Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Put Your Purchasing Power Toward Paddlesports

Amazon Smile is the same Amazon site you know, with one difference--it donates a portion of proceeds to the charity of your choice. 

The ACA is registered through the site, so all you have to do is start shopping from this link and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the ACA. We recommend bookmarking the above link so you can easily access it every time you need to make an Amazon purchase. 

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. Thank you for your continued support! 

How to SUP With Your Pup

Written by ACA certified SUP Instructor, Maria Schultz, this book reinforces a simple truth: "It's not how far or how fast you go, it's the company you keep that makes the adventure special."

How to SUP With Your Pup: A Guide to Standup Paddleboarding With Your Dog is a must-read for paddlers with four-legged companions. With a focus on safety, Maria lays out everything you'll need to start paddling with your pooch this summer! 

Get your copy from the ACA eStore today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 River Rescue Rodeo

Take note: this year's River Rescue Rodeo will take place September 28, 2014, on the Tuckaseegee River in NC. 

Teams will have the chance to compete in river rescue events for over $1,000 worth of prizes.

Get more info and register today! 

Shout Out to Rommel Outdoors!

Rommel Outdoors started in 2011 in Seaford, DE, and has quickly become the foremost distributor and retailer of outdoor recreational products on the East Coast. Their retail location is now in Cambridge, MD, and their wholesale division distributes the following: Emotion Kayaks, Malone Car Racks, MTI Life Jackets, Yak Gear & Rail Blaza, and many others from NY to NC.

Rommel Outdoors is also one of the region's leading organizations for community outreach events involving outdoor recreational activities. Their partners include: Leave No Trace, Freedom to Float, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, DE State Parks, MD State Parks, and now the ACA!

Please visit to learn more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Grant Update: Going the Distance for Paddlesports Education

This post comes straight to you from T.J. Turner, ACA Paddlesports Training Grant Coordinator. T.J. is currently managing a U.S. Coast Guard-funded grant focused on increasing high-quality ACA certified paddlesport instruction across the United States.
ACA IT Michael Shugg demonstrates proper boat fit for his class in AL.
Since the launch of the "Expansion of On-Water Paddlesport Instruction" grant project in September 2013, we have worked in Hawaii, Oregon, California, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Puerto Rico. To date, more than 55 new instructors have been certified, and we're only halfway through the grant!

All the instructor candidates have diverse backgrounds and deep connections within their communities, allowing the ACA to increase its outreach. So far, we've had the opportunity to work with the education and community outreach departments for the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Hawaii, the Alabama Marine Police, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Florida Wildlife Commission, the Clackamas Sheriff Marine Division in Oregon, various schools and educational facilities in each state, and we've made a lasting impression in Puerto Rico.
Instructor candidates living it up paddling in the heart of San Juan, PR!
Instructor candidates will be able to take what they've learned during the grant courses and immediately incorporate it into their curriculums. For example, the law enforcement groups who participate in boater education now have more tools and paddlesport knowledge to use when dealing with human-powered vessels. The law enforcement and nonprofit groups can begin to offer Smart Start and Paddlesmart programs in a more effective manner to large groups. The camp staff now have new ways to reach out to the community to share the ACA mission with young paddlers.

We are currently scheduled to have all the grant courses completed by June 13, 2014--way ahead of the September 30, 2014, grant deadline. 

Many thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for making it all possible, and to all the instructor trainers and instructor trainer educators that conducted these courses as well as the course hosts for their hospitality!
ACA ITE Sam Drevo demonstrates proper boat fit near the Clackamas River.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Are You Going to CKS Paddlefest?

This year's CKS Paddlefest is going to be the best yet! From May 23-26th, paddlers from all over the country will gather in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado, for an action-packed weekend full of outdoor fun. Will we see you there?

The ACA is thrilled to be one of the sponsors of this event. Please stop by our booth to say hi!

