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Paddlesports Standards
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Since 2007, the ACA staff and several volunteers have been part of the development of both knowledge based and on-water standards for paddlesports.  These standards are being formulated according to the recognized standards development process of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).


The knowledge based standards are designed to cover the information that should be included in a classroom or online paddlesports course.


The on-water standards are being designed to cover the basic skills that need to be included in a course that takes individuals out on the water.


National System of Standards for Recreational Boat Operation:

  • National Education Standards (knowledge)
    • ANSI/NASBLA 101-2017: Basic Boating Knowledge – Human Propelled - American National Standard, effective Sep. 28, 2017. (PDF)
  • National On-Water Standards (NOWS)
    • EDU-2: Skill-Based Human-Propelled Standard (PDF)
    • Paddlesport Technical Support Document (PDF)
    • Paddlesport Standards: Self-Assessment Checklist (PDF)
  • Bridge between the two sets of Standards (websitePDF)

Reference Information:

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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