ACA IDW/ICE w/Nickels & Blade

I just completed the ACA Instructor Development Workshop/Instructor Certification Exam offered by the local folks at Sea Kayak Carolina in September and loved it. It is being offered again in December with the addition of Tom Nickels and Kelly Blades and I am considering going again.

Has anyone else out there paddled with these folks?

I hope to get more get more “seat” time before then but my question is would it be worth taking again with the different instructors? I really don’t expect to be able to get a higher level yet so that is not the issue.

'mater vs 'tater
Sure do it, you’ll learn more this time.

Watch for the “NOT-the-same” way they say/do the same things, one class vs the other.

did you pass

– Last Updated: Oct-16-09 11:46 AM EST –

Did you pass the ICE? Where you after open water certification? What is your goal (to take this to learn more about paddling for yourself, or to be a better instructor)?

if I passed the ICE, I likely wouldn't retake the ICE. Maybe retake the IDW to add to my skills, but probably not so soon.

still undecided
I am still undecided whether I am going to attend or not. A lot depends on the ACA conference this month up in Fredericksburg.


I think its good
to go with different instructors. The curriculum is the same but each instructor has a different style, different ways to communicate. You will learn different things from different instructors. If you are not looking to pass the thing it might be worth it to take a private lesson with an ACA instructor. For less money and time you can identify and work on specific goals.

Good luck.

The only thing
that really matters is what you feel comfortable with.

If this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on, do it. If you want more seat time and practice, or really not sure, wait till Spring.

I like to spread things out with plenty of practice between, but if I have a good opportunity I don’t miss that either.

good luck!

good plan
if you have the time/$$, go for it. the more time you spend with high level coaches, the better.


I’ve paddled with Kelly quite a bit. He’s an incredible instructor with a very motivating teaching style. He’ll really keep you involved and make things hilarious.

He’s well rounded because he’s “been around the block” a bit, both ACA and BCU. No nonsense, totally practical. A real world application to paddling.

You won’t be disappointed with him.



he’s funny as hell. a trained professional clown!

and a very good kayak coach!