FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN
By Elena Buetto & Giorgia Matteazzi
GO FOR IT.
GET IN THE GAME.
IT’S AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED.
Ask many female kitesurf instructors what they think this job looks like and you’ll get many different answers with the same meaning: SIMPLY AMAZING
Most of them switched their life and decided to have the best office views in the world, good vibes surrounding, share their passion and face exciting challenges every day.
So, if you are considering the idea to turn kitesurfing into your job, this is our suggestions: Go for it! Get in the game! It’s an experience not to be missed and, if for any reason it doesn’t work, you can always come back and you’ll still have a cool story to tell.
We’ve all been in your shoes.
More and more women are getting closer to the extreme sports, we want to encouraged you and let you know that there are many other girls ready to welcome you and to share fun.
What I love most about this job is the opportunity it offers to travel and discover new places, coming into close contact with the local lifestyle and people. By teaching kitesurfing, you spend your days on the beach, enjoying the energy of the natural elements, practicing sports, having a healthy lifestyle and always meeting different and interesting people. What more could you want?Martina
Together with @lagiokite, we interviewed some super girls teaching all around the best spots in the world and we got something you ought to know.
Kiteboarding is funny but it’s still an extreme sport.
Ladies (and men too), keep this in mind: no one is born knowing everything so, we all need to be (well) trained as knowledge empowers people.
IKO, the International Kiteboarding Organization, offers a worldwide professional training program.
All of us need to learn how to teach kiteboarding in the safest way in order to avoid that anybody could be exposed to danger.
No strength needed.
90% of people think that we need strong arms to “hold” a flying kite. I am sure that before approaching to kitesurf, you thought that this sport required a lot of upper body strength.
Girls, teaching kiteboarding is about passion, good knowledge and communication, empathy, and a lot of patience. These few qualities are essential to get the trust and the attention from your students.
Often men are stronger. But, as women, we can assure you that we learned how to compensate for any lack of physical strength using better technique.
Girls should have no doubts about being able to do this job for the simple reason that female instructors are exceptional because of our natural ability to multitask, something that men tend to lack. We are generally very sensitive and have an innate ability to listen and almost infinite patience (an essential characteristic in teaching).
We are precise, dynamic, tenacious and technical, everything you need to be a professional kitesurfing instructor!Marica
For sure, as Sara said, we need to be active girls, athletic and ready to spend long hours walking on the beach (or in the water, if your spot is a lagoon). Giulia reminded us that it’s physically demanding, but Giorgia has not doubts on the fact that ladies are clever enough to find smart solutions to make it easier.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a big community to share tricks and suggestion?
Kite instructor or psychologist?
As Sara remind us, every person is different so we have to focus on the students’ needs. A good instructor must adapt the lesson according to circumstances: we are trained to help people to give their best.
Giulia loves seeing people going from zero to hero and she truly understand the ones that fight with determination as she neither was immediately successful when she approached the first times to kitesurfing.
We completely agree with Chloe that thinks that techniques and practice is just a less part of the work, as psychology plays a big role and our aim is to keep the student highly motivated, focused, with the right determination to go on.
All of this comes with the experience, but it is also the main part of the IKO training course.
And if something happens?
There are a lot of potential dangers involved in kitesurfing, and you will experiment/touch with hands some of them.
Look on the bright side and take it as an opportunity to become a more experienced instructor. Whatever seemed impossible before, will become your daily bread.
Remember when I said that you, as everybody, need to be well trained? This is what IKO trainers do: they teach you how to deal the unexpected.
I love this job for so many reasons, but mostly that I get to have the most beautiful office I could ever ask for and kiting almost every day, Also possibility of travelling to other stunning spots around the world. I found teaching to be very satisfying job as well. I get to meet many cool people and it’s always great to see my students progressing.Basia
After the trainee course you might be required to have some shadowing hours in a IKO center, it means that you give lessons to real students supported by a more expert instructor. It is a unique chance to keep training and to get more field experience led by somebody that’s going to help and give you precious advises and suggestions.
Remember that we are part of an amazing community: kite surfers watch out for each other in and out the water, just think of the help in launching and landing the kite.
You will be an independent instructor; this doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for your colleagues’ opinions. Be humble and eager to learn from everybody.
It’s an amazing job! You will meet many other kiters and lovely persons from all over the world. But be aware, you must love teaching and stay & walk on the beach all day long. Plus, you’ve to be a pretty patient human being!Sara
So, 100% Pro and NO cons?
We are used to be positive people, but we can’t lie and say that everything is perfect.
Surely there are not always Caribbean days at the beach: winter strong wind and cold water make everything much harder for both instructor and student. Also, hot sunny days with so warm wind are difficult to afford too.
This is why it’s very important to wear the right gears, protect our skin, drink a lot of water, use sunglasses and why not, ask for more suggestions to our instructors friends that can’t wait to share with you the old wives’ tale.
You should also know that during the windy hours you’ll probably have to teach, so you’ll miss the best wind and waves to enjoy. We always suggest to find the way to keep riding for yourself not to lose the passion as well as to recharge your batteries.
we love to teach girls.
Women are clearly under-represented in this sport.
We are so excited when our students are girls and women. It means we are contributing to make the kitesista community bigger. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t hesitate to become a kitegirl instructor and to inspire many other girls.
Don’t underestimate yourself.
Push your limits and give your best, be confident and trust in yourself. We got it, so you can get it too. Basia would say to anyone to just follow heart and dreams and not to forget that girls can do anything!!!!
