Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Paddlers!

From all of us at the ACA, we want to say thank you for another great year of paddlesports recreation, education, competition, and stewardship. 

Cheers to more fun times out on the water in 2015!

Please note: the ACA office will be closed on New Year's Day, and will reopen on Jan 2, 2015. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kayaking Vs. Climbing: The Opposite Extremes of Water and Rock

"If mountaineering is the slow art of suffering, then white- water kayaking is the fast art of right here, right now. Both sports deal with the limits of control, but at opposite ends of the spectrum. Climbing breeds a more contemplative view of the world, while kayakers are like the hyperactive, attention deficit younger brothers."

Do you agree? Click over to Rapid to read world-class kayaker Doug Ammons' intuitive meditation on what really differentiates kayakers from climbers.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Is Almost Over...

Before the year is up, show your commitment to safe and enjoyable paddlesports and protection of America's waterways by donating to the ACA

As a member-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, the ACA relies on the generosity of paddlers like you in order to fulfill our mission

Annual giving ensures that these and other ACA initiatives continue to make an impact nationwide:

Please consider making a donation to the ACA today. Thank you!

Friday, December 26, 2014

We'll Be At Surf Expo, Will You?

We're looking forward to having an ACA booth at Surf Expo January 8-10, 2015. The show features approximately 2,600 booths of apparel and hardgoods and a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, annual awards ceremonies, and demos.

Mark your calendar and we will see you there!

Check out this recap from last year's event:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Everything!

From all of us at the ACA, we hope you are surrounded by family, friends, and all good things this holiday season. 

If you're braving the cold to get out on the water, please dress warm, wear your life jacket, and paddle safe! Don't forget these cold water safety tips

The ACA Office will be closed December 24 and 25 and will re-open on December 26. 

Enjoy the holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2014

ACA Puerto Rico Offers Member Discount

We're excited to announce that Paddle Paradise PR is giving 10% off to ACA members on all adventures, including SUP and kayak courses! For those of you who are in Puerto Rico, or planning a trip there soon, be sure to take advantage of this discount!

To view more benefits of ACA membership, click here.

Pictured: Owner of Paddle Paradise PR, ACA Instructor and Puerto Rico State Director, Omar Ramos.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gifts From the Heart

This holiday season, the ACA Staff all chipped in to make Christmas wishes come true for local children in foster care, through the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services "Gifts From the Heart" assistance program. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to help those in need this holiday season. Warm wishes to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Swiftwater Rescue Lesson: Unpinning a Canoe or Kayak

Take a look at this video featuring ACA Instructor Trainer Educator, Walter Felton, as he explains proper techniques for unpinning a canoe or kayak. 

Want to learn more? Don't miss the 2nd annual ACA Swiftwater Rescue Conference happening in North Carolina next fall. Find more information here:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ACA Wins 1st Place in Association TRENDS 2014 All-Media Contest

The ACA has been honored with a gold award in the "CD, Video, Podcast or PSA" category of Association TRENDS' 2014 All-Media Contest for its Top 10 Tips for Canoeing and Kayaking Safely video. It was one of nearly 410 entries in the association publications contest. 

The ACA, with funding from the U.S. Coast Guard, partnered with Anzovin Studio to create this educational animated video with the goal of empowering paddlers to take responsibility for their personal safety on the water. In addition to this canoe and kayak video, another similar video was created for the stand up paddling crowd.

“Our hope is that these videos will not only entertain viewers but also impart crucial safety messages that stick,” says Catharine Lloyd, ACA Communications Coordinator and project manager of the USCG grant responsible for producing the videos. 

The TRENDS All-Media Contest is an annual competition held exclusively for associations, recognizing the most creative and effective communication vehicles developed in the industry over the prior year. 

The ACA will be presented with the award at the 36th Annual Salute to Association Excellence, to be held February 6, 2015 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. 

If you haven't seen these animated videos yet, you can watch them both here

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Share the Love of Paddling

Give your paddling friend or family member an ACA Gift Membership so they can support safe, enjoyable paddling and protection of America's recreational waterways. 

Visit our estore to purchase an ACA Gift Membership today! After you make your purchase, we will send you a card that you can print out and give to your gift recipient. 

Thank you for supporting the nation's oldest paddlesports nonprofit organization. The ACA is able to fulfill its mission because of the generosity of members and donors like you. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Join the Fight Against Marine Debris!

Click to enlarge.
Of the estimated 6.14 million tons of debris that enter marine environments each year, 80% of it is land based trash that enters from freshwater rivers and streams. Who better to help prevent the accumulation of marine debris than us paddlers?

Click here to learn more about the ACA Stream to Sea Initiative, and become part of the solution. 

Paddle sustainably with the ACA!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Did You Survive a Dangerous Paddling Situation? We Want To Hear About It!

As part of an upcoming grant project, the ACA is currently looking for paddlers who are willing to talk about their narrow-escapes out on the water. If you have survived a scary experience while paddling, this is your opportunity to transform that experience into something that could help others. Your stories will be used in an animated memoir-style video to educate viewers about safe paddling practices. 

Please email your story and contact information to Catharine Lloyd, ACA Communications Coordinator, at

Thank you, and paddle safe!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Have You Downloaded Our New Paddling App Yet?

