We sometimes take for granted that Kite Beach is a regular kite spot for some of the world’s biggest talent. Just last week we had locals Ariel Corniel, Robinson Hilario and top female Karolina Winkowska all cruising our bay at the same time. Here we’re used to seeing the most complicated tricks and huge jumps, but not all great kiters have what it takes to be great instructors.
There are some inherent traits and characteristics that make for excellent instructors, and here at GoKite Cabarete we feel we have some of the best. What makes a great instructor you might ask?
They need to be humble and respectful — showing appreciation for their student’s abilities no matter their level and modesty in their own abilities. Our instructor Nicolas studied hotel administration in college, but only after spending three years studying medicine. A very talented and experienced kiter, if he isn’t teaching he’ll always be out on the water! He owns a kite school in Columbia where he teaches during the winter, but is happy to join us here for the summer to experience all that our world renowned beach has to offer. He teaches beginner and advanced kiters with the same enthusiasm and excitement, and is keen to get to know everyone and share his love of kiting!
They have to be friendly and kind. One of the friendliest faces you’ll see around is Joel, always eager to crack a joke or share a smile. Joel likes to study and is busy learning more english so that he can further improve his teaching abilities. He grew up in Kite Beach, and loves that he can work so close to home so that he can spend more time with his close family and young son. Joel became an instructor because he loves helping others achieve their goals, he says it is one of the best feelings in the world. This job also gives him the opportunity to meet people from around the globe and learn about their countries and cultures, and also share things with them about Dominican culture and it’s people.
They have to be dedicated and experienced. Technical knowledge gained from years of training and finding out what works and what doesn’t is irreplaceable to having students learn to kite quickly and safely. Juan Carlos knows that many students are nervous (even scared!) the first time they get a kite in their hands. The wind blows strong here and there’s a lot happening at once and many people out on the beach and in the water. He says what is most important is that a student trusts their instructor so that they can focus on the details of the new skill they are learning. Students love taking instruction from Juan Carlos because he is patient and he really watches them out on the water so that he can make minute corrections to their form and technique that make huge advances in their progression.
They need to be innovative in their teaching methods and flexible in their lessons. Stewy says being a kite instructor taught him think outside the box- everyone learns in different ways and as a teacher you need to adapt to you students. It is all about each individual student and what they need to start confidently riding as soon as possible. He really enjoys working at GoKte because we are a professional team who meet regularly to discuss how we can better serve our clients. He has taught all over the world, and loves that we have a ton of modern equipment at our school, that we value safety and most of all that we all really enjoy what we do!
They should always want to improve themselves. How can we expect the best effort from our students if we don’t expect the same from ourselves? Omar likes working for Gokite because the team here inspires each other to be better learners, teachers and kiters. He says Richard, the owner, is always there to listen to the needs of his team as well as those of the students. This synergy of everyone working together is what keeps us all positive even when things get hectic and stressful, so that we don’t pass that on to our students. Ultimately, we are all brought together by our love of the ocean and our love of people. We are fortunate to work for a company that always remembers why we do what we do!
They have to be patient. Not all students are created equal. Some have great physical predispositions and coordination, some don’t; some have a great “touch” when controlling a kite, some are just too stiff with it; some just get it, some don’t… it is the instructor who needs to adapt to each student’s type, figure out the most efficient approach — and most importantly — be patient with the student. Raul has worked with GoKite since the beginning, and has since become one of the best kite instructors of Kite Beach, exactly because of this. He loves working at GoKite, which is his second home in Cabarete.
Richard’s leadership, professionalism and dedication to Gokite is what allows us to thrive. We strive to offer the best instruction, and always look for the above mentioned qualities and characteristics in all the kite instructors we hire. Richard says he understands it is a rare thing- to be able to adapt your teaching style of this technical sport to meet to needs of people of all diversities and abilities from around the world.
“You know,” he says, “at the end of the day we all want to go out there and have fun on the water. We laugh and share stories, we encourage each other whenever anyone is frustrated and losing patience with themselves, and always look on the bright side.” Richard feels very lucky to have such a great team to work with and that we all get to spread our passion for kiteboarding and “Republica Dominicana” with all of you.