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President of the Board of Directors
HQ Phone:  (540) 907-4460
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503 SOPHIA ST
ACA is the nation's leader in paddlesport education and instruction. With expanding numbers of individuals entering the sport at varied skill levels, the ACA's educational curriculum addresses this broad and diverse range of participation. The ACA is the nat... more.
Marketing Director and Sales Manager
The Safety Education and Instruction Council
Outdoor Recreation and Organizational Theory
University of Illinois
American Canoe Association ACA
C. E. Wilson
Commodores / Presidents - ACA | Canoe - Kayak - SUP - Raft - Rescue
Charlie Wilson, 2001 - 2004 Charlie Wilson left the University of Illinois with Masters degrees in Outdoor Recreation and Organizational Theory to enter the outdoor sports industry. He operated a small chain, then a retail shop before designing portage packs and sewn accessories for paddlesports application. He was a principal in Bell Canoe Works, developing many of the companies solo and tandem paddlecraft with David Yost, a relationship that continued when he co-founded Placid Boatworks. While at Placid he introduced infusion lamination techniques and developed an integral gunwale system. Retired from manufacturing, Charlie continues as an industry consultant on marketing, hull and trim design and infusion processes. Charlie has written articles and submitted images on paddling and camping for CanoeSport Journal, Paddler and Canoe & Kayak Magazine, co-authored FreeStyle Paddling and contributed chapters to several other books on paddleport topics. Charlie become involved in FreeStyle paddling in the mid '80s and helped promote Conclaves, a series of paddlesport industry events which eventually brought him to the ACA as FreeStyle became an ACA discipline in 1990. Chairing the ACA FreeStyle Activity Committee placed him on the ACA Board of Directors and the National Instruction Committee. he National Instruction Committee was transformed into the Safety Education & Instruction Council (SEIC) via the ACA National Bylaws revision of 1995 which came from a Board Committee Charlie chaired. While Board Secretary and SEIC Vice-Chair under Kim Whitley, Charlie chaired SEIC sub committees that rewrote SEIC Bylaws and policies to bring them into line with the national initiatives and to improve function through simplification. The 32 page policy document was reduced from 32 to 8 pages. Elected SEIC Chair in 1997, Wilson encouraged the Council to embrace the broader paddlesports market, specifically by developing instructional programs for recreational kayaking, touring canoe and kayak, and emerging groups of multi-sport enthusiasts. The broad acceptance of the essentials programs is, perhaps, the most visible result of those initiatives. fter serving his second term as SEIC Chair, Charlie was elected President of the ACA Board of Directors for two successive terms, continuing the philosophy that the ACA needs to address the needs of all paddlers. Charlie was an inclusive chair who could run a meeting and initiate structure and programs, but his most important contribution to ACA instruction was a green coconut curry scallop dinner served over soba noodles to the SEIC one Friday evening at the Washington Suites in November 1999. For once, everyone smiled.
Together with cofounder Charlie Wilson, Joe developed a unique vacuum infusion system that is used to build Placid Boatworks.
Charlie had the idea of building composite canoes and bonding separately molded composite gunwales to them to cut weight and maintenance.
March 8 & 9, 2014 | Adirondack Sports & Fitness
2:30-3:00Blade, Body & Boat with Charlie Wilson.
An on-water intro to paddle physics, biomechanics, and boat control to help you improve efficiency and power in pack canoes. Charlie Wilson is world-renowned as a paddlesport gear designer, boat builder, instructor, author and past president of the American Canoe Association. 2:30-3:00Blade, Body & Boat with Charlie Wilson. An on-water intro to paddle physics, biomechanics, and boat control to help you improve efficiency and power in pack canoes. Charlie Wilson is world-renowned as a paddlesport gear designer, boat builder, instructor, author and past president of the American Canoe Association.
Placid Boatworks: Continuously Some Of The Best Canoes For Sale At Lake George Kayak
Charlie Wilson's involvement in the canoe industry began when he designed a series of revolutionary, monocoque, portage packs for canoe camping in 1983.
In the mid-eighties, Charlie was drawn into technical canoeing and the FreeStyle paddling community, co-founding Conclave, a series of national, on-water, canoeing clinics. An American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer, Charlie chaired the ACA's Instruction Council from 1996 through 2000. During his tenure as its first Chair, the ACA FreeStyle Committee developed workshops and instructor standards and Interpretive Paddling Competitions. Charlie chaired the ACA's Bylaws Revision Committee, served two terms as National Secretary, one as Vice President, and was elected President of the 30,000 member group in 2001. His initiatives have included increased emphasis on market research and simplification of instructional programs, both to increase outreach to the paddling public. He began writing on paddling technique for Canoesport Journal, and has contributed to the American Canoeist, Canoe Magazine, Currents, Paddler, Paddling, Paddlesport, River and Wooden Canoe magazines and several event and club newspapers. He wrote a chapter for Cliff Jacobson's Basic Essentials of Solo Touring, co-authored FreeStyle Canoeing, and Introduction to Canoeing and re-edited Appalachian Whitewater for Menasha Ridge Press. Editor and principal author of the ACA FreeStyle Instruction Manual, Charlie is working on three books on Modern Paddling Technique. Charlie joined Bell Canoe Works of Zimmerman MN in 1993. When not paddling, promoting it, or writing about paddling, Charlie may be found skiing, mountaineering, or bird hunting, often with his sons. In his spare time, Charlie can sometimes be found practicing his "air paddling" technique in the SpitFIRE plug. His recent commitment to Placid Boatworks, a local manufacturer working solely in the Adirondack market is an understandable rededication to innovative, targeted, design and superb quality construction. It's what he's always enjoyed doing. As a craftsman, the idea of building the very highest quality hulls in design, materials and performance coupled with hand finishing them in exotic, attractive and durable trim materials persuaded Joe to join Charlie in forming Placid Boatworks.