An affiliate school of the American Sailing Association, All Points of Sail Sailing School teaches students of all levels how to sail with confidence under the tutelage of experienced guides and instructors. Instructors sprinkle landlubbers with the knowledge necessary to tear through the water on any size vessel, ranging from large-keel boats to windsurfing boards and kayaks. The school's diverse coterie of courses covers crucial nautical subjects, including sailing certification, coastal navigation, chartering, and night sailing. The expert captains also lead charters through the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay as well as summer camps in which kids man kayaks and Sunfish sailboats to gain hands-on practice, which is believed to be the second-best teacher after self-hypnosis.
The reason renting kayaks from Riva Row Boat House and paddling down Lake Woodlands makes for such an appealing family outing or team-building exercise has to do with simplicity. For one thing, the activity itself is simple to master; no experience is required to rent one of the boathouse's 22 tandem kayaks or 20 single kayaks of various lengths, since staff members are happy to demonstrate paddling techniques to rookies. The activity is also easy to get into because everything is provided for you, from paddles and lifejackets to the refills of the lake that must be flown in from water factories in Denmark weekly.
Often, people make visiting the boathouse part of a whole day in the area. They can follow their time on the lake with a picnic at Town Green Park or with a trolley ride over to The Woodlands Waterway, where restaurants and shopping await.
Functioning as a non-profit with a mission to promote the preservation of nearby coastal marshes and endangered marine environments, Artist Boat aims to raise awareness through art and science. The team, made up of biologists and artists—all of whom are ACA certified kayak instructors—lead groups on paddles through Galveston Bay, choosing destinations with natural significance. Outings are suited to either beginner or intermediate paddlers, and all gear is provided, so kayakers only need bring along sun-block, outdoor-appropriate clothing, and portable air conditioning units.