Kayak Skills Evaluation

All Levels Welcome

Opportunity for Certification

The Ultimate Test for Your Kayaking Abilities

Unlock your potential as a kayaker with our American Canoe Association Assessment. If you have completed any of the Kayak Training Courses and want to benchmark your skill level, our ACA assessment is the perfect way to do so! Our evaluation of your paddling abilities will allow you to understand how far you have come through the courses by putting your knowledge and skills to the test!

The ACA assessment can open up opportunities for kayakers, such as access to more advanced paddling courses or employment as a kayak instructor or guide. Many outfitters and outdoor education programs require ACA certification for their staff, so achieving this certification can be an important step for those seeking to pursue a career in the outdoor industry.

Not quite convinced you’re ready for an assessment? Remember that an assessment at any stage of your training can provide you with valuable feedback on your paddling abilities and areas of improvement. Depending on your end goal, you can always inquire with your instructor to receive guidance and recommendations of the courses most suitable to your current knowledge and kayak skill level.

Why Take an Assessment?

Taking an ACA assessment at an advanced level can open up kayaking opportunities for you, including access to more advanced paddling courses or employment as a kayak instructor or guide.

You’ll know exactly where your skill level is at. This is important so you can hone in on exercising areas that still need improving and even re-take some of the earlier courses.

Upon successful completion of an assessment, you will have the possibility to receive a certificate and ID card indicating your level of certification. These credentials are recognized nationally.

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Assessment Details

Assessment Details


$100 per person / per course

Start date and time

TBD (schedule will be determined after booking)


The assessment venue may vary from the venues used for the courses

Meeting point

TBD closer to the course start date


March 1- October 31
Friday, Saturday or Sunday


Up to 1 day (8 hours)*

*The course duration will be adjusted to best fit the needs and goals of the participants.

Group size

5 participants to 1 instructor (minimum 2 participants)


– Solo kayak, spray deck, paddle, PFD, paddle float, bilge pump, throw bag, tow rope are provided for the Level 1 and Level 2 courses

– Equipment may be rented for the Level 3 part 1 and 2 courses

Not included

Clothing, water or food

What to bring

– Water, snacks and/or lunch
– Appropriate clothing for paddling that you don’t mind getting wet:
– Socks
– Base layers (wool/synthetic, avoid cotton)
– Warm insulation
– Rain gear
– Beanie
– Gloves (rubber works great)
– Footwear (neoprene booties are best but tennis shoes are fine)

Participation requirements

The minimum age required to participate is 10 years

About your guide

ACA-certified kayak instructor

About The Assessment

Your certified ACA instructor will evaluate your knowledge and skills, and ability to perform the required maneuvers at an appropriate level. If you meet the requirements, there is an opportunity to receive certification acknowledging your level of paddling ability.

Please Keep In Mind

ACA membership is required to undertake the assessment. Basic membership is $40/year.

Assessments do not expire so long as your membership is current.

While all topics during the skills courses are challenge by choice, participants must be able to demonstrate their ability to complete the various strokes, maneuvers, rescues and associated knowledge to be able to pass an assessment.

Continue Your Training With These Courses...

Level 1: Introduction to Kayaking
Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring
Level 3 Coastal Kayaking: Part 1 – Basic Strokes & Rescues