Sam Fowlkes
ACA Safety and Rescue Committee Chair
347 Paddlers Trail
347 Paddlers Trail
Sylva, NC  28779
T. 828 586-6563
F. 828 586-9649
ACA L-5 ASWR Instructor Workshop was a great success! 8 new ACA SWR instructors certified!
Instructor Objectives/Performance Standards
• Focus on course objectives - (see PDF on website)
• Effectively and accurately demonstrate all skills addressed in the course
• Provide accurate content in all topics, using a variety of teaching styles and techniques, in response to student needs
• Develop a “critical eye” to help identify common participant errors
• Develop multiple techniques to help correct participant errors/inefficiencies
• Manage the course according to ACA instructional best practices

Click here for Course Information
ACA Swiftwater Rescue Conferences in 2013, 2015 and 2017 were a resounding success! Thanks to all of the presenters and participants. ACA SWR Conference 2020 will be next!
ACA SWR Conference
A unique event designed to be the cutting edge of swiftwater rescue with an unbeatable all star lineup of presenters which may include: Les Bechdel, Slim Ray, Charlie Walbridge, Mike Mather, Jim Coffey, Aaron Peeler, Sam Fowlkes, Robin Pope, Justin Padgett and more!
ACA Website -SWR Conference
Where are we?
Located in Western North Carolina on the banks of the Tuckasegee River. We are 10 minutes from Dillsboro, 30 minutes from the Great Smokies National Park, 35 minutes from the Nantahala River Gorge and 55 minutes West of Asheville.
We are strategically placed on two Class 2 rapids, “Double Drop” and “Slingshot”. This provides an ideal setup and teaching site for rescue and paddling instruction. Nature has granted multiple water features which afford exciting challenges and opportunities to enhance your whitewater learning experience. The riverside tent sites, tepee and open-air pavilion provide an idyllic setting for anyone yearning to gain paddlesport knowledge on many different levels.
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ACA SWR strainer swim training! Go aggressive and up and over! One of the most important self rescue skills! Strainers are lethal - # 1 Recognize, #2 Avoid, #3 Stay on top if unavoidable!
Solo wading - a versatile tool! Learn to master the paddle moves that make this a viable option.
Higgins and Langley Special Commendation Award presented to Sam by Jim Coffey!
Sam Fowlkes, who teaches paddlesports and rescue at Western Carolina University, recently accepted an award considered among the most prestigious in the field of technical swiftwater rescue for an American Canoe Association conference he helped coordinate.
Check out the full WCU article!
This site is designed to be an ACA instructor and trainer resource! Check publications!
ACA Website - Instruction Section!
Realistic, challenging scenarios are part of every class! A heads down pin requires quick problem solving with fast effective solutions! You will learn which tools to apply to solve these life threatening situations!
Show full Calendar
4/5/2019 - 6:00:00 PM
ACA L-4 SWR Skills Course
4/26/2019 - 6:00:00 PM
ACA L-4 SWR Skills Course
5/3/2019 - 6:00:00 PM
ACA L-4 SWR Skills Course
5/17/2019 - 6:00:00 PM
ACA L-3 SWR Skills Course
5/24/2019 - 6:00:00 PM
ACA L-4 SWR Skills Course
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Paddlesport Training
Whitewater Rescue Instructional Classes
Dixie Division Old News!
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