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Update: Important Kiteboarding Questionnaire

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Postby RickI » Fri Aug 23, 2002 8:44 pm

This a good start and thanks to the following individuals that have
submitted their opinions on these important matters. Proactive efforts like
yours are needed to see this sport into the mainstream. For those in the
industry that haven't responded yet, please let us know your opinions!

RESPONSES TO DATE - August 23, 2002

Mike Anthenelli
The Kite Loft
Ocean City, MD, USA

Tobias Braeuer
Bad Oldesloe, Germany

Marina Chang
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Jason Falcone
Mid-Atlantic Kiteboarding Association,Inc. (MAKA, Inc.)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA

Stein Erik Gabrielsen
The Fish Creek Kiteboarding Club
Fish Creek, WI, USA

Brett Gibson
Mid-Atlantic Kiteboarding Association,Inc. (MAKA, Inc.)
Alexandria, VA, USA

Rick Iossi
Florida Kitesurfing Assoc., Inc.
Boynton Beach, FL, USA

Martin Kirk
Kiteboarding School of Maui/HKA
Kahului, Maui, HI, USA

Kent Marinkovic
Adventure Sports, Inc.
Miami, FL, USA

Bill Morrissey
Da Kine, Inc.
Hood River, OR, USA

John Penxa
Seattle Kiteboarding Association
Seattle, WA, USA

Mike Portman
Freshwatersurf Shop
Racine, WI, USA

Royce Reid
Santurce, Puerto Rico, USA

John St. James
ikitesurf & iwindsurf
Florida, USA

Dr. Frank Schuett
SkyWalk GmbH & Co. KG /
FlySurfer Kites & Equipment
Grassau (TS), Germany

David Turner
Lightwave Kiteboarding, Inc.
Fair Oaks, CA , USA

Brian Wilson
Capetown, South Africa

To date we have received 17 responses from:

8 instructors/training centers
5 manufacturers
7 retailers
4 kiteboarding associations
4 countries
9 states

If there are no objections, I would propose:

1. In addition to presenting graphical results of the survey, providing the
individual questionnaires received in a separate file.

2. Potentially listing instructor/training centers and information as
provided in the questionnaires, in an Internet directory for ready access.

So, please keep the questionnaires coming in. There are already some
interesting trends and opinions coming to light in the survey.

Rick Iossi

The questionnaire and related information are reproduced below:

I have been asked to prepare and circulate the questionnaire that has been reproduced below. The completed questionnaires are to serve as a basis for a panel discussion of kiteboarding training standardization and certification during Surf Expo next month. PASA is organizing the discussions however training is an important issue that effects all instructional groups as well as the industry as a whole, worldwide. It would be great if you could forward a copy of this email and questionnaire on to others in the industry to be able to obtain as complete a consensus of opinion as possible.

The questionnaire is designed to collect the opinions of anyone in the
kiteboarding industry. Your participation would be very much appreciated and ultimately should help the sustained growth of this sport. Please cut and paste the questionnaire from below along with your responses into a Word or text file and email it back to me. I would like to receive the completed questionnaires by the first week in September 2002.

Please utilize the email address:

to assure that mailbox overload does not interfere with the delivery of your email.

Kiteboarding Training Questionnaire
August 21, 2002

Kiteboarding is undergoing explosive growth throughout the USA and World. The kiteboarding industry is mobilizing to both facilitate this growth and benefit from this trend. It has been become apparent from accidents, incidents and access restrictions, that kiteboarding involves far more than flying a large toy kite. In some ways parallels the complexity and hazards of flying plane, particularly when things go wrong. In effect to kiteboard with assurance of acceptable levels safety, riders need to possess minimum knowledge and training. For the growing quantities of new kiteboarders to undertake this sport in a way to facilitate the growth of the industry and not to drag things through restrictions, public censure or other negative
developments, adequate kiteboarding instruction is necessary. The
substantial numbers of kiteboarders are already sufficiently great to reduce the tolerance of self-instructed accidents and incidents to unacceptable levels for the smooth expansion of the industry. More accessible, publicly recognized and accepted kiteboarding instruction is indicated that adheres to acceptable minimum standards, that is kiteboarding certification. Furthermore given the complexities and demands of proper instruction, qualified, insured instructors and schools are needed to promote safe kiteboarding practices to facilitate the advancement of new kiteboarders/consumers into the sport. The purpose of this questionnaire is to collect views regarding training standardization and certification from members of the kiteboarding industry. We all stand to benefit from proactive consideration and action in regard to kiteboarding training. We also stand to collectively lose if we do not effectively undertake this task. Your participation in this survey is sincerely appreciated.

