Question #1
Do I get certified once I finish the ACA SUP Instructor Certification Workshop course or the Safety Facilitator’s course?

Answer: Mere participation carries no guarantee of certification. In order to receive an ACA Instructor certification you must demonstrate proficiency in:

1. Teaching Skills
2. Technical Knowledge
3. Paddling Skills
4. Rescue Ability
5. Safety Awareness, Leadership, and Judgment
Also, the Safety Facilitators course has a written exam.

Question #2
Why do you spent so much time teaching about teaching methodology and risk management in the ICW?

Answer: The successful SUP Instructor is not only a great SUP paddler, but also an excellent teacher and outstanding at mitigating risk to others. Therefore, a strong emphasis on teaching methodology and risk management are the core of the training.

Question #3
Why is it that instructor candidates’ have to teach at least one topic during the ICW?

Answer: Similar to the paddling skills, the teaching topic is another tool to share information with peers, but also assess the candidates’ ability to be an effective teacher/SUP Instructor.

Question #4
What can I expect from the Instructor Certification Workshop course?

Answer: You can expect long days with assigned readings in the evenings or prior to the course. You’ll be teaching some pre- assigned topics and some impromptu talks to other instructor candidates. You need to bring lunch with you in order to maximize the time o n the water. Please be prepared to paddle and teach in a wide range of conditions. Also, bring enough gear and storage to go on a trip.

Question #5
What equipment do I need for the ICW?

Equipment needed:
1. SUP and leash (This might be provided by the host organization)
2. Paddle (This might be provided by the host organization)
3. PFD (This might be provided by the host organization)
4. Drinking water
5. Sunscreen
6. Food (lunch and snacks)
7. Appropriate clothing and footwear
8. First aid kit (if you have one)
9. Hat and Sunglasses
10. ACA Instructors manual

Question #6
What other resources do you recommend to get ready for the ICW?

Answer: Below is a list of recommended resources, plus you’ll get a course pack via email.

Books:

1. The Art of Stand up paddling by Ben Marcus – A little heavy on the history of the sport, but good reference overall.

2. Stand Up Paddling. Flatwater to Surf and Rivers by Rob Casey – Clear and informative. Good balance, but some of the information is now outdated.

3. Stand Up Paddle. A paddlers guide by Steve West – It has 500 pages of great content and it should be in every SUP instructor library.

Videos:

1. Stand Up Paddling by Jimmy Blakeney – Jimmy is an ACA SUP Instructor Trainer and his video reflects the depth and breadth of the paddling techniques addressed and assessed during the ACA ICW. It is very clearly presented and has a friendly language/approach. This DVD should be in every SUP Instructor Library.

2. Mastering Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Technique with Danny Ching – This is a good and simple video created be one of the top paddlers in the USA. Good to watch once, but not necessarily a DVD to keep for reference purposes. Additionally, trying to attend a live clinic with Danny Ching should be a goal for any SUP instructor looking to improve their technique.

Question #7
Why do you have to film me paddling a specific course during the ICW?

Answer: The main reason is that the video serves as an objective platform for feedback and a tool for final assessment. In other words, you can look back at your technique and receive proper coaching from peers and the Instructor Trainer. Also, it serves as the performance assessment of your paddling skills, one of the five core competencies of the SUP Instructor

Question #8
Why are the courses that expensive?

Answer: The courses are priced competitively within the industry. For example, the ACA ICW is valued at about $14/hr.

Question #9
What else do I need to do in order to obtain my ACA SUP instructor certification?

Answer: Besides taking the course and successfully passing all the performance assessments, you need two more certification requirements in order to be certified:

1. First Aid and age appropriate CPR
2. ACA membership and SEIC fee

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