Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New SUP Award for Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has partnered with the ACA to develop a new Stand Up Paddleboarding Award. The new SUP award was introduced at the BSA's 2013 National Jamboree in West Virginia. Over 9,200 Scouts, Venturers, and adult leaders participated in the nation's fastest growing paddlesport at this event!

The award allows Scouts to learn the basics of SUP on calm water while also developing paddling skills that promote fitness and safe aquatics recreation.

You can read the BSA's Stand Up Paddleboarding Award requirements here, and feel free to check out the 13-page instructional resource for use by instructors and students here

The ACA's work with the BSA's National Aquatics Task Force continues to bring safe and fun paddlesport opportunities to youth.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New ACA Office

In case you haven't heard... the ACA has moved to a new location (on the river) in Fredericksburg:

503 Sophia Street, Ste 100
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

We're looking forward to continuing to serve the paddlesports community from our new home. Please drop by to say hello next time you're in Virginia!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Paddle Green

Check out the ACA's brand new Marine Debris Resource page

It's your one-stop-source for websites, videos, articles, laws, and other relevant information pertaining to the marine debris problem.

Become a part of the solution, and paddle sustainably with the ACA!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

You Helped Make 2013 a Great Year for Paddlesports!

As the end of the year approaches, the ACA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of our members, friends, and sponsors. Your support means the world to us. And if our oceans, rivers, and streams could talk, we know they'd be saying thanks, too. 

You're making a big difference by supporting the ACA. Here are just a few of the things we've accomplished with your help in 2013:
  • Actively supported public policy to clean up America's waterways and protect paddlers' rights. Most recently, the ACA played a major role in the state of Maryland agreeing to provide more public bridge access to paddlers. We are currently working with other states, encouraging them to follow suit.
  • Designed the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit (the first event of its kind), scheduled for September 15-17, 2014. The ACA continues to spearhead new initiatives to bring paddlesports into the lives of those with disabilities.
  • Certified 1,800 new ACA instructors, reinforcing the Gold Standard of ACA paddlesport education throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries.
  • Created the International Paddlesport Ambassador Program. Read more about Dave Burden's efforts on behalf of paddlesports in the Middle East here
  • Unveiled a brand new ACA insurance program for paddlesport outfitters, liveries, and guides. 
  • Continued to provide safe and enjoyable paddlesports opportunities for youth nationwide. For example, the ACA recently partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to introduce a new Stand Up Paddleboarding Award for scouts. 
  • And that's not all. Please visit our website to find out more about the ACA's ongoing initiatives in education, stewardship, competition, recreation, and more.
Do you want to help the ACA continue its important work on behalf of paddlesports? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the ACA National Office. We're always happy to hear from you!

Thanks for your support. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

What Does Paddling Mean to You?

You can't wrap these up, but...

Adventure. Escape. Solitude. Challenge. These are just a few of the intangible (and priceless) gifts that paddlesports give to us. 

If you have some time to reflect today, and through the weekend, tell us what motivates you to get out on the water! Submit 1-2 paragraphs telling us what paddling means to you, and we'll feature our favorite responses right here on the ACA Water Blog.

Please email all submissions to: clloyd@americancanoe.org. 

Don't forget to include a picture or two!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Season's Greetings

Our Competition Coordinator's pup, Raja, would like to say, "Happy everything to everyone!"

Note: Raja was given many cookies after this photo was taken.

The ACA National Office will be closed on December 24th and December 25th, and we will reopen on the 26th.

Stay safe and warm out there, folks!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gifts From the Heart

The ACA Staff with gifts for two local children in foster care.

This holiday season, the ACA Staff participated in the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services Gifts From the Heart Program. 

The charitable program helps make Christmas wishes come true for local children in foster care.  

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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Buying Last Minute Gifts?

When you shop through Amazon's new site, AmazonSmile, the online retailer will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the ACA.  

We hope you'll consider this convenient way to donate to the ACA (at no extra cost to you!)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you for continuing to support paddlesports and the waterways we love.

Happy holidays!

Don't forget to check out our Paddler's Wishlist board on Pinterest for some great gift ideas and inspiration!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Did You Know?

The ACA can assist you with lowering the cost of your insurance premium!

