ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor Development & Certification AND Re-Certification

ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor Development & Certification Workshop AND Re-Certification

Quinn Daily & Mo Bergmann

ACA IDW 2018

OverviewItineraryCertificationEligibilityInstructor Trainers

Certification and re-certification

The American Canoe Association (ACA) has one of the best established paddle sport instruction programs anywhere in the world. 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 that can give you structured feedback on becoming an effective instructor. A third benefit is the significant insurance, liability, and networking opportunities of ACA certification. Instructor development workshops are very rewarding and enjoyable, especially for the opportunity for idea exchange.

The ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor Development Workshop emphasizes safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry-level through intermediate individuals in public, private and commercial settings.

Where: Deschutes River, McKenzie River and Tumalo Creek Canoe & Kayak

Certification, dates: October 5-7, 19-21, 8:30- 5pm

Re-certification, dates: October 6-7, 20-21

Cost: Certification $495/ Re-certification $250

Additional Costs:

Typically students provide their own local transportation during class. Participants are expected to provide their own boats and gear, unless special arrangements are made in advance.


The first full day will focus on introductions, paddle sports background, ACA overview and certification rubric, stroke work, followed by video analysis. The following days we will be in the classroom, then on the river midday, and back to the classroom for video review every afternoon. Generally our class will run from 8:30- 5:00 pm (possibly later), 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.


Participants are responsible for all meals. Please pack a lunch for each day plus any snacks you need to get you through the day and afternoon. 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.


Most class meetings will take place at Tumalo Creek, so you may find something nearby to be the most convenient location for lodging and camping. Local camping is available at Tumalo State Park in Bend, Oregon. Minimizing travel time will improve the class considerably.


Quinn Daily, 541-588-0431, [email protected]

Mo Bergmann, 413-374-1644, [email protected]

For More Information on becoming an ACA kayak instructor:

For an Outline of the 2013 Instructor Development Workshop: Instructor Certification

Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Certification:

This is an instructor development workshop and an instructor certification exam (IDW/ICE) for level 4 Whitewater kayaking. ACA courses are structured for several levels of certification for instance: 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. However, this is no guarantee that you will earn that level of certification. Not everyone will receive “Full” whitewater instructor certification, especially if this is their first exposure to formal paddling instruction.   No worries! There are means for upgrading within a year.


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).

Pre-course Assignment:

Join ACA online at ($40 for ACA individual membership plus $25 for Instructor Membership of Safety Education Instruction Committee). Bring your current ACA membership number to class. Review the instruction section of the ACA website, including course registration and reporting, course outlines, and insurance information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria:

In order to participate in an ACA Skills Course, each participant must satisfy the following

  • Class II-III paddling skills are required
  • Participant must have a solid river roll
  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities listed in the course outline while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position
  • Be able to hold their breath while underwater and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion

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.

Instructor Trainer Quinn Daily:

Quinn’s unique background includes 25 years of kayaking and rafting experience, international /national kayak slalom racing, combined with over 10 years of experience as an ACA certified level 4 kayak instructor and a secondary science educator.

Instructor Trainer Mo Bergmann:

Through the years she has worked as a raft guide for NOC and then as a kayaking instructor/guide for Zoar Outdoor, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, Otter Bar and a variety of other organizations. These various schools have offered the opportunity for her to teach with some amazing professionals from around the world. Mo is a Level 4 certified ACA Whitewater Instructor and Bilingual Speech and Language Pathologist.

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