Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Call for Presenters

Scenic WNC, photo courtesy of Mark Singleton, AW
Are you thinking about the National Paddlesports Conference on November 5-7, 2010?
We know we are!
This is a reminder that your last chance to send in a presentation proposal for the National Paddlesports Conference is approaching quickly.
The deadline for all Call for Presenters proposals is Friday, April 2.
We look forward to seeing you in Asheville, NC!

Monday, March 29, 2010

ACA Fundraiser!

Capital Ale House
The ACA has partnered with the Capital Ale House's Community Chest Night program for the month of April.
Show your support of the ACA by having dinner at the Fredericksburg Capital Ale House any Thursday throughout the month of April.

25% of food sales for each table presenting the
ACA Community Chest Night Flyer between the hours of 5:00pm and 10:00 pm during the event will be donated to the ACA
  • Thursday, April 1
  • Thursday, April 8
  • Thursday, April 15
  • Thursday, April 22
  • Thursday, April 29
Location: 917 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA
Time: 5:00 - 10:00pm
Download the Flyer, enjoy a good meal, and help the ACA support paddlesports Education, Stewardship, Recreation & Competition!

Friday, March 26, 2010

River Safety Tip

Know the hazards
Have you ever heard of the drowning machine?

An innocent horizon line on a slow moving river might spell trouble for the uninformed.

The ACA teamed up with the Illinois Paddling Council and ACA Excellence in Instruction Award winner Tom Lindblade to produce a tool that might just save someone's life.

Educate your fellow paddlers, with the ACA's Low Head Dam Safety Video.

Paddle Often - Paddle Safe!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival

ECCKF - ACA Sponsored Event

(Charleston, SC) – Calling paddlers of all ages and skill levels!

Immerse yourself in the technique, hands-on experience, history and fun of canoeing and kayaking at the 20th Annual East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (ECCKF). One of the premier paddlesport events on the Atlantic Coast, the festival will be held at James Island County Park on April 16-18, 2010.

Each year ECCKF brings together paddling enthusiasts of all levels with world-renowned instructors and equipment manufacturers. The action-packed festival features a multitude of on-water classes, lectures and demonstrations directed to the novice as well as the experienced paddler. Plus over 40 commercial exhibitors will be on-hand to give you a chance to try the latest equipment before you buy.

The heart of the festival is the simultaneous running of four classrooms throughout the three-day event. Refine your skills in a master class presented by many of the paddling world’s leading experts. Learn new strokes, rescues or rolls with expert instruction. Meet other knowledgeable paddle sport enthusiasts. A wide variety of topics include slide shows of exotic paddling locations, how-to sessions on navigation, selecting or repairing equipment, safety and preparing gourmet cuisine fresh from your dry bag.

A family-friendly weekend, children are welcome to the festival and are free with a paying adult. Learn how to paddle as a family in clinics, or register young paddlers in the full and half-day canoe and kayak camps (ages 6-12), featuring hands-on sessions, nature walks, crafts and more. Always a spectator favorite, families are invited to compete in a cardboard canoe race on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

New this year will be a free interactive presentation by adventure filmmaker and expedition kayaker Bryan Smith on Thursday, April 15 at James Island County Park. Join Smith for an inspirational and entertaining multi-media show of the first sea kayaking exploration of the Butze Tidal Rapids in northern British Columbia. On assignment for National Geographic Magazine, Smith captured some innovative and exciting kayaking footage, which will be presented on the big screen at 8 p.m. Admission to the presentation is free. Park admission is $1 per person; Gold Pass holders and those 2 years and younger are free.

Offering recreational and instructional programs for paddlers of all abilities and creating an inclusive paddling community are both major themes of this year’s festival. On Wednesday and Thursday prior to the festival, an ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshop (pre-registration required) is being offered for paddling instructors and other individuals interested in learning how to adapt equipment and work with paddlers who have various mobility impairments. On Friday evening, renowned paddler Marcus Demuth will present the keynote address on “Circumnavigating Tierra del Fuego for Disabled Paddlers,” an expedition raising funds to support programs that introduce people with disabilities to paddlesports. In addition, the festival will offer classroom sessions on inclusive paddling initiatives, and Charleston’s very own Special Olympics Kayak Team, which has been hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission for the past three years, will be on hand at the event.

