VDWS, IKO, FIV Kitesurf Association

Would you like to learn kitesurfing and you would like to know which is the right kiteschool / kitecenter? We suggest you to choose a school that is affiliated with one of the kitesurf Associations / organizations / federations and that has certified instructors.

Or would you like to become a kite instructor and you would like to know the right federation to become instructor with?

Here below we will explain the difference between the two most known International Kite organization / association, VDWS and IKO, and the FIV, the Italian Sail Federation.


Here below you could understand the differences between  FIV, IKO and VDWS and make your choice.



The VDWS (Verband Deutscher Wassersport Schulen) and IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) are international groups that have developped their own teaching methodology for all wind and water sports including kitesurfing (VDWS), and for kiteboarding (IKO). Their purpose is to teach spread kitesurfing safely.

While VDWS is recognized by national sail federation (e.g. Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and is getting stronger internationally, IKO is actually not recognized by national sail federations or by the World Sailing, the international sailing federation and and in recent times it has lost visibility internationally (that is also the reason why they are currently making incredible offers to become their partners, offers that they did not once offer).

IKO and VDWS teaching methologies

IKO and VDWS have created their own didactic methodology generally divided into skill levels.

The seven teaching levels of VDWS are:

  1. Kite Level 1: Safety Basics, Getting Ready, Start Kite Flying, Take Off
  2. Kite Level 2: Kite Flying, Kite Relaunch, Bodydrag
  3. Kite Level 3: Waterstart, Going Downwind for a short distance
  4. Kite Level 4: Going Downwind, Changing direction, Keep Position to Wind, Basic Jibe
  5. Kite Level 5: Going Upwind
  6. Kite Level 6: Basic Jumps and Carved Jibes, or Transition Jumps
  7. Kite Level 7: Rotation or Kiteloop, Grabs, One Foot, Board Off or Railey.

The three teaching levels of IKO are:

  1. IKO Level 1, Discovery: The basic principles of kitesurfing are taught at the Discovery level. In addition to kitesurfing theory, kite assembly procedures and some kite control exercises are taught.
  2. IKO Level 2, Intermediate: At the intermediate level, kite control is practiced and body-drag and water starts are learned.
  3. IKO Level 3, Independent: At the independent level you learn the maneuvers for proper navigation as well as the direction change maneuvers.

Become VDWS and IKO instructor

To become a first level IKO or VDWS instructor you must enroll in a course organized by them. To participate to the course to become instructor, you must have an appropriate kite level. By paying a registration fee (price of the course can go from approximately 600 to around 1300 euros), you can join to the kite instructor course and, after a course of some days that include a practical phase, a theoretical phase, by passing an internship, you will be IKO / VDWS Kitesurf Instructor.


The FIV (Italian Sailing Federation) is a  non-profit sailing federation, recognized by the World Sailing (International Sailing Federation). Born in 1927 in Italy, the FIV has the purpose of spreading sailing (including kitesurfing). FIV has its own teaching methodology aimed mainly at competitive activity.

Become FIV instructor

To become a first level FIV instructor you have to first pass an admission test which consists of:

  • A test on theory on sea, wind and kitesurf knowledge;
  • A practical test with a boat;
  • A practical test with Kitesurf.

Once you have passed the admission test, you could join to the kite course for instructors that consist in:

  • 50-hour theory course
  • 120-hour internship
  • final 60-hour theory course
  • final exam before a commission of federal technicians.

FIV, IKO or VDWS: conclusions

  • FIV is recognized by World Sailing.
  • The FIV instructors follow a longer kite course for instructors than the VDWS and IKO instructors.
  • The diffusion in the world of VDWS and IKO kite schools is higher than FIV kiteschoolss, based only in Italy.

KiteGeneration uses both the VDWS and FIV teaching methodologies.


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