Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SUP Leashes & Lifejackets

Today at the SUPIA Summit in Dana Point, California, ACA Chief Operating Officer Chris Stec will be debuting the ACA's new PSA: SUP Leashes & Lifejackets. 

Filmed by Nat Geo TV videographer, Corey Robinson, the video stars ACA staff members T.J. Turner, Kelsey Bracewell, and Chris Stec. 

Stay tuned for the video's official release on Monday, October 6th! 

We would like to thank the National Safe Boating Council for providing the ACA with a grant to produce this PSA.

Monday, September 29, 2014

In Case You Missed It: New Animated Canoe/Kayak & SUP Videos!

Whether kayaking on a lake, rafting down a river, stand up paddleboarding in the ocean, or canoeing down a stream, millions of Americans participate in paddlesports each year. 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 involved in nearly 20% of all boating casualties last year (U.S. Coast Guard 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics). The ACA, with funding from the U.S. Coast Guard, partnered with Anzovin Studio to create the following two animated videos with the goal of educating and empowering paddlers to take responsibility for their safety on the water. 

SUP video:

Canoe/Kayak video: 

Please share these videos with your family and friends to spread the message of safe boating and help us reduce the number of paddling-related fatalities.

Friday, September 26, 2014

PFDs Just Got Simpler

For the last several years, the U.S. Coast Guard has been working to redesign the labeling for personal flotation devices to more effectively convey safety information. The current proposal removes type codes, aka Type I, II, III, IV and V, in regulations on the carriage and labeling of Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices.

PFD type codes are unique to Coast Guard approval and are not well understood by the public. Removing these type codes from the regulations would facilitate future incorporation by reference of new industry consensus standards for PFD labeling that will more effectively convey safety information and is a step toward harmonization of our regulations with PFD requirements in Canada and in other countries.

As of September 22, 2014, a final rule was issued to remove PFD Type codes in federal regulations. Under these amendments, the number and kind of PFDs required to be carried on a vessel will not change, but the terminology used to refer to approved PFDs will. This final rule is effective Oct. 22, 2014. 

What does this mean for the paddling community? 

Over time, the terminology of Type I, II, III, IV and V will no longer appear on lifejacket labels and in literature. Once the new standard wording or icons for lifejackets are finalized, instructors and clubs will then need to share this updated information with the public.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Design a Life Jacket to Win 10k

The BoatUS Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition is your chance to create the life jacket of your dreams! Unconventional designs are encouraged, and participants can submit either a theoretical design or a working prototype. 

All entries are due by April 15, 2015. The top prize is $10,000. More info on the competition here

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are You Up For a Challenge?

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This is your chance to explore, understand, and help protect Lake Superior! 

On September 26-27th, join UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, the ACA, and several other non-profit service organizations for a beach cleanup, equipment demo, 20-mile paddlesport downwind challenge, and one SUP buoy course race. 

It's going to be a blast! Learn more at www.umdrsop.org/dpsr

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The New Paddle Ready App is Here!

What's so great about the ACA's new Paddle Ready app?

  • Complete a float plan and email it to your friends
  • Get real-time river forecasting (surf and tidal coming soon!)
  • Have paddle safety checklists for various paddling environments at your fingertips
  • Watch the Safety and Rescue Videos to keep your knowledge current
  • Learn paddling signs and signals and navigational rules
  • and more!
For those who are new to the sport, the app also makes it super easy to connect with local ACA-certified instructors and get involved with the paddlesports community at both a state and national level. 

Paddle Ready is FREE on Google Play and the App Store!

Download it today and please tell us what you think!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Werner Paddles Partners With the ACA

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Werner Paddles is committed to promoting access to rivers, lakes, streams, and ocean paddling. Every time you purchase a new Werner paddle, you are directly enhancing the ACA's efforts to advocate for clean water and increase waterway access nationwide. It's called the Werner Healthy Waters program, and it's an easy way to make a difference with your paddle purchase.

