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.