In case you haven't heard yet...we are now offering a unique insurance program for outfitters, liveries, and guides as one of our numerous member benefits.

By meeting certain criteria, ACA outfitter, livery, and guide members will be eligible for discounted pricing on their various insurance policies.

Contact the ACA Insurance Department today to learn more!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Moving Day at the ACA!

That's right. New year, new digs. The ACA is excited to announce our change of address. 

Our National Office is now located at:

503 Sophia Street 
Suite 100
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

BRB - we're moving down the street!

We're doing everything we can to minimize the amount of time our phone and email will be down, and apologize for any delays. 

Thanks for your understanding. Please drop by our new office to say hello next time you're in Virginia!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New ACA Members: Take Advantage of This Membership Benefit Just for You!

Camaraderie at Sugar Island
Sugar Island is located in the heart of the Thousand Islands in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada, which is an international tourism destination near the St. Lawrence Islands National Park.The 35-acre island is privately owned by the ACA and is available to all members for year round use - and now, new ACA members receive 2 FREE nights of camping!

The island is rustic with no modern amenities. It is a pristine, pure environment with crystal clear water, clean air, and beautiful night skies. Swim, snorkel, fish, paddle, sail, or simply relax. Take advantage of this great ACA member benefit and make your reservation today!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Announcing the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit

Save the date! The ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 15-17, 2014.

Geared toward professionals and enthusiasts working to bring paddlesports into the lives of individuals with disabilities, the Adaptive Paddling Summit will include:
  • High quality educational sessions
  • The latest in adaptive equipment demonstrations
  • Opportunities to refine best practices, network, learn, and have fun!
The ACA is currently accepting proposals from individuals, paddling clubs, and organizations who are interested in presenting at the summit. Please submit proposals through our online call for presenters form.

Joe Moore, ACA Education and Outreach Coordinator, explains:

"This event presents a unique forum where we can all learn from experts and their specialties, and it presents an opportunity to teach and hone our own curriculum."

Learn more about the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit, and mark your calendars. Online registration will be available starting May 1, 2014. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

2015 Instructor Trainer Conference Survey

After receiving feedback from this past year's conference in Bend, Oregon, we have determined that the 2015 ACA National Paddlesports Conference will be specifically geared toward ITs and ITEs!

ACA Instructor Trainers and Educators have mad dance skills. 

Now we need input from our ITs and ITEs on two things:

  1. Where to hold this new instructor trainer conference
  2. What time of year to host it
Please take a few moments to complete this short survey (survey closes on Monday, January 6th). Your answers will help us plan an event truly tailored to the Instructor Trainers and Educators who comprise the core of the ACA Instruction Program.

Thank you!

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Discount for ACA Members!

Discover Marine Life in a whole new light with NOCQUA Adventure Gear - the revolutionary underwater LED lighting system that easily attaches to any kayak, canoe, or SUP.

ACA members will receive 30% off all purchases from NOCQUA Adventure Gear. Just contact the ACA Membership Department for the discount code.

NOCQUA lighting systems are available in bright white (NOCQUA 2000) or the new 7 color Spectrum system. See marine life that is hidden in daylight and enjoy the water as you never have before! Perfect for exploring, discovering, fishing, and more, NOCQUA gives you a whole new paddling experience. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Planning Your Next Adventure?

Kayak Amelia offers guided ecotours in Talbot Island State Parks as well as kayak, SUP, and bike rentals. 

Explore the quiet salt marsh creeks just minutes from Amelia Island and Jacksonville, Florida. Kayak Amelia has everything you need for your next human-powered adventure! Specialty tours include SUP yoga, kids summer camp, and an annual kayak trip to the Florida Keys. 

Visit www.KayakAmelia.com for more info. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mele Kalikimaka from the ACA!

Men's ACA Hawaiian shirt
Guys, be the Big Kahuna in your very own ACA Hawaiian shirt. Navy blue with light blue palm trees. The ACA logo has been hand embroidered in white.  

Women's ACA Hawaiian shirt
Ladies, hang loose in the Women's ACA Hawaiian shirt. Light blue with dark blue palm trees, and the ACA logo hand embroidered on the left.

