Not at all! We encourage people of all ages and skill levels to come out and enjoy a day on the water. All tours and rentals are preceded by a paddling and safety orientation, and our staff is happy to assist you both on and off the water. However, we reserve the right to pull you from the water if we deem your actions or skill level to be unsafe.
All participants under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign our waiver of liability. people under 16 must be seated in a double kayak with a parent or legal guardian.
Don’t miss out if you are a bit older – we have had guests as old as 80 out on the water!
Dress according to the weather on the day of the paddle, of course, but a hat and sunglasses are always a good idea. It is highly advisable to NOT wear blue jeans or any long cotton pants. You will almost always get a little wet, and cotton holds water even on warm days. Nylon/swimwear/fleece and other quick dry materials are recommended, as is footwear that can get wet (or that you are OK with being covered in river water).
We do not have a designated changing area, but many of our guests will change in a stall in the public restroom upstairs.
We do not have a shower available on site.
Unfortunately, Wateriders is often at the mercy of Chicago’s unpredictable weather. If your tour is canceled due to a weather event (or the cancelation is made by Wateriders), we can reschedule you to another tour date of your choosing, or we can begin the refund process.
We validate parking to give you a lower rate, which is :
$4 + 50 cents per hour for up to 4 hours
Keep your ticket from the garage! We have “chaser” tickets that you use for validation. Put your original ticket in first, then the chaser ticket – which will adjust the price to the correct discounted rate, which you can then pay by credit card. Without the chaser, you will not get the discounted rate – don’t forget to ask us!
No alcohol is allowed on any of our experiences.
Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages during our tours, and please show up in an appropriate state to operate a vessel.
The Chicago River is a busy waterway frequented by large commercial, industrial and private watercraft. The impairment that comes with the consumption of alcohol presents a danger to yourself and others on the river. Alcohol use will not be tolerated on the water under any circumstances. Refunds will not be given if we have to remove you from the water due to intoxication.
Our guests have the choice of going on the water in either single or double kayaks. For the brand-conscious, we use Old Town, Perception and Emotion flat water, recreational sea kayaks. These are all sit-in kayaks without spray skirts.
Unfortunately not on this river. We only have kayaks on the Chicago River. Canoes are too easy to flip over and not a smart option to rent on a busy river.
Despite what you may have heard, there are no sharks in the Chicago River.
Seriously, no sharks.
Woof! We have had many dogs come out with their owners in the past. We usually seat them in the front of a double kayak and ask that you have a leash for them. Bringing a life jacket for the dog is highly advised. You are responsible for remediating any nuisances. There is no extra charge for our canine companions. Everyone could use a little puppy therapy.
Yes! The 2-way launch fee is $10 per boat ($5 in, $5 out).
Please do not bring motorboats, paddle boards (SUP) and racing shells are, as they are not allowed. If you have a strange boat, ask us first.
Unfortunately not. All guided activities must be reserved beforehand in order for us to staff appropriately.
Please email us in advance for details regarding private tours and groups – we will try to accommodate you if we can!
Yes. A life jacket is required by law AT ALL TIMES while in a boat or on our dock. No exceptions to this rule.
Not necessarily, but it is highly recommended, especially for tours and on weekends. Reservations always take priority over walk ups.
If we have space on a tour given the number of guides we have available, we can take walk-ups, but it is much safer to book online.
We have covered onsite storage for backpacks, purses and other personal belongings. While not locked unless we leave the dock area, we are always monitoring the storage, and have never had any issues.
Yes, but some restrictions may apply. There is a maximum limit of 6 boats per group (up to 12 people when all in double kayaks) allowed out without a guide. Any more than that and you will need a guide to accompany you. Email us for details on group paddles.
We hope you really enjoyed yourself! We are a small business, and sending positive vibes into the tubes of the interwebs makes a big difference!
Visit, like and share us social media, and the major 3 review sites (Tripadvisor, Google, and Yelp) are a great place for kind words.
Oh no! First things first, we apologize that your expectations were not appropriately met.
We are, at the heart of it, an experience based company, and we are committed to providing quality experiences for everyone who chooses to come paddle with us.
Please reach out to us directly so we can take your circumstances into account, rectify your situation, and potentially make procedural changes to address something we may have overlooked. Person-to-person input is always appreciated!
Most likely! Please reach out to us so we can assist in making arrangements. We have had multiple film crews come out to get shots of kayakers in the beautiful scenery. We will certainly consider nearly anything!