Andy's Kayak Rental

We are closed for the season! It was a wonderful year. See you next spring/summer. If you'd like to get an email when we open, please email us at info@pvriverfront.org

  • We offer individual kayak rental at various times each week, usually Tuesday 6pm, Thursday 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm, based on weather, and how many reservations we receive.

  • If there are no reservations, we will not open. Click the "See Times" button below for availability.

  • Making a reservation is free. Payment is taken when you arrive.

  • Groups of 4 or more may kayak (almost) any time.  Call or email us one day in advance 413-736-1322 or info@pvriverfront.org to make a special group reservation.

  • See available reservation times below:

North

Riverfront

Park

Andy Vezis

Walk-ups (no reservation) allowed, but a reservation is preferred.

Request Another Time

If you would like to rent kayaks for a group of 4 or more at another time, please contact us for pricing and availability. Be sure to mention what your preferred time and day would be! 

Andy's Kayak Rental FAQs

Where can I park my car or bike?


North Riverfront Park at 121 West Street, Springfield MA 01104 is a Springfield public park. There is no entry fee, and there is limited, free, car parking on site, and a bike rack by the Gazebo. Please do not leave valuables in plain sight in your car. The Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club is not responsible for your personal property while you are visiting the park. The Park is located on the Connecticut Riverwalk bike path. If you park next door at the Pride Station or in the vacant lot between the park and Pride, you may be towed.




What should I wear and bring with me for kayaking?


Pre-payment of one hour rental and an ID that you leave with our staff will be required when checking in. Kayaking is a water sport, so you should expect to get wet. We recommend a swimsuit or shorts you don't mind getting wet, a non-cotton shirt to wear under your life jacket (we provide), and water shoes or old sneakers that can get wet. A hat, sunglasses, water bottle, sunscreen, and towel are recommended. If you plan to bring your cell phone for picture taking, emergencies, etc., a waterproof cellphone holder with a string to attach to your life jacket is recommended. Feel free to bring your fishing pole and tackle! Do not bring your purse/wallet or anything you don't want to get wet - try to leave those things locked in the trunk of your car. A storage cubby may be available for leaving some personal items by the boathouse.




What are the costs and forms of payment?


There is a one-hour minimum. Adults pay $20 per hour for a one-person kayak rental. Youth age 14-17 must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for them and their safety, and pay $10 per hour, payable in advance. We will keep a photo ID of one of the renters in your party, and all must sign a waiver. Waivers are available in English and Spanish. Payment is preferred by credit or debit card, but cash is also accepted. If you have a group larger than 4 people and would like to arrange for a kayak outing outside of our normal hours (Sat and Sun 8am - 12p) please email us at info@pvriverfront.org with your requested dates and we will provide you with a price and availability.




Why is it called Andy's Kayak Rental?


In short, in memory of a friend. Andy Vezis loved the outdoors, the water, and the Springfield riverfront! He was passionate about introducing people to them. He spent many years with the YMCA as a swim instructor, lifeguard, and lifeguard instructor. He even taught the Terrified of Water Class for adults, passing on his enthusiasm with compassion and inspiring people past their insecurity. He dedicated 17 years to coordinating the YMCA’s rowing program on the Connecticut River. He started out running it alone, covering all of the lessons and all of the shifts. As the program grew, to almost 70 members at one point, other instructors came on board. He led this new team with dedication and commitment. His enthusiasm was contagious. He loved when his students learned to enjoy their new found skills enough to then become instructors or lifeguards themselves or to continue adding new water skills like kayaking or scuba diving. He believed that the riverfront in Springfield is a hidden gem that should be shared with everyone. He felt strongly that the riverfront, once a thriving recreation area, could continue to expand to be this again. His hope was to see it used and enjoyed, and cared for by many. After rowing the river in the early mornings, he’d come home with stories of the beauty of the river, the eagles that nested there, and the friends he’d made. Unfortunately, at the age of 47, young, energetic, and seemingly healthy, Andy was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He passed away three and a half years later. Now, it’s up to us to carry on his enthusiasm for lifelong learning, the water, and the Springfield riverfront. He’s left behind a legacy of hundreds of children and adult swimmers, rowers, and outdoor enthusiasts. And, he would like nothing more than to know that people are continuing to enjoy the river that he called home! So, if this is your first time in a kayak or if you’ve been in a kayak more times than you can count, spend some time on the river, take a second to look around and appreciate all the wonderful sights and sounds that nature has for you as Andy welcomes you to the river! For more information about colorectal cancer screening, advocacy, and research please visit www.fightcrc.org




How is Covid-19 affecting kayaking?


