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Kayak Rolling Instructor & ACA Endorsement

Updated: Mar 25

This article is offered to provide details about our Kayak Rolling Instructor Course.

This is an ACA (American Canoe Association) course provided as a way for currently certified instructors at level 2 or 3 coastal or river kayaking to get an endorsement to teach rolling. Non-ACA participants interested in teaching the roll are also welcome however only currently certified ACA instructors can receive the rolling endorsement/certification.

Though you don't need a certification to teach kayaking skills in general, the ACA provides insurance for courses and instructors can list their courses on the ACA website which helps market their courses. Rolling is not part of the ACA's curriculum at levels 2 or 3, so the rolling endorsement can be used as an addendum to a current certification at level 2 or 3.


The ACA does not set a curriculum for the rolling endorsement, but rather leaves it to the trainer to create a custom course based on participant needs. In general this course can be broken down in to the following:

1. Teaching how to roll

This may seem obvious, but this course is not for you if you don't already have a fairly dependable roll in the conditions that you paddle in. We will spend some time coaching folks on how to improve their own roll as part of the learning process, but you need to be able to perform a roll already.

2. Coaching

We will look at your current roll in-person and video and provide feedback for improvement. This method also gives you new tools for coaching others.

3. Teaching Progressions

My general approach is the less talking and explaining and the more doing, the better. How do we create exercises that allow people to teach themselves and improve. I can often get people to roll within a few tries, but is that skill repeatable? Learning is a process of discovering on your own, with the help of an instructor.

4. Variations

Not everyone has the same abilities physically, mentally, emotionally. We'll practice some variations and paddle types.

5. Practice teaching

We invite novice rollers to come in towards the end of the class to practice teaching. This is a great way to try out some new teaching methods and get folks jazzed about rolling!

Hopefully this explanation helps understand the process a bit better. Contact us with questions.

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