Instructor's Canoe?

Working on my L1/L2 cert solo & tandem for intro flat and easy moving water canoe. Wondering if there is a favorite boat for this level of instruction? Have a W-Vag solo in K-UL but more of a straight-line yak chaser, and my old Dagger Legend is a bit fat and heavy for this aging paddle dog. Thoughts, experience appreciated. R

Just to get this started, have Kaz of build you an AC/DC. Narrow enough for solo, good for tandem, reasonably fast on lakes, but designed to race slalom/downriver combined events on whitewater. Not highly rockered, looks like an ordinary 16.5’ canoe, but kind of a Q-ship.

Instructor’s Canoe
Instructor certs are all about your skills and learning how to teach. Assuming your boats are suited to the venue (in this case flat water)and they are, end of discussion.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Canoe Paddles and Cedar Strip Canoes

Thanks for the Comments
Didn’t know about Millbrook boats and AC/DC looks like very flexible design and good value. Understand on the certs Marc, just looking at alternatives. Thanks, R

Questions and Comments:

– Last Updated: Apr-25-09 2:23 PM EST –

Is this an ACA cert?
If so, is it for the Touring or River curriculum?

There's moving water, then there's moving water. Some IT's define moving water as almost WW while others use barely moving rivers. For several years, I was on the ACA SEIC Curriculum Committee and we really struggled with this grey area known as “moving water”. To some members it was up to and including class I rapids. To others it was just a river with light current. In the end we thought that candidates would simply choose an IT that gravitated to the type that they were comfortable with. So, choice of hulls may depend a lot on how your IT defines moving water and what venue they would choose for your cert.

Claims by canoe builders that they make a hull that will do all things are, like Mark Twain’s death, greatly exaggerated. The big variable with any hull is the ability of the paddler. Compromise hulls ( one of the more popular is the MR Explorer) can be paddled on many types of water by an advanced paddler but will not do everything as well as a specialized hulls and so probably disappoint.

Any boat.
For Level 2, a Vagabond will do just fine. I recently participated in a Level 3 ICW and there were a couple Vagabonds in the mix. What surprised me were the five Bell Wildfires that showed up. Any boat that you can preform paddling technique with “skill and grace” will do just fine.

just curious, L3 Touring or L3 River?
I have not heard about skill and “grace” talked about in River. Definitely the “grace” aspect in flatwater, in addition to the skill. Wildfire is certainly a “go to” boat for L3 flatwater, however I have done certs with plenty of Wildfires in L3 River also.

Skill and Grace shows up in all levels of ACA training in all disciplines. Of course the ACA changes the program on what feels like a monthly basis, so those exact words may no longer exist, but the concept remains. Just being able to squeak out the necessary skill isn’t enough to be an instructor, you have to make it look easy to inspire others.

quantifing grace?
If you would allow a few words form an old canoe IT. I have never used “grace” as criteria for certification. But if a paddler has developed the requisite skill necessary to properly demonstrate the interplay between blade, body, and boat at an instructional level, then a certain amount of grace is bound to ensue. How one objectively quantifies “grace”, I do not know. I do know that one can almost always very quickly spot the skillful solo canoeist even from a distance because of the grace acquired over the time taken to develop those skills. So, it is just a matter of degree. Some skillful paddlers are more graceful than others but at that level they are all more graceful than those less further into the learning curve. My criteria are that an instructor candidate can demo a stroke accurately in a cohesive and organized manner. Some great and graceful paddlers have not certed because they simply could not present the material in a way that the average person could comprehend. Other less graceful I C’s have certed because the presentations were not only accurate but also very effective. Both have a certain amount of grace but if one cannot effectively impart knowledge then they should not attempt to instruct.


Concur completely…
I do know that “grace” is certainly discussed a little more frequently for L3/FreeStyle, although I was never quite sure how to quantify it. Would seem hard to me, though, to achieve a FS cert. if one did not have a certain degree of it.

certing for FS is a wholly different animal. If one can demo a FS maneuver correctly (especially w/o bobble) then grace should naturally follow. But then again FS is a very advanced level of knowledge. I’ve certed some Flat & Moving Water Instructors who really didn’t have the level of knowledge that I would expect from a FS instructor.