ACA Level 1: Introduction to Canoeing

Flatwater Canoeing Skills

The Level 1 Introduction to Canoeing course is designed as a short program emphasizing safety, enjoyment, and skill acquisition for entry-level individuals in public, private, and commercial settings. Students learn to paddle on flat water with basic paddle strokes and maneuvers that create the foundation for tandem canoeing.


Course Outline


Packing List

ACA Gear List

General Information

Course Length

16 hours / 2 days


  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be able to independently participate in all skills, activities and rescues listed in the appropriate ACA Skills Course Outline
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the Instructor and other course participants
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently

Certifications Received

ACA Level 1 Introduction to Canoeing

Course Length


Course Expectations

Because of commuting time to and from river sites, participants should plan to pack their lunches each day, to maximize time in class. Bringing plenty of snacks and water, layers and dry clothes is important, as folks get cold each afternoon with the amount of time in the water practicing skills. Please review the ACA Gear List to best prepare for a comfortable experience.

Students should be aware that they may or may not receive the level of instructorship they originally enrolled for; individual skill not only as a paddler but also as an instructor will play into the Instructors’ final decisions.

Class will end between 5PM and 6PM on the last day of the course. Please do not plan to leave before then, or make travel plans requiring an earlier departure or you will risk certification.