ACA LEVEL 3 Canoe Instructor Certification

March 9, 2020 - 8:00am to March 12, 2020 - 5:00pm

All times local.

Join Canoe Kentucky for this 4-day intensive instructor training and assessment in all things river canoeing.  This training will cover learning and teaching theory, communication exercises, feedback structure, and delivery, as well as on water technical skill development, rescue strategies and skills, group management concepts, and much more.  The American Canoe Association Instructor Certification is viewed as the gold standard for water safety and paddle sport education by the U.S.Coast Guard and the paddle sport industry within the U.S.

This course will cover Instructor Development and Certification through the Level 1-3 River Canoeing. To be eligible for Level 3 certification, candidates must arrive to the course having completed appropriate level skills course, assessment course, or have equivalent skills. Please reach out to or 888 CANOE KY with questions regarding prerequisites.

Note:  Whether you achieve the highest level of available certification or not, there is still the opportunity and value to continue with the course in the spirit of personal paddling and teaching development. If you are only looking for certification up to Level 1: Basics of River Canoeing and do not wish to pursue further skill development, we have limited space in our program to accommodate candidates for the first two days only. Priority will be given to students participating in the full 4 day course. Please contact Canoe Kentucky at to explore this avenue.  

Instructor Update: Current instructors looking for an update of certification may join the course for a shorter duration per Instructor Trainer approval and time needed for update. Priority will be given to students participating in the full 4 day course. Please contact Canoe Kentucky at to explore this avenue.  

This is a fantastic training opportunity whether you’re interested in becoming a full time paddlesport educator, learning some tips for teaching friends and family members, or want to develop your technical skills while getting an inside look at paddlesport education.

Sign up below to register or contact for additional course information.

ACA Instructor Trainer: Nathan Depenbrock

Nathan is a full time paddlesport educator and co owner of Canoe Kentucky, Kentucky's largest rental and retail canoe, kayak and SUP operation. He has extensive paddling experience all over America. His favorite paddling trips are the Rio Grande in South Texas, the Chatooga River in Georgia, the Boundary Water of Northern Minnesota and the Florida Keys. Nathan is an ACA Instructor Trainer in River Canoe and a Level 5 Canoe Instructor. He is also Swift Water Rescue certified through the ACA and Rescue 3 International. He also holds his Wilderness First Responder and was previously an EMT-B. His passion in life is adaptive paddling as well as kids in the outdoors, beginning with his three children, Boone, Dane and Isla.

Membership, Dues, and other required Materials

Membership: As this certification is sanctioned American Canoe Association, prior to receiving certification you must be a member of the ACA. An individual membership, or membership level appropriate to your needs is great.

SEIC: Upon successful assessment as an instructor,you will need to register with the Safety Education and Instruction Council and pay the appropriate dues prior to your certification being issued.

To best prepare for the workshop please plan on reading and reviewing the ACA Instructor Manual prior to the course. You can find it available for purchase in several different forms via the ACA e-store.


While it is often best to use appropriate equipment you are familiar with for certification, Canoe Kentucky and Blue Moon Canoe and Kayak has limited equipment available for the duration of the course. Please reach out well in advance to discuss and reserve rental or demo equipment you may need.

Cancellation Policy for ACA ICW

Due to the logistics involved in putting this class together, please read below for the expanded cancellation policy.

To reschedule or cancel your class:

-14 days or more before the class: We are happy to reschedule or refund you without a fee.

-Less than 14 days before the class: Unfortunately, there is a rescheduling fee of $50 per student.

If you do not reschedule your class and do not attend class, there is a no opportunity for a reschedule or refund.Reschedules or cancellations can only be processed by phone or in person during regular business hours. (M-F 9-5, S/S 9-6)


Lodging:  Contact us to discuss.

Due to resources and logistics, our classes require 3 students minimum to run a tour or class. If we elect not to run a tour or a class, we will reschedule your class to a later date at no charge to you.


Canoe KY
7323 Peaks Mill rd

Registration Fees


Contact Information

Nathan Depenbrock