IKO Centers Explained
IKO Centers Explained
Author: Marica Moda
They are kitesurf schools that create a safe and fun experience!
A kitesurf school has many advantages by choosing to become an IKO Center.
IKO Centers are not like other kitesurf schools
There are plenty of kitesurf schools around the world. Since the spots where you can practice this sport are not infinite (the "secret spots" are just a legend), schools are always next to each other in the world's windiest destinations.
The range of schools available to students is vast indeed. This is why a kitesurf school needs to distinguish itself from its competitors to create a successful business.
Anyone thinking about learning to kitesurf will undoubtedly research all the schools to evaluate the price, the look of the school, and the equipment—but even more important will be the careful evaluation they make regarding the services offered.
The choice is an IKO Center
IKO Centers create a unique and competitive international network
Kiteboarders love to travel and practice this wonderful sport in every corner of the world.
From beginners to pro riders, having the opportunity to kitesurf knowing that it's possible to count on an international network of schools that follow the same standards and maintain a high level of excellence everywhere makes IKO unique.
IKO is the only internationally recognized kitesurfing organization
The international visibility of the IKO logo means that clients can recognize the same corporate image wherever they go in the world and will undoubtedly be more attracted to something they have already seen and heard about. So, standing out from other schools and being visually recognized is very important.
The blue logo with a white kiter is the element that makes an IKO Center instantly recognizable. For this reason, IKO Centers receive a range of merchandise at the time of their affiliation to make themselves attractive and easily recognizable. Stickers and flags are sent to schools that affiliate with IKO, depending on the level of affiliation they have chosen to sign up for.
IKO Centers can also distinguish themselves by choosing between three membership plans
The school can choose to become affiliated with IKO and enjoy more and more services with the three IKO membership plans: Free School, Basic School, and Plus School-Pro Center.
Membership profiles for IKO Centers
FREE SCHOOL: IKO profile with basic services
IKO Center Licence: the school will receive the "IKO Center Licence" which it can display, showing its students that it belongs to the best kitesurfing organization in the world.
Dedicated web page: only the school's name will be visible on the IKO website, which is translated into six languages and has 30,000 unique visitors per month.
Unlimited publication of job offers: the IKO Center will be able to search for new IKO Instructors to join the team via the job board on the IKO website. The school will be able to post the type of IKO Instructor needed, reaching out directly to all active IKO Instructors worldwide.
As an IKO Center, having a team of only IKO Instructors will ensure a high level of professionalism.
10% discount on promotional material: the IKO Center can enhance its branding with exclusive promotional material and receive a great discount.
Students certifications: the IKO Center, by directly certifying its students, will be able to receive their reviews on its profile. The reviews will allow it to improve its image and positive reputation.
BASIC SCHOOL: IKO profile with basic services included
Basic IKO Center flag
This profile, compared to the School Free profile, includes some useful services:
Dedicated web page: all details of the IKO Center, such as the name, description, courses, and student reviews, will be visible on the IKO website.
Online course booking service: the school can get more students by displaying all the courses it offers directly on the IKO website.
All the school has to do is list all the courses it offers on the website: Beginner, Independent, Advanced, and Professional—and the student can book their course directly through the website both quickly and independently.
This tool is handy for reaching more students and having more courses booked!
Earn commissions on the sale of student membership: as an IKO Center, the school can help its students choose the best IKO membership and insurance plan.
IKO has designed international insurance specifically for recreational and professional kitesurfing, including during competitions. But that's not all. The cover is also valid during wingfoiling, snowkiting, stand-up paddleboarding surfing, and kayaking. The IKO insurance program, provided by XL Insurance Company SE, through its broker Saam/Verspieren Group, offers all IKO members peace of mind and cover in case of unforeseen incidents.
Each profile offers the student more insurance coverage even while renting the equipment. Explaining to the student that they and the entire kiting community worldwide are protected will be an asset.
If the school will promote and sells one of the three paid options when enrolling a new student, it can earn 6 USD per student.
The options that the IKO Center may propose to the student are:
- Kiter Free: for free.
- Kiter Basic: cost $29.95 per year and includes:
- Civil Liability insurance which covers claims by third parties due to physical and/or material damage caused while kitesurfing
- Coverage of damage caused to third-party kitesurfing equipment (including equipment rental)
- Over 70 minutes of video tutorials suitable for both beginners and advanced kiters,
- More than 20 eCourses that the student can watch and study independently
- More than 10 eBooks where the student can find many tips to improve their level
- Kiter Plus: cost $39.95 per year and includes the same coverage as the Kiter Basic profile with the addition of:
- Great discounts on the purchase of kitesurfing equipment
- Kiter Premium: cost $59.95 per year and includes the same coverage as the Kiter Plus profile with the addition of:
- Accident insurance, which provides cover for rescue operations, permanent disability and death while kitesurfing.
