Learn to sail

2024Courses Update:

Norwood Watersports has been set up to combine the instructors and equipment of two organisations Croydon Sailing Club and Croydon Youth and Schools to be a one-stop training organisation for paddle sports and sailing, offering courses to gain certification from RYA and British Canoeing with  support sessions for newly trained sailors. to follow on.  

 All sailing courses will be advertised  and   courses can be booked through a booking site bookwhen


Next Youth Course in Easter School holiday- 11/12 April 

Next Adult Learn to sail Course over weekend of 11/12 May 

Norwood Watersports  is an official RYA Training Centre offering a number of opportunities for adult (18+) non-sailors to learn to sail on our official RYA Level 1 courses. Existing sailors can improve their skills on the  official RYA Level 2 course and those out of practice sailors can get back on the water via informal refresher days.

The Training centre  also offers 2 -day  youth courses for  beginners (young persons aged 8- 14 years ) at the start of the sailing season during school holidays which enables a young sailor to achieve RYA Stage 1 certificate. Saturday Youth Training sessions are for young persons to continue training towards stage 2 and above certificates. 

The RYA has issued guidance on RYA Training Centre organised training within the detailed Government regulations. Any queries about training courses can emailed to info@norwoodwatersports.co.uk


 General Background 

Croydon Sailing Club  youth training for beginners started in earnest in 2021 with 75 children taking RYA Stage 1 and we had courses over Easter 2022 that were fully booked.  In  the last  few months we  concentrated on consolidating  training for the youths  and adults who have just learnt to sail  so they can move up to become  independent sailors .  All this is done without  staff but volunteer members. Demand is high and availability on the lake limited by  weather, water temperature , daylight and out of school / work hours . Members race on Sundays .  So  now a dedicated training centre with its own website and booking site has been set up for sailing and paddles ports – kayaking and canoeing to start with  although there is a growing interest in paddleboard training  which is being explored.   



The RYA Training Centre will endeavour to offer as many courses as possible; however all courses are run by instructors who volunteer their spare time to training others to learn to sail .   Teaching  takes place in groups of 6 adults to one  instructor in laser picos ,which are suitable for sailing alone.  We also  teach in Hartley12 training dinghies which can accommodate 2 students and are most suited to adults who are 70kg plus in size. Sailing is an active sport and participants are expected to have a full range of movement such as squatting, kneeling and reaching behind the back. 



Go sailing on Wednesday nights 

Norwood Watersports aims to help new sailors progress and get out on the water  so has pay and play sessions supported by instructors . Club members who are independent and  RYA Level 2 standard can also join in these sessions  as part of their membership. 


On Board Youth Training   will be part of Norwood Watersports 

Frequently Asked Questions and links to RYA training videos

Do I need to be a competent swimmer ? No but confidence being in water is needed so that falling in the water does not trigger a panic attack. All students and sailors must wear a fitted buoyancy aid which keeps the upper body above water so a person can breathe freely as their face is above water level. Instructors patrol close by in power boats to collect anyone in the water and support then getting back into their dinghy or wishing to return to shore to change into dry clothes. Those wearing wetsuits can continue sailing without getting cold.

Do I need to buy special clothing ? No , use your own clothing such as jogging pants or leggings that will keep you warm, shorts can we worn in warmer months. A long sleeved t-shirt keeps arms warm and protects from sunburn whilst a fleece provides warmth. A hat and gloves are advisable for cold wet and windy days.

What shoes do you need to wear ? Shoes are likely to get wet as water does accumulate in the boat so canvas shoes, old trainers and wetsuit beach shoes are suitable. We do have a selection of dinghy sailing boots that students can use also. Flip flops and crocks do not provide suitable grip.

I am not sure if I am fit enough to go sailing how do I find out what is expected ? You need to be able to bend freely at the knees and turn upper body and arms behind your back. We expect an average level of fitness so that each student can manoeuvre their body in a small space and maintain balance in the boat . You can discuss any physical difficulties you think you may find challenging with The Training Centre Principal prior to booking a course; contact 07913808969

What else do I need to bring ? Lunch and cold drinks/ water, we can provide tea, coffee etc. A set of spare clothes, towels and shower gel .

Is there parking ? Yes its free in residential streets at park entrance in Avenue Road.

Can I cancel my booking and get a refund ? We need a minimum of 3 students to make a course worthwhile and will know booking numbers well in advance so we expect for all course participants benefit that any cancellations will be due to unforeseen circumstances such as becoming ill, having contact with covid in your household, a family emergency. In these circumstances if we can not reschedule your booking the club will arrange a refund less Stripe payment fee ( 1.5% charge ).

Do parents stay for youth training ? No. Our courses are run by instructors and assistants who have been DBS checked so parents do not need to stay for youth training. We expect parents to bring their children at the start of a course and introduce themselves and discuss any matters , checking medical forms are completed, lunch and clothing provided and arrangements for collection at the end of session before leaving the site.

Link to RYA OnBoard Video – On Board teamwork https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9XnRC2I1U8&list=PLH7BNtsU5LQBj2UCbOXOhOLNUsAE1IGZe&index=3

RYA Video : start Sailing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJIu_moZaE&list=RDCMUChy5dW4S_x8XOnoXyeLQLXQ&index=1