ACA Pro School Spotlight

NaturPur is situated in Austria near Vienna. They offer skills development classes for beginner through advanced paddlers, as well as ACA Instructor and Trainer certifications in Sea Kayak or Canoe. 

Whether you want to spend an afternoon in the Danube National Park, take an educational course, or go on a multi-day trip, NaturPur will lead the way! The pro school also lends out state-of-the-art equipment like wenonah canoes or current design kayaks.

ACA Pro Schools are some of the best organizations in the world 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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Paddling for Mental Health Awareness Month

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the ACA is collaborating with Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) and Recovery in Motion (RIM) for a day of wellness on the water! The event, ACA FOR RIM, will take place on May 2nd, 2014. 

ACA for RIM will give individuals with mental health challenges an opportunity to learn about the Rappahannock River ecosystem, marine debris removal and river safety. Participants will meet at City Dock, be transported by FOR to Old Mill Park, and then canoe back to City Dock. 

For more information, please visit our event calendar. We are thrilled to partner with FOR and RIM for this important cause. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

The 34th Annual Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race

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
WhereFredericksburg, VA (Old Mill Park)

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

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Go Wild

April 19-27th is National Park Week!

Did you know that with over 401 parks coast to coast, most Americans are less than 100 miles from a national park experience? Plus, all park entry fees will be waived this weekend (April 19-20), so there's no excuse to stay indoors.

Happy paddling!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friends Don't Let Friends Paddle Without a Lifejacket

The Sea Tow Foundation has selected the ACA as one of their life jacket loaner stand hosts for 2014! 

Located at Motts Run Reservoir in Fredericksburg, VA, our new life jacket loaner stand joins more than 200 other stands already established around the country by the Sea Tow Foundation. 

Please visit www.boating to find the loaner stand nearest you!

Fast fact: 85% of all fatal boating accident victims were not wearing a life jacket.

Don't be a victim. Wear your life jacket and make your friends do the same.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ACA Pro School Spotlight

Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures provides comprehensive sea and surf kayaking instruction and assessments, paddle board instruction, guided tours, environmental education, and team building programs.

The pro school also offers kayak and paddle board rentals and sales, as well as unique adventure trips along coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the Caribbean. 

Visit for more information today!

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paddle Green: French Broad River Clean-Up!

The annual French Broad River Clean-Up will take place in Rosman, North Carolina on May 17th, 2014. It's a fun and rewarding day on the water disguised as a volunteer gig!

Clean-up volunteers will receive:
  • Paddles, lifejackets, & all other equipment you'll need
  • A free canoe ride down the river
  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch
  • As many garbage bags as you can fill!
Bring your friends, and make new ones on the water. Register for the French Broad River Clean-Up today! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

State Director Application Deadline is TODAY!

Race to Submit your State Director Application!

Today is the final day to submit an application for a volunteer State Director position.

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

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.

If you are interested in assisting the ACA increase its effectiveness in your state, please consider applying as a State Director by close of business today!

Monday, April 14, 2014

ACA Pro School Highlight

REI Outdoor School provides outdoor enthusiasts with beginner to advanced level classes and outings in a variety of activities. 

Learn something new, or choose to improve your skills in an area you already enjoy! The experts at REI Outdoor School teach classes in outdoor fitness, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, SUP, navigation, snowshoeing, road cycling, camping, skiing, wilderness medicine, and more. Equipment and fun included.

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, April 12, 2014

Boating Survey Data Released

The U.S. Coast Guard has just released their 2012 National Recreational Boating Survey.  

This includes participation data on canoes and kayaks.

Read the report at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Great New Benefit For Kayak Fishing Clubs!

Are you a kayaking group or organization with a fishing component? Your group may be eligible to participate in the ACA insurance program as a Paddle America Club or an Affiliate Organization! 

Learn more about the ACA Kayak Fishing Insurance Program today.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the ACA Insurance Department.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit Coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan, This Fall

The ACA will host its inaugural Adaptive Paddling Summit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 15-17, 2014. 

