RYA launches new wing courses

The RYA has officially launched its new wing training scheme at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show.

Winging is the latest watersports craze to hit UK waters, says the RYA, with opportunities to get afloat both inland and around the coast. Using a handheld wing to propel a board on the water, it’s easy to learn, the kit is affordable, transportable and you can even get started on a large windsurf board or windSUP (stand-up paddleboard).

The four progressive courses; learn to wingsurf, improve your wingsurfing, first flights and sustained flights were first piloted in 2021, and have taken off with a growing number of RYA recognised training centres now delivering the scheme.

Aimed at introducing complete beginners to wingsurfing and developing the skills needed to take flight and wingfoil with confidence, the RYA hopes that the training scheme will provide a safe, fun and structured environment for people to enjoy the up-and-coming watersport.

“If you go down to your local stretch of water, you’ll see lots of people trying to teach themselves and learn how to wingsurf and wingfoil,” says RYA chief instructor, Amanda Van Santen. “The best thing about taking a course is that you are in an environment that’s got everything you need – the kit, the instructors, and a nice safe environment with a safety boat.

“Our instructors have been specially trained so it means that they’ll pick out those key parts and will help you to progress really quickly.”

The Official Test Centre (OTC) in Dorset was one of the first RYA training centres to gain recognition for the wing courses in 2021.

“The people we’ve had coming to the centre and having a go at winging are from so many different backgrounds,” says director Tris Best.

“The obvious one is windsurfers and sailors, but we’ve also had lots of people that are stand-up paddleboarders or completely new to watersports.

“Having a course that’s tailored to getting people on the water quickly, cutting out all those bad habits and progressing fast can only be a good thing.

“It’s just an easy way to get people interested and excited about going on the water on a regular basis.”

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