ACA Courses

River Rescue, Kayak IDW & ICE and instructor Methods Updates from the American Canoe Association


Our ACA Kayak IDW will prepare paddlers for the Certification Exam or serve as an Update for current ACA Instructors.  For intermediate-advanced paddlers not seeking certification, the course can serve as an intensive look at your own paddling style and a means to become a more proficient and aware paddler. By covering both the technical or “hard skills” and the “soft” or teaching skills over the weekend we can all gain great insight into our paddling no matter what our goals are. Our approach will help us to uncover what it will take to become a better paddler and if it is your goal, set you on the path to becoming an ACA Kayak Instructor. This course will also serve as the ICE for the Level 1-2 River Kayak certs. Continue on to the ICE in November to get your Level 3 or 4.

Current ACA instructors can attend the IDW for a reduced price. Other options include dropping in for the ICE, with approval co-teach a lesson or trip with me, or join the full instructor update in the Fall.

ACA WW Kayak ICE & Instructor Update

This course is intended for the Instructor Candidate to demonstrate their paddling knowledge and their ability to convey it in a clear manner. Your leadership abilities, safety knowledge, and teaching skill with be evaluated and on showcase for the entirely of the weekend. Successful completion of the weekend can earn you a ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instruction Certification but is not guaranteed. During the weekend in addition to teaching mini topics to the other group members, you will have the chance to lead and teach an “actual” kayak course with real students. This will serve as both a learning opportunity and evaluation too, so be prepared!

Current instructors can attend the IDW for a reduced price.  Other options include dropping in for the ICE, with approval co-teach a lesson or trip with me, or join the full instructor update in the Fall.  All participants in the ICE must be ACA members at the time of the course and registered with the SEIC at ACA.


This is our 2 day SWR course.  8am-5 pm both days. We cover a lot of ground over the weekend starting with the rescue mindset and river mobility, boat based rescue, and throw ropes the first day. The second day we work on boat pins, rope systems, and entrapments. We utilize scenario based instruction methods and keep things active all day. Our instructors are well versed in many rescue environments from trip leading, professional guiding, and rescue squad work. We work actively with summer camps, college outing programs, rescue squads and other kayak schools to train their guides. All this experience and expertise makes for a well run and informative course for all kinds of paddlers.

ACA Instructor Methods Update

One of the most overlooked items in maintaining your instructor certification is to attend a methods update once per every 4 year certification period. Not only is it a instructor maintenance requirement, it is a great chance to network with other instructors, compare tips, gain new insight into your paddling and instruction techniques, and stay current with what is going on at the ACA. Our two day workshop will run from 9-5 each day (possibly ending a little earlier on Sunday) and we will break one hour for lunch. Our update will assess you paddling, provide tips for improvement, address instructor issues and questions in an agenda participants help shape and create, and provide opportunities for upgrading your cert, for eg, Level 3 to Level 4. Be forewarned, come prepared, as in rare cases we have had to downgrade folks who were not up to standards. The cost for the update is $125 for the two days.
Additional Details: To be eligible for an update you must be a current ACA member in good standing with current dues and course reports on file. The fee for this course is $125 and can be paid by the pay pal button above.

Those unsure of your status should contact the ACA Home Office, at their website.