Paddling enthusiasts from all over the globe are invited to attend the summit to refine best practices, network, learn, and have fun!

Registration will be available on the ACA website beginning May 1st, 2014. 

The event is sponsored by Subaru, Rapid Media, Disabled Sports USA, and West Michigan Sports Commission. If you have any questions about the Adaptive Paddling Summit, please contact ACA Education and Outreach Coordinator, Joe Moore.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The State Director Application Deadline is April 15th!

If you've been meaning to submit an application for your state's volunteer State Director position, don't delay much longer.

If you would like to be directly involved in promoting paddlesports and the ACA in your state, don't miss your opportunity to apply as a State Director.  

Complete your State Director application online before the April 15th deadline.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Outfitter, Livery, or Guide? Read this

Like our other membership categories, the ACA Outfitter, Livery, and Guide membership comes with its own set of benefits. Some of these include:

  • INSURANCE - You'll get access to a broad selection of exclusive insurance products, all at a special rate.
  • PROMOTION - All outfitter, livery and guide members receive recognition across the ACA's different social media networks, Water Blog, and Journal of Paddlesport Education monthly enewsletter.
  • RAPID MEDIA SUBSCRIPTION - You'll get a free 1-year subscription to each of the 4 Rapid Media magazine titles. 
Visit our website to read about all the benefits to this newest type of membership, and please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Level 4: Advanced Whitewater SUP Instructor Certification Exam (ICE)

The 1st Level 4: Advanced Whitewater SUP ICE will be held at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC, April 24-25, 2014.

Come join us for this inaugural course, and stay for the Tuck Fest over the weekend!

Hope to see you there!

For more information, check out the ACA calendar or contact Trey Knight at

New Spring Stuff in the ACA eStore!

We've got brand new hats and retro t-shirts in the ACA eStore. If you're in the mood to sport some ACA apparel, grab these items before they're gone!

The new ACA cap is lightweight and moisture-wicking.

More retro t-shirt styles available in the estore.

Don't forget to log in to receive your member discount.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Congratulations to April Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Grier Fricks!

Grier began her paddling career as a raft guide at the Natahala Outdoor Center (NOC), guiding commercial raft trips on the French Broad River. Since that time, she has relocated to Kane'ohe Bay, Hawaii, where she works at Holokai Kayak & Snorkel.

Learn more about Grier'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

Friday, April 4, 2014

See The World's Best Paddling Films

The RPFF World Tour is an international film tour screening in 110 cities. At its first showing in Toronto in March, the 9th annual RPFF drew the largest premiere audience in festival history. 

Click here for a list of this year's award-winning films, and be sure to attend the RPFF at our ACA Paddle Green Event in June!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Become an ACA State Director

ACA members who are truly passionate about our mission for paddlesports now have an opportunity to apply for a State Director volunteer position. This is your chance to make a positive difference for paddlers in your state!

Applications will be accepted through April 15th.

Details can be found here: State Director Program

We look forward to reviewing your application!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Great Way to Strengthen Your ACA Instructor Skills

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. 

The Best Use of 1980's Nostalgia Ever

With their new advertising campaign, Maritime New Zealand channels the decade of mullets and acid wash jeans to make an important statement about lifejackets. 

The ad features two American police officers, Brandon Reynolds and Joe Lyons, in the midst of a bust on the docks. Comparing lifejackets to bullet-proof vests, we think the ad succeeds in all its Starsky and Hutch-like glory. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

River City Challenge & Eco Fest!

Come out and enjoy Jacksonville's annual environmental music festival and paddlesports race on May 17, 2014! We're excited to be sponsoring this awesome event

Enjoy a day of FREE family-friendly entertainment, including:
  • National recording artists
  • Interactive KidZone
  • Vendor market
  • Newly added Eco-Village
  • Awesome local food from a variety of Jacksonville food trucks 
  • Tasty libations from Sweetwater Brewing Co.
Learn more about River City Challenge & Eco Fest here. We hope to see you in Jacksonville!