Students Ina Nooroa, Tem Strickland and Dan sitting with International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) examiner Berny Maginn enjoying a coffee break in between study sessions at AirZone Kite School on the Karikari Peninsula in Northland, New Zealand. SUPPLIED/22033003
For most residents being in a bubble in the Cook Islands was a blessing and one of the best places in the world to be in during the Covid-19 related border closure.
For a local tourism business, the period was a perfect opportunity to upskill their staff.
Director of KiteSUP Cook Islands Ina Nooroa, and lead tour guide Temaruata Strickland (Tem), utilised the period to gain new skills.
these new skills opened the door for the duo to go to New Zealand for an
internationally recognised training programme through the International
Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO).
to Brynn Acheson-Nooroa of KiteSUP Cook Islands, during the two-year border
closure Strickland learned to kitesurf.
picked it up quite quickly and spent as much time out on the water that the
wind would allow,” Acheson-Nooroa said.
an accomplished swimmer, adding another water sport to his belt was an easy
decision for Strickland, who represented the Cook Islands in international
employment at KiteSUP Water Sports helped feed a desire to be a multi water
sport athlete, Acheson-Nooroa said.
had the teaching skill set as a swimming coach so transitioning into teaching
kitesurfing lessons was a challenge he wished to explore.”
the guidance and supervision of Level 3 instructor, Acheson-Nooroa, Strickland
shadowed hours of lessons and even taught some lessons.
Nooroa has been kitesurfing for the past 12 years.
the sport evolves so does the equipment and skills necessary to evolve with it.
Nooroa’s lock down period was spent learning to wing surf,” Acheson-Nooroa
surfing is simply the use of a hand held wing (kite) and wind in order to
propel a board on the water. Wing surfing can be done in less wind and is
easier to learn than kitesurfing, so it appeals to a wider audience.
successful completion of the two-week New Zealand training programme, Strickland
and Nooroa Ina will gain a Level 1 kite instructor qualification enabling them
to teach straightaway around the globe.
both will stay in Rarotonga and utilise their new qualifications for the time
said the next milestone was to progress to a Level 2 instructor.
is achieved by teaching a certain number of hours as a Level 1 instructor, and
passing an online exam.
Level 2 instructors they can to set up an IKO kiteboarding school or become
head instructors within an existing school.”
completing week one of the level 1 training, Strickland said: “It’s been really
informative for both Ina and I. We are definitely picking up on a lot of things
we can bring back to Raro!”
said: “KiteSUP is anticipating a busy winter season and will be ready to offer
kite and wing surfing lessons for complete beginners and experienced riders.”
“The most reliable windy conditions start in May and run through October. For more information call 27877.
is full of opportunities and we all have choices to make on a daily basis. Sometimes
the timing can be wrong or we let fear get in the way, but for Tem and Ina the
timing was right and they have seized their opportunity to improve themselves
and gain internationally recognised skills. Well done guys!”