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 Post subject: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:39 am
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I live on the East Coast but have had the chance to take beginner lessons in Europe... luckily they seem to have normal prices in the range of $30-50 USD per hour... I've noticed similar prices in South America and can only guess that they are the same in other parts of the world.

Now in the US we have instructors charging BEGINNERS a whopping $100-125 PER HOUR. I have yet to find anything sub $100. After everything is said and done lessons come out to $500-1000 dollars just to get up and riding on the board depending on the person and pace of learning.

As someone that is just entering the sport I'd rather drop the extra cash to fly out somewhere exotic and take lessons there even if runs me a bit more than going locally. This is just bad business for US instructors. How do instructors in the US justify these costs? Does this not seem like a bit unwelcoming to the average person that might want to try the sport?


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:18 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Santa Cruz, CA. / Alameda, CA.
Higher overhead cost due to:
1) Cost of living
2) Equipment
3) Insurance
4) Licensing, permits to teach

Similar reasons why goods are manufactured overseas, labor is cheaper elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:19 pm
Posts: 25
Well not so expensive everywhere, this kiteschool in Texas gives free lessons if you stay in the hotel
http://kitelandresort.com/?page_id=37


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:40 am
Posts: 120
Im an IKO instructor in San Diego. My first 2 lessons are goal oriented not time based. Land Lesson (1st) and water lesson (2nd) are both $150 each. most people Get through them in 2-3hrs. 3rd lesson which is board start all the way to upwind riding and jumping is $75hrly because everyone learns at a different pace at this point.This is a standard charge for IKO instruction around the world. I also charge a flat fee of $300 a day at this point. A lot of foreign schools aren't even certified. If you choose the cheapest lessons you can find, your learning curve is going to get jacked ! With IKO your instructor registers you on the IKO website. Wherever you stop your progression with one instructor,you will begin with the next instructor exactly where you left off. You are also issued a card stating your level. Ive had students graduate as a proficient kiteboarder within 3 lessons. 1st,2nd and 1 $300 day. $600 total ! They also saved more than $600 on the discounted new gear I got for them. Most kite shops will only rent gear to riders with IKO cards although you should always have your own gear. To sum it up, You get what you pay for !


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:24 pm
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There was a story on here a while back about a death in France. The person who died was taking a lesson somewhere with a French instructor. The instructor was teaching 3 or 4 people all on kites at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:19 pm
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In France you can teach with IKO you need the french diploma but a lot of instructors teach to more than 4 students in the same time there.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:41 am
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clint2070 wrote:
Im an IKO instructor... I've had students graduate as a proficient kiteboarder within 3 lessons. ...


"proficient kiteboarder" in 3 lessons is either an experienced power kiter and talented board sports guy when he arrived at your school, or a keen interpretation of the word "proficient".

While it is my belief that the IKO teaching system is OK (but IKO organization is a scam), in my experience it takes not less than 10 hours on a kite to acquire the necessary reflexes and come to a state where you stop clinging on to the bar and start flying your kite. And this is just the first step of many to become a proficient kiter.

To me, a proficient kiteboarder has the skill to understand kite physics, sea & weather good enough to pick his launching spot on his own, chose, rig and trim appropriate gear for the conditions, self launch & self land his stuff, self rescue, know the rules and courtesy, and show riding skills good enough to not be an obstacle, at the very least. This usually takes at least 20 days on the water.

After 3 days of lessons, in the best of cases you've got a guy with zero experience, able to ride forth and back without causing too much mayhem.


Last edited by alamos_kiter on Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:28 am 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 3:37 pm
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If people were not prepared to pay the price either the schools would reduce their costs or go out of business if they were already at rock bottom pricing.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:54 am
Posts: 295
Location: Como Lake - Italy
Here in Italy a 3 days base course (it means from scratch to first waterstart attempt) in a certified FIV school (FIV is the italian sailboard association, part of the CONI, the italian olympic comitate, a very "official" association regulated by State law) il less than 300 euros. A 7 day full immersion course is 550. One day in the water 97 euros.

http://www.tabosurf.com/it/home.jsp?idrub=26


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 Post subject: Re: Why are Kite Lessons so expensive in the US???
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 12:38 am
Posts: 70
We set new riders up with instructors in the St Augustine - Jacksonville area for a lesson plan which lasts about 8 to 10 hours. This can be done at your convenience ( weather dependent) and the cost is $500.00. That works out in the region of $50 to $60 an hour. Once someone has done lessons and wants to purchase gear from us we offer a discount to help offset the cost of the lessons. This is the most cost effective way to get into the sport and the one that is recommended. Students are taught on a one on one basis.

You can also just do land, water or more advanced lessons which are normally by the hour, but cost more.

When you take into effect the cost of gear, licensing, weather dependency and the fact that a lot of schools are only able to really operate seasonally, $50 an hour for the course is not a bad deal. If you look around you will see that a lot of other shops provide very similar programs that we do. Good luck.

Greg Meintjes
oceanextremesports.com


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