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say, when wearing or giving
an ACA Hawaiian shirt! Get one from the ACA eStore today!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sugar Island - New Registrar

The ACA would like to recognize Marcia Banholzer for volunteering to take over the registration for tents and cabins for Sugar Island in 2014.

This is a unique benefit for all ACA members to enjoy. Spectacular camping, great paddling opportunities, and even canoe sailing for those so inclined!

Stay tuned to ACA social media for an upcoming new member benefit that involves your island.

Learn more about Marcia...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Congratulations to December Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Dan Cox!

Dan has been paddling for the past 15 years, and began "messing about in canoes" when he was young. After being inspired by video footage of rafts on the Zambezi River, and after watching whitewater paddling in the Olympics, Dan was hooked on kayaking.

Learn more about Dan's story...

The ACA would like to extend a big thank you to Kokatat for sponsoring our Instructor of the Month program. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? Submit a nomination here!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The BIC SUP One Design World Championships in Puerto Rico Have Begun!

SUP boards ready to go at the BIC SUP One Design World Champs. 

The rain has finally cleared in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the first round of race results are in! The BIC SUP One Design World Championships are off to a great start. 

The ACA is proud to be one of the sponsors of this exciting event.

The ACA tent today in spectacular San Juan, Puerto Rico.

If you're serious about SUP, check out the ACA's SUP Instructor Certification Program by visiting our website or contacting our Safety, Education, Instruction, and Outreach Department

Did you know: The ACA will be incorporating the BIC SUP One Design Challenge into our Collegiate Race Series. Stay tuned for updates!

BIC SUP One Design World Championships competitors race to the finish.

Preliminary race results:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Send us Your Best Paddling Photos

It doesn't matter if you're new to paddlesports, an experienced instructor, or somewhere in between-- the ACA wants to see you in action! 

Upload photos of your latest paddling adventure here, and tell us why you love being an ACA member. 

We'll feature your picture and story on our blog, Facebook page, and/or print publications.

Check out Sundance Kayak School

Founded in 1973, Sundance Kayak School was created for one specific reason: to be the nation's premier whitewater kayak school by offering the most thorough introductory program possible, consistently improving their teaching methods, demonstrating professionalism both on and off the water, and having tons of fun!

Sundance offers both camp-based and lodge-based kayak schools on the Rogue River as well as other rivers around the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're a first-time beginner, or an expert looking to perfect your technique, Sundance courses are ideal for helping you reach your paddling goals. 

The company also offers rowing schools, ACA instructor certifications, and SUP.

Learn more about Sundance Kayak School...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

And the Winner is..

Congratulations to Cowper Chadbourn, winner of our Marine Debris Photo Contest!

Do you want to participate in a clean-up event near you? Visit our website or contact our Stewardship Coordinator for more information!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Submit Your Nomination for the Next ACA Instructor of the Month

Do you know any ACA Instructors who deserve recognition for their stellar teaching abilities? 

The ACA is proud to partner with Kokatat for the ACA Instructor of the Month program. This program recognizes instructors who are steadfast in their commitment to promote the ACA's golden standard of paddlesport safety and education. 

Each Instructor of the Month will be featured in the Journal of Paddlesport Education and will receive a Kokatat PFD.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Need a Vacay? Kayak the Everglades!

Florida Outdoor Adventures operates fully outfitted and guided sea kayak day trips and overnight camping tours in the backcountry of Everglades National Park. The trips range from 3-hour and 8-hour day tours to 3-day, 5-day, and 8-day overnight expeditions. 

Florida Outdoor Adventures also offers personal small groups tours with a maximum of five guests and your own private guide!

Visit their website for more information. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact guide Dave K. You may reach him at 386-295-1850 or davek@floutdooradventures.com. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What Do You Want From a Paddling App?

If you have a few minutes to spare this holiday weekend, we'd love to get your input on the ACA mobile app that's currently in the works.

Take our online survey and tell us what you think. Your opinions will help us make this mobile app a relevant tool for paddlers everywhere. 

Thank you. And have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Support the ACA While You Shop!

Are you getting ready to make some Black Friday and Cyber Monday splurges? 

Shop through Amazon's new site, AmazonSmile, and the online retailer will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the ACA! 

