Detroit Area

A friend from the Detroit area is interested in getting into paddling. Doubt that he will be hardcore about it, I’m thinking a rec paddler. Any advice on what organizations or schools are availble to him?

There are a few different paddling groups in the Southeast Michigan. One possibility would be to get into contact with the local paddling shop They maybe able to direct he/she to the other resources in the area.

Google Great Lakes Paddlers
they are a group of 175 or so members who welcome beginners & intermediate kayakers and canoers.

They do open paddling events w. appropriate safety & skills for the season & the waters, and separate smaller groups are organized among members. They publish a newsletter online or hard copy, & several of the members give kayak advice/instruction.

Members live in the greater Ann Arbor area but also come from St. Clair Shores area north of Detroit and further south of the city to Wyandotte, the home city of Riverside Kayak Connection.

These are both good:

second those classes
Took 2 half day classes at Quiet World Sports a week after I got my TampicoS… headed off a lot of bad habits :wink:

In the second class I got to spontaneously play the capsizee in an assisted rescue. Really cool. There’s also time for demoing the different kayaks used at the school, and the instructors are very friendly & forthcoming about beginner questions.

They have a class for truly first time in a kayak people, a beginner Plus, and a session called Advance Your Skills for rescues. There’s also an offering just for women (Women on the Water). Your friend can use one of their kayaks or bring his (subject to approval as to features).

Black Parrots is headed by Ron Smith, a notable paddler and racer w. instructor credentials. I met him at Quiet World Symposium two weeks ago, Before that I signed up for his Rolling and Bracing small class setting on April 15!

There’s a lot of good instruction and paddling network in SE Michigan - and it’s fun…

now why haven’t I run into seadart yet…

41° North Kayak Adventures

– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 4:25 PM EST –

We're located in Cleveland, Ohio, but we conduct classes in the Catawba/Erie Islands area that attract a number of paddlers from Michigan.

We run the full spectrum of ACA courses (beginner-instructor training) and offer some BCU assessments. We also do guided trips.

Check us out at

--Mark Pecot, owner

resource list

great trips/tours too
Mark: that’s a really well structured class sched.

Although it’d be a long weekend for me to make it down to Akron, for example, those full day trips sound good. If I went to Akron I’d be thinking make a day of it.

Would it be OK to ask here what are the typical seakayaks offered on the excursions? I’m one of those small paddlers :smiley: You can answer here for everyone’s info or just e-mail me, whichever you prefer.

good reference

– Last Updated: Mar-15-07 5:15 PM EST –

Ron does a great job at Black Parrot, and also does some instruction at Riverside. I think they have a class in Kensington Metropark this summer, usually has a good turnout. Riverside is also a good place to inquire, I think some of the area folks get together on weekends at the nearby launch (wyandotte). You might even get to know some fellow paddlers!

Wow Folks!
Thanks for all the info. I’ll forward a link to this thread to him.


Our trip & class fleet next year will consist of CD Sciroccos, P&H Capella 160s & 166s. We will also have a full range of composite kayaks from P&H (all the Capellas 161-173), a Vela, Bahiya, and the Cetus for demo or use on trips.

Our classes vary in location, but we do a lot of work up on the Erie Islands, which is not a long drive from Detroit at all.

a chance to go out in a Vela! I’ll definitely look more into this. Thanks Mark :smiley:

Oakland Community College has Classes.

Oakland Community College had good white water kayak class. Learning initial white water skills will serve the rec kayaker well, and the canoeist too.



yes - Schoolcraft College too
Schoolcraft College is in Livonia, in Wayne County. I have heard good things about both programs from former student met “on the water.”

Classes are really a quick and safe way for beginners to ramp up their skills (esp. if they don’t have paddling friends who can teach skills correctly). Plus make paddling friends…

There really are so many resources for learning in our area, not to mention an incredible variety of places and different types of touring!

classes in lower Michigan
We started classes with Quiet World in Jackson and they were really good. Did beginner class several years back and intermediate last year. And went on a tour too and all the instructors are very skilled and patient. My brother learned his roll in the pool with Black Parrot and said his coach was knowledgeable and clear about directions.

Good place to rent and try…

Their Proud Lake location is pretty well known and easy to get to.

Hope this helps,