IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) and AF Kite (French Kite Association) announce they have entered into a historic agreement that will open up worldwide training opportunities not previously available to the French market. AF Kite now recognizes IKO kiteboard training standards for certifying recreational kitesurfers. AF Kite has already adopted and is enforcing these standards in France.
“Until now, there were no common international training standards recognized in France for the kitesurfer,” explains Eric Beaudonnat, vice president of IKO. “This agreement provides AF Kite the opportunity through the IKO to offer kitesurfers in France the freedom to continue learning all levels of kiteboarding while traveling the world. This is because IKO is the world’s largest kiteboarding network. IKO offers kiteboard training in every continent and in 38 countries.” Equally, IKO certified kitesurfers can now continue their learning progression while in France through AF Kite. The agreement is reciprocal. Any kitesurfer who earns an AF Kite certification is now recognized to be IKO certified any where in the world. Likewise, IKO certified kitesurfers are recognized to be AF Kite certified. This agreement now makes it possible for Kitesurfers in France to be able to complete their training with either IKO or AF Kite. The process is seamless to the kitesurfer. Instructors will allow students to begin at the level they last completed with either organization.
Every kitesurfer who completes an IKO or AF Kite course receives a membership card. Membership cards serve the function similar to a driver’s license verifying that the card carriers understand the rules, and have learned the skills needed for safe kitesurf practice. While not all beach authorities currently require certification for general kitesurf practice, the number that do is growing.
As the sport continues to evolve and more beach authorities see the need to increase safety, the relationship between IKO and AF Kite will become increasingly more significant. IKO is working to forge a strong relationship with AF Kite, and will continue to create more advantages in the French market as well as proactively reinforce this new agreement. IKO is headquartered in Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic with representations in thirty-eight countries including the U.S. IKO is the world’s leading kiteboarding organization specializing in education programs, promoting safe practices and enhancing the highest quality of standards for the industry. IKO strives to reach the pure excellence in the teaching experience while finding the perfect balance of fun and safety for all our IKO members. To learn more, visit www.ikointl.com.
AF Kite (Association Francaise de Kite) is headquartered in Montepellier, France created by the GMK (Association of Kitesurf Instructors in French). AF Kite aims to collaborate and forge partnerships with kitesurf industry members such as schools, shops, instructors and students for the purpose of developing safe and responsible kitesurf practices in France. AF Kite works to offer a variety of services such as: insurance and training tools to its members; practice location management; partnerships; networking with manufacturers to help ensure safe equipment is available for kitesurf practice. AF Kite has 55 instructors, 42 Schools and 3,600 members. To learn more about AF Kite, visit www.afkite.com (online in July 2011) and www.prokite.fr (already online). Prokite is a label that is part of the AF Kite network.