In 2001, a kite school was still considered exotic in water sports industry. Anyone who follows the kite scene, quickly realizes that this is no longer the case. Not only the number of kite surfers has increased rapidly over the years, the range of kite schools is growing rapidly. Each location, where the water and wind conditions allow it, now houses not only a single kite school. But are these kite schools all the same?
Until a few years ago there were mainly stationary kite schools, the trend shows today that the offer has been extended by some so-called mobile schools. At the same time, the competition between schools is steadily growing in order to acquire customers. So it is not surprising that many school feint a little bit while advertising themselves. To prove compliance with certain requirements, there is a certification for kite schools. Certification is provided by associations such as the VDWS, but not all schools can provide such certification. Although some kite schools advertise with VDWS-certified kite instructors, they themselves have no certification from the VDWS. If you take a closer look at the requirements of the VDWS for kite schools, you can quickly identify potential differences in kite schools. Among other things, sufficient insurance, suitable infrastructure (including changing facilities, sanitary facilities), rescue systems and direct access to the spot are required to obtain certification from the VDWS.
Stationary kite schools are often dependent on a spot. In some cases, this spot is leased directly from the kite school. The tenants can decide who may use the spot and who may not. Of course, this offers the advantage for stationary kite schools that there is always enough space available for the training. On the other hand, a kite school is "tied" to its leased spot, which in turn can be a disadvantage in unfavorable wind direction. Mobile kite schools, however, are flexible in terms of spot choice. Depending on the conditions, they can choose the best spot and train there. Often, however, the mobile kite schools then have to share the spot with other kiters, which sometimes can lead to space problems and impair learning progress.
Of course, it can not be said in general terms that a stationary kite school, which is in possession of a VDWS certification, at the same time offers better performance than a kite school without this certification. After all, as in other schools, the kite instructor and his talent are the main contributors to the teaching of theory and practice. A prior visit to the kite school is therefore highly recommended to get a first impression of the events. If this is not possible, a short call in the kite school is often enough to get an impression of the chemistry between the future kite student and kite school.
You can find a full list of the requirements to be listed as VDWS kiteschool here!