Learn more today.

Friday, September 19, 2014

New ACA SUP Yoga Program

Throughout 2013 and 2014, the ACA SUP Yoga Advisory Workgroup, a volunteer sub-committee of the ACA's SUP Discipline Committee, worked on developing a SUP Yoga program that would be nationally recognized. 

This two-year curriculum development process culminated with thirteen SUP Yoga experts participating in a facilitated two-day workshop in Maitland, FL. The curriculum was then vetted by the SUP Discipline Committee, the Safety Education & Instruction Council, and then approved by the Board of Directors.

Needless to say, the program was developed by experts in the new discipline of SUP Yoga, and it's awesome! 

To learn more, please visit www.americancanoe.org/SUPYoga.

Also don't miss this upcoming SUP Yoga Endorsement in Jacksonville, Florida!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

New ACA App!

We are thrilled to introduce the brand new Paddle Ready app, free on the App Store and Google Play!
  • Complete a float plan and email it to your friends. 
  • Find an ACA Instructor or Course near you. 
  • Get real-time environmental coverage plus weather conditions for various paddling environments, and save your favorite paddling routes for quick reference. 
  • Search for Boating Organizations and Offices by state. 
  • Have Paddle Safety Checklists for various paddling environments at your fingertips. 
  • Use the Safety and Rescue How-to Videos to keep your knowledge current. 
  • And more...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Adaptive Paddling Summit - Day 3!

This morning, everyone is gathered at the rock quarry at Millenium Park, just outside of Grand Rapids. The final day of the Adaptive Paddling Summit will consist of three presentations, followed by open boating sessions all afternoon. 

Stay tuned to facebook and twitter for pictures and updates throughout the day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Volunteer of the Year - Ivan Bartha!

"In reality, I have been lucky as a professional outdoor educator which is largely due to the people who have taken the time to help me be a better paddler and instructor. There is no way I can take any credit without thanking the IT's & ITE's who have taken me on as a student, assistant or co-instructor.” --Ivan Bartha 

Over the past year, Ivan Bartha has set the bar for what it means to volunteer on behalf of the ACA and paddlesports. It was an honor to present him with the prestigious Joe Pina Volunteer of the Year award at this year's ACA National Awards ceremony. 

Thank you, Ivan, for always going the extra mile for the ACA and paddlesports. And congratulations on your award!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Excellence in Instruction Award - Marcel Bieg

Last night at our Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony, the ACA presented Marcel Bieg with the 2014 Excellence in Instruction Award for his outstanding contribution to paddlesports education and instruction.

Marcel is currently a very active paddlesports Instructor in four different ACA disciplines. In addition, he recently received the Adaptive Paddling Endorsement. 

Over the past two years, Marcel has volunteered a significant amount of his time, energy, and expertise to lead the SEIC’s Rafting Discipline Committee in a complete overhaul of the entire ACA Rafting program. Besides updating the curriculum, Marcel was also instrumental in organizing and leading the roll out of the revised ACA program at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC, as well as mentoring other Rafting Trainers on the west coast.

Read more about Marcel's accomplishments here

Friday, September 12, 2014

State Director Executive Council Nominations - Now Open

The new ACA State Director Program is designed to improve communication between paddlers and the ACA. The State Directors help the ACA increase its effectiveness at the state and local level through numerous Education, Stewardship, Exploration, and Competition initiatives. Each State Director will be supported by an Executive Council in these efforts.

Nominations are currently being accepted for State Executive Council positions. If you would like to help the ACA increase its connection with paddlers at a state and local level, please feel free to nominate yourself, or nominate someone else who you feel would be a good fit. 

Nominations will be accepted until September 19, 2014. Elections will follow in October. 

Check your email for the link to your state's specific nomination form. 

