Find a Paddling Instructor
This past summer, Prairie State Canoeists had a few of their members undergo teaching certifications from the American Canoe Association (ACA). This certification consisted of tests, plus two full weekends of classes, and a bunch of practice and zoom sessions. With a new influx of certified paddling instructors now available in the state of Illinois, I wanted to take you through finding one.
At the ACA’s website (americancanoe.org), go to the education tab, then scroll down to find an instructor. After inputting search criteria, you’ll be given a list of certified kayak instructors that you can reach out to for classes.
Considering the ACA tests for both paddling ability as well as teaching capabilities, any instructor you find should be able to cover any basic concerns you may have. While all instructors might vary in overall abilities, they will all meet the strict standards of the ACA. Rest assured, you’ll be in good hands.
If you are a novice paddler, I highly recommend taking a paddling class. A teacher will be able to help remove barriers of entry, helping you understand the basics so you don’t have to learn by making lots of costly mistakes. As Illinois is a very diverse state, with many waterways, a growth in certified paddling instructors is huge. Use this to your advantage!