If you want to become an independent kiteboarder as quickly as possible, you first need to find the best kiteboard school and instructor around. Here’s how in 4 steps.
Last edited: November 19, 2014
1. Find a certified kiteboard school that employs certified kiteboard instructors
Local kiteboarders who earn an extra buck with instructing can’t teach you to kiteboard safely and properly. Neither can your kiting boyfriend or girlfriend. Knowing how to kiteboard is not the same as knowing how to teach someone to kiteboard.
If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.
– Red Adair
If you take classes with a non-certified kiteboard instructor, this is what will happen, best-case scenario: you’ll end up having to go to a certified kiteboard school anyway (having to pay again though). Worst-case scenario: you’ll have a horrible experience and end up hating kiteboarding (having spent you’re money in vain).
As for “taking classes” from your kiting boyfriend or girlfriend, best-case scenario: you’ll end up having to go to a certified kiteboard school anyway. Worst-case scenario: you’ll break up.
This is no time to be cheap. Find a kiteboard school that is an International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) affiliate. Instructors at IKO affiliated schools are certified instructors who went through a study program with quality tested methods.
Certified kiteboard instructors are able to teach you all the important safety measures that you need to know. They also know exactly what to do when something goes wrong. And they are able to explain what you did wrong and what you can do to improve it.
All this contributes to you having a safe, fun and progressive learning experience so that you can become an independent and responsible kiteboarder as quickly as possible.
Side note: An IKO affiliated kiteboard school will also be able to certify your riding level by means of issuing you an IKO member card, which certain kite centers require for you to present upon renting equipment.
2. Check internet reviews and ask for referrals
Once you find a certified kiteboard school, it’s time to find an instructor. Browse the internet for reviews and check kiteboard forums. Read about experiences from previous students (make sure you’re reading independent opinions). What do they say? Who did they like?
You can also ask the kiteboard school for referrals, so that you can have a chat with a former student, or you may want to send them an email. Good kiteboarding schools will have no problem doing this and will be pleased to show-off their track record.
The best way to find an awesome kiteboard instructor is to ask around in your own social circle (use your social media channels). Sure a friend of a friend knows a friend who took kiteboard lessons not too long ago.
3. Pass by the kiteboard school
Check out the atmosphere and ask a few questions, like the following:
- Is the kiteboard school insured?
This is very important. If something accidentally happens to the equipment during your course, you don’t want to have to pay repair or replacement costs.
- What happens if you can’t finish your kiteboard course because there’s no wind? Will you get a refund?
- How many other students are there in a group class?
The lower this number the better. You definitely don’t want to be in a class with more than 2, or 3 students (the later could be considered too many). If you can afford it, take private lessons.
- How old is the equipment that you’ll be using?
You want it to be as up to date as possible and not older than one season.
Passing by the kiteboard school also ensures that you know where it’s exactly located. Keep in mind that you’ll have to commute at least 6 times to this place before you can venture out independently to different spots.
4. Have a chat with the kiteboard instructor
Once you have an idea of who you’d like to be your instructor, have a chat with him. You need to have some kind of click as you’ll be spending hours listening to him. However, you’re not moving in together and you don’t need to like his haircut, so concentrate on the right things.
Ask general questions about how your course is going to look like and what you’ll be doing (even if you already know the answers). Pay attention to the way he answers your questions and how he explains the details. Is it in a way that is easy for you to follow? Will you be comfortable listening to him or her for 12 hours?
Side note: If after your first lesson you feel that things (i.e. the ability to understand your instructor not your progress) are not working out, don’t be reluctant to ask for a different instructor. You’re the customer–it’s okay.
These 4 steps will help you to find the best kiteboard school and instructor possible. Keep in mind, however, that an instructor can only do so much.
To make sure you get the most out of your kiteboard course, show up rested, in a confident and cheerful mood, and listen carefully to your kiteboard instructor–he’s here to make you the best beginner kiteboarder ever. The least you can do, is be the best student possible.
Tell me what you think. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links match discussion pages for this post) and let me know: What’s your tip for finding the best kiteboard school and instructor?