Monday, June 29, 2009

National Transportation Safety Board

Boat Safe, Wear It!
The National Transportation Safety Board’s Acting Chairman, Mark Rosenker, spoke about advancing recreational boating safety on the nation's waterways at the Western States Boating Administrators Association Conference this week.

Rosenker mentioned how the western states have been compliant in increasing safety measures when it comes to boating. The western states have made 70-100% of the actions recommended by the board. Rosenker stated that the issue of PFD’s are the “Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements for 2009.” Rosenker goes on to state “70 percent of accidents involve factors that could have been controlled by the operator and 80 percent of the fatalities occurred on boats operated by individuals who had not completed a boating safety education course.

Rosenker would like to see PFD requirments for all children and mandatory safety classes for boaters. He encouraged conference attendees to push for increased boating safety so the annual deaths, related to boating, decreases. Rosenker wants people to have a fun and safe experiences on the water that they will always be able to remember.Rosenker goals were summarized in the closing of his speech, “May our joint commitment to boating safety lead to further reductions in recreational boating fatalities, injuries, and accidents.”

For the latest paddlesports safety information, visit

Kasey Kaplan
Intern - Safety Education & Instruction Department

Friday, June 26, 2009

ACA National Awards

Canoe Poling Award

Each year, the American Canoe Association’s Board of Directors accepts nominations for a series of national awards that recognize individuals, clubs and organizations for a wide range of paddlesport accomplishments:

Legends of Paddling

Excellence in Instruction

Sanctioned Event of the Year

Green Paddle for Waterway Conservation

Joe Pina Volunteer of the Year

Stroke of Achievement

J. Henry Rushton

The award recipients are honored each year at the ACA Annual Banquet in conjunction with the ACA Annual Membership Meeting and the ACA National Paddlesports Conference.

For a full description of each award, a list of previous recipients, and this years nomination form, please visit:

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Monday, June 22, 2009

National Paddlesports Conference

ACA National Paddlesports ConferenceRegistration is now open!

There are only 150 places available for the ACA National Paddlesports Conference and they will be filled on a first come first serve basis. This event is not to be missed, whether you're a member of a paddling club, a certified ACA Instructor, or just like to canoe or kayak; there will be a range of programs available to you.

From skills courses to rescue clinics, from a wide range of educational sessions to Wilderness First Aid, from the ACA Annual Banquet to canoe poling, mark October 23-25 on your calendar and plan to travel to historic Fredericksburg, VA.

Join us at the 2009 ACA National Paddlesports Conference.

Reserve your spot, register today!

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Friday, June 19, 2009

Boating Safety for Father's Day

Dear Friend,

With Father’s Day just around the corner, many boating dads are planning to hit the water for a family-friendly celebration. Father’s Day provides a great opportunity to share the fun of boating with your son or daughter, and also to make sure they know the importance of staying safe by wearing a life jacket every time they get on a boat. Before you begin your annual Father’s Day celebration on the water, the National Safe Boating Council encourages all families to read the five Father’s Day Boating Tips to keep everyone safe this Father’s Day weekend.

  1. Take a family-friendly safe boating course.Seventy percent of recreational boating accidents are caused by operator factors—such as failure to pay attention, carelessness, recklessness, inexperience, excessive speed, and failure to watch for hazards. Boating safety courses are available, inexpensive, and quick—a great way for you to pass along the rules of the water to your children.
  2. Get the family fitted with personalized life jackets. A life jacket can make a great Father’s Day gift. Make sure the family knows the importance of a life jacket that fits properly. Before you go out on the water show your son or daughter how a life jacket is supposed to fit and how they can help save a life.

  3. Get a vessel safety check. As much as kids love being on boats, they also love learning about boats and how they work! A trained and qualified auxiliary member of the Coast Guard can conduct a safety check on your vessel to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local safety requirements while your kids learn about the different functions and how they keep boaters safe.
  4. Develop a family float plan. Before you go out on the water, give a responsible person or family member details about where you will be and how long you will be gone. This is important in case your boat is delayed because of an emergency, becomes lost, or encounters other problems. Make sure they have a complete description of the vessel and other information that will make identification easier.
  5. Always boat responsibly and Wear It! Wearing a life jacket can make the difference between a fun-family outing and a potentially dangerous or deadly situation. Make sure you and your entire family remember to “Wear It!” this Father’s Day.

For more safe boating tips, please visit:


Virgil Chambers
Executive Director
National Safe Boating Council

For more information, visit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

International Whitewater Hall of Fame Honorees

International Whitewater Hall of FameEvery year, the International Whitewater Hall of Fame accepts nominations in several categories for "whitewater legends whose accomplishments have contributed significantly to both the sport and business of whitewater around the world."

The ACA is proud to commend the following 2009 IWHOF Honorees:

  • Pioneer - Mikhail Kolchevnikov (deceased) - Russia
  • Explorer - Lars Holbek (deceased) - United States
  • Champion - Stepanka Hilgertova - Czech Republic
  • Champion - Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner – Slovakia
  • Advocate - Rafael Gallo - Costa Rica
  • Advocate - Bill Mason (deceased) – Canada

Join paddlesports representatives from around the globe on September 26, 2009 at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in western North Carolina for the induction ceremony.

