Kayaking in NYC? For FREE? YES! At Pier 40 on West Houston Street from May - October The Downtown Boathouse, a non-profit, volunteer organization, works to reclaim the East River for recreation and leisure activities. The nice people give their time and help you into a kayak for 20 minutes (they don't really keep strick track of the time) to paddle up to 75 ft. There are security risks ("If you go past the line the Coast Guard will think you're from Afghanistan," I was warned.)
Other ways to kayak in NYC?
NYC Kayak Company