IKO kiter membership
Discount on student certification credits: the direct registration of the student by the IKO Center before the course will save the school credits because, in this way, the IKO Center will not use up its credits (whether the student decides to subscribe to a Kiter Free or a paid profile).
20% discount on promotional material: the IKO Center will be able to enhance its branding with exclusive promotional material and get a more significant discount.
Equipment discounts: the IKO Center will get significant discounts on the latest kitesurfing equipment from top brands.
PLUS SCHOOL-PRO CENTER: IKO profile with all services included
IKO Pro Center flag
This profile, compared to the School Basic profile, includes some important services:
Hosting Pro Courses: the IKO Center will be able to organize and host professional IKO Courses: Assistant Courses (ATC), and Instructor Courses (ITC), increasing its income considerably.
Free marketing package: the IKO Center will receive flags and other marketing products to promote its school and make it visible and easily recognizable.
30% discount on promotional material: the IKO Center can enhance its branding with promotional material exclusively for IKO Pro Centers and get an incredible discount.
Discount on student certification credits: the IKO Center will receive 100 credits for free. The possibility for the IKO Center to save its credits by registering the student before the course will remain unchanged (whether the student decides to subscribe to a Kiter Free or a paid profile).
IKO Centers worldwide
- IKO's presence around the world is truly widespread, so we can guarantee a high level of service with high standards and professionalism to the entire kite community.
- There are almost 400 IKO Centers around the world.
- In countries like Italy, there are more than 50 IKO Centers, ensuring that anyone can easily find an IKO Center nearby. In Spain, there are many IKO Centers (almost 40 today) and in the Netherlands (almost 30 today). There are also many emerging areas where IKO Centers are increasing, such as South Africa, Madagascar, and the United Arab Emirates.
- About 150 IKO Centers worldwide are Pro Centers. These schools can train independent kiters and future IKO Assistants and Instructors, enriching the IKO community internationally.
IKO Centers offer high-quality courses
IKO's excellent international image means that anyone visiting an IKO Center can be assured that all the instructors working at the school are qualified, competent, and have an active IKO license obtained after passing rigorous examinations.
Lessons at IKO Centers are structured to facilitate learning and increase enjoyment.
IKO training path
IKO Centers assist their students before, during, and after the course
- IKO Centers worldwide display all necessary information clearly and transparently.
- In all IKO Centers, the primary and essential information for the correct use of the spot is available to all users, swimmers, independent kiters, kiters renting from the IKO Center, and students.
In addition, technology has enabled us to provide helpful information and services at the click of a button.
Pre-course support: posters in all IKO Centers worldwide
Risk assessment and SEA Assessment are prominently displayed in all IKO centers, making the use of the spot clear and safe for all users. The right of way rules and the IKO Lesson Plan are displayed to help students understand where they are in their learning process.
Poster IKO - SEA Assessment
Support during the course: website and mobile App
- IKO follows a clear and effective lesson plan, which allows the student to progress quickly, safely, and enjoyably.
- The student's progress will be recorded by their instructor via the IKO website every time they reach a new level at any IKO Center worldwide.
IKO Certification Standards
It will enable the student to:
- Access the IKO website
- Download the IKO Intl App (available on the App Store and Google Play Store)
- Display their vCard (virtual card) showing the level they have reached
- Access to exciting and unlimited IKO video tutorials, eBooks, and eCourses, which they can watch and study independently
Elearning: video tutorial, eBooks, eCourses
These tools, available to instructors and IKO Centers, will be a valuable incentive for customer loyalty.
Explaining the possibility of taking advantage of exciting information, which will be very useful in dealing with all phases of the lessons, will encourage them to continue taking classes at an IKO Center.
IKO vCard – App
In IKO Centers, the IKO website address and the handy QR Code are always clearly visible, allowing quick access to the IKO App.
The QR Code will allow the student to quickly download the IKO App to their mobile phone at the end of the lesson and immediately see their vCard with the level they have reached.
Having the vCard on the mobile phone through the IKO App is a great advantage for the student. It assures them that wherever they are in the world, in all IKO Centers, they will find the same information, the same level of professionalism, and the same teaching techniques, with the correct placement in the class according to their actual level.
Assistance during the course, anywhere in the world, via the IKO Lesson Plan visible in the IKO Centers
All IKO Centers display the IKO Lesson Plan, which gives the student a clear progression through the learning process. The student will understand that they can enter an IKO Center anywhere in the world, knowing exactly what level they have reached and what the next steps will be with their new IKO Instructor.
Giving them this information will convince them that in IKO Centers, they can continue and improve wherever they are in the world without wasting hours of lessons and tons of money.
In all IKO Centers, large posters show the following levels:
IKO Lesson Plan - Discovery
Assistance during and after the course with comprehensive accident insurance
Showing the client the IKO insurance with worldwide third-party liability and accident cover will give them peace of mind when tackling such an adrenaline-pumping sport.