To learn about the ACA's prestigious national awards, visit: ACA Awards.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshops

The American Canoe Association (ACA) offers workshops for instructors or program providers allowing increased access to paddlesport to people of all abilities.

Over a long weekend June 4-8, 8 instructors and 4 students participated in the ACAs Adaptive Paddling Workshop held in conjunction with NorthEast Passage in Durham, NH. 

The workshop can best be summed up by Scott Anchors - ACA Level 4: Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor:

The weekend was excellent.  

Thanks to you and the others for a great experience last week.  I appreciate the attention to detail, safety concern, knowledge shared, real client experience and general team work approach - ACA is doing something very important for the paddling

community with this workshop - It expands the horizon in how we can look at all clients, helps us to be more creative in our teaching, and in general helps us get outside our usual parameters.

All my future paddling clients of all abilities will benefit from the knowledge I picked up.  

Keep up the good work at the ACA for all of us.  I am pleased with how things are progressing and glad to help if needed

SEI Director
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Jeremy Oyen
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ACA's Social Network

The ACA's now on Facebook!
When we're not out on the water, canoeing, kayaking or rafting, it seems like we find ourselves in front of a computer screen checking river levels, weather, or tide charts. When not planning our next on-water excursion, paddlers seem to be viewing a wide range of paddlesports related websites and message boards. Like it or not, social networking has become a part of a large percentage of paddler's weekly rituals.

So, besides 'surfing' through the ACA's redesigned website, check out your ACA on:

So, join us, friend us, and follow us on the ACA FaceBook, Twitter, and MySpace pages and stay in contact with the latest that the ACA is doing on behalf of paddlers across the country.

For specific questions about the ACA's Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages, please contact Kasey Kaplan in the SEI Department.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great Rappahannock Canoe Race

Canoe Race

Due to high water levels, The Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race was rescheduled. The new date of the race has been set for October 10-11 2009, the same weekend as the ACA’s Collegiate Canoe & Kayak National Championship race.

One group that came down for the Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race was my school’s canoe & kayak team, Albion College. On Sunday after water levels had gone down, five members of our two time Collegiate Championship team, went for a practice paddle in a raft. The team is hoping to be a competitive force at the 2009 National Rafting Championships which takes place in August at the Adventure Sports Center in McHenry, MD.

Local paddlers Dave and Jackie were also paddling with the Albion College team when Fredericksburg Search and Rescue personnel signaled us to the side of the river. A person had jumped off the I-95 bridge about 15 minutes earlier. After instruction from the rescue personnel and Bill Micks of the Virginia Outdoor Center, we used our river knowledge to scout the river and look for the jumper. Although we were unsuccessful in locating the victim, the Albion College students were glad they could contribute to the search.

For additional information about the incident, visit the FreelanceStar.

Kasey Kaplan
Intern - Safety Education & Instruction Department

Friday, June 5, 2009

Life Jackets Float. Do You?

Wear It!

The American Canoe Association (ACA) has completed the development and production of an excellent informational video titled:

Life Jackets Float. Do You?

The answer to this question is both entertaining and eye opening as we discover the many challenges moving water presents. Vertical Currents, holes, strainers, foot entrapment, cold water…these are hazards that the ever changing river throws at us. As the host sorts all this out, we come to realize that a lifejacket, properly worn, is the essentials tool for enjoying it all.

Screened at the 2009 International Boating and Water Safety Summit, this entertaining and educational video is an excellent educational tool that should become a staple resource for your library.

To order your copy for just $9.95 (plus shipping), call 540.907.4460 x103.

The American Canoe Association offers many paddlesports safety resources for you and your programs.

SEI Director
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Jeremy Oyen
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Canoe Poling National Championships

A Texas Competitor

The 2009 Canoe Poling National Championships took place on May 29-30 on the Rapphannock River in Fredericksburg, VA.

Competitors from Maine, Texas, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia competed in both wildwater and slalom races. Race organizer Ed Hayden also provided free canoe poling clinics on Thursday and Saturday.A competitor from Maine

The FreelanceStar wrote an article and produced a video clip of the races.

The ACA would like to extend a special thanks to the Virginia Outdoor Center for all of their assistance in making the 2009 Canoe Poling National Championships a success.

The 2010 Championships will be held on the Westfield River in Massachusetts at a date to be determined in May.

Visit the ACA's Canoe Poling webpage for more information about the race and the art of canoe poling.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Monday, June 1, 2009

Voice of the Rivers - Brevard College, NC

Brevard College - VOR
At some point on Tuesday June 2nd the students and faculty of the 2009 Voice of the Rivers expedition will paddle in to James Island County Park in Charleston, SC.

Eighteen days earlier, they began their trip near Linville Gorge, NC on the upper reaches of the Catawba River. The purpose of this school sponsored trip is to raise awareness of the various issues pertaining to river stewardship and how local communities can work together to improve their sections of river.

They will be celebrating the end to their excursion with a low country boil at 6:00pm on June 2nd. If you are in the area, please visit them at James Island County Park and hear their story.

To learn more about the 2009 Voice of the River expedition, please visit:

Brevard College faculty member Robert Dye, is an Instructor Trainer for the ACA.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department