Your Background

Name ___________________________________ Business Name:

Address ______________________________________ City
_________________________________ Date _____/_____/ 2002

State/Province _________________________________ Country

Ph.# ________________________________________ Email _______________

I am in kiteboarding (check all that apply):

Instruction _____ Retailing _____ Distribution _____ Manufacturing
_____ Association Leadership _____

Other (please specify): _________________________________________

I Kiteboard: Regularly ____ A couple of times a month _____ Rarely
_____ Intend to in the future _____ Never _____

Have you received professional kiteboarding training: Yes _____ No _____
from which organization ________________

Are you a member of a kiteboarding association: Yes _____ No _____
Would you like to be: Yes _____ No _____

If you don't have an association would you be interested in helping to start
one: Yes _____ No _____

General Questions

Do you strongly promote training and refer customers buying new kites to an
instructor: Yes _____ No _____ N/A _____

Do you require proof of training prior to the sale of gear or require the
buyer to take lessons: Yes _____ No _____ N/A _____

Is the above policy a good idea for the avoidance of problems and the growth
of revenues: Yes _____ No _____

Is professional kiteboarding training of new riders necessary for the
sustained growth of kiteboarding: Yes _____ No _____

Are there problems with inadequately trained kiteboarders threatening access
and as a result revenues in your area: Yes _____ No _____

Are launch restrictions or bans contemplated in your area: Yes _____ No

Do you have launch restrictions or bans in your area: Yes _____ No _____

Is there an adequate quantity of good, effective instructors in your area:
Yes _____ No _____

Do you believe that levels of training and qualification of instructors need
improvement: Yes _____ No _____

Do you currently employ or intend to employ instructors in the next 6 months
in your business: Yes _____ No _____ N/A _____

Is widely accepted and promoted kiteboarding certification important to
minimizing problems and aiding the sustained growth of kiteboarding:
Yes _____ No _____

Would requiring proof of training prior to purchase of kites be worthwhile
to promote:

a. safety and responsible kiteboarding thereby reducing threats to access
and gear sales: Yes _____ No _____

b. return business and customer loyalty by avoiding abandonment of the
sport by frustrated, self-instructed riders:
Yes _____ No _____

Would you like to see a directory of instructors with their respective
qualifications on the Internet: Yes _____ No _____

In an introductory kiteboarding instructional sequence, say a Level I out of
a two level certification system, which of the following subjects/skills do
you feel should be taught: (please insert numbers from

In the second level of certification, which of the following subjects/skills
do you feel should be taught:

1. Know terminology and types of equipment and basic techniques.
2. Be able to explain the wind window and power distribution.
3. Be able to explain basic weather and water conditions.
4. Be able to explain the rules of the road
5. Know how to characterize a good, safe launch.
6. Know water and weather hazards and be able to discuss risk management.
7. Be able to properly setup and derig a two line kite system.
8. Be able to do both solo and assisted launch and landings.
9. Demonstrate use of kite leash
10. Demonstrate lofting awareness and preventative technique including gust,
uplift and thermal lofting.
11. Be able to control kite and water relaunch kite.
12. Be able to waterstart.
13. Be able to bailout or use your kite to pull you in from offshore.
14. Must be able to stay upwind.
15. Must be able to evaluate the safest way and place to launch at a
congested technical launch with downwind hazards and bystanders.
16. Must be able to explain weather and water hazards in detail and the
means for avoiding them.
17. Must demonstrate proficiency at managing kite stall/luffing.
18. Must demonstrate four line inflatable power management in gusty
19. Must be able to explain kiter rescue techniques.
20. Must be able to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency at managing
local technical launches and conditions (i.e. high, gusty winds, high
currents, boat traffic, heavy seas, etc.)
21. Must be able to trouble shoot and fix basic irregularities in gear.
Must be able to differentiate between kite designs and related techniques in
order to avoid the wrong type of assistance(e.g. LEI inflatables require
help when landing, Ram Airs will land solo, LEI launch at the edge of the
wind window, Ram Airs may launch in the power zone, if assistance is given
on landing Ram Airs it is different than that of LEIs,etc.)
23. Must be able to properly and competently assess, check, MAINTAIN and use the current variety of safety systems (snap shackles, quick releases, safety leash systems



If you are a kiteboarding instructor please fill out the following:

I hold an instructor certification from: IKO _____ KISS _____ PASA
_____ Wipika _____ DSV/VDWS _____ Other (list)_____________________

Are you satisfied with the support you receive: Yes _____ No _____ If
not, what improvements would you like: _______________


Would you be interested in obtaining an instructors certification? Yes
_____ No _____ NA _____

Number of students trained _____ over _____ months, at the following
locations _________________________________________

Other related certifications: First Aid _____ CPR _____ Captain _____
Scuba _____ Hang gliding _____ Paragliding _______

Skiing/snowboarding _____ Kayaking _____ Other (list)

Do you compete in kiteboarding competitions: Yes _____ No _____ Have
you in the past: Yes _____ No _____

Maximum Student/Instr. ratio: _____ Do you Use Assistant Instructors: Yes
_____ No _____

Typical intro. course duration : _____ hrs. Do you teach for various shops,
if so how many: _____ Do you use a support craft Yes _____ No _____

Were you satisfied with the level of training in your course Yes _____ No
_____ , If not, what else would you like to have had instructed;


Do you teach about lofting in your courses and how to avoid it: Yes _____
No _____

Instructor Certification

What is a reasonable duration for an instructors course with 6 candidates or
fewer and a single instr. trainer, (days): 3 _____ 4 _____ 5 _____
Other _____

What is a reasonable price for an instructors course (USD): _____

Would you prefer to attend a course in: your area _____, which is:

or at a high wind destination _____, such as

Do you think first aid and CPR training should be required before
kiteboarding instructor training certification: Yes _____ No _____

Do you feel sufficient emphasis is placed upon instructor candidates having
adequate teaching skills and broad knowledge of the sport as opposed to
excellent riding skills:
Yes _____ No _____

Are there other important training issues that you feel should be discussed
that were not presented in this questionnaire? If so, please describe

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