If you read this article I bet you’re thinking of becoming a kitesurfing instructor? But how do you do it and what diploma should you obtain?
The most popular diploma is the IKO (international kiteboarding organization) valid worldwide except in France. You probably don’t care about it, so you may think this article is not for you. But have you ever thought that French Polynesia (ex. Bora Bora), some Caribbean’s islands (ex. Martinique), or islands of the Pacific (ex. New Caledonia) belong to France. And in all these paradises IKO is not accepted. To become a kitesurfing instructor you must have the BPJEPS (Brevet Professionnel de la Jeunesse, de l’Éducation Populaire et du Sport) or the DEJEPS (Diplôme d’Etat de la Jeunesse, de l’Éducation Populaire et du Sport).
I chose to do the DEJEPS at the CREPS (les centres des ressources, d’expertise et de performances sportives) in Montpellier and that’s what I’m writing about. All the pertinent information, the schedule of the courses, the exams and much more.
Below is a list of the article’s contents so it’s easier for you to focus on what you are looking for.
But before you start, keep in mind that being a kitesurfing instructor is a real job, not just a holiday. Read more about the kitesurfing instructor’s myths to dispel in this article.
If you want to be selected, firstly you have to respect the application form’s deadline (usually around september). You need to have : sailing licence, first aid certification (PSC1) and kitesurf medical certificate. Then you need to send the idea of the project you want to realise during the year.
Secondly you have to pass the practical test, tests exigences préalables (TEP), which is usually in november. There are three exams: the first one is about technical requirement, the second is about swim and the last one is an oral examination.
The technical requirement concern freestyle and foil disciplines. You need to be able to do back and front rotation with a twintip board, to know how kiteloop and show some unhooked tricks as well (as raley). Than you have to be able to foil: going upwind, downwind, and do some transitions.
The swim test is about to swim 800m against waves.
The oral examination is a test to see how much you know about kitesurf’s world and its disciplines, as well as verify your motivation and your skills to accomplish your personal project related to kitesurf.
This preselection is an overall result between your application form and the TEP. This ranking (you are not gonna know it) will affect either if you can get into the diploma or not and the chances you have to acces to any financements.
If you need further informations check the CREPS of Montpellier‘s website.
Structure’s choice & diploma funding
The diploma starts in january. But first you need to find the way to pay it and the structure where you are going to work.
– You have differnts methods of payement (the costs is around 9.000€) : self-financing, Programme Régional Qualifiant o PRQ (your district, or region, will take charge of it), apprenticeship training contract (you have to sign a deal with a kiteschool that will pay either your diploma and an extra monthly salary, around 500-600€), professional training contract (it’s pretty similar to the apprenticeship contract but you are going to be paid a bit more, just the UCPA does it), any other deal you can find by yourself to let you pay, entirely or partially, your diploma by another clubs, federations or schools.
– Last but not least, you have to choose the structure. From this choice will depend either the way to pay your diploma and the workload. You have to choose a place where you can do your teaching, training, tutoring and realise your project. You can choose just one school or more. I decided to do my teaching and tutoring stage and realise my project at UCPA of Port Barcarès but I did my training stage at KSL Kitesurf Leucate association, because I couldn’t do it at UCPA.
After the first two months in Montpellier you will have an entire month to deal with those three following themes: safety, weather forecasting and aerodynamic principles for kites. At the end of this month you have to be able to carry out some safety manouvres required to be an autonomous kitesurf instructor (so you can teach alone if you tutor think it’s necessary).
You need to pass the EPMSP (exigences préalables à la mis en situation pédagogique) at the end of this month to check your skills. What are they about ?
You need to : self-launch and self-land a kite at the beach, retrieve a lost board starting from the beach, let two people in the open sea with their kite by boat (to start a course), retrieve two kites by boat and provide assistance to someone 800m far away in less than 3’30” (by kite or by boat).
The stage and the exams
If everything is fine at the end of march you will start you traineeships in the school you’ve chosen. From april to september you will move aorund differents locations in the south of France: your school, the CREPS and other places to atteds some training or events, During this period the workload can be tough because you have to organise some training session and your tutoring project beside your teaching work.
From august you can start to attend your exam about teaching, and safety. In septemebr you will have your lasts exams and in novemeber you have the opportunity to retake the tests in case you’ve failed.
The diploma begins in january. The first two months, january and february, you will be at CREPS in Montpellier. This period aim to give you most of all the theorical knowledge you need to have before to attend your practical stage. So you are going to study differents subjects as law, anatomy, teaching, etc…, and you will start to give a shape to your personal project.
March is dedicated to understand the weather, how and why a kite flies and everything about kite safety.
From april to june is the period where you have to move the most. You will go from you school (where you do your teaching and training) to the CREPS and to some other specific places where you have to attend practical course about freestyle and race in kite and attend some events (for instance I went to Défi kite in Gruissan).
In july and august you will be always at your kite school.
September and october is the exam’s period.
November is the month of the second chance if you’ve failed some exams
The diploma will last 10-11 months overall !
UC1 – UC2
The first two units are about planning and implementing your professional project which has to be related to the kitesurf world.
The UC1 is about the project design. You need to be able to carry out researches, collecting data and preparing the draft.
