Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween, Paddlers!

Dress up. Eat candy. Paddle on. 

Captain America knows whatSUP. 

Send your paddling-in-costume photos to or share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tag us!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The North Face Declares "This Land is Your Land!"

The North Face's new campaign addresses the importance of preserving federal public lands from state takeover efforts--an issue all of us at the ACA have been thrilled to see get more coverage in the media lately (from New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich and others). 

Public lands belong to all of us, regardless of where we live or who we are. As founding members of the Outdoor Alliance, the ACA is proud to show its support of The North Face's campaign in an open letter of appreciation. We encourage you to read that letter here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

State Executive Council Elections - 2 Days Left to Vote

The ACA is currently holding elections for the State Executive Councils. Cast your vote today!

All State Executive Council positions are elected by the state ACA membership for a two-year term. The election of the nominees will be determined by the majority of votes cast by electronic ballot by members eligible to vote. In order to vote, you must be a current member of the ACA and over eighteen (18) years of age.

Act now and make your voice heard--voting closes on October 31, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Expert Advice: Going Big on Lake Superior

Veteran ACA Instructor-Trainer Gail Green offers her advice for paddling to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Click through to read the full article on Canoe & Kayak. 

Are you an ACA Instructor with advice to share? We want to hear it. Contact our Communications Department to get published on ACA social media.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Paddle Green Bags in Action

Thanks to Tamara Stanley for submitting this awesome stewardship photo! She hauled this trash out of the river near her house using her Paddle Green Bag during daily kayak trips. 

"I just started kayaking (and pulling out trash) this summer," said Tamara. "The only instruction I received was at a [Paddlefest] event. I am amazed how much I learned in about 15 minutes. Not only can I reach things I never thought possible, I find it rather easy. Wonderful organization and people!"

The ACA is involved in numerous stewardship activities on both a local and national scale. 

Need help with a project to protect waterways in your community? Don't hesitate to contact us! We're here to help. 

Have a photo of your Paddle Green bag haul? Submit it to, or use #PaddleGreen when you share stewardship photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Saving the Boundary Waters By Canoe

Amy and Dave Freeman. (Photo credit: Nate Ptacek, instagram @arborealis.)
National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year, Dave and Amy Freeman are paddling from Ely, Minnesota to Washington, DC to raise awareness of threats to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and shared waters of the Canadian border. The 100-day Paddle to DC odyssey began Sunday, August 24 near Ely, Minnesota and ends in Washington, D.C. on December 3 when a canoe covered with signatures to Save the Boundary Waters arrives in the nation’s capital. 

The Freemans are asking people along the Paddle to DC route to sign their canoe to show their support for defending the Boundary Waters from all threats, including sulfide mining. 
Amy and Dave Freeman. (Photo credit: Nate Ptacek, instagram @arborealis.) 
“Our mission is to help make sure that the Boundary Waters continue to enjoy the federal protection that has kept them wild and unspoiled for 50 years,” said Dave Freeman. 

Here's how you can help:
(Photo credit: Nate Ptacek, instagram @arborealis.) 

Amy and Dave will be paddling through the East Coast over the next month. During their journey, they are giving presentations and asking folks to paddle with them as they pass through. So far, the couple has done 23 events attended by over 1200 people, and they have paddled with over 100 people in three different cities. As they plan for events out East, Dave and Amy would love to connect more with ACA members and clubs. Check out their video below to learn more, and discover even more ways to get involved

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ACA Member Discount on Beautiful Handcrafted Wooden Paddles From Fritz Orr Canoe

Fritz Orr Selway Canoe Paddle, designed for Class III rivers to steep creeks.
We're thrilled to announce that for a limited time, ACA members will receive a 20% discount off any paddle listed at

Celebrated on the pages of Garden & Gun, Town & Country, Fox & Friends, and, Fritz Orr Canoe brings a heritage of canoeing to life through hand crafted canoe paddles. Each one is a work of art, demonstrating Fritz's commitment to superior design, craftsmanship, and stewardship. When you're not using it, we recommend hanging your Fritz Orr paddle in your house for all to see--they are that pretty. 

Fritz is also providing FREE SHIPPING on orders made before December 1, 2014. Don't miss out!

Fritz Orr Magma Stand-Up Paddle.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ACA Instructor Wins Northeast Regional Boating Educator of the Year Award!

