Skip to product information
1 of 1

ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor Certification 2023

ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor Certification 2023

Regular price $600.00
Regular price $0.00 Sale price $600.00
Sale Sold out
This item qualifies for Free Shipping!



Location: Four Corners Riversports, Durango Colorado

Dates:    Wednesday to Sunday April 26-30, 2023

First Day Meeting Location: 8:30AM Wednesday April 26:  Meet behind Four Corners Riversports

Example Schedule: Daily roughly 8:30 am- 7:00 pm. Last day finishes 4 pm.

Cost:  $600 (plus ACA instructor membership $70.00) 

*Sponsorship may be available

INSTRUCTOR UPDATE: If you hold a current certification and only need to renew then sign up for the Instructor Update.

Course Description: The American Canoe Association (ACA) has one of the best established paddlesport instruction programs anywhere in the world.   The courses are comprehensive, but allow enough flexibility for individual teaching and paddling styles.  The main benefit to taking the course is improving your understanding of paddling technique and theory, so you can paddle more efficiently and teach more effectively.  A secondary benefit is the development process which can give you structured feedback on becoming an effective instructor.  A third benefit are the significant insurance, liability, and networking benefits of ACA certification.  Instructor development workshops are very rewarding and enjoyable, because of the opportunity for idea exchange.  

Instructor Trainer Kent Ford:  Kent's unique background includes thirty years of international racing and coaching, combined with similar experience teaching recreational boating to all levels of paddlers. His twenty videos and books on paddlesports have influenced the education of half a million paddlers. As an instructor trainer, Kent provides paddlers and prospective instructors a framework for better understanding paddling technique, theory, and safety.  These observations are adapted from the same training regimens and analysis utilized by World Champion freestyle and slalom competitors.  It is all shared in an invigorating class atmosphere, designed to so everyone in the group is able to contribute and flourish. More info on Kent:

Level 4 Whitewater Kayak: This is a instructor development workshop and an instructor certification exam (IDW/ICE) for level 4 Whitewater.  ACA courses are structured for several levels of certification: Level 2 Essentials of River Paddling, Level 3 River Kayaking, and L4 Whitewater.  Our courses are targeted at instructors who expect to be teaching on whitewater.  The L4 Whitewater Instructor Criteria is demanding, and relatively few candidates achieve this on their first try unless they have extensive technical whitewater backgrounds.  So not everyone will receive “Full” L4 whitewater instructor certification, especially if this is their first exposure to formal paddling instruction.   No worries!  There are means for upgrading within the ACA system.  

Instructor Updates: Current ACA instructors may join the first two (and on approval last two) days of the class to fulfill every 4 year update requirements.  (on space available basis).  Current instructors wishing to increase certification level must present their continuation form, available from the previous IT or ACA office.  

Pre-course Assignment: Join ACA online $40.  After purchase, You will have to re-log-in to get your ACA number.  Bring receipt and/or ACA number to class.  ONCE LOGGED IN, purchase Instructor Membership $30 of Safety Education Instruction Committee available at the ACA eStore. 

Prerequisite Skills: Class II-III paddling skills are required along with a solid river roll. Bring a boat you will use for teaching.  (A creek or river running boat is required).  

Google Classroom for this course: Pre-read optional. ACA course google classroom Durango 2023

Optional Pre -course Review Course Outline and Instructor Criteria documents for L3 and L4 River Kayaking.  There will be copies in your packet on your arrival. Review the instruction section of the ACA website, including course registration and reporting, educational resources, and insurance information.

Optional Pre-course preview:  For a preview lesson of stroke mechanics, safety, and techniques you might want to review : The Kayak Roll, Whitewater Self Defense, and The River Runner’s Edge DVD’s, plus The Kayaker’s Playbook.  These are available online for free download or streaming at

Required ACA Instructors Manual:  Obtain digital copy for this class from me at the class.

Required by ACA.  Or, you can order a print version for  $15 from the ACA Estore or download free from:

What to expect:  The first full day will focus on strokework, followed by video analysis. The following days we will be on the classroom initially, then on the river midday, and back to the classroom for video review every afternoon. One day we are at the pool for roll instruction practice. Generally our class will run 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and then you will be free for the remainder of the evening. The last day we typically finish before 5 pm.  These are rewarding but long days, so arriving rested is recommended.  

The L4 criteria and testing includes Teaching practicum, and safety and rescue demonstrations. You will be assigned teaching topics to deliver to the group. These assignments help you assimilate paddling information so that you are prepared to teach, plus they are a big part of our development and exam.

L4 criteria also includes these specific strokes and moves: Sideslip- moving forward and to the side ten feet with static stroke, backferry in Class II,  Surfing- locking in a 2’ surf wave in a creek/river runner boat, Attainments up small drops, Catching eddies with strong deflection currents, Catching eddies without ferrying approach, Comfort in class III moves such as ferry crossing waves and holes.  

Course Locations:  Animas River.   Meetings will be held at various locations.  Expect river temperatures of 45 to 55 degrees and air temps of 50 to 70 degrees (As always, be prepared for cold, rainy weather).

Overall Health:  Participants should be in good physical health and should be in condition to paddle for long hours.   Class days are long yet invigorating.

Additional Costs:  Typically students provide their own local transportation during class. Participants are expected to provide their own boats and gear, unless they make special arrangements in advance. 

Meals: You will be responsible for all of your own meals.  Please pack a lunch for each day plus any snacks you need to get you through the day and after the river. We often eat lunch on the river, so if you can pack your food in a small dry bag please do so.  Also, don’t forget a water bottle.

Course Questions:  Contact Kent Ford 970-259-1361 cell  

I look forward to meeting you and boating!  /  Kent

More Info:

Cancellation Policy

The Southwest can have very sudden and unpredictable changes in weather. All classes run rain or shine, unless there are weather related safety concerns. All programs may be changed at our discretion. To keep our classes affordable, we must fill a program with a minimum amount of participants. We reserve the right to cancel the program if the minimum amount of participants is not met. A full refund will be provided if a class is cancelled, and you will be notified no later than 48 hours before the beginning of the class.

If you need to reschedule or cancel your reservation, please do so 48 hours or more before the beginning of the class. Cancellations within 48 hours of the beginning of the program are non- refundable. If you wish to reschedule within 48 hours before the beginning of the program, we can provide a 50% credit towards the rescheduled class.

Thank you for signing up with 4Corners Paddle School! If you have any other questions feel free to call us at 970-259-3893.

SKU: 219235

View full details