals and board a BYOB Hawaiian-style hut for a two-hour amphibious luau. Since launching last year, Cruisin’ Tikis tours, which start at $400, have been a popular activity for bachelorette and bachelor parties, corporate meetings and event charters. Avoid the parking lot at the next Kenny Chesney concert and tailgate on the water.

Photo courtesy of Kayak Pittsburgh.

Kayak Pittsburgh

With three locations around town (North Shore, North Park and Aspinwall), Kayak Pittsburgh has plenty of aquatic environments to suit your style. Owned and operated by Venture Outdoors, the rental activity also offers guided trips, in-depth instruction and full moon paddle rides. Season passes are available for $230.05 if you want to spend the summer offshore.

Photo by Teri Getsay. Courtesy of SurfSUP Adventures.

SurfSUP Adventures

Hang ten, n’at on a standup paddleboard. Trip options range from educational eco-tours and on-water yoga to white water fun that’ll get your adrenaline pumping. Established in 2011, the organization has locations in Oakmont, Pittsburgh, Moraine State Park and Johnstown staffed by instructors sanctioned by the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association. Rent equipment for a half-day for $55 or a whole week for $345. SurfSUP’s First Waves program provides mentoring, therapy and education to underserved youth and special needs groups.

Photo courtesy of Splash Water Sports.

Splash Water Sports

Yes, you can learn to scuba dive in Pittsburgh. In fact, Splash Water Sports certifies between 200 and 300 people every year. Folks as young as 10 can immerse themselves in the entry-level course, which includes classroom instruction and pool practice (at Keystone Oaks High School and Dormont Pool). Once you feel comfortable, the team will take you out to open waters in local rivers, quarries and lakes where you can explore the world from a different perspective. Continue your underwater education by taking advanced classes in rescue diving, night diving, cave diving and photography.

And of course, there’s always the Gateway Clipper fleet for sightseeing, dinner and events, not to mention a fun way to get to a Steelers games. The various boats –named Queen, Princess and Duchess and more — offer seven trips a day during the summer and ply all three rivers.

The newest company to make a splash in the city is Thrill Watersports. Docked at Sharpsburg Islands Marina, the business has a fleet of 12 Yamaha VX personal water craft with jet boat rentals coming soon.