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  • Writer's pictureTeam OTC

Start your story, start windsurfing!

Did you know here at The Official Test Centre you can start your windsurfing instructor training with us? Teaching within the RYA Windsurfing Scheme is progressive - you can develop your skills and qualifications by taking further courses and stepping up the RYA ladder. Let us help you open the door of endless opportunities, it is all waiting for you.. lets start windsurfing!


Lets start at the very beginning with the RYA Start Windsurf Instructor Course, during this five-day course, you'll develop an understanding of instructional techniques both ashore and afloat. Do you qualify? Not sure where to start? Apprehensive about taking the plunge, do not worry in this series of blogs all about the courses we run, you can hear from real people who have taken part in our courses and find out what it's really like. Lets get you feeling confident, so you can start your watersports instructor adventure with us.


By Emma Nicholson.


Toby Banbrook recently took part in the RYA Start Windsurf Instructor Course, why did he choose The OTC? Toby said: "Because I did my work experience at the OTC last summer and found out about all the training that you offer. I really enjoyed my experience working with the instructors and was keen to learn from them on my course."

What did Toby get out of doing the course? He said: "I spent more time with a great instructor, met new people on the course, because I am a self-taught windsurfer it was good to learn the RYA building blocks and I learned some things that I probably should have known! Oh, an I got to spend another week at the OTC!" Where will Toby use his qualification? He said: "Initially at my sailing club, Bowmoor in the Cotswolds. But who knows where it might lead!" Who will Toby be teaching? He said: "A mixture of teenagers and adults. There is quite a demand at our club as windsurfing has become more popular since the pandemic and with a wide range of ages." Would Toby come back and do another course with us? He said: "Absolutely and I would love to be able to instruct too!" What was the best bit of the course? Toby said: "Learning from a great instructor who had so much experience. Meeting new friends and spending time at Portland." What did Toby enjoy the most? He said: "I just love windsurfing at The OTC!" Why is the location of The OTC a great place for learning? Toby said: "Awesome facilities. Great range of kit for learning. Simply the best flat water venue on the South Coast for windsurfing." Would you recommend The OTC to other people who are looking for RYA courses?Toby said: "Without hesitation." What was his proudest achievement when he completed the course? Toby said: "Returning to Bowmoor as a newly qualified instructor - can't wait to start teaching."


"The OTC is simply the best flat water venue on the South Coast for windsurfing."


Emily I'ons also recently took part in the RYA Start Windsurf Instructor Course, Why did she choose to do the course with us at The OTC? Emily said: "WPNSA is like my second home, I spend practically every spare minute there, it only felt right to start my instructing and coaching journey at The OTC, which I have been sailing from since back in 2016!"

What did Emily get out of doing the course? She said: "Not only the applied skills for teaching beginners to windsurf, but also valuable transferable skills, like teaching styles and communication."

Where will Emily use her qualification? She said: "At the OTC in the summer months, working in sailing centres around the world and also when hopefully coaching junior IQ foilers."

Who will Emily be teaching? She said: "A broad range of students, from those who have never stepped foot on a board before, and coaching junior IQ foilers."

Would Emily come back and do another course with us? She said: "I would love to do more courses at The OTC, it was ran brilliantly and I was with a lovely group of people. Everyone involved in running the course did amazingly, it ran so smoothly. Plus everyone was so friendly!"

What was the best bit of the course? Emily said: "I really enjoyed when we were able to run our own session on the water, it was lifelike, providing us with experience running a session with a group of beginners."

What did Emily enjoy the most? She said: "The atmosphere working at The OTC, whether people where teaching a lesson, sorting kit out, doing admin, or media, the environment was so relaxed and enjoyable, very much fitted the ‘surfer vibe’!"


Why is the location of The OTC a great place for learning? Emily said: "The OTC is placed perfectly for learning to windsurf, as the wall and pontoons provide protection from the stronger winds and tides out in the harbour. The beach running up the opposite side means that the majority of the time, depending on tides, you are able to walk along the edge, providing comfort and safety for beginners."

Would you recommend The OTC to other people who are looking for RYA courses?

Emily said: "100%, the perfect place to do a course!"

What was Emily's proudest achievement when she completed the course? She's said: "The knowledge that I can now bring more people into windsurfing, being able to share the joy I experience when on the water."


The OTC is 100%, the perfect place to do a course!"

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