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Buddy System

As a beginner or relatively inexperienced windsurfer you may feel nervous about joining a club and then being left to your own devices. The club has six qualified “RYA Start Windsurfing” instructors and has set up a ‘buddy’ system. The instructors are John Christie, Tony West, Richard Houghton, Martin Harwood, Darren Knights and Philip Peaston.

Any member can contact one of these instructors and arrange to go sailing with them on a 1:1 basis, entirely at the Buddy’s discretion. For more details contact Philip Peaston on 07909992520 or e-mail Philip will contact the other buddies to check their availability and the first one who responds in the affirmative will contact you direct and take 1:1 arrangements from there.

Here’s an overview of the Buddy System:

What it is:

A meet and greet session at Hickling

  • Introductions and to gain an overview of your aims, and current ability
  • A mini guided tour of the facilities; changing rooms, loan kit, how to operate the locks etc
  • Information on safety, First Aid, what to look out for
  • Advice on kit, wet suits, boots, boards, sails, where to buy kit/get advice
  • Time on the water if it’s suitable – a Start level overview if that’s appropriate
  • If required, a bit of coaching both on and off the water to build your confidence and skill

Support over the phone / email

  • ad-hoc support as your needs dictate, all within reason
  • Follow-up on progress
  • Any other Q & As that you can think of

Possible future sessions at Hickling by mutual agreement

  • Another meet-up if it’s convenient to the buddy: Tell them what you want and they will decide if they can do it
  • Agreeing if others are going sailing so you can sail too, under your own direction but knowing others will be there

What it’s not:

Full Blown Training

  • Buddies, like you, joined the club to sail themselves and are happy to provide coaching support and guidance as outlined above
  • We do not provide formal courses, which in Norfolk are best provided at Whitlingham. See
  • Ongoing training which demands a great time commitment on the part of the buddy (though Buddies are positive about supporting you and may well, if they have time, agree to spend structured and further time with you. It’s down to the individual and what other demands they have on their time)

A replacement for the periodic club training sessions, fun days and clinics which we organise for all members during the summer season, and are usually held at weekends when more members are likely to be able to benefit. Keep an eye on the website or club Newsletter for details

And finally…

Just a few words on kit. The Club has a limited supply of kit aimed at those starting out in the sport and you are most welcome to use this kit on a first come first served basis. If many want to use the kit on a specific day, then obviously sailors will have to mix and match and take turns etc.

Above all, enjoy your time on the water!