I Tried A Hovercraft Racing Experience – It’s Fast, Furious, And Addictively Good Fun!

Disclosure: I purchased Hovercraft Racing from Hoverdays for £79. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links (identified by a ° symbol). These financially support this website – and my transport addiction – at no extra cost to you. Find out more.

If you like flamboyant fun that’s big, bold and brash, then this is for you! Master a lean mean flying machine and find out what speed means in this hurtling hovercraft experience. These thunderous crafts are as raucous and rowdy as you can get – so get ready to enjoy a white-knuckle ride across both land and water before taking the reins and trying it out for yourself.

You’ll take speed to the extreme in this hovercrafting experience as you blast around a course in a race against the clock, making a serious splash and kicking up a storm in the process. This is a wet and wild experience for thrill-seekers that’s all about fast and furious fun! No wonder it’s a firm favourite for thrill seeker stag and hen parties.

Hovercraft Racing

In this rip-roaring Hovercraft Flying experience you’ll learn how to pilot a race-bred hovercraft across both land and water, taking part in a series of laps against the clock or in competition with other people.

Racing a Hovercraft
Zooming along on a cushion of air

On the day you’ll meet your instructor who will provide you with a full briefing before familiarising you with the craft. Learn the key skills required and watch the pros in action, before venturing out onto the purpose-built hover track and putting your new-found skills and tuition into action. You’ll tackle both land and water in your craft and then it’s time to pit yourself against the clock in a thrilling finale! Utilise your training to steer the craft around the course in as fast a time as possible. Exact details vary depending on location, but you can expect to take part in a series of relay or pursuit races against the clock or in competition with other participants.

Turn up the volume, put your foot down and prepare to have the ride of your life in this awesome hovercraft experience. Steering with a handlebar on a cushion of air is a sensation like no other. It’s easier said than done and these eager beavers seem to have a mind of their own – but that’s where the fun really comes in.

Do your worst and get to grips with these race-bred machines before the ultimate challenge: a race against the clock. These amphibious crafts are all roaring engines and raring to go, so get on, buckle up and prepare to have a blast!

My Hovercraft Racing Experience

The closest I got to a hovercraft was riding on the Hover Travel service from Southsea to the Isle of Wight. For some reason they don’t let any old Joe take the controls of the craft. Weird, right?

Thankfully there’s places that are daft enough to let me have a go. So, I bought and redeemed my experience day voucher and then, on a cold winter’s morning, I arrived at the Hoverdays track near Oswestry to find just one other person taking part (maybe people knew I was going to have a go). On the upside, this meant we could each cram in more laps into the allocated time.

The track, set in natural marshland, was carved out of a field, with shorter grass marking the weaving route and longer grass and reeds marking the boundaries. There was a muddy patch along the route along with a pond (don’t worry, the water is shallow so there’s no need to worry about life jackets). As these machines skim the floor on a cushion of air, they’re capable of handling multiple surface types, and this course has it all. 

Our instructor showed us the very simple controls of this purpose-built hovercraft in a way that taught us the necessary skills quickly and safely. There’s a throttle to build up power from the four-stroke petrol engine and inflate the skirt with a cushion of air. There’s a thrust control that propels the hovercraft forward. That’s it. To steer, you shift your body weight to one side.

Hovercraft Racing
Eager and raring to go. Just look at that concentration!

The keys to not crashing are 1) not to deflate the skirt while propelling forward (a key point when trying to brake), and 2) turning well in advance of when you need to.

Armed with appropriate clothing, we kitted up in the necessary safety gear and watched as our instructor nipped around the course like the seasoned pro he was. He made it look deceptively easy.

Then it was my turn to have a go in this high-octane experience. Helmet on (in case I went head over heels for the hovercraft) and knee pads on (as the kneeling really does take its toll), I straddled the motor and revved up. Once you understand the throttles, it’s child’s play getting going. Steering is an altogether different challenge. Hover crafts don’t seem to head where they’re told to. So after a few brushes with the reeds, it was clear how to avoid a calamity – turn way before your head says you should.

By the third lap I was jostling from side to side, at one with machine, drifting smoothly around the course like an experienced hovercraft driving professional! And it was great fun. I opened up the lift and forward thrust throttles on the straights and remembered to keep the skirts inflated around the corners. I leaned in with plenty of straight left and the hovercraft gently turned, following the 180° bend with ease. The sensation of drifting sideways takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s as beautiful to witness as it is adrenaline inducing. I opened up the taps again to cross the pond, kicking up plenty of spray in the process. A tricky weave was no match for my skills (or strictly speaking, my body weight, ahem).

The lack of competition leading to a 50/50 chance of winning meant my victory was hollow. But this experience isn’t about coming first. It’s about taming a beast that has a mind of its own, and becoming one with machine. I triumphed and eagerly look forward to my next dual.

My Hovercraft Racing Experience Top Tips

  • Go in with an open mind: Don’t be daunted by this machine. With a basic understanding of physics, you’ll have a blast. Using your body weight and the handlebar steering you’ll gracefully glide around corners as smooth as butter.
  • Limber up: This isn’t just a high speed race, it’s a workout at the gym. As you use your body mass to lean into the corners, you’ll discover muscles you never knew you had. 
  • Suit up: Well, dress down. Wear appropriate clothing that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. No dresses and high heels here. You’ll be supplied with safety equipment.
  • Perfect for team building, hen parties and stag activities: While this was a single track course, some offer side by side tracks that allow you to compete without the risk of collision. Even on a single track, you can take it in turns to race against the clock to find out who in your group ins the ultimate high-speed champion.

Hovercraft Driving Experiences

Ready to pilot a hovercraft? There’s plenty of activity centres around the country that offer you the opportunity to fly a hovercraft around a purpose-built race track. 

How it works

It’s super simple.

  1. Buy an activity voucher from the list below. Upgrade to a gift pack if you want to give it to a friend or family member as a birthday of Christmas present.
    Top tip: If you need a last minute gift idea, e-vouchers arrive very fast.
  2. They (or you if you’ve treated yourself) then redeem the voucher by following the instructions upon it. This is when you book a date and time for your activity. Vouchers usually have a 9-12 month life on them, so there’s plenty of time to book a suitable date.
  3. Go, go, go! Enjoy yourself and savour this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
    If you live near the venue, make a day trip of it. If you live further away, you might want to make a short break of it, with a night in a nearby hotel.

Best Buys

LocationSessionDriving TimeMin. AgeWhere to Buy
Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, LeicestershireSharedUp to 10 mins14Buyagift°

Experience Days°

Into the Blue°

Red Letter Days°
Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, LeicestershireOne-to-oneApprox 50 mins14Buyagift°

Experience Days°

Into the Blue°

Red Letter Days°
Warwick, WarwickshireExclusive group up to 6Up to 1 hour shared between you14Into the Blue°

Hovercraft Racing Review

RRP: £79.00 | Hoverdays | Shop now

Fancy a go at an outdoor motorised sport but want something different to lapping a car around a track or climbing banks in a 4×4? Hovercraft racing offers oodles of fun and as they are challenging beasts to master, the satisfaction of not crashing is very much worthwhile. The experience appeals to a wide range of ages and backgrounds. It’s great fun, easy to pick up, and challenging to master. It’s a great Christmas or birthday present idea, and it’s also an excellent teambuilding or stag/hen party idea.

Fun Factor
Wow Factor
Value For Money
Score: 4.8

Have you tried hovercraft racing? Would you recommend it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the experience.

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