Everyone is asked to be positive, patient, and respectful of the rules, which are constantly changing. Working together, we can make it through this pandemic. Mask required from arrival in park, to getting in your kayak. While kayaking, remove your mask for safety. When you return to land, put your mask on before getting out of the kayak. No access to the boathouse except if urgent. All equipment disinfected between use. This may increase wait times for those next in line. Maintain 6-foot spacing while waiting in line. Staff are not allowed to assist you in and out of your boat. All boats will launch from shore, not from the dock. Once you are in your boat, staff may help push your boat off the beach. Afterwards, you may sit at socially-spaced picnic tables, but you may not hang out at the dock or boathouse or in the gazebo.




Where can I go with the kayak?


You'll be kayaking on the Connecticut River which has a current. When you launch you will go upstream, to the right, under the bridge first. This way you can judge how strong you are versus the current. Upstream less than a mile is the bald eagle's nest. Downstream just over a mile is Riverfront Park. The boathouse phone number (413-736-1322) is written on your kayak on a bright orange sticker. If you are running late, or in trouble, please call us when it is safe to do so.




Top 10 Safety Rules you must know:


1. Alcohol and drug use is not allowed while on the water. 2. Always wear your life jacket. 3. Always stay with your boat. If you flip, your boat will float. Hold on to it and get to shore. 4. Keep close to shore. Jet skis and power boats will pass you in the middle of the river. 5. Do not hang out near bridge columns. You may idle in the shade, but stay away from the concrete where the current is stronger and unpredictable. 6. If you choose to cross to the other side of the river, do so quickly, and be aware of other boats 7. Be aware of fisherman in boats and on shore - do not get in their fishing lines. 8. Communicate. Use your voice and wave your paddle to attract attention if another boat is getting too close to you. 9. Rowers: you may see rowers on the river. Note, they face backwards so you may see them before they see you. They move faster than kayaks, so call out to them "Hey rower!" if one is coming at you. 10. Weather: if you hear thunder, immediately return to Andy's Kayak Rental. If you are too far, go to the nearest shore. Wait for conditions to improve (we won't charge you for extra time).




What age can kayak?


Age 12-14 must be accompanied by an adult on the water. Age 15-17 may paddle their own kayak, but an 18-year old responsible for their safety must sign the waiver. Age 18 and above are welcome to paddle with a signed waiver. Due to restrictions imposed by our insurance provider, we cannot accommodate kayakers under age 12.




Do you have any 2-person kayaks?


Yes, we have one! You can request it when you make your reservation here:
https://kdgowrdebbzpvmcqln.10to8.com




I have my own kayak. Is there a charge to launch?


You may launch your personal kayak from our location at no charge. The park is generally open dawn to dusk. You may park on the "lower road" near the water, but please park in a painted parking space only. The boathouse is open very limited hours. We suggest you lock valuables in your trunk. If you wish to store your kayak at the park, you may do so for a fee, and you'd need to bring a lock to secure your kayak. There is no secure paddle storage.




Do you accept special groups? How big?


Yes, we have 13 kayaks and can take your special group at almost any time of the day. Contact us at info@pvriverfront.org with your request. We'll give you a quote and discuss what options you'd like to include. Special groups arrangmenents can be made for four to 13 people.




When are you open?


We are open for kayak rental at these times: Tue 6pm, Thu 6pm, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-6 by reservation only. Please sign up using the link above. If these times don't work for you, please contact us with your request. For a group of 4 or more, we will find a time that works!





PVRC, 121 West Street, PO Box 3123, Springfield MA 01101-3123 - info@pvriverfront.org - 413-736-1322