American Canoe Association logoAmerican Canoe Association
Instructor Certification Workshops:

  • Coastal Kayaking Levels 1 thru 5
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding: Levels 1 and 2
  • Surf Kayaking Levels 1-3

Whether you want to become a certified instructor or just paddle like one, these intensive workshops are a great way to hone your paddling, teaching, and trip-leading skills.

ACA Certification for Yourself, Your Business or Organization

Many businesses and organizations find that ACA-Certification for their guides or instructors:

  • Boosts credibility and marketing efforts
  • Facilitates the process of applying for permits and obtaining insurance
  • Makes you eligible for discounted ACA liability insurance

Kayak Instructor Training offered:

SUP Instructor Training offered:

Surf Kayak Instructor Training offered:

General Information About Instructor Certification

ACA Reputation for Excellence: As the nation’s oldest and largest paddlesport organization, the American Canoe Association has a long-standing tradition of granting instructor certification to paddlers of all disciplines, ranging from freestyle canoe, whitewater kayaking, and swiftwater rescue to coastal kayaking. ACA instructors are recognized worldwide as safe, knowledgeable paddlers and effective teachers. Eskape Sea Kayaking’s ACA instructor workshops are your chance to spend several days on the water (and in the classroom) with other skilled sea kayakers and instructors. Within the framework of the class there is a tremendous opportunity to exchange ideas about paddling and teaching techniques.

Success of Former Students: Many of our former students are currently teaching for some of the best-known programs on the West Coast including Monterey Bay Kayaks, California Canoe and Kayak, Sea Trek, Blue Waters, Kayak Connection, Southwind, Eddyline Kayaks, NOLS, and Outward Bound, among others. “Great class…I learned a lot!” —Van Hicks, who paddled with Steph Dutton on his Channel Islands expedition and part of his Oregon Coast trip in winter.

What About Certification? The Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) is designed to improve your paddling and teaching skills and to introduce you to the ACA format which is a comprehensive overview of contemporary sea kayaking technique. If certification is on your agenda, the IDW is the first half of the process, and it will help prepare you for the Instructor Certification Exam (ICE). At the end of the IDW we will give you a thorough evaluation of your progress toward certification.

Paddling Skills: We’ll spend time fine tuning paddling skills using both verbal feedback and video tape. You don’t need to be a Tsunami Ranger, but you should be comfortable paddling and performing rescues in open, choppy water, and launching and landing through moderate surf. On-water group management skills and seamanship will also be covered. For more detailed info please review our Instructor Skills Checklist.

Teaching Skills: We’ll cover modern learning/teaching theory and technique, and you’ll be asked to give one prepared presentation as well as several impromptu demonstrations of various strokes, braces and rescues. There will be ample opportunity to practice teaching on each other and to experiment with a variety of teaching styles.

ACA Membership Requirement: For insurance reasons, to take the IDW it is necessary to join the ACA. The $40 annual membership goes to a good cause: in addition to it’s instructional programs, the ACA lobbies for waterway conservation and to protect paddlers’ access rights, and a subscription to Paddler magazine is included.

Payment Info: Since it makes our lives exponentially easier to receive payment well in advance, our early-payment price of $225 is $25 off the usual fee, but we must receive your payment one month prior to the start of the class. Again, this price does not include ACA membership. Reminder: since space is limited, payment is considered non-refundable within three weeks, and partial credit may be given only if we can fill your spot off the waiting list.

Logistics: Schedules, presentation topics, etc. with registration.

Questions???—Feel free to call Roger at ESK 831.476.5385.