Beginning with its founder, Mike Aronoff, Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company has proven itself one of the premiere American Canoe Association Pro Schools in the world. CKAPCO is frequently among the annual leaders in the certification of new ACA paddlesports instructors and is known for the level of excellence contained within and emanating from its educational programs. An instructor certified through CKAPCO can be proud in knowing that they've met the high standards expected by the ACA.
Mike is an ACA Whitewater (L4) Canoeing Instructor Trainer Educator, ACA Open Water (L4) Coastal Kayaking Instructor Trainer Educator, River Kayaking (L3) Instructor Trainer, ACA River Rescue (L3) Instructor Trainer, L4 Whitewater Kayaking Instructor and L4 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor. He holds a British Canoe Union, 4 Star Award in Sea Kayaking.
He is Past Vice-Chair, ACA Safety Education and Instruction Committee and Chair of Education subcommittee. Past Chair ACA Introduction to Paddling Committee, ACA River Kayaking Committee, ACA Coastal Kayaking Committee and ACA River Canoeing Committee. Mike was named 2004 ACA Outstanding Instructor. He served two terms on the national Board of Directors of the American Canoe Association with one term as its Treasurer. He is a past Divisional Instruction Facilitator for the Middle States Division of the ACA.
Mike teaches at George Mason University as an Adjunct Professor in Sea Kayaking and Whitewater Kayaking and teaches paddlesports courses for University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Kent State University, Ohio University at the College of the Albemarle.
Mike is featured in a variety of Paddling.net educational videos on kayaking (featured on our videos page) and was a lead or contributing author of many of the ACA curricula in use today.
Ben is an ACA Advanced Whitewater (L5) Canoe Instructor, Advanced Whitewater (L5) Kayak Instructor Trainer, Whitewater (L4) Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator, Whitewater (L4) Canoe Instructor Trainer, Whitewater (L3) SUP Instructor Trainer, Coastal (L3) Kayak Instructor and River Safety and Rescue Instructor (L3). He is also a Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace Master Educator. Ben's paddling awards include the 2013 American Canoe Association Excellence in Instruction and 2011 National Outdoor Leadership School River Instructor Course: Homer Luther awards.
Over the past 10 years Ben has worked with the National Outdoor Leadership School, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Jackson Hole Kayak School, Costa Rica Rios, DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking, Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School, New Zealand Kayak School, Wilderness Rescue International and many other organizations. Ben's strengths lie in his excitement to share his passion for paddlesports with others, his eagerness to continue growing and developing as a paddler and instructor and his positive interpersonal skills. Ben will be excited to work with you whether it's helping you improve your paddling technique, guiding you down beautiful tropical rivers in Central America, or leading you on your first multi-day river experience.
Larry Ausley is affably known as "CKAPCO South", teaching whitewater kayaking and river safety through the mountains and piedmont of NC/SC/GA/TN and coastal kayaking along North Carolina's historic coast. Larry has been involved in the certification of over 100 ACA instructors but also loves teaching beginners and fundamentals. The basics are where we can all improve our paddling skills at any level.
Larry is an ACA certified Whitewater (L4) Kayaking Instructor Trainer Educator (ITE), Coastal (L3) Kayaking Instructor Trainer (IT), advanced whitewater kayaking (L5), river safety and rescue (L3) and tandem canoe (L1) instructor. He maintains currency in CPR and Wilderness First Aid certification. Larry is a past chair and current member of ACA's River Kayaking Committee, a current affiliate member of ACA's Coastal Kayaking Committee, is a past member of the national Board of Directors and past-Secretary of the American Canoe Association. He is a past-president of the Carolina Canoe Club. Larry is a retired State of North Carolina water quality biologist and Certified Public Manager.
Brendan is an ACA certified Whitewater (L4) Canoe, River (L2) Kayak, and Swift Water (L4) Rescue instructor. He also maintains certifications in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Brendan has been paddling for five years and has instructed over 60 students in the two years that he has been an instructor. He is one of the primary instructors for our beginner kayak courses on Lake Audubon and loves teaching whitewater canoeing courses (solo, tandem, and C-1). He is a member of the ACA's River Canoe Committee and the Canoe Cruiser Association's Instruction Committee. As a father of four, Brendan is our go to instructor for planning fun, family-friendly paddling outings.