ACA Instructor Amy Dingle at the NASBLA Conference this weekend.
ACA Instructor Amy Dingle received the Northeast Regional Boating Educator of the Year Award at the NASBLA Conference in Bar Harbor, ME, this weekend! 

Amy holds several ACA instructor certifications in kayaking, canoeing, and SUP, as well as an adaptive paddling endorsement. She currently works at Five Rivers MetroParks in Ohio. 

From all of us at the ACA, congratulations on your award, Amy! 

Looking for an ACA certified instructor near you? Download our new Paddle Ready app (it's free) and use the new "Find Instruction" feature. We've made it easier than ever to connect with our awesome instructors all over the world. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Plan Your Next Paddling Adventure With The ACA Water Trail Directory

Use the ACA Recommended Water Trail Directory 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, October 20, 2014

ACA Stewardship Starts in Our Own Backyard

One of the cigarette receptacles installed at City Dock in Fredericksburg, VA 
Recently, through a grant funded by the Boat Owners Association of America and Keep America Beautiful, the ACA installed cigarette receptacles at strategic locations around City Dock in the ACA’s hometown of Fredericksburg, VA. The receptacles will help curb pollution from cigarette butts, one of the largest contributors to marine debris, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

The cigarette butt receptacles will be installed for a period of one year, during which there will be several surveys taken to determine the effectiveness of the program. If the program successfully decreases the amount of cigarette pollution at City Dock, the receptacles will become a permanent fixture in the park.

Birds-eye view of City Dock with locations of cigarette receptacles marked in red.
The ACA is involved in numerous stewardship activities on both a local and national scale. 

Need help with a project to protect waterways in your community? Don't hesitate to contact your ACA National Office Staff. We're here to help. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

ACA SUP Yoga Program

In case you missed it, we have a new SUP Yoga Program!

If you are an ACA Instructor interested in obtaining a SUP Yoga Endorsement, or a paddler wanting to take a SUP Yoga Skills Course, you'll find all the information you need at


If you have any questions about this new program, please don't hesitate to contact the ACA National Office. We're always happy to hear from you. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CCPRC Adaptive Expo

On September 28, Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer, Joe Moore, led a team of ACA Instructors to adapt sea kayaks, paddles and other equipment, helping dozens of individuals with physical disabilities get onto the water with comfort, performance and style at the Adaptive Recreation Expo at Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission’s (CCPRC’s) James Island County Park.

“We are excited to offer this recreational opportunity for our patrons who have physical limitations,” CCPRC’s Assistant Director of Recreation Susie Goudy said. “It is our goal to continue to expand our programming for this under-served population, offering more opportunities throughout the year."

CCPRC hosts several ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshops each year.

To learn more about the ACA's Adaptive Paddling Program, please visit and click on the Adaptive tab. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tell Us Your Story

Have something to share? Whether it was the trip of a lifetime, an awesome race you just completed, or something you learned while out on the water, we want to hear about it!

Send your story to and your words could show up right here on the Water Blog. 

Paddle on. And don't forget to tell us all about it. We love hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 14, 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.

As an ACA member, you get a discount on a new Subaru vehicle through our Subaru VIP Program! 

Take advantage of this unique member benefit today. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Membership Department

Monday, October 13, 2014

ACA President's Award - Patrick Frehner

Please join us in congratulating Patrick Frehner, winner of the 2014 President's Award! He received his award at the ACA Europe Paddlesports Conference in Italy over the weekend. 

Patrick is the Switzerland Representative of the ACA Europe Division, and he has been leading his own canoe and outdoor risk management school in Switzerland for over a decade. 

Thank you, Patrick, for all of your outstanding service to the ACA and paddlesports! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

5th annual ACA Europe Symposium - Italy

The Europe Division of the ACA is proud to host the 5th annual ACA Symposium at ilCanneto on Lake Pusiano in Italy this weekend.

Special thanks to our volunteer ACA hosts, Carlo and Giusi Picchio!

Thanks to Ben Lawry, Ben Morton and staff member Dave Burden for representing the U.S. at this great event!

Learn more about the ACA Europe Symposium...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Congrats to October Kokatat Instructor of the Month, Marvine Cole!

Marvine Cole is one of only two female Level 5 Advanced Whitewater Canoe Instructors in the country, and the ACA is thrilled to recognize her as our October Instructor of the Month! 

