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Old 03-05-2007   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 54
ACA kayak instructor courses

Hey im wondering if anyone has info about spring ACA kayak instructor courses. I know Wigston teaches a few and Kent Ford often comes through to teach at least one. Anyone have any info on when these courses will be offered, where and how much. Thanks

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Old 03-05-2007   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18
Here's one in Cali

Excuse the cut and paste from my email....

American Canoe Association
Instructor Certification Workshop April 12-15, 2007
Four Days $350
Mt. Shasta, CA
Benefits of becoming an ACA certified kayak instructor:
• Industry standard for safe, effective, efficient and fun techniques
• Improve your personal paddling skills
• Improve your ability to teach…and learn new skills and have more fun!
• Employment opportunities at kayak schools or outdoor centers

“I am a proponent of ACA Instructor certification for paddlers wishing to improve their own skills as well as improving teaching skills. I give Michael my highest recommendation. His class was full of learning and laughing. Michael is a strong and experienced kayaker. His passion for paddling and his love of rivers permeates his teaching. WOW!”
Rick Stock, Program Coordinator/ Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program/ Feather River College/ Quincy, CA

The Instructor Certification Workshop series is a multi-day course designed to improve your personal paddling and teaching skills AND IS A WATER BASED Course with 80% on the water teaching and 20% classroom.

Where: Mount Shasta, California
When: Thursday, April 12th- Sunday April 15th 2007
Contact: Michael Kirwin 530-926-6310 or

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Old 03-05-2007   #3
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Ok, so I'm not really a kayaker except occasionally, but I was curious as to what the prerequsites are for ACA instructors. What should you be able to do before taking that course?
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Old 03-05-2007   #4
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

ACA has two basic certs. Whitewater and Flatwater

Flatwater: Wet exits, strokes, braces, T-rescues & rolling

Whitewater: All above, plus Class III skills, eddy turns, peel-outs, river safety basics.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 03-05-2007   #5
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
You can search for instructor courses on the ACA site:
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Old 03-05-2007   #6
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
the american canoe association website lists 5 levels for kayak instructor certification. these are listed below. i don't know if this is still how the class works, but when i took it we didn't have to take a seperate class for each different cert. i took my instructor class 10 years ago and the instructor trainer taught everyone in the class together, regardless of skill level. each student was given a diffferent certification based on their skills, and their ability to teach those skills in each respective setting. however, i only remember three different levels: flatwater, moving water, and whitewater. looks like they have added a couple more levels since then. these are the different certification levels cut and pasted from the aca website:

Level 1: Introduction to Kayak (non-discipline specific)

Level 2: Essentials of River Kayak

Level 3: Basic River Kayak (Moving Water)

Level 4: Whitewater Kayak

Level 5: Advanced Whitewater Kayak

we had people who could barely roll in our class. most people improved significantly over the course of the class. everyone at least got a flatwater cert out of the class. a couple got moving water, and a couple got whitewater.
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Old 03-06-2007   #7
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
About ACA Instructor's Class

I did the Whitewater Instructors class in 2005, and while I enjoyed it overall, I went in with some mis-conceptions. The class is (duh) really about teaching beginners. And there is a lot of off-river time. If you just want to improve your skills, another type of class might be a better choice. I have a long write-up about what the class is and is not (plus a number of tips about who to go with and where and when.)
Drop me an e-mail or a PM and I will send it along. (Too long for a Buzz post! <gg>).

Kim J

kjohnson at san <dot> rr <dot> com
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Old 03-07-2007   #8
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Everyone here is correct. the only thing you want to remember is that every instructor is different. I know there is an ACA standard, but no one follows that exactly. at least I hope not. Beware of textbook instructors. Anyone can memorize an ACA manual.
Some instructors focus only on how to teach beginners, while others do a lot of advanced technique. It also depends on the needs, expectations, and skill level of the students in the class. Every time I teach the ACA class, it is different. Sometimes I have a lot of people who are taking the class just for the sake of self improvement. In this case, I will customize the class for them. Other times, the students are trying to get a job as an instructor, so I will focus on their needs.

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