Here's how it works:
  1. Visit AmazonSmile.
  2. Sign in to your Amazon account like usual (or create an account if you don't have one already.)
  3. That's it! Now you're helping make the world a better place to paddle with every purchase.
Need some great gift ideas? Be sure to follow our Paddler's Wishlist board on Pinterest. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the ACA! 

We want to express our gratitude for all the work you do to support paddlesports and protect waterways across the globe. Our members mean the world to us. Thank you.

The ACA Board of Directors and National Office Staff wishes you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you get to spend some of it outside! 

Please note: the ACA National Office will be closed today and tomorrow, and will reopen on Monday, December 2. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On Your Mark, Get Set, SUP!

Where will you be December 5-6th? Join us for the first-ever BIC SUP One Design Challenge World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico! 

The ACA is proud to be one of the sponsors of this awesome race series consisting of men's, women's, and youth divisions. We hope to see you there!

Learn more and register for the BIC SUP One Design World Champs today. 

The ACA will also be incorporating the BIC SUP One Design Challenge into its Collegiate Race Series going forward. Spread the word!

And if you're serious about SUP, be sure to learn more about the ACA's SUP Instructor Certification Program by visiting our website or contacting our Safety, Education, Instruction, and Outreach Department.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Down With Plastic Cups!

The ACA is pleased to have partnered with Kleen Kanteen to offer the ACA 16oz Stainless Steel Pint Cup. Made of 18/8, food-grade stainless steel, it is durable, versatile, reusable, doesn't retain or impart flavors, and is dishwasher safe. It won't break like glass pints, and it won't fill the garbage can or landfill like the ubiquitous red cup. This multi-use cup is perfect for any beverage and great for any occasion. 

Order your ACA 16oz Stainless Steel Pint Cup from the ACA eStore and raise your pint in a toast to the end of the plastic cup!

Monday, November 25, 2013

NOAA's Art Contest for Kids

Spread the word! The NOAA Marine Debris Program's annual "Keep the Sea Free of Debris" Art Contest is now open.

Bring out the crayons and markers. This is a great way for kids to make a big difference, helping raise awareness about the global marine debris problem and the ways we can solve it.

Artwork by Brianna V. (Grade 3, California)

Students in Kindergarten through 8th grade are invited to submit artwork until December 16. The thirteen winners will be featured in the 2015 marine debris calendar.

Read more about the contest rules...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Got Insurance?

The ACA provides several types of insurance to the paddling community, and our newest offering is an insurance program designed specifically for paddlesport outfitters, liveries, and guides. 

By meeting certain criteria, ACA outfitter, livery, and guide members will be eligible for discounted pricing on their various insurance policies. Spread the word!

Proceeds from this insurance program will benefit paddlers as they will be used to support the ACA’s mission of improving education, stewardship, recreation, and competition for all.

Learn more:
And please contact our Insurance Department with any questions:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

ACA Members Save 50% on Hobie Polarized Sunglasses

ACA members, don't forget to take advantage of the exclusive member prices offered by the ACA's official sunglass partner, Hobie Polarized.  

Whether you're in the market for a pair of sunglasses for yourself, or you're looking to cross a few names off of your Christmas list, Hobie Polarized sunglasses are designed to meet the needs of active paddlers as well as everyday wear. Visit the Hobie Polarized Pro website, enter your email address and use the ACA code: HPACA to receive a 50-60% discount off 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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dash to the Finish!

Don't miss the annual Deception Pass Dash on Sunday, December 8. The event consists of an exciting 6-mile paddle through the swirling current of Deception Pass near Oak Harbor, Washington. All paddlers ages 16+ are encouraged to participate in kayaks, canoes, and SUPs!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Save the Date: SEIC Meeting!

The next ACA Safety Education & Instruction Council (SEIC) meeting is scheduled for February 21st, 2014 in Columbus, Georgia. 

This is a great opportunity to make a difference in paddlesports education on a local, regional, and national level. There is no cost to attend the meeting, and all ACA instructors and other members of the paddling community are encouraged to participate! Learn more...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Your Opinion Matters - Paddling Education Standards

Make sure your voice is heard! The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has issued a Call for Proposed Revisions to the National Paddlesports Education Standards, inviting all interested individuals to review and comment. 

The National Paddlesports Education Standards apply to education courses for operators of manually-propelled recreational boats such as canoes and kayaks. The standards were developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), in cooperation with the ACA. 

