Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our Sanctioned Event of the Year

ACA is happy and proud to announce that the Sanctioned Event of the Year, nominated by the paddling public, is the Buffalo Bayou Partnership! 

Established in 1986, Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is the non-profit organization transforming and revitalizing Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s most significant natural resource.  BBP’s geographic focus is the 10-square mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou from Shepherd Drive to the Port of Houston Turning Basin.  Thanks to the generous support of foundations, corporations, individuals and government agencies, BBP has raised and leveraged more than $150 million for the redevelopment and stewardship of the waterfront.

Buffalo Bayou officially starts just west of Katy, Texas and flows approximately 53 miles east through the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel into Galveston Bay and onto the Gulf of Mexico. Ever since the Allen Brothers founded Houston in 1836, Buffalo Bayou has played a critical role in the evolution of the city. But in more recent years, Buffalo Bayou had been a neglected river.  Additionally, Houstonians built a perception of the city’s bayous as drainage ditches since a number of the city’s sewage-treatment plants discharged directly into Buffalo Bayou. The water smelled and was not deemed safe for recreational boating or swimming. But in an act that was part joke and part celebration of the bayou, Wayne Walls, a local canoer, and his friends from the Houston Canoe Club created “The Reeking Regatta: The World’s Smelliest Canoe Race” in 1972 with posters and a logo that depicted a paddler wearing a gas mask. Expecting only a handful of people to participate, the first-ever race in 1971 gathered 120 brave paddlers and then grew to 500 paddlers within 5 years – the largest race “west of the Mississippi.” More environmental-awareness and social gathering than official boat race, participants navigated trash and debris in the water and were greeted with beer steins at the finish line at Allen’s Landing.

In the late 1990s, Buffalo Bayou Partnership took charge of planning and executing the annual boat race and renamed it to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta. Now 700-900 participants – skilled and novice paddlers ages 12 and up – in approximately 600 kayaks and canoes, race down a 15-mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou. It is Texas’ large canoe and kayak race and is one of the top 5 largest in the nation. The event attracts hundreds of spectators to the bayou’s banks along the recently renovated Buffalo Bayou Park and to the finish line in downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park to see this colorful and uniquely Houstonian spectacle on a pleasant weekend in March.

If you would like more information about ACA Awards, please follow this link:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

7th Annual Europe Paddlesports Symposium

It's about that time again, when the Annual Europe Paddlesports Symposium is around the corner! This means that in Vienna, Austria, on October 14-16,  there will be opportunities for paddlesports continued education. There will be instructor updates for canoe, kayak, SUP, and rescue skills! Not to mention the vast amount of opportunities for networking, meeting professionals, and making new friends. 

To learn more, and to register, check out this link:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

ACA Volunteer of the Year

Our "Joe Pina Volunteer of the Year Award" is presented to an excellent volunteer every year! This year our shout out goes to Bruce Bodson! 

Bruce Bodson has been an instrumental force in establishing paddle trails throughout Texas, but his work for Bayou Land Conservancy and other local nonprofits, such as the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, have helped steer Houstonians towards embracing outdoor recreation. Bruce regularly makes the trek across Houston to work with Bayou Land Conservancy’s No Child Left Inside environmental education program, where he has served as a paddle guide for hundreds of high school and middle school students. 

Besides his role as an expert paddler, Bruce is an environmental attorney who has served on the board of Bayou Land Conservancy for 9 years. Bruce is chairman of the Lands Committee, and currently holds the officer position of Vice President. He is also a board member of the Bayou Preservation Association and Christmas Bay Foundation, and has previously served on the board of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. But wait, there's more! Bruce is a Lecturer and Professor at Texas A&M University – Galveston, where he teaches Environmental Impact Analysis and Environmental Policy at the graduate student level. Bruce has won or placed in a multitude of long-distance kayak races, where he regularly defeats people half his age.

Way to go Bruce! Thank you for all that you do, you are making the world a better place to paddle in. 

If you would like more information on our ACA National Awards, please follow this link: 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Success at the Paracanoe Races

All in all it was a great performance by our athletes in the 2016  Rio Paralymics! 

The athletes were put through a lot of challenges and faced them with positive determination. Alana Nichols took home seventh place in the Women's KL2 Final, working hard to be happy and have a consistent race! Kelly Allen finished eighth in her KL3 race, and is so proud to be part of the making of history. Ann Yoshida had faced difficult conditions in her race, and therefore was not able to finish her race. Good work ladies! We are very proud of our athletes, congratulations! 

Click here if you would like more information about the Paralympics, or about USACK.

Monday, September 12, 2016

ACA Level 1-2 Instructor Update & Symposium Recap

September 9-11, 2016 marked the first ever ACA symposium designed exclusively for Level 1-2 Instructors. Six instructor trainers from all over the southeast gathered in Rock Hill, South Carolina to host instructor updates for canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding, as well as activities and round table discussions pertaining to current paddling industry trends, safety and educational standards, and issues that Level 1-2 instructors face in their ongoing goal of introducing people to the joy and benefits of paddling. 

More than two dozen ACA instructors attended the symposium, and leant their vast experience and perspectives to the event, which boasted spectacular weather and scenery, engaging paddling lessons and demonstrations, and cross pollination between the ACA Level 1 and 2 canoeing, kayaking, and SUP curricula. To check out photos of this monumental event, please find the ACA on Facebook.

For ACA instructors of all levels who are seeking an update, who wish to learn from a wide variety of ACA Instructor Trainers and Educators, who wish to contribute to or observe the process of discipline committees or the SEIC meeting, or to paddle the scenic coastline of Sausalito, California, please check out the ACA website for information about our upcoming National Paddlesports Conference on November 11-13th!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Continuing Education in Paddlesports

If you've been paddling for a while, maybe your whole life, and have a broad knowledge of the sport, it is still important to take classes, assessments, and updates. This is because in each class you can learn something new, potentially a new way of explaining a technique or maneuver. The more people that you paddle with and learn from, will only give you more skills to improve your own paddling abilities or help someone else improve their own. 

If you have a vast knowledge of the sport, it is a good idea to round out your knowledge with rescue skills, in order to enable you to help other people, or yourself, in an unideal situation. Not only does ACA offer classes for beginners, but we offer intermediate and advanced level courses that will take your paddling to a new height. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Call to Action: Save the Grand Canyon

Immediate call to action: now is the public's chance to protect the Grand Canyon.

Paddlers and nature lovers alert. Now is the time to take a few minutes out of your day to help save the Grand Canyon from a proposed development that would be at bottom of the canyon at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. 

The Navajo Nation is considering tribal legislation from outside developers. The proposed development would be an amusement park-style tram in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This construction would bring 2,000,000 people a year to it's location. The Navajo Tribal Council is inviting comments on their proposal until today, September 2. 

Let the Navajo Tribal Council and Secretary Sally Jewell know how the public feels with a request to reject the Grand Canyon Escalade Project.