We are a group of near-shore (open-water) paddlers mainly based at Wendy Park Beach at Whiskey Island in Cleveland, where the Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie. We paddle locally and welcome excursions. All types of ocean paddlers including sea kayaks, surf skis, stand-up paddleboards, coastal rowing and ocean canoes are welcome. Our logo shows paddles/oars representative of all these sports. The common thread we pull through all open water paddle sports is safety in numbers, safety in ocean water conditions, safety in surf-zone areas and safety in dealing with commercial marine traffic, such as we see on our Lakefront. We seek to promote a club concept (private and shared boats) for recreational and competitive paddling, and community. A secured space for watercraft storage would benefit those who want to keep a craft near a common paddling place, beginners and occasional paddlers, and especially for members who do not have storage space. We are not an outfitter, rental operation or tour guide. They work well for calm water and whitewater rafting but not for ocean water conditions and where maritime vessel traffic exists. Ideas and energy around siting a club are welcomed.
Paddlers must use personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for your paddle sport. This includes flotation devices, wet or dry suits, lights and portable marine radios. Solo paddlers are to carry and know how to use a portable marine radio, and groups should have at least one for each five paddlers, set on channel 16, the Coast Guard hailing channel. Other PPE customary to sea kayaking, such as spray skirts, spare paddles float bags (for re-entry) and tow lines are recommended.
All paddlers on Lake Erie must be capable of safely exiting and re-entering their craft in the event of a capsize. That said, we advocate assisting each other to re-enter, especially with sit-in sea kayaks. In rough water conditions a primary rescuer assists the capsized paddler and a second or third paddler rafts up to he primary rescuer assuring stability and safe re-entry. We call this a raft-up rescue.
We promote safety and skill training such as offered by offered by local power squadrons, the United States Coast Guard, Ohio Department of Natural Resources for Boater Safety, the American Canoe Association, the Cleveland Rowing Foundation (for Cuyahoga River use) and others.
OPC is being operated as formative club using the Meetup format. All events are common adventures and not for profit (unless hosted specifically by a business, institution, or outfitter following a different liability model). OPC, its organizers, and its members assume no legal and or civil responsibility for or to any individual or event.
This is a private group. To apply for membership, please complete your profile by uploading a close-up identifiable photo of yourself — not your child, pet or avatar; only you (without your kids, friends, or puppy) — and answering a few simple profile questions. This tells organizers a bit about your preferences and experience level, which helps us choose activities and venues that you're likely to enjoy. It also helps us recognize you when you attend your first event and helps other group members get to know you.
We Encourage Safe Paddling
We suggest that everyone paddle in a pod of three or more for safety reasons. The Pop-Up Paddle forum makes it possible for experienced intermediate and advanced paddlers to announce a paddle and find others to join the outing. The social nature of the group allows members to share safety tips and skills in a non-structured friendly format. We also try to send information to the group about safe kayaking tips and training. Occasionally we might have an event just to share and practice (but the group is not a certified kayak training school, vendor, etc). Safety is your responsibility!
How We Set Up Events
OPC is a member-driven group. Paddlers are welcome to suggest an outing. When two other members decide to attend a suggested paddle, making the minimum three person paddle pod, the suggestion moves to the calendar and is announced to the group as an event. (Some events are moved to the calendar by one of the OPC organizers with less than three people on the RSVP list.) Once it is on the calendar it is no longer a suggestion, but an event and it gets announced to the group by e-mail. Whenever you visit the OPC Meetup page, you should check the SUGGESTED events page to see if there is a suggested event that you might want to attend.
By becoming a member of the Ocean Paddling Club Cleveland (OPC) Meetup and/or participating in any OPC event and per the Electronic Records and Signatures in Commerce Act, Public Law 106-229 (or any other applicable law), by joining this group, you are deemed to have read, understood, and agreed with the terms of both the DISCLAIMER and the ACCIDENT WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY whether you read them or not.