Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need any experience to rent the equipment?

No,  general public are able to rent the sit-on-top kayaks, canoes and recreational stand up paddle boards without having taken a class or being checked out.  However, rental of a sailboat, windsurf, fiberglass stand up paddle board or rowing shell requires to be checked out (have taken a class or private lesson.)

Do I always need to wear a life jacket?

Yes, while using our equipment we require that a life jacket be worn at all time regardless of age.

Are dogs allowed in the boats?

No dogs are allowed on our facility or on our boats.  However, they are allowed at Nimbus Flat State Park across the way from us.  They must be on improved areas and must be on a leash.

Can I fish from the boats?

Yes, as long as you have a valid fishing license renters are allowed to fish from our boats.  However, fishing is not permitted from our docks or shoreline.

How far am I able to paddle up the lake?

The lake is approximately 5-6 miles long.  However, renters are not allowed to go further than Folsom Power House which is next to Rainbow Bridge.

What do I need in order to rent the equipment?

Each person 18 and over must have a valid photo I.D. and we require a set of car keys for the deposit for the rental.  We will hold onto these items while you are out on the water.  One set of keys is required per family.  Each patron needs to make an account in our software system: 

What equipment do you need to be “checked out” on?

The equipment that we require renters to be “checked out” on is the rowing shells, all of the sail boats, the viking kayak, the river kayaks, surf ski kayaks, windsurfer, and the stand up paddle boards.

What does it mean to be “checked out”?

“Checked Out” means that you have taken a class or private lesson at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center and have been given permission in the form of a checkout card to rent the specified equipment with which you have become experienced.  Only a class or private lesson at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center is valid verification of experience.

Is there a parking fee for parking in the Aquatic Center lot?

No, the parking lot here at the Aquatic Center is for use of our patrons at no fee.  People looking to recreate at Lake Natoma or use the bike trail must park at the Nimbus Flat State Park.

Are we allowed to use the beach/picnic tables?

Only if you have a reservation on that part of the facility.

How do I sign up for private lesson?

If you wish to take a private lesson you will need to fill out a private lesson request form that can be found under each program area on the top menu.  

How do I sign up for a class/summer camp?

There are three ways that you can sign up for a class or sign your child up for summer camp:

  1. Registed online at
  2. You can call the office at 916-278-2842 and press 9 to speak to a customer service staff member.
  3. You are welcome to visit our office to register and pay in person. 

If I’m a Sac State Alumni do I get a discount?  If so how much?

Sac State Alumni are able to receive discounts if they pay the Alumni Association dues and have received their Alumni Association membership card.  Show this card to the front office when you check in for your rental and they will give you the discounted “affiliate” rate on rentals or classes.  The Aquatic Center does not have a way to look up Alumni Association members, you must have the valid card.

What should I wear if I’m renting equipment?

Dress for the water, not just the weather.  Our water here at Lake Natoma can be very cold, even in the summer months.  You can always check the water temperature on the USGS website

Keep in mind that our sit-on-top kayaks are self bailing.  This means that they always have about an inch of water in them while kayaking, so comfortable clothes that are able to get wet are recommended. 

During the warmer months bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, refillable water bottle and towel.  We recommend a UV protected shirt and water shoes. 

During colder months bring a long sleeve shirt, jacket, and a change of clothes.  Choose comfortable, moisture-wicking materials, a dry fit or polyester shirt will protect you from the elements and dry quickly.  Don’t wear any cotton materials; cotton retains water, dries slowly and robs your body of heat when it gets wet.   Shoes that will dry quickly and stay on your feet. 

Do we need to wear a life jacket if we’re swimming off the beach?

If there are children who are 13 or younger it is required by the State of California that they be in a life jacket while swimming off the beach.

What is not allowed when renting at the Aquatic Center?

Person under the influence will not be permitted to rent.  The Aquatic Center does not allow alcohol or smoking on the facility or in our equipment. 

If I have sailing experience do I still need to take a private lesson in order to get “checked out” to rent the boats?

Yes, all specialized equipment rentals need to be verified by certified instructors from the Aquatic Center regardless of the amount of experience.  This not only goes for sail boat rentals but also for wherry rentals, specialized kayak rentals and fiberglass stand up paddle board rentals.

How old do you have to be in order to rent the equipment?

All renters must be 18 or older in to rent the equipment.  If you are under 18 a parent or guardian must sign the rental contract and waiver and give a photo I.D. and a set of car keys.

Where is the Aquatic Center located?

The Aquatic Center is located at 1901 Hazel Avenue, Gold River, CA 95670.  We are located on Lake Natoma within close proximity to Highway 50.  Some maps and guides require that you enter Rancho Cordova as the City rather than Gold River.  GPS units may give you the incorrect directions, please see our map and directions to the Aquatic Center.

What are the hours the Aquatic Center is open?

The Aquatic Centers hours change seasonally.  For a full listing of hour for each month, visit our HOURS page.

What kinds of memberships are offered at the Aquatic Center?

There are several memberships offered at the Aquatic Center.  The membership’s we offer are: General, Rowing, Paddling, Sailing and Green & Gold.  Please visit our MEMBERSHIP page for more information on each membership.

Can I launch my own kayak from the Aquatic Center?

No, you may not launch your own kayak or any other craft from the Aquatic Center.  We ask that anyone launching your own equipment please do so from the Nimbus Flat State Park.  If you have your own equipment and have another person who needs to rent a piece of equipment from us, you will still need to launch your craft from the Nimbus Flat State Park and you can meet the person renting from us on the water.

Where are the bathrooms located?

The bathrooms are located on the back side of the administration building, facing the beach.

Can the front office hold onto my belongings while I am out on the water?

No, the front office cannot hold onto your belongings (other than the required photo I.D. and set of keys for the rental.)  We do have 50 cent one time use coin lockers located right outside the front office.  Each key has a safety pin that you can attach to yourself while you are out on the water.

For more information or for answers to all your other questions please contact the Aquatic Center at 916-278-2842 or