The Newport Aquatic Center was founded in 1982 and built in 1987 as a non-profit corporation offering the public unique opportunities in the Olympic water sports of rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe competition.

Mission Statement:

“The Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) is an extraordinary community resource whose mission is to teach and inspire athletes of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds by fostering a passion for Olympic style rowing, kayaking, canoeing, and related marine activities. Through character building programs and world-class professional instruction, the NAC not only develops exceptional athletes, it creates a positive, influential path for young adults, a common destination for devoted enthusiasts, and a teaching ground for environmental stewardship.”

Our Members: Beginners to Olympians

NAC front 1-p.j_edited-1
Paddlers and rowers of every age and level of ability use the NAC to sharpen their skills in rowing, canoeing, outrigger canoeing, and kayaking. Beginners come to improve their physical condition, enjoy the aesthetic, and competitive aspects of these sports and intrinsically experience the spirit of the NAC. National Teams from Europe utilize this first class Aquatic Center throughout the years. 
The NAC hosts a variety of events during the year such as races and regattas that provide an opportunity to hone competitive skills and several fund-raising events. Rowing and paddling clubs are invited to the regattas hosted by the center and NAC members have the opportunity to travel to races regionally, nationally, and internationally. 
Our master/open rowing, canoe, outrigger canoe, and kayak teams have won numerous National Championship titles from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. Collectively, NAC members have won twelve Olympic Gold Medals.

Open to the Public

NAC from the water-p.j_edited-1In addition to the programs for members, the Newport Aquatic Center offers classes to the general public. It is not necessary to be a member to participate, although special discounts do apply. Various classes from local instructors as well as colleges are offered through the center. 
For businesses and corporations looking for a team building experience, we host Outrigger Corporate Challenge Regattas where we bring the excitement of authentic outrigger canoe racing to your company. With the combination of physical, mental, and emotional strategies involved, your teams on 6-18 person outrigger canoes will learn important lessons that translate into the competitive world of business. 
The NAC also offers memberships by the hour for those who want to use kayaks and stand up paddle boards for a leisurely paddle around the bay. Private lessons in all disciplines are also available for those interested in improving their skills or learning new ones.

NAC History

The Newport Aquatic Center was founded in 1982 and built in 1987 as a non-profit corporation offering the public unique opportunities in the Olympic water sports of rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe competition.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the facility open during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, we are open with restrictions. All visitors are required to continue physically distancing and wear their mask while on the premise. Visitors are not required to wear masks while out on the water in our equipment.

I have a specific question regarding my jr athlete, practice, event or race

Please contact the coach directly for all things jr rowing related. Call the NAC office to get the contact information for the designated coach.

I am currently on the Jr. Rowing team and I am interested in P.E. credit.

Once the team roster is set, athletes from schools OUTSIDE of the Newport-Mesa School District may speak to their school administrative office to receive the proper paper work for the NAC office to fill out.

Athletes from the Newport-Mesa School District are not guaranteed P.E. credit. NHHS and CDMHS limit the amount of students who can receive P.E. credit from an outside source. Due to this restriction, NAC athletes are selected randomly based on their year rowing and their academic year (i.e. Sophomores on Varsity, or Freshman on Novice, etc.)

The NAC has no control over this restrictions and appreciates your cooperation.

At what age can I start in the Jr Rowing Program?

The NAC Jr Rowing program is for athletes who are currently enrolled in High School. We do offer a non-competitive middle school program for athletes enrolled in 7th & 8th grade. Unfortunately, for athletes younger than middle school will need to wait until they reach the appropriate age in order to join an NAC team.

I am interested in learning to row on the Jr. Rowing Program, how do I get started?

Never rowed before:

Step 1: enroll in our Learn to Row summer camp (see website for details)

Step 2: after completion of the Learn to Row camp, enroll in the Intro to Competitive rowing camp to further perfect technique

Step 3: think about private lessons with a coach

Step 4: try out for the team in the beginning of August

Have some rowing experience:

Step 1: enroll in our Intro to Competitive Rowing summer camp

Step 2: consider taking a private rowing lesson

Step 3: try out for the team in the beginning of August

How do I join the Jr. Rowing Program once the season has started?