Jump! Do it! And if you don’t like it after, you’ll always have a cool story to tell. Sharing your passion with others is a gift for ourselves too!Giulia
Do you wanna read some funny stories? Keep on reading the experiences shared by the women kite instructors we interviewed:
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? Hi, my name is Basia and I’m 25 yo. I was born and raised in Gdansk, Poland. I’m IKO instructor level 2.
Funny story: This job never gets boring, and it’s another thing I love about it. I’m currently living and working in Kilifi, Kenia, which is not a very touristic place. So from time to time you get to see local people herding their livestock on the beach. One time during my lesson I had to escape into the ocean because the cow started running on to me, probably feeling threatened by the kite I was holding in my hands.
What’s your name? How old are you? Your IKO level? My name is Giulia, I’m going to turn 30 in October 2021, IKO level 2, really close to level 3.
Funny story: One time I didn’t share with my students that we were connected via radio communication. She was setting up the lines downwind and she misplaced the bar. She was 20 meters from me and she couldn’t hear my feedback with the wind, so I activated the radio. She didn’t understand where the voice was coming from, got scared, jump up, and did a 360-degree pirouette, ending up with her bottom in the sand. We couldn’t stop laughing.
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? My name is Chloé Rodriguez, I am 30 years old and I come from Grenoble in France. I come from a city surrounded by high mountains and after spending more than 20 years on the ski slopes I decided to change my environment.
Funny story: I taught a student for 10 hours how to pilot the Kite, safety system, body drag, and come the day I show him the water start! super-enthusiastic, he goes away from the shore and tries his first water start. unfortunately, he loses his board and his reaction stunned me: he poses his kite on the water and disconnects completely from his Kite and he starts swimming to go get his board … I see the kite fly away far away and I have to quickly jump in a boat to get it. when I come back to him I ask him why he did that because before we had learned body drag and he replies “I thought it was going to be faster” that’s sure to finish this lesson it was quick.
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? I am Sara, a 33-years-old IKO Instructor from Italy. I am IKO level 1, teaching and kiting around since 2014. I’ve been teaching > 1500 hrs and > 200 students from all around the world.
Funny story: I have many many stories, I could have written a book/blog! A very funny story is back to Brazil 3 years ago. I was doing assistance for a medium-distance downwind trip. You might think, WOW. But many things happened on the way and I had somehow to fix everything… a kite bladder exploded, a board-strap too. A boogie almost stuck in a river mouth. Huge cuts on a customer’s feet…It’s a nice job but sometimes things are very challenging and funny!!
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? Hello, I’m Lucia Sciuto and I’m 29 years old, I’m Italian and I was born in Catania, in the beautiful Sicily. I’m an Instructor iko level 1.
Funny story: One of the funniest things that happened to me especially at the beginning was when I used the bb talking radios, often when I took back the kite and the board of my students upwind to the “waterstart” point I forgot that they could hear me and while I was kiting they heard me singing and having fun in the waves LOL.
What’s your name? How old are you? Your IKO level? Beatrice, 36, Italy, Instructor 1
Funny story: Funny things happen every day, that is what makes this job interesting, every student can surprise with absolute non-sense questions either acting super weird(like my last student trying to deflate the kite while lying on his belly with the kite under himself 😂)
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? My name is Martina. I am 30 years old. I am from Milan, Italy. I am an IKO Instructor and Assistant Trainer.
Funny story: My teaching experience is full of funny stories, little anecdotes that are the basis of sincere and lasting friendships. I remember a couple of beginners who asked my colleague and me to do a little challenge off the course. We were two teams (instructor + student) and at the end of 10 hours whoever had made the most progress had to take the other team out for a dinner. The atmosphere was not tense at all, we had fun and spent our lessons laughing and joking, involving others as well. How did it end? Offering dinner to two hungry men cost me and Lisa a little, but it was worth it!
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? Megan Frey, Age 36, Originally I am from Orcas Island, Level 3 (just passed exam yesterday) 🌊🥂🐋
Funny story: + A funny story with kiting… Every day, humor is the best for learning… Sometimes I can be a complete goofball with my metaphors when teaching that my student can let down to make the necessary errors in order to learn while bypassing their inner critic. Sometimes if a student is too worried, asking many questions or judging themselves for not understanding at lightning speeds… before I answer them I’ll dance to put a new vibe in the air and then they laugh and then I answer and then they explore even more. And at the end of the day, they are way beyond where they were at the begging of the day.
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? I’m Marica, I’m 40 years old, and I’m an IKO Instructor Level 3.
Funny story: An adult office man on vacation with his children came to take a lesson with me starting from zero. He was a very sporty man, very tenacious, determined to learn how to kitesurf, and after struggling to make his first board, he looked at me with a face as enthusiastic as a child’s and said: “That was so cool, no chemical drug can do the same!”…we laughed till tears!
What’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from? Your IKO level? Giorgia, 34 (still 27 in my head), Italian, IKO Level 3 hopefully soon to be an Assistant Trainer ;P
Funny story: Once I had a student who weighed 120kg…just about double my weight WTF At a certain point of the lesson I had to take his kite and walk on the beach and I was flying away so he was holding me by the harness while walking sooo people didn’t know who was the instructor and who was the student anymore eheheheh
Thank you for reading! And if you want to know the process to become an IKO instructor please don’t hesitate to contact me either via instagram: @lagiokite or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org