Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

The ACA Office will have limited staffing today, Monday, December 31 and will be closed on Tuesday, January 1st.

We will re-open on Wednesday, January 2nd.

We hope you enjoyed a happy, healthy holiday season and we wish you all the best in the coming year.

Happy Paddling!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Still Need a New Year's Resolution?

Resolve to make 2013 your best paddling year yet and...

Take a class from an ACA certified instructor and learn something new.

Join an ACA Paddle America Club and spend more time on the water with your child.

Enter an ACA sanctioned competitive paddlesport event.

Participate in the ACA Adaptive Paddling Program.

Renew your ACA Membership and continue to support the ACA's efforts in Making the World a Better Place to Paddle!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Support for Your ACA

Like many non-profits across the country, the ACA relies on more than just membership dues to continue to support, promote, and grow all aspects of paddlesports.

Of course, there are the tax benefits associated with these end-of-the-year type of donations, but we hope you'll consider supporting the ACA for all of the other reasons as well.  If you're curious as to what the ACA does on behalf of all paddlers across the country, please take a few minutes to 'surf' through our website.  We're pretty sure one of the tabs will pertain to something relevant to your paddling endeavors.

Now, you can even designate which paddlesport program you'd like your donation to go directly towards:
  • Education
  • Stewardship
  • Competition
  • The Commodore's Campaign
  • Adaptive Paddling
Support your ACA

Thank you for your consideration and for helping your ACA do more for paddlesports in 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

River Kayak Curriculum Updated

The ACA Safety, Education & Instruction Council along with the ACA Board of Directors, in meetings before and during the 2012 National Paddlesports Conference, approved changes to the River Kayak Curriculum. Check out the recent work by the River Kayak Committee at the links below!

Instructional documents have been updated with new tips, tools, details, and definitions to reflect advances in the sport of river kayaking.

Learn more about the Safety, Education & Instruction Council

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of your ACA National Office Staff, we just want to wish you a happy holiday season.

The office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 24th and 25th.  We will re-open on Wednesday, December 26th.

About the ACA

Friday, December 21, 2012

ACA - Community Responsibility

ACA staffers before bringing gifts to two local children

As we all give thanks this holiday season, the ACA staff continued our tradition and adopted two children here in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Through the generosity of the staff, these two young ones will have gifts to open on the morning of the 25th!

Learn more about how your ACA promotes Community Responsibility

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ACA Pro School

Yesterday, the Poughkeepsie Journal published an article about the River Connection, an ACA Pro School located in Duluth, MN. The River Connection provides a comfortable place where kayakers can hone their skills during the winter months. 

Two different programs are available: the Paddlers and Eskimo Rolling for Kayakers. The Paddler's class gives people the chance to learn new techniques from ACA certified instructors. The Eskimo Rolling class aims to teach kayakers how to roll their vessels back to an upright position upon capsizing. 

To read the article, click here

Did you know there are 11 Pro Schools throughout the United States? To find one near you, click here

ACA Board Election Reminder

ACA Election - Vote Today
A reminder...the ACA is holding an election for six at-large members of the ACA National Board of Directors, appointments from the Competition Council and the Safety Education & Instruction Council, and elections for the Sugar Island Trustees.

All director positions are elected by the ACA membership for a two-year term beginning in 2013.

You may complete the voting online or download and mail in a ballot.

All ballots must be electronically received by January 4, 2013 or postmarked by January 4, 2013 and received by January 11, 2013.

Vote here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Introduction to Paddling - Venue Changes

The ACA Safety, Education & Instruction Council along with the ACA Board of Directors, in meetings before and during the 2012 National Paddlesports Conference, approved changes to the Introduction to Paddling Curriculum. Check out the recent work by the Introduction to Paddling Committee at the links below!

Instructional documents have been updated with new venue definition to better help instructors, trainers and program coordinators run Level 1 courses.