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Ellis, ACA State Director Coordinator, at aellis@americancanoe.org.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Honoring & Remembering

Today, the ACA pauses to honor and remember the nearly 3,000 victims who tragically lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks 13 years ago. 

To all those who lost loved ones, our thoughts are with you today.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New ACA Staff Member

Please join us in welcoming Zane Havens to the ACA National Office Staff.

Zane is excited to join the ACA staff, as canoeing is a big part of his heritage. Several members of Zane’s family have been Olympic canoeists, and his great-uncle Frank is the only American to win an Olympic gold medal in solo sprint canoeing. 

Zane was raised in Michigan. He graduated Cum Laude from Albion College in Michigan with a degree in Earth Science, a minor in GIS, and a concentration in Environmental Science. At Albion College, Zane was Captain of the Swim and Dive Team, President of the Albion College Canoe Club, and National Collegiate Canoeing Champion.

After obtaining his degree from Albion College, Zane worked as a Hydrologist and GIS Technician for the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado, where he studied the surface and groundwater hydrology of the North Fruita Desert. Zane left Colorado and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to train as a crew member for the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Worldwide Voyage, a program that will take the famous Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a around the world to promote the preservation and celebration of traditional Polynesian culture, as well as environmental consciousness. He looks forward to participating in one of the legs on the 3 year voyage. 

Zane is an avid canoeist and triathlete, having won numerous National Championships in ACA Whitewater/Downriver competition and placing first at the Outdoorsman Triathlon, the nation’s oldest continuing triathlon. In addition, Zane has been awarded both the Carnegie Hero Award and the Red Cross Certificate of Merit for his role in saving the lives of a couple caught in a rip tide in Hawaii. Zane is enthusiastic about working for the ACA and promoting stewardship of America's waterways.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Paddling Season Isn't Over Yet...

The North Carolina Paddle Festival is happening September 18-21. Come out and enjoy a day of fun for the whole family, including:
  • Paddle tours, workshops, and demos
  • Pirate Paddle and Mullet Cup races
  • Kayak and paddleboard vendors 
  • Reel Paddling Film Festival 
  • Build-a-Boat Challenge for Kids
  • Duckling Float- kids will get to paddle a kayak!
  • and more
Register today and we'll see you there!

Legend of Paddling Award - Harry Rock

Please join us in congratulating Harry Rock, winner of the 2014 Legend of Paddling Award!

Learn more about Harry's lifelong contributions to paddlesports here

Each year, as part of the ACA Annual Banquet, a series of prestigious national awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exemplary leadership, service, and dedication to paddlesports. 

This year's Annual Banquet will be held as the kick-off event to the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit in September 2014! We hope to see you there. 

Stay tuned as we announce more winners of the 2014 ACA National Awards in the coming weeks.

Monday, September 8, 2014

CCPRC Adaptive Recreation Expo!

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Mark your calendars! September 28, from noon-5pm, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission will host an Adaptive Recreation Expo at James Island County Park. 

Sponsored by the ACA, the event will include adaptive kayaking, canoeing, and SUP. And there will be so much more... archery, boccia, yoga, climbing, nature excursions, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair dance demonstrations. Come out and enjoy a day full of exciting outdoor recreation adapted for individuals with physical disabilities. 

Register with Course # 34871 by calling 843.795-4386. We hope to see you there!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


The latest issue of Canoe Sailor is out! You can 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!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kayaking 417 Miles Down America's Most Endangered River

CNN Journalist John D. Sutter spent three weeks trying to kayak (and walk) down the "most endangered" river in America, California's San Joaquin.

“'Most people are on the world, not in it,' wrote John Muir, the famous naturalist who traveled the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada and whose journals I would carry with me down the San Joaquin.

I think this notion of being disconnected from the natural world is especially pronounced when it comes to rivers.

We see them when we zip by on highways, maybe. Or when we fly over them. But we don’t spend time with them -- don’t know where they start or where they go. We sure don’t Huck-Finn them these days.