Paddle Ready, the ACA's new app, is FREE for iPhone and Android users! In addition to being super simple and easy to use, here are 5 more things Paddle Ready helps you do:
  1. Fill out a float plan and email it to your friends 
  2. Find an ACA instructor near you
  3. Get real-time river levels and weather (surf and tidal forecasting coming soon!)
  4. Have Paddle Safety Checklists for various paddling environments at your fingertips
  5. Use the Safety and Rescue How-to Videos to keep your knowledge current
Download Paddle Ready today for your iPhone or Android device and let us know what you think. We look forward to taking your feedback into consideration as we continue to expand and improve the app moving forward. 

All app feedback can be sent directly to ACA Communications Coordinator, Catharine Lloyd, at 

Paddle often, paddle safe. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mark Your Calendar...

The 2015 ACA Swiftwater Rescue Conference will focus on a series of on-water safety and rescue educational sessions taught by the best of the best in swiftwater rescue instruction. In addition, there will be a range of social functions, including BBQ and mountain music on Saturday night. For those simply looking for an Instructor Update, you can accomplish that too, but there will be so much more available in the realm of on-water rescue!

Date: October 9-11, 2015
Location: western North Carolina
Venue: Tuckaseegee River
Facility: Barker's Creek Community Center
Registration: available online - June 2015
Only 80 spaces will be available
Cost: $175 early bird

For more information on this unique ACA event, click here or visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2,000 Miles to DC By Canoe

Amy and Dave Freeman. (Photo credit: Nate Ptacek, instagram @arborealis.)
National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year, Dave and Amy Freeman spent 100 days paddling from Ely, Minnesota to Washington, DC to raise awareness of threats to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The 2,000-mile Paddle to DC odyssey began Sunday, August 24 near Ely, Minnesota and finished on December 3 when a canoe covered with signatures to Save the Boundary Waters arrived in the nation’s capital. 

Click here to see more photos and read an interview with Dave and Amy on Nat Geo's Adventure Blog, and be sure to sign their petition to say no to sulfide ore mining in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Watershed.

Congratulations, Dave and Amy, on your successful journey!

Amy and Dave Freeman. (Photo credit: Nate Ptacek, instagram @arborealis.) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Congratulations to December Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Mike Looman!

Mike first entered the paddlesports world in 2003. Shortly thereafter, he took a trip to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, and was hooked on paddling for life.

“Watching people improve their comfort level and enhance their skills, that is my greatest reward," says Mike, an ACA certified Coastal Kayaking and SUP Instructor.

Click here to learn more about Mike's adventures!

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as the next Instructor of the Month? Submit a nomination here

Friday, December 5, 2014

Are You Ready For The Ultimate Winter Challenge?

The 12th annual Winter Challenge Off-Road Triathlon will take place on February 21, 2015 in scenic Dome Farms, South Carolina.

The ACA is proud to be a sponsor of this unique and fun event! For those among you who have yet to experience the bliss of your first WC, here's what you can expect:

1. One of the most unique and beautiful settings you've ever raced on. Dome Farms, which is situated on the Edisto River Swamp, offers countless miles of diverse off-road trail plus a 75-acre pond where you will get your paddle on.

2. Competition and Camaraderie. The fellowship of the Winter Challenge and the post race festivities lend themselves to camaraderie found at few other venues. Stick around and take home a few new friendships! But don't mistake friendship for lack of competition. While many athletes are here to race against themselves, there are more than a few die hard enthusiasts who gas up the race with some serious skills, raising the stakes to a surprisingly high level of competition! Rivalry is always in the air, and getting your name on the Trophy Cup is a matter not to be taken lightly.

3. Never Dull! We at the WC refuse to rest on the status quo, and we promise to keep things fresh and new for the WC Alums. As always, you have our solemn guarantee of a rocking good time.

Find more info and Register at Also, stay tuned to their facebook page for updates!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vintage Snow Canoeing!

Check out this vintage clip of students from the Plymouth Teachers college snow canoeing, or as they call it "Canoe Slalom". 

Are you out there braving the cold? Send your winter paddling pics to for a chance to be featured on ACA social media!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Perfect Gift for the Paddler in Your Life

Fritz Orr Selway Canoe Paddle, designed for Class III rivers to steep creeks.
This holiday season, ACA members will receive 20% off any paddle listed at Buy one as a gift, or buy one for yourself!

Celebrated on the pages of Garden & Gun, Town & Country, Fox & Friends, and, Fritz Orr Canoe brings a heritage of canoeing to life through hand crafted canoe paddles. Each one is a work of art, demonstrating Fritz's commitment to superior design, craftsmanship, and stewardship.  

Fritz Orr Magma Stand-Up Paddle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Giving Tuesday is a day when people from all over the world come together to give back. Will you join the movement? Please consider making a donation to the ACA today!

Click here to find out how you can donate to a specific paddlesport program area, so you can direct your money toward causes such as river cleanups, adaptive paddling, education initiatives, and more.

Visit to learn more.

Thank you for supporting paddlesports and protecting the waterways we all cherish!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Near-Misses and Narrow Escapes

As part of a new creative outreach grant project, we are looking for paddlers who are willing to talk about their near-miss experiences and close-calls out on the water. These stories will be used in an animated memoir-style video to educate viewers about safe paddling practices. 

Have you survived a dangerous paddling situation that dealt with any of the following issues?

· Life jacket wear

· Paddling under the influence

· Low head dams

· Marker buoys/Collision with motorized boats

· Bad weather

· Standing up in moving water/foot entrapment

· Paddling out of your skill level

· Inappropriate clothing/gear

· Didn’t file a float plan

If you have a story to tell (or you know someone who does), please contact Catharine Lloyd, ACA Communications Coordinator, at or 540-907-4460 ext 107. Thank you!