Rocky Mountain Sea Kayak Club

Leaving Horseshoe Bay, San Francisco

Rosario Strait, Washington

Adams Inlet, Glacier Bay Alaska

ACA Coastal Kayaking Skills Assessment

ACA assessment courses have been developed as a tool to allow paddlers a clear progression of skill development.  Courses provide progression in skills and paddling venues associated with specific disciplines and paddlecraft. Upon successful completion of each Skills Assessment checklist, your Instructor will submit the paperwork and you will receive official documentation of your level of skill from the ACA National Office. 

​Assessment Overview: The ACA Assessment Courses are designed to evaluate a participant’s ability to perform all of the skills listed along with demonstrating an appropriate level of knowledge. These assessment courses provide the participant with the opportunity to receive documentation of having achieved a certain level of paddling ability.

Essential Eligibility Criteria: In order to participate in an ACA Skills Assessment Course, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:       

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities listed in the course outline while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position

  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket,

  • Be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water

  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants

  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion

  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion 


See the ACA Kayaking Courses and the ACA Educational Resources for additional information.