Depending on your skill level, coaches may accept athletes onto the team once the team has already been set in the end of August. Please contact the NAC to get in touch with a coach.

Are there gift certificates available?

Yes! We offer gift certificates, you can give for a certain value or for a certain item

What is the recommended attire to go out on the water?

We recommend either wearing athletic wear or your bathing suit, bring a hat or sunglasses, a towel, and water! Since it is a water sport, expect to get wet, so bring a change of clothes if you plan on going somewhere after.

The NAC provides all PFD’s and paddles.

I have never kayaked or Stand-up paddled before, is this still a good thing for me to try?

Yes! Paddling at our facility is perfect for guests of all experiences. The staff provides a tutorial with all of our equipment rentals which will go over 1) how to paddle 2) where to go and what to see 3) wind and tide 4) safety. Please ask the staff for any further questions you may have regarding your first visit. Retals are subject to weather, so please call ahead to ask if conditions are okay for a “first-timer”.

Do you accept credit cards as a form of payment?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards. We also accept cash and check.

What is the best time to come kayak/SUP?

The best time to come is when the wind and tide are most calm, which is typically in the morning.

Please always check the weather conditions prior to coming down, you may check with any online weather service or simply call us!

How do I cancel my membership?

Annual Members:

Annual memberships automatically renew after the first year; members who pay in full will receive an invoice prior to their renewal date, members who are on auto debit will automatically be renewed after the year is up.

The annual membership is a one year contract, once your year is up you are able to cancel anytime. To cancel your membership, you must fill out a cancellation form located online under “resources” or “memberships”. You may also fill out the cancellation form at the front office at NAC.

Monthly Members:

Members who signed up for the monthly “no-contract” memberships will have no automatic renewal. Monthly membership are a one-time flat fee; members are responsible for paying again if they wish to continue their memberships.


What are your hours of operation?

Membership Facility Hours:

Monday-Thursday 6am – 8pm

Friday 6am – 7pm

Saturday & Sunday 6am – 6pm

Rental Hours:

Monday – Thursday 7am – 4:30pm

Friday 7am – 3:45pm

Saturday & Sunday 7am – 3:45pm

Is there a swimming pool?

There is no swimming pool. We use the Upper Newport Back Bay as our water source.

What are the membership benefits?

When you join as a member, you get full access to the facility including: kayaks, SUP’s, outriggers, surfskis, rowing shells, the weight room, the locker rooms and the rowing machines

Who is included in the family membership?

The family membership is considered the immediate household: 2 heads of house, and kids aged 7-18. All family members must sign a liability waiver upon joining.

Are there lockers and showers available to the public?

No. As a membership facility, our locker rooms are available to our members only. We have public restrooms available and a key rack for your car keys.

If I am a member, can I have a guest come with me?

We do not have a guest policy. All guests are required to rent kayaks and SUP’s at the normal rental rate. There are no non-members allowed on our member only equipment (sculls, outriggers, surfskis)

Can I reserve kayaks/SUP’s for an event?

No, we do not do any reservations for our kayaks and SUP’s. however, we do offer reservations for our outriggers. Please refer to the tab “things to do” on how to inquire reserving the outriggers for group events.

Do you allow dogs at your facility and on your equipment?

Yes, we are a dog friendly facility. Dogs are allowed on our kayaks only, not SUP’s.

Notice: All dogs must be on a leash and accompanied by the owner at all times. The beach in which we are located, follows normal public beach rules, which indicates no dogs between the hours of 9am-5pm. As long as you are using our facility, it is okay.

Is there an age limit to go on the kayaks and SUP’s?

Yes. To be on the kayak all participants must be at least 7 years old, even if going with a parent. To be on the SUP’s all participants must be at least 14 years old and only one person per board is allowed

Do you offer reservations for rentals?

No, all rentals are at a first-come-first-serve basis

How much are kayak and paddle board rentals?

Single kayaks $15/hr, double kayaks $20/hr, SUP’s $20/hr

Do I have to be a member in order to rent?

No. we are a membership facility, that offers rentals on the side.