 Learn more about the Safety, Education & Instruction Council

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kayaking for the iPad

In an effort to provide a resource to all outdoor enthusiasts, Kayaking has been developed by the ACA for all current and future paddlers, including recreational paddlers who want to be safe on local ponds or streams, and adventure seekers looking to move on to whitewater or coastal waters. The book also serves as a text for introductory kayaking courses taught at the university level. 

It is now available for the iPad here and the print version is available in the ACA eStore.

Whether an experienced or beginner paddler this book makes a great stocking stuffer!

Monday, December 17, 2012

ACA Holiday Giveaway!

The ACA is in the spirit of giving this holiday season! Starting today, if you like/follow/subscribe to any 5 of our 7 social media sites, YOU could win an ACA prize-pack, valued at over $250.00! 

The prize-pack includes:
- Pair of Hobie sunglasses ($75.00 value)
- NRS Quickdry shirt ($40.00 value)
- ACA Fleece Vest ($45.00 value)
- ACA T-shirt ($12.00 value)
- SmartStart for Paddlers DVD ($20.00 value)
- All About Kayaking DVD ($12.00 value)
- The Kayak Roll DVD ($12.00 value) 
- Performance Sea Kayaking, the Basics DVD ($5.00)
- Catch Every Eddy, Surf Every Wave book ($5.00 value)
- Essentials of River Kayaking book ($6.00 value)
- ACA Custom Waterproof Notebook ($6.00 value)
- ACA Patch ($5.00 value)
- ACA Green Paddle Bag ($4.00 value)
- Subaru whistle ($3.00 value)
- ACA Sticker (priceless)

To qualify for winning the prize-pack follow at least 5 of the ACA's 7 social media outlets. Simply click on any of the buttons below to like/follow/subscribe!


Giveaway runs through December 31 and the winner will be announced on January 1, 2013! What better way to ring in the new year than with an ACA Holiday Prize-pack!? Don't delay! Enter to win NOW!

Happy holidays from your favorite paddlesport nonprofit!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

SUP Survey Report

From August 1st to October 5th, on behalf of the paddlesport and boardsport communities, the ACA conducted an online Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Survey to address important issues in SUP from coast to coast.

Due to the overwhelming response, over 584 people completed the survey and provided 1,419 written comments (some several paragraphs long!), we have just finished analyzing all of the data.

Mark your calendars, the official SUP Survey Report will be released through ACA social media on January 1st!

ACA SUP Courses

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cold Weather Lifejacket Laws

Ice on the Rappahannock River in Virginia
Did you know that five states have created new mandatory life jacket wear laws in cold weather months?

As part of the ACA's role to educate all facets of the paddlesports community, click here to see if these apply to where you live or paddle.

Special thanks to our partners at the National Safe Boating Council for sharing this information with the ACA.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updated River SUP Curriculum

The ACA is excited to annouce its first Level 4: SUP Curriculum.  The new Level 4: Advanced Whitewater SUP Curriculum is a great step in the evlolution of SUP instruction and education.  The ACA has also revised the L3: Whitewater SUP Curriculum. You can view the new & revised SUP skills courses, assessment courses and instructor criteria below. Also make sure to check out the SUP courses on the ACA Paddlesports Event Calendar to see when and where you can check out the curriculum.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Complete Your PAC Waiver Online!

Canoeing family with dog

Paddle America Club (PAC) members are required to submit a new waiver to the ACA when they renew their membership each year.  

Beginning immediately PAC members may complete the waiver as an online form through the ACA website.  It's quick and easy, and it sure beats generating yet more paperwork!  

Simply sign in to your account on the ACA website and hover over the Insurance tab in the left navigation bar.  There you will find the Adult Waiver and the Minor Waiver.

Assuming your PAC's membership is current with the ACA, this waiver is valid for all properly registered club events.

Canoe Expert, Ralph Frese, Dies at 86

Ralph Frese, the man known as "Mr. Canoe" throughout the United States and the first individual to be awarded the ACA's Legends of Paddling award, passed away this week at the age of 86. 

A blacksmith who loved paddling, Frese operated a smithy and specialty canoe shop in Chicago where he manufactured composite creations of voyageur canoes and modern tripping canoes. He was a serious historian of his sport, with 4,000 book titles and a collection of over 100 canoes.

