2021 ACA Sea Kayak Instructor Certification Courses 

It's more than just bragging rights!  Take your love for kayaking to a much higher level and enjoy the Apostle Islands!

We strongly value formal training. The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a great organization that standardizes paddle-sport safety and instruction. It’s acknowledged as the “Gold Standard” of paddle-sport education throughout the US and several foreign countries. Most of our guides have passed skill assessment tests, been certified as ACA instructors and Trip Leaders.

Our director, Dr. Neal, is an ACA Instructor Trainer. We, therefore, offer courses where paddlers can become certified as ACA Instructors. And, you join the elite fellowship of ACA Instructors! If you are interested in exploring this more contact us.


The process looks like this: 

  • You’ll work with an instructor to pass a skills assessment.

  • You’ll take an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) – usual 3 days in spring or early summer.

  • Finally, you’ll take an Instructor Certification Exam (ICE) – usually 2 days in end of summer (You’ll have the middle of summer to work on your paddling and teaching skills).

General Requirements for ACA Instructor Certification:

  • Instructors shall be at least 18 years of age

  • Maintain current ACA Membership and SEIC dues

  • Maintain an appropriate level of First Aid and CPR trainings

To become an ACA Instructor, an Instructor Candidate must:

  • Participate in an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) and pass an Instructor Certification Exam (ICE)

  • These courses are offered either as separate courses with time between for skills and presentation development and practice, or can be offered concurrently (at the discretion of the Instructor Trainer) as an Instructor Certification Workshop (ICW).

  • Perform paddling skills consistently with demonstration quality

  • Demonstrate effective teaching skills

  • Demonstrate technical knowledge of paddle sport

  • Demonstrate appropriate safety & rescue ability

  • Demonstrate effective group / course management and positive interpersonal skills.


Classes are based out of the Whitecap Kayak Learning Center in Washburn, WI with the on water portions at various nearby launches on Lake Superior and in the Chequamegon Bay.

Free camping on site available.

Whitecap Kayak Learning Center

31375 Wannebo Road

Washburn, WI 54891


2021 Instructor Certification Exam Registration

ACA L3 IDW (Instructor Development Workshop)

May 21st - 23rd, 2021

$270 per person