Thank you for your inquiry on getting IKO Certified and/or certified to ride Montrose Beach in Chicago!
Montrose Beach is one of the most exciting yet challenging spots to ride in the country. Our local kiting community values its access to Montrose because we’ve had to work hard for the privilege of both getting and keeping that access.
In order to receive a certification to ride Montrose, you must be certified at an IKO level 3L/PASA Intermediate Level. WindyCity Kite Sports is an IKO certified school. The requirements for the IKO 3L, in addition to the fundamentals, include being able to demonstrate the following confidently:
Control Speed by Board Edging
Ride Toe-Side with Control
Consistent Riding in All Directions, Especially Upwind (including competently navigating the powerful & sloppy wave breaks typical at Montrose)
Ride Safely and Comfortably with Other Kiters and Water Users, Know the Right-of-Way Rules for Kiters and Stay Clear and Far of Swimmers
Transition (change direction) Without Stopping
Make a Toe-Side Turn
Assess a Safe Launch Spot, Evaluate for Proper Kiting conditions and Be Familiar with All Basic Kiteboarding Safety & Modern Safety Systems.
If you are also able to perform the below, you can be certified for a full level IKO 3N, required at many other restricted kite locations in the U.S. and throughout the world. Additionally, a 3N certification will allow you to rent kite gear in select locations.
Know the Theory and the Safety Rules for Jumping.
Land a Basic Jump
For a certification assessment, the cost is $150. At the end of the assessment, you will be given a certification for the level demonstrated based on the above criteria. If you pass a level three, we’ll get you set up with a streamer so you’re good to go for Montrose.
Please note that if you don’t qualify for your desired level, the cost of the assessment is non-refundable. If you’re not certain whether you’re ready, please feel free to call and we can walk you through any questions.
If you decide you’re not quite ready, we can help you reach that goal! We can register you for lessons and work with you until you are. If you go the lesson route and end up getting to the point where you qualify for a 3L or above, it is only $60 for the Montrose credentials (no need to pay the full $150). Click here if you’re interested in learning more about lessons.
I look forward to meeting you!
“Kiteboard Mike” Szromba
IKO Certified Instructor