Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Wear It!
2010 Election Ballot

The deadline for submitting your ballot for the 2010 ACA Board of Directors is rapidly approaching.

This is YOUR organization, join us in electing the individuals who will shape our future.

For complete information, please visit:

Anne Vetterlein
Membership Director

Monday, December 28, 2009

Making a Difference

ACA Instructor Trainer Educator - Mike AronoffDoes the ACA make a difference?

Read the following testimonial to find out.

"Mike, but for your great training, a young lady may have bought the farm this past Saturday.

I was kayaking the upper reaches of the Nolichucky with my brother in funyaks. Because of high water, most of the participants were in guided rafts. At least one was supposed to stay behind the “ducks,” but all the rafts with guides got ahead. As we were going into a class 4 rapid stretch, I noted there weren’t any guides or rafts behind us so moved to sweep. A young lady managed to paste her funyak around a boulder with a shute on each side. She was trapped in the middle of it, the funyak literally bent around the boulder.

I was lucky enough to be able to maneuver my boat over and get it against the bolder and get her out of her boat and on the bolder without being pushed down one of the shutes. We then had an adventure of a lifetime getting the paddles, my boat, and the inner floatation of the funyak up onto the dry portion of the boulder. After pushing on the top of the raft against the stiff current just enough (took everything both of us using our legs) to let the downward current push up the trapped tube, we got her boat on top of mine on top of the boulder, the inner floatation pad back in, her in back in the boat with her paddle, and heading back down the River.

She was lucky not to have been pinned on the wrong side of the boat.

But for your great training, I probably wouldn’t have figured out what needed doing. She said she was going to name her first born after me, but I said to name the child after my great instructor."

Make a difference, sign up to take an ACA paddling course, workshop or clinic today.

Be knowledgable, be safe.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Chief Operating Officer

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays
Best wishes throughout the holiday season.

Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
The ACA National Office Staff

Monday, December 21, 2009

First Aid & CPR Requirement

Photo Courtesy of Landmark LearningAttention all ACA Instructors and Instructor Trainers:

First Aid & age appropriate CPR will soon be requirements to maintain your ACA certification. All of the new policies are available online, and some go into effect as of January 1st.

Please review:

If you have any questions, please contact the SEI Department.

Photo Courtesy of Landmark Learning.

Your Friend in Paddling
Jeremy Oyen
ACA Director - Safety Education and Instruction

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Gift

Lifejackets save lives!As the holiday season approaches, consider a gift that might save a life.

Although it might be cold and snowy now, the spring rains and warm summer months will be here before we know it and paddlers across the country will be out on the water.

Did you know:

In over 90% of the recreational boating fatalities in 2008, the victims were not wearing a lifejacket.

Don't let a friend or loved one become a statistic. Give the gift that might save their life, but remember they must Wear It! for it to work.

Essential paddling gear for any trip includes: boat, paddle, and LIFEJACKET

For information about how to choose an appropriate lifejacket (PFD), visit the ACA's Additional Resources.

Have a happy holiday season, but plan ahead on how to be safe on the water in the new year.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Chief Operating Officer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fishing anyone?

Always wear your Lifejacket!
The holiday season brings many things: hope, togetherness, good food and last but not least my annual struggle to find the perfect gifts for my family. This year I found the process much easier thanks to kayak fishing.

Saltwater fishing has always been a staple in our household and this year’s economy and high gas prices have kept us looking for less expensive ways to get to the fish. Sitting out back staring us right in the face sat our kayaks. Typically the kayaks represent a fun weekend or evening way to relax and enjoy the outdoors but we had never considered using them to reel in the big ones!

Now, after a few test runs we are “hooked” so to speak. So this year Santa will be bringing fun accessories to make our experience smooth and safe. Just another reason to love paddling, great gift ideas!

An up and coming kayak fishing ACA Staff member

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Roles at the Office

Family time on the water

As part of the ACA's restructuring, a new position was created at the National Office, that of Chief Operating Officer.

This unique role within the association centers on ‘cohesiveness’, both internal and external. In addition to assisting in all primary functions of the association, part of the COO's responsibilities will be to work with members and volunteers to advance the mission of the ACA. This will include implementing a wide range of ideas and initiatives from YOU and then effectively communicating them to the greater paddling community.

Tye River Race, VA - Rockpile Rapid

A second component of the COO's position is to improve efficiencies, so that we maximize our time, and the hard earned money that you donate to the ACA. Whether it's our education outreach, our stewardship initiatives large and small, or our support of your local race, we value your commitment to the natural resource and activity we are so passionate about.

The ACA is a unique organization as it encompasses all aspects of paddlesports. Everyday I look forward to the opportunity to serve paddlers and ACA members across the country as we continue our mission to improve paddlesport Education, Stewardship, Recreation & Competition for everyone.

To learn more about the ACA staff working diligently everyday on your behalf, please visit our staff page.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Chief Operating Officer

Friday, December 11, 2009

ACA Merchandise

ACA merchandise That's right, now you can order online from the eStore.

Whether it's either of the two new ACA books, recent educational DVD's produced under U.S. Coast Guard grants, or apparel for the lake, coast or river, visit and browse the new ACA Store.

ACA literature

Additional improvements will be made in the coming weeks. We just wanted you to be able to stuff your stocking...

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Chief Operating Officer

Monday, December 7, 2009

From the Executive Director

James River in downtown RichmondA few days ago Virginia saw snow for the first time this fall. I don’t get a chance to paddle as often as I would like, but the snow reminded me, how much more I need to rely on my skills and knowledge of safety preparations should I choose to paddle on unfamiliar water trails in this cold climate.

Well, the ACA and many not-for-profit companies as a whole seem to be paddling in unfamiliar economic waters, and it is in these times I would like to strengthen our relationship with the paddling community. Any good boating trip takes planning, and as the ACA plans to venture through these tough times I would like to reach out to the communities we serve. I would like to know how we can better serve your region, your community, your club, your family, or you as an individual. Many of you are familiar with our skilled staff and know how we’re dedicated to serve you.

Please feel free to let us know via, this blog, a letter, e-mail, or phone call what we can do to enhance your paddling experience.

Just as the snow always dissipates, the tough economic climate too will pass. Together we will navigate these tough waters and we will emerge as a stronger ACA.

Wade Blackwood
Executive Director

Friday, December 4, 2009

ACA Elections

Wear It!2010 Election Ballot

At its core, the ACA is a member based organization that focuses on paddlesports education, stewardship, recreation and competition at the local level across the country.

Every year, the National Nominating Committee receives applications from individuals seeking to serve on the Board of Directors. After a vetting process, a select few are approved to be placed on the ballot.

This ballot has been placed in the mail to all ACA members or you can access it online.

This is YOUR organization, join us in shaping our future.

For complete information, please visit:

Anne Vetterlein
Membership Director