Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here's a little something from our archives...

The ACA song from 1927:

Click image to enlarge

In the mood for a mini history lesson? Click here to learn about how the ACA made its beginnings as the nation's oldest paddlesports organization. 

Feeling nostalgic yet? Send us your vintage paddlesports photos so we can feature you in a future Throwback Thursday post!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Release From the ACA!

We've been working on this project all year, and we're so excited to present it to you today. 

Please take a look at the ACA's two new animated videos!

More than ever before, people are choosing paddlesports as a way to keep physically fit, experience adventure, and spend time with family and friends in the great outdoors. With the influx of novice paddlers on all types of waterways comes an increased risk of injuries and deaths. Canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards were responsible for 20% of all boating casualties last year (US Coast Guard 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics). 

The videos are a new addition to the ACA's ongoing National Safe Boating Campaign serving the 50+ million Americans who participate in paddlesports annually.

We believe the messages contained in these videos have the power to save lives. But we need your help getting the word out! Please feel free to copy this link and: 
  • Email it to your family and friends
  • Share it on your social media accounts
  • Post it to your website or blog

We'd like to thank the talented team at Anzovin Studio for making our vision come to life. And a special shout out to the U.S. Coast Guard for providing the grant funds to make this project possible. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Much Do You Care About Waterways & Wildlife?

Picture this. It's a beautiful summer day, and you're enjoying a leisurely flatwater paddle. While admiring the placid waters, you catch sight of a single-use plastic water bottle floating on the water's surface. What do you do? 

If you have one of these, the decision is easy:

Join the ACA's Stream to Sea Initiative today and help stop marine debris once and for all. 

Click image to enlarge

Monday, July 28, 2014

The ACA Event of the Year

Have you registered for the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit yet? Sign up before July 31st to get the early bird rate! 

Click poster to enlarge
More than 60 adaptive sports and recreation organizations have already signed up to join us in Grand Rapids this fall. 

Continuing Education Units from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA CEUs) are available.

Register today!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brand New ACA SUP Yoga Program

After two years of curriculum development, the new ACA SUP Yoga endorsement is finally here!  

To learn more, please visit

Namaste, paddle people. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message in a Plastic Bottle

The following blog post was written by Ken Campbell, co-founder of the Ikkatsu Project, an effort dedicated to exploration, education, and advocacy in the service of the ocean. Ken has authored several books on kayaking and is a frequent contributor to print and online magazines on subjects relating to the outdoors and the environment.

On May 17, I made landfall in Bellingham, Washington, completing the 150-mile journey of the Hyas yiem, a kayak that I constructed out of discarded single-use plastic bottles. This improbable voyage was made in effort to help raise awareness about the proliferation of single-use plastics and the effect they have on our marine environment. Along the way, I was able to participate in several beach clean-ups and gave presentations that focused on the effects that plastic is having in the world's oceans, as well as the impacts it has in Puget Sound.

I began in Olympia, WA, on April 12, and worked steadily northward over the following month, paddling mainly on the weekends. By setting up the expedition schedule in this way, I was able to meet more people out on the beach during busier times and had the chance to get involved in more clean-up efforts.

Conditions were typical for a Northwest spring: rain, wind, sun and calm, and everything in between. The kayak handled surprisingly well and although it didn't move very quickly, it handled the wind, waves, and the current nicely. Early morning was one of my favorite times to get on the water, especially on the days when the sunrise seemed to paint the sky in vast sweeps of brilliant colors, bringing on a blue-sky day.

Hyas yiem is a Chinook term that translates as "telling a tale," a name chosen for several different reasons. There is a melody in it that reminds us of the history that has taken place here in Puget Sound, and the different peoples that have called this place home. As a language, Chinook was used to bridge different cultures; it was often used in trade and discussions between people who otherwise would have not been able to communicate. The environmental issues I was addressing on this trip are realities that affect all of us, regardless of who we are, and we need to find a way to be able to talk about them that makes more sense.

In addition to the other aspects of the journey, I collected water samples at regular intervals along the route that will be used as part of an ongoing worldwide microplastics study. Presentations were made to several different schools before I started on the trip and I also was able to work with the kids from the Chief Kitsap Academy on the Suquamish reservation. There is a very real interest in the science that needs to be done with regard to the health of the ocean and it is encouraging to see the youth become engaged.

Please visit for more information on Ken's work. You can also follow him on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making Change Happen

Photo credit: Chicago Post Tribune
The ACA National Office exists to serve paddlers like you, all across the country! Please don't hesitate to contact us when you need support for public policy and stewardship issues in your area such as clean water initiatives, educational programs, improved access to paddlesports, and safety concerns. Together, we can make the world a better place to paddle.

Recently, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA) asked us to support their petition for the development of a water trail along the Little Calumet River and the enhanced management of its green corridor by the National Park Service. We were glad to provide this letter on their behalf. 

Every day, ACA staff, Paddle America Clubs, and volunteers are working to advocate for paddlers across the globe. Are you passionate about a local paddlesports issue? Tell us about it today so we can work together to affect positive change in your community.