This peace of mind is obviously also aimed at IKO Centers and their instructors.
Pre- and post-course support via the IKO website: visibility and services with a click
The IKO website is a comprehensive and useful tool for IKO Centers, instructors, and kiters. It has high visibility, which is very useful for promoting all IKO Centers and their courses.
Around 30,000 unique users a month visit the website, which is translated into six languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
The clicks the website receives and the use of the handy App give good visibility to IKO Centers worldwide and offer convenient and quick online booking services and lots of helpful information suitable for kiters of all levels.
About 30,000 users visit the IKO website every month to look for a school. In fact, through the "Find a School" button, it is possible to find the desired IKO Center quickly, whether they want to search for a specific school or have a more general overview of IKO Centers in a larger geographical area or a state.
The website is also visited daily by many users wishing to find out more about professional courses (ATC-Assistant Training Course and ITC-Instructor Training Course).
2,100 people per month click on the "Training Calendar" button and book their professional courses directly on the website.
But not only that, users who want to find the recreational course nearest to them and who want to book it can also do so directly from the website. Again, there are thousands of visitors a month, and IKO Centers can get many more bookings from this online service. All the school has to do is put all the courses they offer on their profile, and with one click, their students can book, thus significantly increasing the school's business.
Pre/post-course support: find an IKO Course
On the website and in the App, by clicking on the COURSES button, it is possible to get a clear idea of the broad and structured IKO training.
Here you can find detailed information about IKO Courses, from Discovery to Examiner.
Pre/post-course support: find an IKO Center
Searching an IKO Center
Through the IKO website, by clicking on the CENTERS button, students and kiters from all over the world can find the IKO Center nearest to them or the one in the spot they wish to go to.
In addition, they can compare offers and book directly on the website or through the App for any course they wish to attend, choosing from almost 400 IKO Centers worldwide. It is important to explain to the student that they only need to type in the country where they want to find the IKO Center, the region, the city, or the school's name.
Pre/post-course support: IKO destinations
On the website and in the App, by clicking on the DESTINATIONS button, it is possible to access the page where one can search for a kitesurf destination and view all its main features. For each destination, there are generic descriptions (and a specific one for kiters) with all the spots and their characteristics (wind direction, air and water temperature, required clothing, and spot conditions).
Giving the students this useful information will intrigue them and increase their desire to travel all around the world and kitesurf in the best spots where there are IKO Centers.
Services with a click: the IKO blog and IKO social media
On the website and in the App, by clicking on the BLOGbutton, it is possible to see a series of interesting articles covering topics of interest to kiters around the world, stories, and valuable tips translated into six languages.
Students will be happy to know that they can find lots of valuable and interesting information here, involving them even more in kitesurfing.
But social media also gives IKO Centers good visibility on Instagram and Facebook.
Almost 46,000 users follow the IKO Facebook page, and nearly 6,000 people are members of the group.
There are almost 14,000 followers on Instagram, and the number is increasing daily.
In addition, every week, the best IKO instructor (Instructor Of The Week) is awarded, and the winner is announced through a post on Facebook and Instagram.
The best IKO Instructor Of The Week is chosen through positive feedback from students, and the post also highlights and tags the IKO Center where they taught, increasing the visibility of the school and its team.
Services with a click: job offers via the IKO website
The IKO website can be a handy professional research tool for IKO Centers and IKO Instructors wishing to travel and work in various windy spots.
In the profile of each trainer and each IKO Center, under JOB it is possible to see the job offers at IKO Centers worldwide.
- The IKO Center can enter the team member's description it is looking for, the tasks and languages required, and what they offer. Through this tool, instructors will be able to choose from many IKO Centers looking for staff, and they will be able to immediately get all the information they need to know to understand if they are the right person for the job.
- The IKO Instructor can apply for a job at any IKO Center. They will be able to specify their personal and professional characteristics, qualifications, previous experience, and possibly the countries in which they wish to work or the times they are available.
IKO Centers looking for new members for their team can search directly on the website for new candidates, making an initial assessment among the various instructors available and getting in touch with them quickly and directly.
Services with a click: the IKO shop
It will be easy to choose and purchase a wide range of IKO branded products on the website and in the App, from hats to T-shirts, from sweatshirts to flip flops, from student certification credits to Lycras.
Not only IKO Instructors but also students will enjoy wearing IKO products and feeling part of a large international community.
In addition, IKO Centers are synonymous with security
All IKO Instructors can act in emergencies and offer medical assistance because they have undergone first aid training.
Kitesurfing is a sport with a lot of action, so giving this information to the customer can be an additional incentive to convince them to trust an IKO Center, making them feel safe and assisted in case of need.
IKO - EFR/MFA first aid courses
IKO is a worldwide guarantee
Knowing that a kiter can count on the same professional quality worldwide is a trump card for every IKO Center.
The large IKO community, with its globally equal standards and high-quality training, is truly unrivaled.