Description: Becoming an ACA Instructor is a tremendously rewarding accomplishment that affords endless opportunities to give back to the sport.  Taught by an Instructor Trainer in both River Kayaking (L5 IT / L4 ITE) and Swift Water Rescue (L4 IT) and fueled by fun, this course will set you on the path of teaching your own classes or making your current instruction more effective (go HERE* for evals of prior courses). Although mere completion of this course is not a guarantee of Certification, it will improve your boating and is one of the biggest steps towards earning ACA Instructor Certification. Other benefits of ACA Certification include access to inexpensive liability insurance and numerous pro deals.


Additionally, this course will have a concentration in Swift Water Rescue and will help prepare those Candidates who earn L4 Kayaking Certification for a separate one day bridge course to become an L3 Swift Water Rescue Instructor.


If already certified in River Kayaking, a portion of this class may be attended as an L4 update or to upgrade your Certification to L4.



Sylva NC / Ducktown TN



5 days of on water course work and several evening classroom sessions



7/19/14-7/20/14 (Tuckaseegee) and 8/9/14-8/11/14 (Ocoee)


L4 ACA Instructor Requirements and Topics Covered:

* Listed HERE*. (if not all requirements are met, Certification at a lower level is possible)


Course Requirements: (In addition to those listed in the above link)

* A reasonable level of comfort on the Lower Yough (or equivalent)

* Whitewater kayak with adequate volume and hull speed to tow a swimmer

* Flotation bags, paddle, helmet, pfd, and skirt

* Throw rope (5/16” diameter or larger is suggested – length and material is up to you.)

* Appropriate clothing to comfortably & safely paddle in the course venue this time of year.

* ACA Instructor Manual


Although not a course requirement, a first aid kit and basic Un-Pin Kit are recommended for any whitewater boater.[Suggested Un-Pin Kit: (3) locking carabiners; (2) pieces of 5 or 6 mm accessory cord 72” long with the ends melted to prevent fraying (It’s OK if these are already tied in to prussik loops.); (1) piece of 1” tubular webbing 20 ft. long with the ends melted to prevent fraying]



* Course Tuition:

$480 / student if taken in an effort to earn initial L4 Certification

$270 / student if taken in an effort to Upgrade to L4 (3 days required)

* ACA annual membership: $40 / year (approximate – depends on membership type)
* ACA Instructor’s Manual: $25 hard copy or $15 for CD
* Upon earning Certification – SEIC dues: $25 / year
* Current certifications in First Aid and CPR (requirements of Instructor Certification and can be completed after ACA Certification is earned)

Many paddling clubs offer reimbursement for Certification courses like this as well as the required First Aid and CPR courses in exchange for instruction for its members.  Contact your Club’s Safety and Education Chair direct for information and requirements.


To Register:

Email me (Dave Kessmann) at: dkessmann (at) gmail (period) com

Please put “2014 Summer ACA L4 RK ICW” in the subject line

Looking forward to it.



This class is conducted under a Commercial Use Permit and is insured through the American Canoe Association.


*Hyperlinks (long form):


Course Evaluations:


ACA L4 Kayak Instructor Criteria:

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