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(Published January 2023, replacing January 2018)


This guidance looks to give the facts a person would need to know to run Hovercrafting for a group of young people, or to do it for themselves if they are a young person. 

What is Hovercrafting?

Hovercrafting is the activity of riding on a powered craft, which is supported on a cushion of air created by a fan. Hovercrafts are amphibious and may be used on both land and inland waters.

Hovercrafting does not refer to craft constructed of a commercially manufactured blower unit with no access to moving parts (i.e., fan) and of no more than 5bhp.

What is a Hovercrafting Permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be led by someone holding the appropriate permit. Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits.

A Hovercrafting Permit is required for all Hovercrafting activities as defined above.

Levels of Permit

Hovercrafting permits can be issued for land or inland waters of class C, B1 or B2 (POR rule 9.13.3 Classification of Waters)

Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through venues, types of craft, etc.) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of an applicant.

Types of Permit

There are three types of permit available for Hovercrafting. These are:

Personal – Allows a young person (under 18) to take part in Hovercrafting with others with a personal Hovercrafting permit.

Leadership – Allows the permit holder to lead Hovercrafting for a single craft.

Supervisory – Allows the permit holder to remotely supervise more than one Hovercraft.

Permit Limitations

Personal – If you hold a personal Hovercrafting permit you can go Hovercrafting with others who hold a personal Hovercrafting permit. It does not allow you to go Hovercrafting with anyone not holding a Hovercrafting permit.

Leadership – If you have a permit to lead Hovercrafting then you can look after only one hovercraft at a time, and you need to remain on the craft whenever the craft is being used.

Supervisory – If you hold a permit to supervise Hovercrafting then you can supervise up to three craft. All supervised craft should be within communication range of the permit holder. All craft used for solo training must also be fitted with a remote cut-off device which the permit holder has control of. You remain responsible for the groups you are supervising, but can designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each craft.


When supervising other craft the holder of a Hovercrafting supervisor permit needs to designate a leader for each craft. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.

People designated as craft leaders should have the necessary skills and be responsible enough to control the craft safely in the environment that they are in. There is no problem with making young people craft leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool.

Rules relating to hovercrafting

Rule 9.7 Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme

Rule 9.8 Adult Groups undertaking activities

Rule 9.10 Air Activities

Rule 9.10.2 Public Liability Insurance and Pilot and Aircraft Requirements

Rule 9.10.3 Flight Briefings

Rule 9.10.6 Hovercrafting

Rule 9.13.3 Classification of Waters

General activity rules

Rule 9.1 All Activities

Rule 9.6 Use of External Centres and Instructors

Additional information

Activities A-Z

Activity Permit Scheme

Activity helmet guidance

Air notification form - Please provide details of the air activities being undertaken by your Group, Unit or Network. This can be done prior to or shortly following an activity.

Hovercrafting FAQs

Hovercraft Club of Great Britain