Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ACA Event Calendar - Where to Find Fun Near You

Looking for paddling events and classes near you? Check out the ACA Event Calendar

Whether you are searching for a canoe/kayak/SUP class, an upcoming race, or an adaptive paddling workshop, you'll find a wide range of events on our event calendar to boost your skills while having fun! 

(Pro tip: Use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to filter by event type or location.) 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Adaptive Expeditions Nearly Triples Number of USA Paracanoe

Paracanoe shipment arrives in Charleston, SC.
Adaptive Expeditions, Charleston’s Paralympic Sports Club and Disabled Sports USA Chapter, is excited to take delivery of forty Paralympic sprint racing kayaks called Paracanoe. Adaptive Expeditions imported the kayaks into Charleston, SC from NELO Kayaks in Vila do Conde, Portugal. The shipment is part of Adaptive Expeditions’ contract to manage two grants for the ACA and USA Canoe Kayak, the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Paracanoe. The grants were awarded from the Craig H. Neilson Foundation and US Department of Veteran Affairs. No official count of USA Paracanoe exists, but estimates indicate that this shipment nearly triples the number of Paracanoe within US borders.

As part of the grant management contract, Adaptive Expeditions’ executive director, Joe Moore, will lead eight two-day adaptive kayak trainings around the country this summer. The goal of both Grants is to better enable USA based adaptive kayak clubs to develop elite level Paralympic athletes for the 2020 Paralympic games.

Paracanoe will debut at the Paralympic games later this year in Rio.

Paracanoe on the racks.

Friday, June 24, 2016

ACA & Werner Paddles: Partnering For Cleaner Waters

The ACA is proud to be a Werner Paddles Healthy Waters partner again this year. 

Werner Paddles is committed to promoting access to rivers, lakes, streams and ocean paddling. They are a valued industry partner of the ACA as their support directly enhances our efforts both to advocate for clean water as well as increase access to all waterways across the country.  

When you purchase a Werner paddle, your purchase will go toward supporting the company's Healthy Waters program and the ACA's Stewardship initiatives

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Have You Seen the New Paddle Smart WebTV Series Yet?

A few months back, we asked what you, our members, wanted to see more of from the ACA... and many of you said, "More videos!"

So, in response to the cry for more video content, we are excited to announce the Paddle Smart WebTV Series!

This series was made possible by generous grant funding provided through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is administered by the United States Coast Guard. The goal of this video series is to reduce paddlesport related accidents by providing immediate knowledge through short and focused instructional videos.

The series cover the paddlesports disciplines of Stand Up Paddleboarding, Recreational Kayaking and Kayak Fishing and each series consists of 12 episodes that are entertaining and to the point.

Whether you are just starting out in the sport, or you've been paddling for years, there's something for everyone to learn from this exciting series. But you don't have to take our word for it. See for yourself. You can easily find the videos all in one place, at:

We hope you enjoy, and please let us know what you think!

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 ACA National Awards - Nominations Now Open!

Every year, the ACA recognizes several individuals and organizations who exemplify outstanding leadership, service, and dedication to paddlesports. Nominations for the 2016 National Awards are now open!
  • 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
  • Outstanding State Director
  • President's Award
If you would like to nominate a paddler for one of the honors above, please visit for more details on how to submit your nomination.

The submission deadline is Friday, July 29, 2016.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Looking for a Last Minute Father's Day Gift?

Father's Day is Sunday, June 19! Do you know what makes a great last minute fit for dad? An ACA Gift Membership

Whether your dad is a seasoned paddler, or just starting to get into the sport, an ACA membership will connect him to a community that loves what he loves. 

Plus, ACA membership is the best way to support safe, enjoyable paddling and protection of America's recreational waterways all year long. 

ACA Gift Memberships are available in our eStore

Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ACA Grant Project Brings Paddlesports Education to Underserved Communities

ACA Staff on day two of training for Fort Meyers USCG Grant Course, June 16, 2016 (T.J. Turner, Mike Hammond, Peg Phillips, Brandy Minchew, Michael Shugg, & Tommy Thompson).

ACA staffer T.J. Turner is currently leading a grant project (funded by the US Coast Guard) focused on creating sustainable paddlesports education for underserved and underrepresented communities. This grant project will allow the ACA to increase our current capability to conduct on-water instruction for a range of individuals and organizations across the country. 

The project will increase instructors' skills and abilities, get underrepresented community members out on the water, create community partnerships, and further promote safe paddling culture.

By empowering the adults in the selected communities with appropriate boating knowledge and skill, this grant project will be both replicable and sustainable in future years for those locations. This will provide a sustainable source of local education that will contribute to the decrease in both fatalities and accidents for both the current and future generation of boaters.

To learn more about this grant project, please visit: 

You may also contact ACA Education and Outreach Coordinator, T.J. Turner with any questions.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Congratulations to June Instructor of the Month, Gerry James!

