How To Find A Good Kiteboarding Instructor
Finding a good instructor is harder than ever these days, so we've put together this guide to finding a kiteboarding instructor. One thing we have learned over the years is being a good kiter has very little to do with being a good teacher. Being "good" is also subjective, as anyone who can ride a board or do a jump would be considered "good" by someone who isn't a kiteboarder. With the growth of the sport over the past few years, there's a clear need for some kind of standards to be implemented for kiteboarding instruction. The simple fact is, that there ARE basic standards in place, they're just overshadowed by marketing buzzwords by people who want to sell you things. In the early days of the sport, instruction and gear sales were separate and you generally couldn't buy gear until you had some lessons. With the growth of the sport, the salesmen far outnumber the instructors, hence the need to educate yourself before spending your money.
Choosing an instructor is an important decision for several reasons, but the main one is your safety. Its not that anyone is unsafe or will intentionally put you at risk of injury, its that kiteboarding is always going to be a bit dangerous by nature. The risks are real, but kiteboarding instruction and kitebaording safety equipment has improved greatly over the years.
IKO and PASA Instructor Standards
Many kiteboarding lesson websites use these terms, but what does it really mean?
IKO and PASA are the two recognized kiteboarding training organizations in the United States, and they provide Kiteboarding Instructor Training Courses, also known as ITC's. To enter an ITC, the prospective instructor must meet certain criteria, such as CPR/ First Aid Certification, train in an approved school as an Assistant Instructor, etc. The training is only 1 week long, but gives the instructor specific training on various topics they they're tested on before obtaining their certification as Level 1 Kiteboarding Instructor. At that point, they become eligible to purchase kiteboarding-specific Liability Insurance, and can work in an approved school, or become an Independent Instructor. The advantage off working in a school is not having to handle the business end of things. It's a great way to go if you just want to teach.
You can click the links here to visit the IKO and PASA Instructor Locator system on either website.