Friday, August 28, 2015

Going Paddling This Weekend?

If you're looking for safety information, we've got you covered. Check out all the free educational resources available on our website, and be sure to share this link with a friend.

Whether you want to watch a video to brush up on your basic knowledge, print out a brochure with your family and friends, or download our free Paddle Ready app, it's all here!

Stay safe out there this weekend everyone. And as always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Our Love For Public Lands Will Never Expire

On September 30, 2015, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is set to expire. Unless we succeed in convincing Congress to renew this Fund for future generations, we will lose one of the most powerful conservation tools in our arsenal.

Although LWCF has protected public lands in 50 states, few Americans are familiar with it. LWCF ensures that a portion of the revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling on public land goes back to conservation efforts. It is a simple idea that ensures balance between development and conservation. LWCF has been used since 1965 to create new parks in urban environments, complete national parks, and protect recreation across the country.

How does LWCF work? It provides funding to acquire land from willing sellers and make it part of local, state, or national public lands. Over the life of the program, LWCF has funded critical protections for river corridors in places like West Virginia’s Gauley and New Rivers and helped establish public river access points for canoers, kayakers, and rafters in places like Washington’s White Salmon River. LWCF has made possible thousands of miles of singletrack for mountain bikers and hikers, including at areas like the world-class trail system at Lory State Park near Fort Collins, Colorado, and Toro Park, California, home to challenging trails and spectacular views of Monterey Bay. LWCF has funded close-to-home recreation opportunities in all fifty states and every congressional district.

LWCF will expire on September 30. Unless Congress acts soon to renew LWCF, we all lose this important tool for protecting America’s public waterways where we love to paddle.

Read the ACA's letter of support with Outdoor Alliance, and take action to tell Congress to reauthorize LWCF to improve outdoor recreation nationwide. 

#stewardship #LWCF

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New ACA Staff Member

Please join us in welcoming Whit Overstreet to the ACA Staff!

Based out of Portland, OR, Whit is the ACA's Public Policy Chief. We're thrilled to have him as a part of our team. 

To learn more about Whit's background, please visit his staff bio page

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Developing Lifejackets Specifically for Individuals with Adaptive Needs

The ACA is proud to partner with U.S. Sailing and the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta on a Bonnell Cove Foundation grant program to assist individuals of all abilities with lifejacket performance and designs.

If you are, or know of someone who is a paddler with a physical or cognitive disability, please consider taking a few moments to fill out this short online survey:

Survey deadline is Friday, September 11th.

The next phase of this grant program will be to conduct on-water testing of various lifejackets with the ultimate goal of recommending performance improvements to manufacturers and regulatory entities.

Thank you for your time and consideration of providing valuable feedback for this project.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ACA Event Calendar

Looking for paddling events and classes near you? Check out the ACA Event Calendar

Whether you want to compete in a race, participate in an intro-level course, or attend an adaptive paddling workshop, you'll find a wide range of events on our website to boost your skills while having fun. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Paddle vs. Prop: Three Safety Tips for Stand Up Paddlers When Boats are Around

From our friends at BoatUS

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) has led the nation in growth with a 38 percent increase in participation from 2013 to 2014, according to the Outdoor Foundation’s 2015 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report. But as these human-powered watercraft become more common in crowded harbors, busy waterfronts and other navigable waterways, sharing the water with both recreational boats and commercial vessels requires paddlers to up their safety game. With many of its half-million members owning both boats and paddlecraft, BoatUS offers its unique look at the issue with three easy to remember safety rules for stand up paddlers.

When is a paddleboard a boat? 
According to the US Coast Guard an SUP is considered a “vessel,” so it’s important to understand certain boating responsibilities. Follow all local navigation rules and use common sense when paddling around other vessels that may not be as maneuverable or are restricted by their draft or size. Generally, a paddleboard is more easily able to turn and stop whereas larger craft take time and distance to stop. Typically, it is safest to pass astern of other vessels and let them cross in front of you. Try to avoid heavy boat traffic and pick a route away from congestion.

Practice defensive paddling: 
Defensive paddling is preventing collisions and mishaps in spite of the actions of others around you. Remember boats may travel faster than you do and can carry a large wake. Some boats have awkward blind spots that prevent good visibility at certain trim angles so don’t assume a boater can always see you, especially at dawn or dusk. Wear bright colors and wear your life jacket with a whistle attached. Falling in, or swimming in heavily trafficked areas can lead to the start of a bad chain of events. In narrow channels stay as far right as possible and avoid crossing busy lanes. If you must, cross perpendicular to the lane so you get across quickly. If in a group, cross as a compact group – spreading out in a line like a bunch of baby ducks hinders traffic and increases the chance for a collision.

Don’t leave home without it: 
A life jacket is the minimum gear – but it only works if you wear it so don’t leave it strapped to the board. If you’re concerned about comfort, take a look at high-tech, low-maintenance belt-pack inflatables or the newest vest designs that offer complete freedom of movement. Add a whistle - it will always beat yelling at the top of your lungs. Avoid paddling at night, but if you must, you’ll have to show a white light in sufficient time to avoid a collision. A flashlight or headlamp meets this requirement; a glow stick does not. And finally, a safety leash is most helpful in preventing an awkward and potentially dangerous separation from your board.

If you’d like to learn more about boating safely, visit the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water at

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pierce Wins Paracanoe Gold at World Championships

By Aaron Mann

The 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships began on Wednesday with the Paracanoe events taking center stage. Team USA got off to a strong start in these championships with two-time World Championship Medalist Anja Pierce (Pittsford, NY) winning a gold medal in the Women's VL3 200m event. 

Starting the day in kayak where she qualified for tomorrow's Women's KL3 200m Final, Pierce switched to her canoe for the afternoon's Women's VL3 200m final. After previously winning World Championship silver and bronze medals in this event, Pierce was able to complete her collection today by winning gold. Joining her on the podium was Frances Bateman (Great Britain) and Aline Souza Lopes (Brazil).

Elsewhere, three-time Paralympian Alana Nichols (Farmington, NM) and Ashley Thomas (Durham, NC) took to the water in the Women's KL2 200m. Thomas, an experienced international competitor and adaptive sports advocate, was able to advance through heats, but a 9th place finish in the semifinal was not enough to push her into the final. After winning a bronze medal at the World Cup earlier this season, Nichols put together a solid performance, finishing 9th in the Final of her first Paracanoe World Championships.

Ann Yoshida (Mililani, HI) finished 2nd in the Women's VL1 200m Final, though no medals were awarded since there were not enough competitors to make it a world championship event. 

In the men's canoe races, Danzig Norberg displayed his speed in the Men's VL2 200m where he won the semifinal, advancing to tomorrow's final. Jamey Parks (Forest, VA) finished 4th in the semifinal of the Men's VL3 200m, but was unable to advance to the Final.

With a 7th place finish in the semifinal, Nikiha Miller (Virginia Beach, VA) advances on to the Men's KL3 200m Final C. Meanwhile, Ryan Padilla finished 24th overall in the Men's KL2 200m event.

Tomorrow's schedule features the remaining finals for Paracanoe and the start of competition for the Canoe Sprint events.

For more information, please refer to the links below:
Live Results
Paracanoe Classification System