IKO Kiteboarding Lessons & Progression

DISCOVERY

Objective: Complete IKO Level 1 – Discovery

This is where all new students start! We will take a smaller trainer kite to a nearby beach and learn about kite flight theory, spot risk assessment, safety and security, how to setup a kite, lines and bar, how to prepare your harness, and what all the different parts of the kite equipment actually do. After learning about how to determine the power and direction of the wind we will fly the trainer kite in the wind window. We will be wearing a harness to which the kite and bar are connected, and while flying the kite, repeatedly practicing emergency safety procedures while also mastering the ebb and flow of kite control. The entire lesson takes about 3 hours. We will proceed at a speed that is perfect for you.

Upon completion you will be certified IKO level 1.

INTERMEDIATE

Objective: Complete IKO Level 2 – Intermediate

  • 6 hours (approx)
  • Kite equipment is included
  • You are required to bring wetsuit and booties
  • Location: Oliphant (Lake Huron), Lagoon City (Lake Simcoe), Hanlan’s Point (Toronto Islands), Turkey Point (Lake Erie), Nickel Beach (Lake Erie)

At this stage we will learn R.O.W (Right of Way) rules, how to enter and exit the water safely while flying the kite, body dragging and board recovery, how to relaunch the kite in the water, how to self-rescue and finally, how to get up on the board, riding on our own.

Now, of course, practice, practice, practice. Even though by this point you will be very confident with the kite, and stoked about your progress getting up on the board, you will still need to kite under supervision of instructors and advanced school riders.

Upon completion you will be certified IKO level 2.

INDEPENDENT

Objective: Complete IKO Level 3 – Independent

Now we are ready to achieve the first great milestone in every kiteboarders progression and that is staying upwind! As a beginner, we will always end up downwind – it can’t be helped. We start at the top of the beach, and we end up at the bottom. This happens because the kite pulls us in the direction of the wind, which is always downwind from where we began. As a result, we have to keep walking back upwind, back up to the start. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just kite back to the spot from where we began? Yes! And, that is the first major milestone.

There are a number of other great goals to be achieved at this stage – self launching & self landing the kite, transition turns without stopping, controlling speed by edging, and riding toeside! With all of these skills we will ride with real confidence. All of these lessons will lead us to achieve another great milestone, and that is the skillset to ride on our own – that is, pick a spot, setup, launch, ride, self-rescue if required, but certainly self-land, and enjoy our time on the water, carving and boosting into the air, and all of this even if we are riding solo, alone. That said, it is always best to ride with a partner, just in case! But, knowing we can ride alone is what makes us truly independent.

Upon completion you will be certified IKO level 3.

Students certified at IKO level 3 can rent kiteboarding equipment at any IKO center worldwide.

1
Looking for lessons, kites, locations?
Choose a channel, let's chat, let's go!

Hanlan's Kite Crew