I’m as guilty of this modern river blindness as anyone.

But I wanted to change. I wanted to get 'in' this river.

I just didn’t realize quite what that would mean..."

Photo credit John D. Sutter 

Click over to read Sutter's entire account of his journey on cnn.com.

Photo credit John D. Sutter 

ACA Staff Changes

Rachel Vetterlein
For the past four years full time, and who knows how many summers during high school and college, Rachel has been the voice on the other end of the phone answering your membership questions. Over her tenure at the ACA, our customer service timeframes via phone and email continued to improve, and there were major upgrades to the membership database including online integration.  Her breadth of knowledge of all things ACA was significant and her attention to customer service detail was superb.
Greg Rolf
For the past two years, Greg has served in the role of the ACA Stewardship Coordinator.  The Stewardship Department is responsible for the Stream to Sea Initiative, reusable Paddle Green Bags, and the Water Trail Database.  In addition, the department manages the CFS Grant program with L.L.Bean and secured a new stewardship grant from Keep America Beautiful.  The ACA would like to thank Greg for his tireless efforts to make the world a cleaner place to paddle.
On behalf of the entire ACA family, we wish Rachel & Greg all the best in their respective future endeavors.

Congratulations to September Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Jim Sullivan!

Jim Sullivan has been paddling for about as long as he has been able to walk. Throughout his career, he has compiled an impressive resume of canoeing and kayaking experience along with several ACA certifications. 

Most recently, Jim has been working with First Descents, an outdoor adventure program for young adult cancer patients. 

“It is amazing to see the impact that kayaking has on their lives. Every one of their smiles seems so important, so full of life." 
-Jim Sullivan, ACA Instructor 

Read more about Jim and his commitment to paddlesports here

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Tire-Less James River Cleanup

Help is needed to remove tires--and only tires--from the James River during the second annual Tire-Less James Event.

Find more information about this cleanup on the ACA calendar, and sign up your team to remove tires from a section of the James!

Tires are being recycled through Bridgestone America's Tires4Ward Program.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Today is the 50th anniversary of Wilderness Act! Since the act's inception on September 3, 1964, Congress has added over 100 million acres to this unique land preservation system. 

The Wilderness Act defines "wilderness" as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain. 

The congressionally designated wildlands of this country have been entrusted to the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and the National Park Service. All of these agencies strive to meet the challenge of managing the American legacy of wilderness for the use and enjoyment of the people today and in the future. 

Learn more at www.wilderness.net/quiz

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

SEIC - Now Accepting Nominations

The ACA Safety Education and Instruction Council's (SEIC) mission is to develop and implement effective paddlesports safety, education, and instructional programs and materials that inform, train, and serve the public at all skill levels and in all aspects of paddlesports. The SEIC also represents the interests of ACA National Discipline Committees to the ACA National Board of Directors.

​The SEIC is coordinated by an Executive Committee that is comprised of four officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair, and Secretary. ​Nominations are currently being accepted for the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary positions. ACA Instructors are eligible to run for the Vice Chair and Secretary positions, while ACA Instructor Trainers and/or Educators are eligible to run for the Chair position.

​For additional details about the SEIC, please visit: www.americancanoe.org/SEIC

​If you are interested in serving as an officer in this important council, please contact Past Chair of the SEIC, Robin Pope (robinpope3@hotmail.com) by Monday, September 8th.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Legend of Paddling Award - Chick Dermond

Please join us in congratulating Russel "Chick" Dermond, winner of the 2014 Legend of Paddling Award!

Learn more about Chick's lifelong contributions to paddlesports here

Each year, as part of the ACA Annual Banquet, a series of prestigious national awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exemplary leadership, service, and dedication to paddlesports. 

This year's Annual Banquet will be held as the kick-off event to the ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit in September 2014! We hope to see you there. 

Stay tuned as we announce more winners of the 2014 ACA National Awards in the coming weeks.