Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here's a little something from our archives...

The ACA song from 1927:

Click image to enlarge

In the mood for a mini history lesson? Click here to learn about how the ACA made its beginnings as the nation's oldest paddlesports organization. 

Feeling nostalgic yet? Send us your vintage paddlesports photos so we can feature you in a future Throwback Thursday post!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Release From the ACA!

We've been working on this project all year, and we're so excited to present it to you today. 

Please take a look at the ACA's two new animated videos!

More than ever before, people are choosing paddlesports as a way to keep physically fit, experience adventure, and spend time with family and friends in the great outdoors. With the influx of novice paddlers on all types of waterways comes an increased risk of injuries and deaths. Canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards were responsible for 20% of all boating casualties last year (US Coast Guard 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics). 

The videos are a new addition to the ACA's ongoing National Safe Boating Campaign serving the 50+ million Americans who participate in paddlesports annually.

We believe the messages contained in these videos have the power to save lives. But we need your help getting the word out! Please feel free to copy this link and: 
  • Email it to your family and friends
  • Share it on your social media accounts
  • Post it to your website or blog

We'd like to thank the talented team at Anzovin Studio for making our vision come to life. And a special shout out to the U.S. Coast Guard for providing the grant funds to make this project possible. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Much Do You Care About Waterways & Wildlife?

Picture this. It's a beautiful summer day, and you're enjoying a leisurely flatwater paddle. While admiring the placid waters, you catch sight of a single-use plastic water bottle floating on the water's surface. What do you do? 

If you have one of these, the decision is easy:

Join the ACA's Stream to Sea Initiative today and help stop marine debris once and for all. 

Click image to enlarge

Monday, July 28, 2014

The ACA Event of the Year

Have you registered for the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit yet? Sign up before July 31st to get the early bird rate! 

Click poster to enlarge
More than 60 adaptive sports and recreation organizations have already signed up to join us in Grand Rapids this fall. 

Continuing Education Units from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA CEUs) are available.

Register today!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brand New ACA SUP Yoga Program

After two years of curriculum development, the new ACA SUP Yoga endorsement is finally here!  

To learn more, please visit

Namaste, paddle people. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Message in a Plastic Bottle

The following blog post was written by Ken Campbell, co-founder of the Ikkatsu Project, an effort dedicated to exploration, education, and advocacy in the service of the ocean. Ken has authored several books on kayaking and is a frequent contributor to print and online magazines on subjects relating to the outdoors and the environment.

On May 17, I made landfall in Bellingham, Washington, completing the 150-mile journey of the Hyas yiem, a kayak that I constructed out of discarded single-use plastic bottles. This improbable voyage was made in effort to help raise awareness about the proliferation of single-use plastics and the effect they have on our marine environment. Along the way, I was able to participate in several beach clean-ups and gave presentations that focused on the effects that plastic is having in the world's oceans, as well as the impacts it has in Puget Sound.

I began in Olympia, WA, on April 12, and worked steadily northward over the following month, paddling mainly on the weekends. By setting up the expedition schedule in this way, I was able to meet more people out on the beach during busier times and had the chance to get involved in more clean-up efforts.

Conditions were typical for a Northwest spring: rain, wind, sun and calm, and everything in between. The kayak handled surprisingly well and although it didn't move very quickly, it handled the wind, waves, and the current nicely. Early morning was one of my favorite times to get on the water, especially on the days when the sunrise seemed to paint the sky in vast sweeps of brilliant colors, bringing on a blue-sky day.

Hyas yiem is a Chinook term that translates as "telling a tale," a name chosen for several different reasons. There is a melody in it that reminds us of the history that has taken place here in Puget Sound, and the different peoples that have called this place home. As a language, Chinook was used to bridge different cultures; it was often used in trade and discussions between people who otherwise would have not been able to communicate. The environmental issues I was addressing on this trip are realities that affect all of us, regardless of who we are, and we need to find a way to be able to talk about them that makes more sense.

In addition to the other aspects of the journey, I collected water samples at regular intervals along the route that will be used as part of an ongoing worldwide microplastics study. Presentations were made to several different schools before I started on the trip and I also was able to work with the kids from the Chief Kitsap Academy on the Suquamish reservation. There is a very real interest in the science that needs to be done with regard to the health of the ocean and it is encouraging to see the youth become engaged.

