ACA Coastal Kayak Workshops for Guides

  Becoming a Coastal Kayak Guide combines two ACA tracks: Instructor and Trip Leader. This is the perfect professional training for a Coastal Kayak Guide on the Great Lakes and beyond - you teach people how to paddle then lead them on an open body of water.

  One part of becoming a Coastal Kayak Guide is the ACA Level 2 Instructor Certification process - this teaches you how to instruct kayaking in a protected setting to beginners. There are two components: the Instructor Development Workshop (IDW - a two day training) followed at a later date by the Instructor Certification Evaluation (ICE - a one day testing). Participation in each workshop is necessary to complete the ACA Kayak Instructor Certification process.

  The other part of becoming a Coastal Kayak Guide is the ACA Level 3 Trip Leader Assessment process - this teaches you how to manage a group of paddlers, manage risk and handle the unexpected in Level 3 conditions (10-15 knot winds, 1-2’ seas, 1-2’ breaking waves, 1-2 knots of current). There are two components: a two day training and a two day assessment/testing. Participation in both the training and assessment is necessary to complete the ACA Coastal Kayaking Trip Leader Assessment process.

  A period of time between the training and testing provides the candidate with time to develop and refine their Instructor & Trip Leader skills. In our experience, this leads to greater skilled and more confident candidates who have better success when testing out.


1) The ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3 Trip Leader started in 2016.

2) The ACA made changes in 2016 to the Coastal Kayaking Instructor Workshops.

3) Given the above, we developed this combination to replace the previously offered Instructor workshops. We believe this combination provides the training best suited to the needs of outfitters and clubs for their programs.  

Discounts are available for early registration. Please see the Initial Letter below for details.

Additional information is in the following documents regarding workshop logistics (price, location, skills, lodging, etc):

       Initial Letter

       Skills Checklist

       Lodging Options

The following links contain the ACA guidelines for each workshop including Essential Eligibility Criteria, prerequisites, content overview and more:  

ACA Level 2 Instructor Criteria

ACA Level 3 Coastal Trip Leader

To Register

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