The UC2 is about realizing the project. So you need to implement your ideas, evaluate your project and see if you can improve it in the future.
The UC3 is the core of the diploma. It’s divided in three blocks: teaching, training and tutoring.
Teaching is what a kitesurf instructor do the most during is normal work, and so it’s the one you will spend more time working on. You will teach kitesurf for several months while a tutor is going to be supervising you. Theorical and practical lessons aim to make you indipendent and able to teach kitesurf safely.
Training. This is UC aim to give you all the knowledge about kitesurf competitions, especially the more important in the international landscape: freestyle, foil race and TT racing. You have some theorical lessons and you have to train for two weeks some people who aim to participate to a competition. If you change more than one discipline is even better for you.
Tutoring. At the end of this module you have to be able to lead a new “trainee instructor” in his training process. To do so you need to plan and implement a training project (related to kitesurf) and to form a team in the activity you chose (the most common one is “boat safety”).
The UC4 is about safety.
During one month you will learn all the techniques and the action to be taken to do your kitesurf course safely. I’m referring particularly to help someone in danger, by boat or by kite (retrieve a boar, etc..), to study the environment and prevent any danger, to forecast the weather, to pay attention about safe distance and lastly, to be able to manage a boat to start your lesson in open sea or retrieve a kite.
If you want to get the DEJEPS GAN you need to succed all the modules (UC). Once you validate one UC it’s gonna last for five years while you can keep trying to get the others. This is why you can chose to do you diploma over several years. You have one or more tests for each UC.
* If you want to validate the first two modules, UC1 and UC2, you have one test: to present your professional project.
– To get the first module you need to show how your research and your project respond to a real need and that you considered the needs of the audience. Then you need to demonstrate how you organised your project on a written paper.
– To get the second module you will be evaluated on your way to manage resources (human, financial, etc..), to communicate and especially on how you evaluate your project while you explain your choices and cornestones of improving it in the future.
You need to draw up your draft (around 40 pages) and discuss it in front of a jury by using a Power Point support (around 20′ presentation and 30′ questioning).
* The UC3 is the most fearsome of the modules because it’s made of 5 exams, each of which is necessary to validate the enitre UC. If you fail just one exam you have to retake all of them the following year.
Teaching : you will be evaluated while you run a normal kite lesson (at least 1h30′). At the end you have a discussion with your examiners (around 30′) where you have to explain your choices. You must have at least three kite in the air and you will be evaluated on their progress.
Training : you have two different tests. During a pratical test you will be evaluated while you coach your athlethes and you have to discuss it later on with your examiners (around 30′). On the other hand during the theorical test (20′ presentation and 30′ questioning) you have to analyse a video about one specific kite discpiline. The goal is to find any problems experienced by the athletes, comment on it and find a solution to improve their skills. During the questioning the exminers will test you knowledge about physical and mental preparation, aerodynamic forces and different kite competitions.
Tutoring : you have two different tests. The first is a written about the activity you have put in place, the second one is, as the first two modules, a discussion in front of a jury about it.
* If you want to obtain the UC4 you have to run a kitesurf lesson safely. If during your lesson you didn’t have to intervene to ensure the safety of your customer, the examiners will ask you to do 2-3 manouvres to check your skills. So they can ask you to retrieve a kite or a board by boat or with your kite, to untangle the knots from a bar, etc..
MAIN DIFFERENCES WITH BPJEPS
The two diplomas are pretty similar and both allow you to work in mainland France, in its DOM-TOM and in most of the other countries as a kitesurf instructor. But there few differences :
- The DEJEPS allows you to train some athlethes and takes them up to a competition, while the BPJEPS is more focused on teaching. This can be an important point because kitesurf has become an olympic discipline in 2018.
- The DEJEPS allows you to become “tutor” after two years you’ve got your diploma. On the contrary if you have a BPJEPS you need to follow a specific cours at CREPS in Montpellier to do it.
- The DEJEPS has an higher education level and that’s why the project it’s harder to realise.
- The DEJPEPS allows you to teach just in the water (kitesurf), while the BPJEPS allows you to teach even on the land (landkite).
One of the most important advantages is the possibility to work in the overseas french departments. Why is it cool ? Because I’m speaking about some dream places as French Polynesia (ex. Bora Bora), Caribbean island (ex. Martinique) o Pacific island (ex. New Caledonia). All of them belong to France and they accept just a french diploma.
Then if you want to teach in mainland France with the DEJEPS you are not going to be a normal instructor but you will be a coach (you will be qualified to traing the french national team), a tutor (you can lead a new “trainee instructor” in his training process) and lastly you’ll have a bachelor’s academic degree level. So you can work as teacher/trainer in the diploma itself if required.
Another big advantages about the DEJEPS is the fact to be in contact with some of the most important people in the french kitesurf envireonment. Indeed, France is the only country where they have a national french team and some training center to make the young athletes grow.
You have the opportunity to work with the best french trainer with the participation of the best French club, as KSL (Kitesurf Leucate), HKA (Hyères Kitesurf Association) and KWM ( Kitesurf et Windsurf Maguelone). One of the trainer is the two times world champion Sebastian Garat who intervene in the freestyle training.