Please visit for more information on Ken's work. You can also follow him on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making Change Happen

Photo credit: Chicago Post Tribune
The ACA National Office exists to serve paddlers like you, all across the country! Please don't hesitate to contact us when you need support for public policy and stewardship issues in your area such as clean water initiatives, educational programs, improved access to paddlesports, and safety concerns. Together, we can make the world a better place to paddle.

Recently, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA) asked us to support their petition for the development of a water trail along the Little Calumet River and the enhanced management of its green corridor by the National Park Service. We were glad to provide this letter on their behalf. 

Every day, ACA staff, Paddle America Clubs, and volunteers are working to advocate for paddlers across the globe. Are you passionate about a local paddlesports issue? Tell us about it today so we can work together to affect positive change in your community.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New ACA Water Trail Directory is Better Than Ever

The ACA Recommended Water Trail Directory is the most complete database of its kind, featuring almost all of the water trails in the United States. Use it to obtain more information about the water trails in your state, or in the state where you are planning your next paddling trip!

The value of this directory goes beyond simply offering a comprehensive listing. We use this tool to assist groups in establishing their own water trails, helping to not only increase waterway access, but to also protect important environmental resources. 

It is now easier than ever to view the directory and also submit your own water trails. Check out the new and improved ACA Water Trails directory today. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

In Case You Need Another Reason to Buy Werner...

(click image to enlarge)

When you purchase a Werner paddle, you are helping to support the ACA's efforts to clean up our nation's waterways.

We are proud to be a partner in Werner's Healthy Waters program. Click here to learn more! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Early Bird Registration Deadline for Adaptive Paddling Summit

Have you registered for the Adaptive Paddling Summit yet? There's still time to take advantage of Early Bird Registration! Act fast, because you only have until July 31st to get the reduced rate. 

The ACA's first-ever Adaptive Paddling Summit will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 15-17, 2014. Please review the Registration Packet and Schedule for more information.

Click here to sign up today!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Community Responsibility

In addition to promoting paddlesports Education, Stewardship, Exploration, and Competition, the ACA is dedicated to improving the communities we live and paddle in. 

To promote community responsibility across the country, the ACA National Office engages in the following for Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the surrounding area:

  • Received grant funding to place a free life jacket loaner board at Mott's Run Reservoir
  • Trains local canoeists and kayakers in swiftwater rescue techniques on the Rappahannock River
  • Provides hands-on canoe training for the Friends of the Rappahannock volunteer trip leaders
  • Sponsoring organization of RiverFest, the primary fundraiser each year for the Rappahannock River Watershed
  • And more
Whether you are an ACA member, Paddle America Club, Pro School, or Instructor, please consider how you can make a positive difference in your immediate community. And never hesitate to reach out to us for support!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fun in Ohio!

Southwest Ohio's Three Eyed Fish Adventures is the premier canoe and kayak outfitter on the 30-mile East Fork of the Little Miami River. Just minutes away from East Fork Lake State Park, the area is a popular vacation destination for canoeing, kayaking, camping, boating, horseback riding, bicycling, and fishing.

Three Eyed Fish Adventures is a new ACA Outfitter, Livery, and Guide member! Check them out today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Solution Starts Now, With You

Join the ACA's Stream to Sea Initiative today, and stop marine debris where it starts. 

Want to get involved? Buy a Paddle Green Bag and use our online Track Trash form every time you paddle!

Together, we can clean up the future. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Congratulations to July Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Omar Ramos!

Omar Ramos is an ACA SUP and Coastal Kayak Instructor from Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Introduced to paddling at the young age of 7, he has been hooked on the sport ever since!

Click here to learn more about Omar.

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as the next Instructor of the Month? Submit a nomination here

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Camp Cup is Coming Up!

The annual Camp Cup Challenge will take place July 14-15 on the Nantahala River in NC! This fantastic event is a way for young paddlers to network and be exposed to slalom and downriver racing. 