Frese ushered in a new canoeing milennium leading a New Years paddle on the upper Chicago River. He is the founder and the spirit of Chicagoland Canoe base and was inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. 

To read more about Frese's life, click here.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Level 3: Ocean Surf SUP Curriculum

The ACA is excited to announce its first Ocean Surf Stand Up Paddleboard Curriculum. 

The new Level 3: Surf SUP Curriculum is a great step in the evlolution of SUP instruction and education. You can view the new SUP skills courses, assessment courses and instructor criteria below. 

Also make sure to check out the SUP courses on the ACA Paddlesports Event Calendar to see when and where you can check out the curriculum.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Edition of the Journal of Paddlesport Education

The December 2012 Edition of the Journal of Paddlesport Education is now available.

Highlights in this issue:

  • Learning Styles as a Basis for Paddlesports Instruction (A Must Read)
  • Kokatat Instructor(s) of the Month Nov. & Dec.
  • New Member Benefit
  • ACA Members Only Excursions
  • New & Revised SUP Curriculum
  • Revised River Kayak & Intro to Paddling Curriculum
  • SEI Department Update - Instructor Audit
  • National Paddlesports Conference Recap
Read now Issuu / PDF

Friday, December 7, 2012

Your ACA Leadership

Volunteer your time - Make the World a Better Place to Paddle

Whether it's serving on the Board of Directors or volunteering at a local event, the ACA makes the world a better place to paddle.

Learn more about your ACA Leadership:
Want to become more involved with the future of your association?

Contact any staff member to learn more.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Explore Alaska by Kayak!

Have you always wanted to explore the last frontier? Then you should consider joining the ACA on their excursion to Alaska! This 'teach & trek journey' will not only involve paddling skills, method of instruction, and navigation, but it will also include four day-trips in Resurrection Bay.

With a steep rugged coastline, roaring waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and the challenges of the Alaskan marine environment, this trip will be an epic exploration and exciting challenge for your skills and mind! 

This trip is an amazing deal. Included in the total coast are various options for potential certifications and upgrades. At no extra cost, you could potentially earn the following certifications:

  • ACA Level 3 & 4 "Updates" ($150 value)
  • ACA Level 3 & 4 ICE's ($345 value)
  • ACA Level 3&4 Skills Assessments ($125 value)
  • ACA Trip Leader Award ($150 value)
  • ACA Level 3 & 4 IT Mentorship 

Trip Details:
Dates: September 18-22, 2013
Location: Seward & Resurrection Bay, Alaska
Cost: $899
Hosts: Kayak Adventures Worldwide & ACA IT Tom Nickles

For more information, click here

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Member Benefit - Hobie Polarized Sunglasses!

Just in time for the holidays...the latest ACA membership benefit comes from Hobie Polarized Sunglasses, the ACA's newest partner!

All ACA members receive a 50% discount on Hobie Polarized sunglasses and readers.

Please visit the Hobie Polarized Pro website and use the ACA code to receive a discount off of your next pair of polarized sunglasses.

Plus, a percentage of each purchase is donated by Hobie Polarized back to the ACA to continue our work promoting paddlesports education, stewardship, recreation and competition.

It's a win - win!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kayaking book & DVD

Kayaking book, includes DVD

Kayaking presents the basics of this exciting and popular sport as well as the skills and knowledge required for becoming a successful paddler.  

Throughout this book, expert kayaking instructors provide you with

  • practical guidance on gear and equipment selection, nutrition, fitness and stretching, water trail etiquette, and safety and survival skills;
  • step-by-step paddling techniques for flatwater, river and whitewater, and sea kayaking, as well as instruction on more complex maneuvers and rolls;
  • useful consumer, technique, and safety tips; and
  • Web-based resources to help you plan trips throughout the world and find paddling organizations and instructors.
In addition to the detailed photos and illustrations, this book includes the Quick Start Your Kayak DVD to reinforce the paddling strokes and safety information found in the book.  It features videos of kayaking maneuvers, which will make anyone capable of learning the basics.

