What is IKO?
IKO stands for International Kiteboarding Organization and it represents the biggest such group or cooperation among kiteboarders and kiteboard instructors across the globe. The basic goal of this organization is to promote kiteboarding as a great and fun extreme sport and to improve the standards associated with performing and/or teaching the sport.
In terms of setting the minimum standards for proper teaching and training of kiteboarding, the IKO emphasizes on putting safety first above everything else. With this safety concept in mind, kiteboarding instructors are trained and taught themselves on how to properly educate others in doing this particular sport. Various programs are available for different skill levels with IKO-trained instructors. Some of the courses that IKO affiliate centers offer are snowkiting, kitesurfing, and powerkiting among many others. Sessions and classes are dedicated for each skill level including those for beginners, intermediates, and advanced riders. As for the instructors, IKO also offers some sort of a “masters” program for those who have the highest set of riding and instructing skills. Various handbooks for students are also available to help every student learn the basics of kiteboarding including all the safety standards and guidelines to be implemented.
But besides the safety concept emphasized on the training and teaching methods of kiteboarding, IKO also aims to raise the overall standard of the sport in terms of coverage for insurance companies. With IKO standards, minimum proficiencies in the sport are well-defined to make it easier for insurance to create policies specific to the skill level of the individual. And along with insurance companies, the IKO also constantly deals with all other individuals, groups of people, and other sectors that may contribute to the continued development of kiteboarding as a sport.
Today, there are more than 4000 IKO-certified kiteboarding instructors worldwide which are scattered through more than a hundred affiliate centers in almost 40 different countries.