Also new for 2010 is Paddle Clean-Up Day, a volunteer service project in partnership with Charleston Waterkeeper. Paddlers and non-paddlers alike are invited to give back to the paddling community by cleaning up the waterway at Sol Legare Boat Landing. Paddlers will help clear debris by boat and walkers will help clear trash in the area on Sunday, April 18 from 4-6 p.m. Registration is free.

Make plans now to participate in this exciting event! Come meet your paddling peers throughout the weekend and enjoy food, beverages, music and of course, canoeing and kayaking! And visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to stay overnight at the park’s campsites.

For just the $1 per person admission to the park, visitors can come to James Island County Park and enjoy the sights, sounds and shopping at the festival. Registration packages (and the opportunity to attend classes and test paddle boats) start at $15 and range from sampler passes to full-weekend passes – perfect for all levels and abilities! Children 17 and under are admitted free with an accompanying adult registration. Consider staying on site at James Island County Park’s campsites. For more information, a daily ECCKF schedule and to register call (843) 795-4FUN or visit our website at

Monday, March 22, 2010

New ACA Member Benefit ACA Member BenefitThat's right, as an ACA member, you can recieve a discount on select skills courses from!

Based in Dillsboro, NC, specializes in

  • Swiftwater Rescue Instruction
  • Canoe Instruction (from flatwater to whitewater)
  • Skills Courses
  • Assessments
  • Instructor Certification Courses
View the ever increasing list of ACA Membership Benefits.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Southeast Collegiate Canoe & Kayak Race

Prepping for the race
If you're reading this and you attend a college or university, join the ACA in Dillsboro, NC on the Tuckaseegee River for the Southeast Collegiate Canoe & Kayak Championships.
The ACA has partnered with Brevard College's Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education program to host the races.
  • Date: March 27-28

  • Location: Dillsboro, NC

  • Venue: Tucksaseegee River

This event draws colleges and universities from across the southeast and beyond (a school from Michigan might even compete!)

In addition, there will be two exhibition races on this year's agenda, one from the Wildwater National Team Trials and another from your college coaches!

We'll also have a special guest speaker on Saturday evening.

Send in your registration soon.

Complete race information

Alex Zelin
ACA National Event Planning Intern

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Money for Paddling Clubs!

The ACA & L.L.Bean
That's right, the ACA and L.L.Bean have more money available for your paddling club to devote to it's stewardship initiatives. Through the Club-Fostered Stewardship (CFS) Grant program, your club can receive funding for a local or regional stewardship initiative.

Friedns of the Chemung River Watershed
Highlighted Recipient: Friends of the Chemung River Watershed

The River Friends are using their CFS Grant to assist with weekly (yes weekly!) litter cleanups along the Chemung River and its tributaries in New York.

Funding is still available for 2010, the grant application is only 2 pages, so send in one for your club today!

CFS - Grant Application

Monday, March 15, 2010

Water, Wings & Fire

Upcoming Paddlesports Event
Join the ACA, Zoar Outdoors, and EMS in Connecticut this weekend for:

Saturday March 20, 2010 the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is coordinating a free family orientated Paddle Smart Day entitled “Water, Wings & Fire” on the grounds of the Connecticut Fire Academy.

“Water, Wings & Fire” is not a new show on a food channel, but they are the ingredients for an entertaining, interactive educational experience. Bring the entire family and enjoy a great day!

WATER: The water might be cold but the deals, topics, and demonstrations are hot. Join vendors from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Try out the latest life jackets, practice your canoe and kayak paddling strokes in the pool, see self and assisted rescue techniques, talk about fishing. See and purchase the latest paddling gear and accessories.

WINGS: After completing the Water, Wings & Fire scavenger hunt, learning a thing or two about canoe, kayak and fire safety, check out the hot wings at the New England Air Museum. They will be providing a discounted admission to participating attendees. The Museum contains exhibits about Connecticut's incredible aeronautical history and some of the finest restored aircraft on display in the country.

& FIRE: Experiencing the hottest paddling topics and wings is great, but you don’t want to get burned. Before you leave the WATER, learn about fire safety from expert Firemen, stop by the book store and explore Connecticut’s premier fire academy.

Water, Wings & Fire will be open from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Admission and parking are FREE!
The Connecticut Fire Academy is located at 34 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT 06096.