This introductory book presents the techniques and skills you need in order to enjoy your water adventure and then challenges those skills with more complex rolls and maneuvers   After reading Kayaking, you'll feel confident enough with your kayaking skills to test more challenging waterways and even overnight or extended trips with friends and family.

Buy your copy of Kayaking from the ACA eStore.  Don't forget to login to your account to receive your membership discount!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rescue for River Runners Episode 7 is Released

Rescue for River Runners is a series of educational videos in swiftwater rescue.  This video series is the product of Five2Nine productions, the ACA and several other supporting partners.  The ACA is excited about this new resource!  Stay tuned for new episodes at or the ACA YouTube Channel!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ACA Instructor Certification Exam - A Review

This past September, Jeremy Vore, an avid paddler, took the Sea Kayak Instructor Certification Exam with ACA Instructor Trainer Sam Crowley. After completing the course, Jeremy candidly blogged about his experience, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

To read his blog post, click here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Individual Membership Levels of Support

Did you know that there are Individual Membership levels that you may choose from when you renew or become a member of the ACA?  It's true, the ACA has Bronze, Silver, Gold and Green levels of individual membership.  What's more, individuals who join the ACA at these higher membership levels receive added benefits in addition to the standard membership benefits.

The ACA Logo T-Shirt is one of the additional benefits of joining at the Bronze Paddle membership level.

You may choose one of the two "Essentials..." books at the Silver Paddle membership level.

At the Gold Paddle membership level one of the benefits is one complimentary registration to the ACA National Paddlesports Conference.

The Green Paddle membership level allows you to choose a custom ACA canoe or kayak paddle from Foxworx Paddles.

Learn more about the benefits associated with these higher levels of ACA membership.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer Attemps to Kayak the Colorado River

Erik Weihenmayer knows no fear. Considered one of the most accomplished blind athletes in the world, Weihenmayer has a list of accomplishments most people can only conceptualize. 

His resume includes climbing Mt. Everest, marathon runner, acrobatic skydiver, ice climber, and completing the Seven Summit.  In 2013, Weihenmayer plans to add kayaking the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to his already impressive list of achievements  Weihenmayer is currently training for his kayak adventure at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C. with Casey Eichfeld and Pablo McCandless, both former Olympic paddlers. 

The ACA whole-heartily supports Weihenmayer in his attempt to paddle the Colorado River. 

For more information on Weihenmayer's paddling adventure, click here.  

To learn more about the ACA's adaptive paddling courses, click here

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

The ACA Board of Directors and National Office Staff are thankful for all you do to continue to improve paddlesports and the waterways we all recreate on.  We wish you and your family an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day.

The ACA Office will re-open on Monday, November 26th at 9:00am.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Back by popular demand!

You heard about how amazing the 2012 ACA Costa Rica Week of Rivers excursion was. And we know you are bummed you didn't have a chance to go. That's why the ACA is offering it again in 2013! 

Join the ACA on this 8 day all-inclusive paddling tour and experience the pristine whitewater rivers of Costa Rica hosted by Costa Rica Rios. Become immersed in the unique nature and culture of Costa Rica and this spectacular country will offer you boundless opportunities to fulfill your paddling dreams!

This completely organized all-inclusive kayaking package allows you to have the most hassle free experience possible while maximizing your time spent on the river. The highly skilled guides are able to accommodate all skill levels and will personalize the trip specifically to your kayaking abilities and paddling aspirations to ensure you get the most out of your boat adventure. 

Costa Rica Rios will provide all logistics of your stay, including airport and/or hotel pick-up and drop-off, private transportation, accommodation in B&B, jungle lodge and hotel, all meals, all equipment, and river entrance fees. 

ACA SEI Coordinator, Kelsey Bracewell, had the opportunity to go on the 2012 Costa Rica Excursion. To check out the highlight video of her trip, click here!

Dates: September 21 - 28, 2013
Cost: TBD