IDW/ICE L3 Kayak Instructor Certification

Kayak Certification for San Francisco, Sausalito, Marin

Adventure Type


Experience Necessary

Intermediate Class Required

Age Minimum


Destination / Location

Bay Model, Sausalito

Trip Dates

Call for Dates


  • A rigorous boot camp experience to get certified as a kayak instructor by the American Canoe Association.
  • ACA level 3 Assessment required
  • 18 yrs required

American Canoe Association Instructor Certification

Sea Trek Offers an American Canoe Association Instructor Development Workshops and Instructor Certification Exams:
Improve your teaching skills and take your paddling to a higher level. This cutting-edge program is a rigorous experience, like a boot camp for kayakers, and worth every minute! We’ll spend 3 days on the water and have 2 evenings of lectures and discussions.

You are expected to come to this workshop with:

• Advanced kayaking skills
• A desire to teach those skills
• Basic understanding of kayaking technique
• A willingness to learn and grow as a teacher

There is generally a two-step process to becoming certified by the American Canoe Association as a Kayak Instructor. The first part is taking a three-day workshop called the Instructor Development workshop, or IDW. During the IDW, students will learn the fundamentals of how to teach kayaking skills. This includes being videotaped to examine student technique. Each student is also required to give a presentation on some aspect of kayaking related skills.

The IDW course prepares you to take the ACA Instructor Certification Exam, or ICE for short, if you desire. This ICE is an extended exam that tests you on the instructor skills you developed during your three-day workshop. When you pass, you are certified by the American Canoe Association, widely recognized as the top certification board for kayak and canoe instructors in the United States.

Sea Trek’s Instructor Certification Workshop, or ICW, is open to both those needing to take the IDW and the ICE workshops. The flexibility of this approach benefits all our students. In the workshop, IDW candidates will learn and practice everything they need to know in order to become a certified instructor. This will come in handy when you take the ICE at a later date. Anyone who passes their IDW course with us should have the knowledge and skills to pass their ICE at a later date.

By combining both IDW and ICE students, Sea Trek’s ICW course helps both. IDW students will not only learn and refine teaching techniques, but will also learn from ICE student teachers what is required to gain their ICE certification. And ICE candidates will have the opportunity to act as student teachers for IDW students, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in a pedagogical setting. Whether you sign up for as an IDW student or ICE candidate, this course is run and managed by certified ACA instructors.


Raised in the land-locked Midwest, Marcé Wise ran away to sea more than twenty-five years ago, and found her true home. An Advanced Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator for the ACA for nearly 20 years, Marcé has owned her own kayak school, trained Eco-Challenge teams, organized expeditions in Baja and British Columbia, and is now working for Sea Trek.

Richard Smith has been an ACA Instructor Trainer 6 years and a certified instructor for 15 years. Richard’s enthusiasm for teaching kayaking is evident in his action oriented, student-centered, passionate instruction. He has also been an accomplished kayak racer since 1997 and a winner of the prestigious “Big Hurt” in Port Angeles, Washington.

Leo Siecienski began paddling canoes at the tender age of three in his home state of Connecticut, but quickly found a love for sea kayaking and ultimately became an ACA certified Sea Kayak Instructor in 2005. He loves all things biking, as well as stand up paddle boarding. We are most proud of his SUP headstand! Leo likes to say, “There is a place for every person in paddle sports!”

Bay Model, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
Follow Bay Model signs, and park in Bay Model lot.


  1. Take Sausalito/Marin City exit. Sea Trek is roughly 1.7 miles.
  2. Go left under the freeway and right onto Bridgeway.
  3. Count seven signal lights (including the signal where you turn right onto Bridgeway).
  4. Turn left on Marinship Way. This is the first possible left after Harbor Drive and is opposite a 7-11 market and bus stop shelter.
  5. Go down the hill and continue straight. Follow Bay Model signs. Turn right between Bay Model warehouses. Drive towards the water and the Bay Model/Sea Trek parking lot is on the left. Parking is free.

COMING FROM THE SOUTH (Golden Gate Bridge) ON HWY 101:

  1. Take the Rodeo Drive exit off 101 (comes after Spencer Drive exit). From exit to Sea Trek is approx. 1.2 miles.
  2. At the first stop sign bear left onto Nevada Street.
  3. Nevada Street ends at Bridgeway. Turn right on Bridgeway and at the second signal light (just after Spring Street signal light) take a left at Marinship Way (opposite a 7-11 market and bus stop shelter).
  4. Go down the hill and continue straight. Follow Bay Model signs. Turn right between Bay Model warehouses. Drive towards the water and the Bay Model/Sea Trek parking lot is on the left. Parking is free.

More Info

At Sea Trek, we can help you take the extra step from being a good kayaker to becoming a kayak instructor! To accept this challenge and take our certification course, contact our lead instructor Mitch Powers at (415) 332-8494.

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