For more information contact the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Boating Division at 860-434-8638

Friday, March 12, 2010

Past President - Kirk Havens

Thank you Kirk Havens
Dear ACA Members,

Having served four years as President and with my term as a Board member ending, I respectfully tender my resignation as president. I would like to thank the Board, staff, and membership for their support over the last four years and write a few words regarding the sense of pride and honor I feel as having served as President of the nation’s oldest and most respected organization dedicated to canoeing, kayaking, and rafting on our nation’s waterways.

Let me start by saying how special the ACA is. Few associations could claim such potent overarching combinations of safety education, recreation, and stewardship. Few can draw upon such deep and resolute member passion, across all venues of paddling, to enrich the lives of their fellow canoeists and kayakers. Few national associations could point to such diverse and tremendous local support from friends in the community, and few can claim such an inspiring sense of community; different voices, brought together in common cause and forged on the anvil of shared values.

We are poised on the edge of the river with our bow in the stream. Just a little push and we can move to a greater level of service to the paddling community. I leave believing we are about to get that push and embark on another exciting journey and it is my wish, beyond any other, that I leave the ACA with a strong sense of hope.

Kirk Havens & SonSee you on the river!

Kirk Havens, Past President
American Canoe Association

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Virginia Collegiate Canoe & Kayak Races

Collegiate Canoe Competition
The ACA, along with the Virginia Outdoor Center are proud to host the 2nd annual Virginia Canoe & Kayak Collegiate Championships.
The races will take place in Fredericksburg, VA along the Rappahannock River on the weekend of April 10-11, 2010.
The event is open to all colleges and universities across the Commonwealth of Virginia and will feature solo and team events along with the new exhibition of a coach's race!
This weekend, college studetns will come together from across the state to share in the fun and excitement that comes through racing, and develop camaraderie with those who have the same passions.
The ACA hopes for these athletes to form bonds through the love of paddlesports and carry on their enthusiasm and develop it into a lifelong activity.
Alex Zelin
ACA National Event Planning Intern

Monday, March 8, 2010

College Canoe & Kayak Races

College Canoe & Kayak Racing!
The ACA has partnered with Brevard College's Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education program to host the Southeast Canoe & Kayak Collegiate Championships!

  • Date: March 27-28
  • Location: Dillsboro, NC
  • Venue: Tucksaseegee River

This event draws colleges and universities from across the southeast and beyond (a school from Michigan might even compete!)

In addition, there will be two exhibition races on this year's agenda, one from the Wildwater National Team Trials and another from your college coaches!

We'll also have a special guest speaker on Saturday evening.

Complete race information

Alex Zelin
ACA National Event Planning Intern

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kayak Fishing in Georgia

Cast a line from your kayak and have a chance at $40,000, that's right $40,000!
Join the great folks from the Georgia Kayak Fishing Foundation for the first of 4 kayak fishing tournaments.
  • Date: March 13
  • Location: Columbus, GA
  • Venue: Lake Harding
For more events across the country, visit the ACA Event Calendar.
Fish on!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ACA Helps the Haiti Relief Effort

American Red Cross
This Saturday, March 6th, a group of ACA certified kayak instructors will be conducting instructional classes to benefit the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti. We invite anyone to participate in exchange for a donation of which 100% will be donated to the American Red Cross*. This event is being held at the Blue Moon Outdoor Center in the Oleta River State Park near Miami, FL.

Blue Moon Outfitters
We will begin lessons at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day until sunset. Lessons will be given in approximately 2 hour blocks for the entire day. Gear is being provided by Blue Moon Outdoor Center. We do require reservations so please call Chris @ 305.407.7022 to reserve a space and gather additional information. This is a great opportunity to learn a great deal about paddling and give something back in the process. We can't wait to see you there!

*The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, individual or political position. For more information about the American Red Cross, please call 1-800-HELP NOW or email

Read more about the ACA's Community Responsibility initiative.
Chris Smith
ACA, International Relations Intern

Monday, March 1, 2010

ACA & Zoar Outdoor

Did you know?

As an ACA member you receive a discount from Zoar Outdoor, the Northeast's Leader in Outdoor Adventure!

  • Location: Charlemont, MA

For accessory and boat purchases at Zoar Outdoor, present your ACA Membership Card at checkout and you'll receive a 10% discount!