ACA (American Canoe Association) Training

How often do people tip over on the kayak tour?” We get that question all the time from curious or nervous paddlers. The answer is not very often. We paddle with thousands of people every season. Fortunately only a handful end up swimming unexpectedly. When it happens our guides are prepared to get those folks back in their kayaks. Depending on the paddler it can be quick and easy or a bit more time and energy consuming, however, it gets done. We had been utilising techniques passed down from guide to guide and tailoring them to suit our individual strengths and weaknesses.

The National Park Service recently added a requirement for our guides. We are now required to have an ACA Level 2 Kayak certification. The American Canoe Association provides training for all types of paddle craft; kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and rafts. All of our guides have thousands of miles of paddling under their belt (life jacket, really), but all of us were psyched to learn some new techniques and tricks.

The training was great! Even though it took place in November the weather was perfect. Max our instructor made sure that we understood the techniques and were able to implement them correctly. Most of the techniques were already being used by our guides. One technique that was a revelation for all of our guides was the “monkey” position for swimmers to rest on the guide kayak before getting back into their kayak. Game changer! One thing that we at LPACO have always believed in and will continue to enforce is the proper use of the PFD (Personal Floatation Device).

We at LPACO are grateful to Max for making the time to train us and to make it fun. Having some new tools in the rescue toolbox only makes us better guides. Thank you Max and Mother Nature for such a lovely day!