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!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Stew News!

Want to find out what's happening in your neck of the woods? Check out the Fall 2013 Stewardship Newsletter presented by your ACA Stewardship Department.

The newsletter will give you the latest information regarding the ACA Stream to Sea Initiative, Paddle Green Bags, and other stewardship initiatives, plus news and other information about the waterways you care about.

In this issue:
  • Stream to Sea
  • Rapidan Stream Sweepers
  • Elmer Eddy
  • Former Director of the Oklahoma City Zoo
  • When Albatross or Other Sea Birds Ingest Debris
  • Outdoor Alliance for Kids
  • One Water Story
  • Conservation Newsroom
  • Illinois Water Trail Keeper
Click here to view the newsletter online: 

AORE Conference Starts Today!

We hope you'll join the ACA at the AORE Conference in College Park, Maryland, today through Saturday!

ACA Competition Coordinator Adam Tremper will be presenting today on the Collegiate Race Series, and how organized competition can help develop paddling clubs ranging from student organizations to established athletic programs. Catch his presentation at 1:30pm on the exhibitor hall stage.

Adam Tremper, all smiles.

The conference's "building bridges" theme is focused on strengthening partnerships and relationships through educational sessions, symposiums, the exhibitor hall, and networking. 

Curious about other upcoming conferences hosted by the ACA and/or our partners? Visit and hover over "conferences" in the blue navigation bar on the left.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Best Way to Enjoy Fall

The autumn leaves are changing colors here in Virginia, making it a great time to get out on the water for a brisk day of paddling. 

Rapidan River framed by changing fall leaves (photo courtesy of Rapidan River Kayak Company)

Located on the Rapidan River in Orange County, VA, Rapidan River Kayak Company offers guided kayak tours and instruction (certified by the ACA.) All you have to do is show up, and they will provide all the needed equipment and safety gear. 

Kayakers on Rapidan River (photo courtesy of Rapidan River Kayak Company)
Sign up for a course or a kayak tour with Rapidan River Kayak Company today. No prior experience is necessary. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Help Grow The ACA Water Trail Database

The ACA Water Trails Database has over 550 water trails and is the most complete directory available.  

You can use this resource to obtain more information about the trails in your state, or in the state where you are planning your next paddling trip. 

The ACA also encourages groups to use this tool to establish their own water trails.

Do you have a water trail in your community along a lake, stream, river, or coastline? Fill out this form to have it posted to the ACA's Water Trail Database!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Now There's a Way to Support the ACA While You Shop!

We know it's only November, and we're just emerging from our fun-sized Halloween candy comas. But, there's no denying that the holiday shopping season has already begun!

If you like to shop online (and avoid mall madness), has just launched a new site that lets you use your online purchases for good. 

Shop through AmazonSmile and the online retailer will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchase to the charitable organization of your choice. While there are millions of organizations to choose from on the site, we hope you'll choose the ACA. Your donation will go toward making the world a better place to paddle!

Here's how it works: Simply visit the AmazonSmile website, sign into your Amazon account (or create a new one), and search for American Canoe Association in the search bar. Then buy some great gifts, support the ACA, and get warm fuzzy feelings.

Of course, you can also make a secure donation at any time on our website. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Kokatat Instructor of the Month

Please join us in congratulating the ACA's November Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Ivan Bartha from Saint Cloud, MN!

Growing up in Michigan, Ivan got an early start out on the water. Some of his first canoe trips were with a summer camp he attended, and those formative years he spent at camp still influence his career today. Read more about Ivan's story...

And remember, you can submit your nomination for an upcoming Kokatat Instructor of the Month here

Each Instructor of the Month will be featured in the Journal of Paddlesport Education and will receive a Kokatat PFD in recognition of their efforts supporting the ACA and paddlesports.