Monday, March 31, 2014

ACA Pro School Spotlight

We're pleased to announce the newest ACA Pro School, CanoeSport Outfitters from Des Moines, Iowa!

Since 1992, CanoeSport Outfitters has been serving paddlers in the Midwest by organizing informative events, providing quality gear, and offering superior instruction. Whether you're picking up a paddle for the first time or have years of experience, the knowledgeable instructors at CanoeSport Outfitters will help you improve your canoeing, kayaking, and SUP skills. 

Along with a wide range of courses, the new Pro School also offers many educational outings to local destinations and provides learning opportunities in the Apostle Islands, Everglades National Park, and coastal regions of Louisiana and Georgia. 

In their retail store, you'll find knowledgeable staff eager to help you select the best canoe, kayak, or paddleboard for the type of paddling you want to do. CanoeSport Outfitters also offers a wide selection of accessories to help you paddle safer and transport your gear more easily. Rentals and test paddling opportunities are also available at their concession location at nearby Lake Ahquabi State Park.

Please feel free to visit their website or contact for more info.  

ACA Pro Schools are some of the best organizations across the country to find top quality ACA certified instruction. Current ACA members also receive discounts on certain Pro School instructional programs. 

To see a full list of ACA Pro Schools, click here

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Make Your Voice Heard

Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna River on foot or by bike? The closest safe crossing is in Pennsylvania. It's time for a change.

The Maryland Department of Transportation and Amtrak are currently in discussion to replace the 1906 railroad bridge across the mouth of the Susquehanna River. Let's ensure the new bridge will accommodate cyclists and walkers. Design work is just beginning, so now is the time to speak up. 

Please join us and show your support by signing this petition. Walkers, paddlers, cyclists, and all recreational users will benefit from a public pathway over the river. 

Thank you for your support!

To learn more, or to sign the petition in person, please drop by the ACA booth at this weekend's Jersey Paddlefest.

Friday, March 28, 2014

2 New Crosstrek Hybrids Join the ACA Subaru Fleet

We're proud to call Subaru the official vehicle of the ACA, and we're super excited to welcome two new Crosstrek Hybrids to our fleet of Subaru vehicles!

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emissions All-Wheel Drive hybrid crossover vehicle in America. It can also go off-road and clear 8.7 inches of bumps, rocks, and drifted sand and snow. 

In other words, it's easier on the environment AND equipped for adventure! The Crosstrek is also ACA office dog-approved. 

Stella gives the Crosstek her paw-stamp of approval.

Subarus make our various paddlesport initiatives possible. Our Stewardship Coordinator uses the Outback to help haul the marine debris collected during Paddle Green clean-up events to the local recycling center. To increase ACA membership and support paddlesports recreation, the ACA Membership Coordinator drives the Forester to paddlesports events throughout the country. Our Education Coordinator uses her Crosstrek to get to rivers, lakes, and other instruction locations. 

ACA employees depend on their Subarus to get them to work safely in the morning, and home again at night. Subaru helps us make the world a better place to paddle. Every day. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Become a State Director and Strengthen Your Paddling Community

State Directors will have the opportunity to foster relevant ACA programs depending on the unique needs of each state. 

Paddlers will be able to convey their ideas, along with state and local issues, to their State Director, and the ACA can then provide support and assistance. In addition, through this enhanced volunteer network, more paddlers will learn about the ACA and all the work ACA members do for paddlesports throughout the country.

If you or anyone you know would be a good fit for a State Director role, please complete the State Director Application by April 15th.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Will Winter Ever End?

We're dreaming of warmer temps, sunny days, and the 34th annual Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race (GRWCR)! 

This classic Fredericksburg event takes place every year on the first Saturday in June. Races are open to participants of all ages and include both whitewater and flatwater canoeing, kayaking, SUP, and canoe poling competitions.

When: Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Where: Fredericksburg, VA (Old Mill Park)

Online registration will be available in early May, or you may register on-site starting at 7:45 on race day at Old Mill Park.

The GRWCR is part of the ACA's annual Paddle Green Festival--Celebrate the Rapp! This all-day, stewardship-focused festival features environmental education programs, on-water paddling instruction, river clean-ups, and an outdoor showing of the year's best paddling films from around the world (courtesy of the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Attend Paddlefest 2014

This year's CKS Paddlefest is expected to be bigger and better than ever. From May 23-26th, paddling enthusiasts from all over the country will gather in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado for an action-packed weekend full of outdoor fun!

Here's why you need to check it out:

  1. BV Pro Kayaking Rodeo - Watch the best freestyle kayakers from around the world compete in the Buena Vista Whitewater Park in South Main.
  2. Gear sales - Get huge savings on the latest gear for 2014.
  3. Something for everyone - Are you a flatwater paddler? Kayak fisher? Whitewater enthusiast? Paddlefest has it all. And you may even be inspired to try something new!
  4. Evening fun - The fun doesn't stop at sundown. Live music and various film screenings will continue into the night. And the whole event is family-friendly.
  5. For a good cause - Registration for CKS Paddlefest supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County and the Buena Vista Optimist Club. 