“I love teaching," says Marvine. "By sharing my knowledge, skills and enthusiasm, I hope to give my students that sense of adventure and wonder that I feel when I’m on the river.”

Read more about Marvine's 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, October 9, 2014

October Journal of Paddlesports Education

The ACA's October JPE is hot off the digital press!   

Highlights to this month's issue include: 
  • Paddle Ready App
  • SUP PSA - Leashes & Lifejackets 
  • Little Known facts about your ACA Office Staff!
  • New PFD type changes
  • And more...

Check out the October JPE here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Recap: ACA Expansion of On-Water Paddlesports Instruction Grant

Todd Johnstone-Wright (right) and Ben Morton (left) on Eklutna Lake in the Chugiak National Forest.
The ACA's Paddlesports Training Grant Coordinator, T.J. Turner, recently wrapped up a year-long grant project with the focus of promoting on-water paddlesport instruction and safety standards on a regional, state, and national scale. 

Funded by the US Coast Guard, this grant project allowed the ACA to conduct 17 courses and certify a total of 136 new ACA instructors. 

We asked T.J. to share some anecdotes from his work that took him all over the country this past year. Here are just a few of the highlights he had to share:

  • In Tennessee, we earned a spot on Tennessee's Wildside, to be aired on PBS.
  • Paddling in Oregon and watching the sea lions surfing in the river wave next to us on the Willamette River with Sam Drevo.
  • There was never a dull moment paddling with the officers of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Gator wrestling is a thing there. Nothing is better than homemade crawfish etouffee.
  • In Puerto Rico, we offered a course to Paddle Paradise PR which has since served over 1,000 people with on-water paddlesport instruction. The founder of this company is now State Director of Puerto Rico. Congratulations, Omar!

The grant concluded on September 30, 2014. Thank you, T.J., for all your hard work on behalf of the ACA. And congratulations to all the newly certified ACA instructors across the country!

Practicing rescues in cold water, Essentials of River Kayaking Course in Oregon City, Oregon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Save the Date: Swiftwater Rescue Conference 2015

Last year's event was so popular, we're bringing back the Swiftwater Rescue Conference in 2015! 

Mark your calendar. This is one event you don't want to miss.

More info on our website. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Check Out Our New SUP Video!

SUP: Leashes and Lifejackets, makes it clear to stand-up paddleboarders what types of leashes and lifejackets are appropriate for different water venues. This five-minute video is intended to educate all those new to stand up paddleboarding (SUP), as well as those who have experience with the sport but are unaware of leash and lifejacket best practices. Some of the rules and recommendations regarding these pieces of equipment may surprise you.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Download The New ACA App, Paddle Ready!

Paddle Ready is here, and it's FREE for both iPhone and Android users! In addition to being super simple and easy to use, here are 5 more things Paddle Ready helps you do:
  1. Fill out a float plan and email it to your friends 
  2. Find an ACA instructor near you
  3. Get real-time river forecasting (surf and tidal coming soon)
  4. Have Paddle Safety Checklists for various paddling environments at your fingertips
  5. Use the Safety and Rescue How-to Videos to keep your knowledge current

Download Paddle Ready today for your iPhone or Android device and let us know what you think. We look forward to taking your feedback into consideration as we continue to expand and improve the app moving forward. 

All app feedback can be sent directly to ACA Communications Coordinator, Catharine Lloyd, at 

Paddle often, paddle safe. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Support Paddlesports While You Shop

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 our personalized 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. 

Thank you for your continued support. Together, we're making the world a better place to paddle!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Policy Update: San Gabriel National Monument Designation

In conjunction with the Outdoor Alliance, the ACA supports the designation of the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument. Additionally, we are excited to support the Wild and Scenic River designations proposed in H.R. 4858 for the San Gabriel River and its forks, San Antonio Creek, the Middle Fork of Lytle Creek, and Little Rock Creek.

Read more about the efforts to permanently protect the San Gabriel Mountains and its surrounding landscape here

Everyday the ACA fields a call, answers an email, or attends a meeting that pertains to public policy issues that have the potential to affect all paddlers, whether you raft in Idaho, kayak the Nantahala River, canoe in the Boundary Waters, or SUP off the southern California coast. Learn more about paddlesport public policy issues here