The ACA strongly encourages members of the greater paddling community to speak up about this important matter. 

The Call for Proposed Revisions runs through December 2, 2013. To download a copy of the standards, and have your voice heard, please visit the EZ-ESP website

(Please note that as a new user to the site, you'll be required to register so NASBLA can keep you updated on any news or updates regarding the standards.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

April Zilg Speaks to the Value of ACA SUP Instructor Certification

When April Zilg signed up for an ACA SUP Instructor Certification Course, she was skeptical. 

"At that point I realized that most watersport businesses saw the booming SUP industry and all wanted to jump in it to make some extra money," April said. She figured the ACA was just like the others. And she was quickly and happily proven wrong. 

The ACA SUP Instructor Certification curriculum is designed to produce quality instructors and instructor trainers committed to high levels of leadership and excellence in this new sport. It's a tough curriculum. But it's worth it. In April's own words, "The ACA certification holds merit."

You can read April's full story on the Distressed Mullet site, where she tells of her positive experience taking both level 1 and level 2 ACA SUP Instructor Certification Courses. 

Are you an instructor with a story to tell? Email us and let us know so we can feature you on the ACA Water Blog!

Want to get certified to teach SUP? Visit our website to find a SUP Instructor Certification Course near you. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ready, Set, SUP!

The first-ever BIC SUP One Design Challenge World Championships will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico December 5-6th!

Anyone who participated in one of the 300 One Design events worldwide this year is eligible to participate in the World Championships. The ACA is proud to be one of the sponsors of this awesome race series consisting of men's, women's, and youth divisions. We hope to see you there!

Learn more and register for the BIC SUP One Design World Champs today. 

If you're serious about SUP, be sure to learn more about the ACA's SUP Instructor Certification Program by visiting our website or contacting our Safety, Education, Instruction, and Outreach Department.

The ACA will also be incorporating the BIC SUP One Design Challenge into its Collegiate Race Series going forward. Spread the word!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Member Benefit - Discounts on Additional Rapid Media Subscriptions!

You don't have to choose just one!
Upon joining the ACA, or renewing your membership, you'll get a FREE print or digital version of one of the 4 quarterly magazines from Rapid Media. Can't decide on just one? You don't have to. ACA members receive additional print or digital Rapid Media subscriptions at a reduced price. 

You have 4 great magazines to choose from:
  • Canoeroots - the canoeing and family camping magazine
  • Adventure Kayak - the kayak touring and expedition magazine
  • Rapid - the magazine with a whitewater focus
  • Kayak Angler - all things fishing related

Take advantage of this exclusive offer from Rapid Media - a valued partner of the ACA and paddlesports.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Kayak Fishing Excursion for 2014

One of the coolest benefits to ACA membership is the opportunity to participate in our Members Only Backcountry Paddling Excursions. Today we're excited to announce our new Kayak Fishing Excursion scheduled for next year! 

Go on an exciting adventure with us. This trip will take you to Sugar Island, Ontario and the famous West Brand of the Ausable River in upstate New York--the scenery in this area is spectacular to say the least. During the 8-day excursion, you'll enjoy fly fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and even canoe sailing.

Please visit our website for a sample itinerary and to request additional information about the 2014 Members Only Kayak Fishing Excursion. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Warm Hospitality Trumps Cedar River Shiver

On October 18-21, three instructor trainers and five students bundled up and braved the cold for an ACA Level 2 Essentials of River Canoeing Instructor Certification Workshop on the Cedar River in Charles City, Iowa. 

Instructor trainers Ivan Bartha, Jordan Messerer, and Barb Cutter were grateful for the warm hospitality of the Iowa Water Trails Association (IWTA) and the City of Charles City. The three expressed their thanks in the IWTA's November NewsletterThe ACA is proud to have such passionate instructors trainers out there. Keep it up, guys!

ACA Trainers and Instructor Candidates get ready to head out on the Cedar River in October.

Ivan Bartha encourages others like himself to "build relationships with local municipalities...making sure that local water trails folks know about the ACA and what the value is for hosting a course." 

Do you know an instructor trainer or instructor doing great work in his or her local community? Or maybe that person is you? Let us know so we can tell everyone about it!