Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding has exploded onto the Extreme Sports scene over the past few years, however, it has been around for may more and is becoming increasingly more popular. It takes the best from a range of water sports like surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and paragliding. With the introduction of modern equipment and a structured approached to learning which has been developed by the International Kitesurfing Organisation (IKO), and more recently the British Kitesurfing Association (BKSA) have developed their own scheme.
IKO is the International Organization leading the way for kiteboarders all over the world since 2001. We started in 2001 by developing a professional network of top level examiners, professionally trained instructors, and exclusive affiliated kiteboarding Centers. Now, the IKO provides the highest level of teaching, with standards that are recognized and applied all around the world.
The IKO’s mission is to develop and promote the safe practice of kiteboarding. It is dedicated to continuing the development of kiteboarding by enhancing the highest quality standards, and by creating interaction between all the parties involved in the development of the sport for the benefit of all. Thanks to its status, the IKO can adapt to the needs of an international market as well as to local kiteboarding practices.
The IKO Network to-date includes over 130 affiliated kiteboarding centers in 38 countries, plus 20 active IKO Examiners and roughly 4.000 active IKO Instructors. Since 2001, IKO has certified over 410.000 kiteboarders worldwide, with over 40.000 new kiteboarders certified each year.
IKO Kiteboard Instructor
IKO-certified Instructors are passionate people trained to share their knowledge and expertise with their students. Learning how to kite with an IKO Instructor guarantees safety, satisfaction, and fun!
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The BKSA was formed in June 1999 to communicate information about the sport amongst the practitioners and interested parties.
The initial objectives of theassociation are to promote safe kitesurfing practices, to publicise information about kite surfing, to help develop a recognised training scheme for beginners to instructors and to maintain beach access for Kitesurfers in the UK.
The BKSA will endeavour to be the conduit of all information with regard to safety, training and events for practitioners & observers of Kite surfing in the UK. It is recognised as the national kitesurfing association by all other international associations for the purpose of sharing information which the BKSA will make available to it’s registered members.The BKSA is recognised by associations worldwide, due to the standard of its instructors and it proactive publicity of the sport.
What does the British Kite Surfing Association do?
- Source of safety information about kitesurfing.
- Communicates with members, trade dealers, governing bodies, institutional bodies, press and general public about kitesurfing in Great Britain.
- Provides a training infrastructure, which consists of accredited schools and instructors.
- Promotes the sport of kitesurfing in Great Britain.
- Co-ordinates and sanctions the British Kite Surfing Championships
- Forges links with other national and international kitesurfing governing bodies.
- Provides 3rd party liability insurance (to £5m) to paid up members.
- Provides information through a website, free emails and by telephone.
- Provides information to allow safe access to all suitable kitesurfing venues.
- Supports equal and fair access for all water users.
- Aims to work with the British Trade to ensure that safety information is disseminated to all customers by offering information.
Number of members
Since it was formed from its 9 founder members the BKSA has grown steadily to become one of the largest kite surfing clubs in the world, at the beginning of 2007 the membership had reached 3000.
As part of the membership fee all BKSA members receive their own personal liability accident insurance and Personal Accident cover. This includes 5 million pounds of personal liability cover. This policy covers the individual for all kite sports, both on and off the water. The BKSA also recommends that any kitesurfing non-members also purchase insurance.