The ACA is an official sponsor of this event. If you decide to attend, please stop by our booth to say hello! We look forward to seeing you.

New Name, Same Great Content

The spring edition of Talking Trash (formerly Stewardship Newsletter) is hot off the press!

In this issue:
  • Wendy & Tinkerbell, Pelicans Spreading the Message About the Dangers of Marine Debris
  • Kayakswarm: Paddling Science on a New Level
  • Rawanduz River Expedition
  • Upcoming Paddle Green Events  
Check out the spring edition of Talking Trash today.

Want to be featured in the next issue? Please submit a story here

Monday, March 24, 2014

ACA Pro School Spotlight

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center offers professional ACA-certified instruction and guided trips in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley. The Pro School's outpost sits along Highway 285 between the famous Brown's Canyon Wilderness Area and the towering 14,000 foot peaks of the Sawatch Range.

Activities include kayaking, rafting, inflatable kayaks, standup paddling, and more. At Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, you're invited to 'Choose Your Own Adventure' in their wonderful outdoor playground.

ACA Pro Schools are some of the best organizations across the country to find top quality ACA certified instruction. Current ACA members also receive discounts on certain Pro School instructional programs. 

To see a full list of ACA Pro Schools, click here

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Registration Now Open for ACA Collegiate Race Series National Championships

Attention all collegiate racers and coaches! Registration for this year's ACA Collegiate Race Series National Championships is now open. 

What's new for 2014?

  • SUP race (flatwater) for team points! 
  • Two kayak classes: 
    • K-1 Long Boat (9'-13'2")
    • K-1 Short Boat (9' and under)
  • Overall Team Winners have been divided into two categories:
    • Men's Championship
    • Women's Championship

Whether you have an experienced paddling program, or one that's just starting up, we hope you'll join us for this fun, team-building competition. Register online today.

Date: March 29-30, 2014
Location: Dillsboro, NC
Venues: Tuckaseegee River & Cedar Cliff Lake 

Please visit the Collegiate Race Series National Championships website for more info. See you in NC next weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Green Affiliate - Wind and Water Learning Center

The ACA is pleased to welcome our newest Green Affiliate, the City of Orange Beach Wind and Water Learning Center!

The Center provides on-water educational opportunities for the community including kayaking, canoeing, SUP, and sailing.

For more information, or to get out on the water with the newest ACA Green Affiliate, please visit

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Adaptive Paddling Summit

The first-ever ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit is coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 15-17, 2014!

The summit will feature top speakers from the industry, on-water adaptive equipment demonstrations, educational sessions, and so much more. 

Online registration opens in May! Learn more here

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Get Published in Rapid Media

Are you an ACA member with a story to tell? We'd like to feature your favorite adventure or trip in our ACA Rapid Media pages! This is a great opportunity to see your best paddling story in print.

Please submit all articles and accompanying photos to by March 25th at 8pm ET. We look forward to hearing from you!

Put a Sail on It!

The March issue of Canoe Sailor is hot off the press! Read it online here.  

Did you know that canoes have been used for sailing since before 1870? Check out the ACA's Canoe Sailing Committee for more info on how you can give this great sport a try!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

State Directors Can Make a Difference!

Do you feel as though the ACA is out of touch with the issues facing paddlers in your state?  If so, now is your chance to do something about it!

We are currently seeking members who are interested in volunteering as State Directors to bridge the gap between paddlers on the ground and the ACA.  

Learn more about our State Director Program and then complete an application to help the ACA be more effective in your state!  State Director applications will be accepted through April 15, 2014.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Announcing This Year's Club Fostered Stewardship Grant Winners

This year's Club Fostered Stewardship grant program (sponsored by L.L. Bean) has allowed us to award more than $10,000 to 21 different organizations across the country! 

Check out these awesome stewards: 
2014 CFS Grant Recipients

Interested in submitting an application in 2015? Learn more about this unique grant opportunity today!

New Kayak Fishing Excursion for 2014

Have you participated in one of the ACA's Members Only Backcountry Paddling Excursions yet? If so, then we don't need to tell you how much fun they are. For those who haven't taken advantage of this membership benefit yet, we hope you'll consider joining us for our NEW Kayak Fishing Excursion scheduled for this summer. 

This trip will take you to Sugar Island, Ontario and the famous West Brand of the Ausable River in upstate New York. During the 8-day excursion, you'll enjoy fly fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and even canoe sailing (if you're so inclined).

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

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New ACA Instructor Patches

Becoming an ACA Instructor, Instructor Trainer, or Instructor Trainer Educator is hard work. Wear your certification with pride with one of our all new custom, 3-color ACA patches

Order yours from the ACA eStore today.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mark Your Calendars!

Don't miss the 2014 Canoe Poling National Championships May 23-24 in New Portland, Maine. This is a great event for canoe polers of all abilities.