The ACA is proud to partner with Kokatat for the ACA Instructor of the Month recognition program. Instructor of the Month award recipients are featured in our Paddle eMagazine and across ACA social media channels. They also receive some complimentary Kokatat gear.

Congratulations to June Instructor of the Month, Gerry James! 

We were able to chat with Gerry about what he loves most about paddling. Here's an excerpt from our conversation...

ACA: What aspect of paddling is the most exciting and engaging to you? Approximately how much of your time do you dedicate to paddling (or thinking/training/dreaming about paddling)?

James: For me it is the exhilaration of liquid shredding up and down a waterway propelled by my own locomotion, all whilst being in commune with mother nature and fellow paddlers. When I am out paddling, my worries melt always as I become one with my board and transform into a single, graceful, efficient unit. (At least that is how it seems to me. I could look like a goof out there!)

I probably spend around 15 - 30+ hours on the water a week; touring, training, and working on my skills and infinite amounts of time dreaming about paddling. This summer my organization is going start focusing on promoting paddling safety and skills across Kentucky. I see a ton of people paddling, but often with lifejackets, proper knowledge of water hazards, etc., and I want to help educate the public. I also want to help people understand that SUP isn't something just relegated for the Floridian coasts, it's an activity we can do on our 50,000+ miles of waterways in Kentucky.

ACA: Can you please describe your activities with the Explore Kentucky Initiative?

James: The Explore Kentucky Initiative (EKI) started as a social media campaign called “ Explore Kentucky” centered around the @ExploreKentucky account and #ExploreKentucky hashtag I created. I started the project my senior year of college in 2013 in an effort to motivate Kentuckians and visitors to the Commonwealth to share their adventures, discover in a collective manner the many natural beauties that Kentucky offers, and more. 

Fast-forward to 2016, and we have over 30,000 followers on Instagram and are an organization (actively working towards nonprofit status) that is dedicated to inspiring active lifestyles fueled by adventures in Kentucky’s outdoors. We have hosted rock climbing clinics, hiking & photography workshops, guided tours, and we continue to promote adventure tourism in Kentucky. My goal as director is to host events, tell stories, and help promote a progressive, adventurous, and modern view of Kentucky.

Read the rest of our interview with Gerry in the July issue of Paddle - coming soon!

Do you know an excellent instructor who deserves recognition? Fill out this simple form to submit a nomination for the next Instructor of the Month.

You can view a list of previous Instructor of the Month awards recipients here

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Paddling Camps for Kids Incorporate On-Water Stewardship

By Joshua Hall, ACA Instructor Trainer Educator 

Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC), an ACA Pro School, is kicking off their summer camp schedule teaching kids how to paddle green!

Josh Hall and CCPRC campers

After a week of getting to know one another and learning the basics of SUP safety, James Island adventure campers (10-12 years old) put their skills to the test with a SUP trip on the Stono River. Along the way, campers learned all out the importance of tidal marshes in the Lowcountry. 

Using ACA Paddle Green Bags, campers collected as much marine debris as possible, and in most cases, were able to recycle all of the trash they found and divert it from landfills. 

Camps are not just about learning new skills but making friends and being good stewards of the waterways we share!

To learn more about how you can incorporate Paddle Green initiatives into your summer activities, please visit

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Register Now - Instructor Update Symposium

Registration is now open for the ACA Level 1-2 Instructor Update Symposium scheduled for September 9-11, 2016!

Don't delay-- the early bird rate only lasts until August 19th, and the event is limited to 60 spots.

For more information, please visit:

Monday, June 6, 2016

How to Find an ACA Instructor Near You

The ACA National Paddlesports Instruction Program has been acknowledged as the "Gold Standard" of paddlesports education throughout the United States and abroad. We have developed a wide variety of curriculum, trainings, and resources to serve paddlers of any skill level and discipline. To take advantage of these great tools and opportunities, the first step is finding an ACA certified instructor-- here are a few ways to find one near you:
  • Search for nearby instructors using the ACA Paddle Ready App; it’s free in the App Store or Google Play. The app also includes useful features such as instructional rescue videos, float plans, surf and tide forecasting, river gauge levels, safety and gear checklists, an accident reporting form,  and more!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Stock Up On Paddling Gear For Summer

Have you checked out the ACA eStore lately? We have plenty of new merchandise to help prepare you for your summer paddling adventures, like our NRS silkweight tops, comfy ACA hooded sweatshirts, and Paddle Green Bags.

Visit the ACA eStore today(If you're an ACA member, don't forget to sign-in to receive your member discount!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

This Weekend - Don't Miss Rock the River & Canoe/Kayak/SUP Races in Fredericksburg, VA

We are getting geared up for the 36th annual Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race (GRWCR) on June 4th! Don't be fooled by the name-- there are lots of races for stand up paddlers and kayakers, too!

The GRWCR is a family and pet friendly event, and it's the cornerstone of the Rock the River celebration. 

More information on both events is available here.

See you this weekend!