Kite surfing instructor course Zanzibar: the complete instructor course breakdown

Posted on Fri September 24, 2021.

If you are reading this, then you are looking for some more information regarding Zanzibar’s only kite surfing instructor course. Here at LiQUiD LiFE, we’ve designed a three month course that is designed to take even absolute beginners to a level of capability at kite surfing whereby they are able to pass the International Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO)’s Level One instructor course.

You do not have to be a beginner to take part in our kite surfing instructor course. We will accept any and all comers and, with our wealth of experience as kite surf instructors, we’ll teach you everything necessary for you to be able to take your IKO qualification.

We understand that a few of our readers may not be entirely convinced (yet) that they want to take the qualification. Our instructor course is still available to those of you who simply want to spend three months building then honing your kite surfing skills.

If you find yourself in that category (those that are interested without being sure they want to take the IKO qualification), there are some important differences to the cost of the course and what elements of it are mandatory requirements.

This course is designed to create kite surfing instructors or, at the least, instructor-level kite surf riders. Any kite surfer of that level should be riding on their own equipment and, resultantly, this course does not include equipment rental

We have compiled a document on what equipment is necessary for this course, and you can access that document here. Equipment rental on the island is a possibility but it is not recommended and, over three months, buying may be your cheaper option especially considering that the resale market for kite surfing equipment is incredibly fast-moving. If you do want to sell your gear at the end of the course, we will of course help you do so here on Zanzibar.

(Note all the hours under the heading ‘Kite Academy’ are distributed for the running of a programme catering to several clients (3+).

If the kite surfing instructor course has 1 or 2 clients, the program and the distribution of hours is adjusted. We’ve added that adjusted schedule below for further clarification.

The amount of people on the course will not have an effect on the cost of participation per individual.)

Kite Academy

Month 1:

·        2 Week beginner course 
2 - 4 hrs per day
*10 days (weekends off)

·       Independent riding

·       Two supervision sessions per week after the completion of 2 week beginner course

During your first month as a part of LiQUiD LiFE’s kite surf instructor academy, you will learn the basics of kite surfing and, by month’s end, you’ll become a capable independent rider.

The two week beginner course covers your first flights on the beach and basic kite control. You’ll learn about safety systems and how to conduct a safe self-rescue. Next you’ll learn how to body drag before moving on to the mechanics of a water start. After that you’ll be taught how to ride and effectively transition between onshore and offshore tacks.  

After the initial course – which will have made you an independent rider –, you will spend the rest of the month practicing your control, transitions and getting comfortable and confident on the board. An instructor will be joining you on two days each week to supervise your session and help you to work on your technique.

Month 2:

·       Progression training course
2 - 4 Hours per day
2 Days a week over 1 month

·       Supervision sessions on two days each week

·       Independent riding

During the second month, we will take your kite surfing skills to the next level. We will discuss your achievements from the last month and set goals for this next training period. Depending on how you’ve progressed so far, we will work on smooth transitions, toe side riding, pops and possibly even your first basic tricks and jumps.

Month 3:

·       Supervision session on two days per week

·       Independent riding

The last month of the kite surf instructor academy will push your level a step further. At this stage, you’ll have found certain strengths and discovered areas that need improvement. Our instructors will be supervising and ensuring you know where it is you’re going wrong.

Depending on your development, you should by this stage be honing certain tricks and looking always to the next one. Our instructors will be there to explain the mechanics and most common mistakes for your next tricks.

Optional if you don’t intend to take the IKO exam or mandatory with IKO:

·       Jumps & tricks - Instructor prep course
7-day intense course

If you plan to participate in the instructor training course in the end of the term, participation in the 7-day instructor prep course is mandatory. This part of the course will happen in month three and we will cover a wide range of skills over this 7-day period.

In order to become an IKO certified instructor, you need to be able to ride confidently and already have your first jumps down to perfection. To reach this goal we will arrange an intense 7-day training with independent riding periods in-between to really get your techniques down and be prepared for your career as a kite surf instructor in the future. You can participate in this part of the programme regardless of whether you’ve signed up to take your IKO Instructor level one accreditation or not.

IKO Instructor Training Course

Once you have completed our kite surf instructor academy, you’ll have the option to complete your IKO instructor qualification here on the island. Dates for this will be dependent on how many participants we have in the kite academy and the availability of IKO accreditation officers.

In order to qualify as a kite surf instructor with this internationally-recognised body, you will have to partake first in the IKO Assistant Training Course, then in the IKO Level One Training Course.

Program for 1-2 Participants Only:

Month 1:
 1.5 Week beginner course 

  • 1.5 - 2 hrs per day (12 hrs private lessons total)
  •  Independent riding
  • Supervision session on one day per week after beginners course

Month 2:

  • Progression training course
    1 hour per day
    2 days a week over 1 month (alternatively 2 hr sessions over 2 weeks twice per week)
  • Supervision session on one day per week

Month 3:

  • Supervision session on one day per week

Optional without IKO or Mandatory with IKO:

  • Jumps & Tricks - Instructor prep course
    7-day intense course (1hr per day coaching)