Get more info about the championships here. We hope to see you in May!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

State Director Application Announcement

Are you interested in helping the ACA focus its efforts in your state? This is your chance.

We are currently seeking volunteers for our new State Director Program. Online applications will be accepted starting tomorrow, March 14, through April 15, 2014. 

Please review the details of the State Director Program and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. We're always happy to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Announcing a Special Course for ACA Instructors

As part of the annual East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival, the Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission is hosting a special course for ACA Instructors. 

The Coaching Process with Todd Johnstone-Wright 
April 8-9, 2014
Register online

This course is designed to expose instructors, instructor trainers, and instructor trainer educators in all disciplines to core coaching competencies and behaviors that enhance long term paddler development by increasing efficiency, student motivation, and an individual's access to learning. 

While the CP course is based on current educational theory and best practice, at its core it's a fun, hands-on, collaborative experience designed to harness the talents of each participant. The CP course will cover the following coaching competencies:
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Observation and Analysis 
  • Purposeful Practice
  • Session Planning
  • The Role of Feedback
  • Developing Performance Assessments
  • Long Term Paddler Development
Prerequisites: This coaching course is appropriate for ACA Level 1-5 Instructors, Instructor Trainers, and Instructor Trainer Educators in any discipline. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are You Using This Free Service For Paddlers?

Even the most cautious and experienced boaters run into unexpected problems on the water. That's why the US Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters, paddlers included, take advantage of the FREE Vessel Safety Check program. 

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary offers non-law enforcement vessel safety checks to paddle crafts. There is no charge to these checks and you will not suffer any consequences if you don't pass. The only purpose is to keep you safe! 

Learn more about this life-saving service here, and request a vessel safety check today through this simple online form.

How does it work? A certified vessel examiner will come to you, and the inspection only takes 30-45 minutes. If you pass the examination, you'll receive a distinctive VSC decal to show off your safety smarts. 

The ACA would love to see more paddlers taking advantage of this free program. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

ACA Pro School Spotlight

Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission (CCPRC) offers a variety of canoeing, SUP, and kayaking skills classes and trips, including educational outings for beginners to expert paddlers. From day trips and weekend skills classes to certification courses, the ACA certified paddling instructors and trainers at CCPRC are always focused on safety and fun. 

Serving over 25,000 individuals of all ages and abilities annually, CCPRC's Outdoor Adventure Program is the first of its kind to be accredited by the Association for Experiential Education. CCPRC also brings you the East Coast Paddlesport & Outdoor Festival every April!

ACA Pro Schools are some of the best organizations across the country to find top quality ACA certified instruction. Current ACA members also receive discounts on certain Pro School instructional programs. 

To see a full list of ACA Pro Schools, click here

Friday, March 7, 2014

Announcing the New ACA State Director Program!

In an effort to better understand paddling issues across the country and help your local paddling community, the ACA is seeking members who are interested in volunteering for our brand new State Director Program.  

State Directors will help the ACA be more effective at the state level, whether it's through assistance with an educational activity, supporting an environmental action, or providing tools for a clean-up.

State Directors can also assist new or potential ACA members locally with things like finding paddling clubs or instruction, organizing a stewardship opportunity, or helping people contact the ACA if there is an issue that needs national attention.

The ACA will begin accepting applications for State Directors on March 14. In the meantime, please read about this important new volunteer program here:  State Director Program

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Congratulations to March Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Raphael Kuner!

Raphael is one of the ACA's most active Instructor Trainers and one of the most influential ACA representatives in Europe. Hailing from Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany, Raff (as his friends call him) began paddling canoes 25 years ago. 

Learn more about Raff's story...

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Original Paddlesport Artwork

Target Rock Kayaking

The original oil painting "Target Rock Kayaking" (above) was painted by the ACA's very own Office Manager, Cireena Katto. Cireena used a photo of a paddler on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA taken by SEI Coordinator, Kelsey Bracewell as a reference for the painting.  

Cireena also entered her painting "River Reflections" (below) in the Fredericksburg Fine Arts Exhibit last week, taking first place in the Oil Paints category and earning Best in Show. 

River Reflections
Prints of Cireena's paintings, as well as other custom artwork, is available in the ACA eStore.  

Support the ACA, sustain a local artist, AND get cool paddling-related artwork all with one purchase!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Keeping it Green with L.L.Bean

The ACA has had an overwhelming response to the L.L.Bean Club Fostered Stewardship (CFS) grant. We've received over 25 grant proposals this year! Thank you to everyone who applied. 

The 2014 application is now closed, but we'll be announcing the awarded CFS grants later this month. Stay tuned.

Yay, stewardship! 

Cowper Chadbourn & crew remove an abandoned boat from the Saline River in AR.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Trash Begone!

The clean-up this weekend in Fredericksburg was a huge success thanks to our wonderful volunteers. We'd like to say a big THANK YOU to all who came out and devoted their Saturday morning to the clean-up. You rock. Every single one of you. 

ACA volunteers trump trash.