ACA Paddlesport Education Courses for Every Boat & Board

New Certification Program Designed for Outfitter, Livery, & Guide Businesses

Who is ACA? Founded in 1880, the American Canoe Association (ACA) is a 501c3 national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

What’s the big news? ACA has recently developed a brand new certification program called Paddlesports Safety Facilitator (PSF), which was designed primarily for staff from paddling outfitters, guide services, and livery businesses! This course can be completed in one day, and caters to the paddling activities conducted by your business.

What’s the big deal? This certification adds credibility to your paddlesport business, is a perfect opportunity for continuing education and certification for your staff, and may help lower your insurance premiums. The end goal: this program will help you offer safe and fun paddling experiences for your guests and clients!

PSF Certification – Catered to Your Business

Whether your business rents canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards (SUPs), or any combination thereof, the PSF program has specific training modules to address your staff training needs!

Comprehensive Training

The core of the PSF program focuses on basic paddling safety concepts: lifejacket wear, pre-trip talks and communication, signaling and safety equipment, weather awareness and protocol, accident prevention, and rescue principles.

Kayaking Best Practices

The kayaking PSF certification addresses important kayaking essentials such as loading and unloading from trailers, cars, and racks, kayak entry and exit from shore or dock, and assisted rescues which are required when a customer or guest is accidentally separated from their boat.

Canoeing Trip Essentials

Canoeing is one of the most historic, recognizable, and family friendly paddling activities. This portion of the PSF certification program will enable your staff to perform basic canoe rescues and assist customers with proper trip planning, packing, loading, and launching.

Pro tip: For more youth and family based paddling resources, watch this fun animated video, check out this infographic, or download our youth paddling game, Paddle Quest, in the App Store or Google Play!

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Tips & Tricks

With the remarkable growth in SUP popularity, more and more customers are seeking their first (or second, or third!) SUP experience at local outfitters and liveries. The ACA PSF course offers training and certification for employers and staff wishing to learn important details about SUP rescue, inflatable lifejackets commonly used with SUPs, and the storage and maintenance of SUP boards, leashes, and their other associated accessories.

Pro tip: For vital information about SUP leashes and lifejackets, check out this video.

Outfitter, Livery, or Guide Service PSF certification not a good fit for you?

The ACA offers a wide variety of other training clinics, skill development workshops, and instructor certification courses. No matter your experience, ACA can connect you with local instructors, clubs, or schools to assist you in meeting your paddling goals. Get the scoop on the variety of offerings, here. Not sure where to start? Send an email to our Education Department.

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