The following tables are a detailed explanation of the different skill levels that you can achieve.
The certification standards have been designed to:
Validate your levels, from your first body drag to your first jump
Show instructors exactly what you have learned
Let instructors know from what point to take up your training
Show kiteboarding centers what equipment you are capable of renting
Prove that you are a safe and responsible kiteboarder.
The Kiteboarder Card also allows you to get membership benefits. Every IKO instructor must give his student his card!
Discovery Kiteboarder Program
Carry and set up the lines and kite
Determine the wind direction and upwind and downwind (windward, leeward).
Fly a small kite (inflatable, stunt kite, foil…) on the wind window edge and maintain it close to the ground.
Know how to stop the kite power in case of problem by releasing the bar. Be aware that the kite leash must be worn at all times, before kite launching and until landing.
Be aware of the area where the kite can fall down wind to the pilot.
Recover the kite on land.
Position the kite on request from 9 to 3 o’clock on the wind window edge.
Launch a kite with an assistant and choose the right angle to the wind.
Fly the kite in the power area without crashing it.
Twist and untwist the lines while the kite flies.
Recover a kite and secure it on land.
Land a kite with the help of an assistant.
Fly a kite hooked to the harness.
Pilot hooked to the harness with one hand.
Activate the harness release system or quick release located on a leader line.
Perform a downwind course by body dragging and using the power of the kite.
Relaunch a kite from the water.
Wind the lines in the water and recover the kite.
Perform a self-rescue in deep water.
Launch a kite alone on land.
Identify potential wind obstacles creating lift or down draft and be able to define the wind direction. Understand that practice with onshore wind is dangerous.
Kiteboarder level 1
Intermediate Kiteboarder Program
Define if the practice area is safe for practice.
Set up and check the equipment alone (kite, line, control bar).
Go away from the shore (with side-shore and side-on-shore wind) while body dragging, go down wind and come back to the shore.
In the water, pilot a kite with power from one side of the wind window to the other, passing by the power area. The pilot must be able to perform while piloting the kite at different heights from the water.
Perform the previously mentioned exercise while piloting with one hand.
Know the water start theory: board and body positioning, kite piloting.
Recover the board in deep water and position the feet in the foot-straps and keep the position while flying the kite.
Stand up on the board and ride while moving the kite up and down.
Set up a 4 line kite alone and check that it is properly done. Obligatory at this point if it hasn’t been done before.
Fly 4 line kite.
Activate the safety systems of a 4 line bar (power loop, kite leash).
Adjust a four line kite while using the power loop.
Adjust the trim system of a 4 line kite to avoid it to fly backward or to adjust the power.
Kiteboarder level 2
Independent Kiteboarder Program
Know the right of way rules.
Ride away from the shore and come back to the shore.
Edge on the heel and toe side to change the course.
Accelerate by edging down and moving the kite.
Stop by edging.
Be able to keep an edge.
Ride away from the shore and come back at starting point. Ride upwind.
Constantly ride upwind.
Recover the board without the leash, by body dragging upwind.
Ride a twin tip. Optional if it has been done before.
Switch of direction.
Know the theoretical approach to jumps.
Perform a small jump and land it.
Kiteboarder level 3
Finding an IKO Instructor or School: IKO Instructors and Schools are available worldwide, You can use the IKO Instructor database to find instructors in your area, or in any destination you may travel to. Affiliated IKO Schools are listed on the Official IKO Schools List. IKO Instructors are listed by country. If you cannot find your instructor on the IKO Instructor lists they may be listed in their country of origin, or where they did their training. You can ask your instructor to show their listing on the IKO website as proof of their Certification credentials.
Confirming Instructor Status: It is easy to confirm the authenticity of Schools and Instructors. if you still cannot find them on any list, then you can call or email IKO Office. If they cannot be confirmed, they either never been certified or may no longer be current. Please Note; that a “Lapsed” or “Unregistered” IKO instructor may have been removed for cause or may have failed to complete minimum requirements such as safety compliance or mandatory training updates.
Why is status Important: Only lessons from a Current/Registered IKO instructor will ensure that you are receiving the best and latest training methods, information, and techniques according to the Updated IKO Standards. You can check an IKO School or Instructor’s standings by going to the official IKO Schools List, or the IKO Instructors List.
Beware of Imitations: The IKO Label is internationally recognized as an assurance of the Highest Quality services, and professional instructional standards. Unfortunately some people will attempt to counterfeit the IKO brand or make false claims. Please report any Instructors or Schools falsely claiming to be “IKO certified” to the IKO head office.
Get Certified with the IKO Kiteboarder card. Then you are eligible to become a member of the IKO worldwide organization. Membership includes many benefits including Kiteboarder Insurance.