Highlights to this year's Camp Cup:

  • It's FREE! Thanks to sponsors (including camps, the NOC, Endless Rivers, and the ACA)
  • Awesome guest coaches will help your campers take their paddling to the next level!
  • An ice cream social at Endless River Adventures on Monday night
Click here to register and view the full schedule. See you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

W.O.W. Fest!

Come out to Gilbert Lake State Park for the W.O.W. Paddle Fest on July 18-20, 2014. This FREE event will focus on paddling skills, safety, and fun for the whole family!

Please see the flyer below for more details. We look forward to seeing you there!

(Click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Top 3 Reasons Your Pup Needs a PFD, Too!

This post is brought to you by Maria Schultz, ACA SUP Instructor and author of How to SUP With Your PUP. She offers SUP classes in Fredericksburg, VA, for humans and their fur babies. To sign up for a class, or if you have questions for Maria, please connect with her on Facebook.

Maria and her SUP pups, Kona and Riley. (Photo cred: Maria Christina Schultz.)
I've heard it so many times, "Dogs don't need life jackets... All dogs can swim!" I'm here to tell you, this is simply not true. While most dogs are good swimmers, some aren't as comfortable in the water as others. Certain breeds, like huskies for instance, prefer to stay as far away from water as possible. As an ACA SUP instructor and dog lover, I recommend that all dogs wear personal flotation devices, or PFDs, on the water. Let me try and convince you why!

(Photo cred: Maria Christina Schultz.)
Here are 3 good reasons your pup needs a PFD as much as you do:
  1. Dogs that love the water may exhaust themselves before they realize they are too tired to swim back to you. If you have a lab, you probably already know this. Some dogs just don't know when to stop! A doggie PFD will help a tired pup get back to shore.
  2. If you get separated from your dog while on the water, a brightly colored PFD will help you and other boaters spot him. On a windy day, or on a river with current, you'd be surprised at hwo fast you can get separated from your dog and your boat. The PFD will give you some extra peace of mind, and the ability to see your dog from a farther distance.
  3. If your dogs falls overboard, getting him back on board by using the handle on the life jacket makes lifting him a whole lot easier. Whether it's a paddleboard, a kayak, or a canoe, the handle on your dog's life jacket is the easiest and safest way to get your dog back on board. 
Water sports are a great way to bond with your dog. Be safe out there with your pups, and we'll see you on the water!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Add to Bucket List: SUP in Tahiti!

Watch ACA SUP Instructor Trainer Jimmy Blakeney and ACA SUP Instructor Nikki Gregg enjoy some amazing waves in Tahiti!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Holy Cow Canoe Company!

Please join us in welcoming our newest ACA Outfitter, Livery, and Guide member, the Holy Cow Canoe Company

Located in Ontario, Canada, the Holy Cow Canoe Company believes that "our standards should never be limited to just the canoes we craft, but should always consider the memories they are designed to build." 

Holy Cow Canoe manufactures light weight composite recreational canoes and kayaks. Check them out here

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

From all of us at the ACA, we hope you have a fantastic holiday! 

If you're getting out on the water this weekend, please make safety your #1 priority. The safer you are, the more fun you can have, and we want you to have as much fun as humanly possible!

Check out these top 10 helpful tips to keep you and your family safe on the water.

Paddle on! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer 2014 Talking Trash

The 2014 Summer issue of Talking Trash is out! This quarterly electronic newsletter comes straight to you from the ACA Stewardship Department. Our goal is to keep you in-the-know about the latest environmental issues affecting paddlers all over the country. 

Read the newest issue here

Do you want to bring attention to a stewardship issue affecting paddlers in your community? Tell us all about it! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In the Market for a New Ride?

A Subaru will carry you all over the nation...

through all kinds of weather... you can do what you love.

Did you know?  Your ACA membership gets you a discount a new Subaru vehicle!  Take advantage of this unique member benefit today. 

Paddle on, paddlers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adirondack Canoe Symposium

The 2014 Adirondack Canoe Symposium will be held July 13 - July 18 on scenic Wolf Pond in Ray Brook, New York. Come out and enjoy six full days of instruction, activities, and fun on the water!

The Canoe Symposium is a relaxed vacation opportunity for paddlers and their non-paddling families. 

Learn more about the Symposium here