Kitesurfing is such an exhilarating sport, nothing comes close to the feeling of flying on top of the water with the wind running through your hair. Have you ever seen kitesurfers after a session boosting big jumps or slashing some waves? We are sure if you have, they are smiling from head to toe. It can be an intimidating sport to try for the first time but if learned correctly you’ll be forever thankful for taking the leap!
Based on the IKO Blog by Bradley Mackelden
So here you are… you have decided to give kitesurfing a go, however, there are so many schools out there it can be hard to know which is most suitable for you. Well, don’t worry, we are here to help narrow down the search and explain why you should prioritize an affiliated IKO Center at the top of your list.
1. Safety, Safety, Safety!
We are the proud owner of an IKO Center called 'VilanCool Watersports' and we can assure you that we have a high focus on safety. When we completed the affiliation process to become an IKO Center, it required me (as the school owner) to produce a series of safety documents regarding: the equipment used, the kite spots taught at, safety plans, instructor qualifications, the list goes on! These documents were then thoroughly inspected by the training department and once my school met all of the IKO Standards, we gained the recognition of becoming an IKO Center.
In addition to these documents, every school needs to have a head instructor with teaching experience (who is at least an IKO Level 2 or above) and all instructors working there must be IKO qualified. The combination of all these points can give you peace of mind and ensure that your learning experience is as risk-free and enjoyable as possible.
At our school from the moment you first meet your instructor, you will be feeling in safe hands: we start by signing you in, followed by a brief introduction to ourselves and the course. We will be able to show you our instructor ID vCard on the IKO App and some other documents to help explain the basic theory topics. All the equipment is regularly checked, inspected and renewed meaning that our kit is always in great working order.
Before any instruction has even taken place, you will be feeling calm and relaxed about learning this fun and uplifting sport. All our instructors have undergone the IKO AITC and ITC training to become qualified. It is this level of experience that will ultimately lead to you having a safe and fun lesson with us.
2. Faster Progression
The IKO was founded back in 2001, therefore making it the oldest and largest kitesurfing organization in the world specializing in educational programs. The IKO has spent the past eighteen years experimenting, practicing and developing their teaching strategies to constantly improve and upgrade your learning experience.
This experience is invaluable for anyone wanting to learn to kitesurf: you might learn more in a few hours at an IKO Center than you may in a whole day at a non-affiliated school. This way you can get past the initial learning stage much faster and start to experience the real joy of kitesurfing. The sport will soon be opening up endless opportunities allowing you to travel, explore, make new friends, share memories and appreciate how beautiful our world really is.
Learning at an IKO Center such as ours ensures you will be taught by qualified IKO Instructors who have been trained and assessed on their instructing abilities. All of our instructors have experience dealing with both common and uncommon mistakes a student may make when learning.
They will be able to use all this experience and expertise to spot any small mistakes you make and guide you as needed, and it will drastically speed up the learning curve. You will gain valuable knowledge and understanding of the sport which can be taken into the next stage of your kitesurfing journey, whether that’s more lessons or riding independently.
3. International Recognition
Every year, we teach many students who look to go abroad to various different kite destinations during their holiday period. The IKO is the only internationally recognized kiteboarding organization offering instruction in multiple countries around the world. It enables our students to travel and feel that they will receive the same level of tuition no matter what country they choose to visit. There are over 250 IKO Centers in over 60 countries worldwide - and we are the 1st IKO Kite Center in Mozambique. Providing instruction on such a large scale is helping to make kitesurfing a more accessible sport to learn.
At the end of all lessons, we certify our students online via the IKO website and the IKO app. It’s a great system which means you can always have your vCard on you, as long as you don’t lose your phone!
The vCard can be shown at any IKO Center around the world to continue your kitesurfing journey and ensure you are in a class most suitable to your level. Once you attain the Independent level, the vCard will enable you access to rent kitesurf equipment from IKO Centers worldwide.
Being an IKO Center is a stamp of approval, similar to a worldwide brand such as Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is a brand that ensures the same perfect taste every-time no matter where in the world you are. In comparison, the IKO is providing quality control over its network of affiliated Centers in order to guarantee a certain level of safety and instruction to help maximize your progression and learning experience.
Find an IKO Center near you!
Next time you are researching kitesurf schools near you, make sure to go on the IKO Centers page. This page allows you to filter through all affiliated IKO Centers in the country of your choice. Both our school and all the other Centers around the globe are aiming to provide the most professional, approachable and recognizable community for kitesurfers. There are many more reasons to choose an IKO Center for lessons, to find out why, book in for a lesson at your nearest school and see for yourself.
Team of VilanCool
with regards to IKO fellow Bradley Mackelden