Feedback - South Downs Hang Gliding

Shaun Rollett. Two Day Introduction. June 2018.

Just to say thank you once again to you all for all the advice and time you have given me. I'm definitely hooked now and I am coming back as soon as money and family allows. The experience has given my soul a boost in ways I never thought possible and flying like that feels so right, I should have done it long ago. Thank you so much, Shaun.

Laura Maher. One Day Introduction. May 2018.

Hi John, Thanks for the brilliant day on Sunday! I had such a great time and cant wait to go again! (hopefully next weekend if possible ?). Hope to see ye again soon! Laura.

John Starkey. One Day Introduction. June 2017.

Hi John, Thought I would put finger to keyboard, and just thank you, Matt and Luke for a a brilliant day on Saturday, I don't think I have had so much fun for a long time. My face ached on Sunday from smiling. The day has certainly wetted the appetite and was wondering what the cost would be for the second day of the course. If I can I would like to continue from the first day sooner rather than later and not to lose the skills already imparted. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Alex Peters. 2 Day Introduction. May 2017.

Hi John, Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the hang gliding weekend I thoroughly bloody loved it. I want to do the ep. What's the deal? Do I have to pay all at once or can I pay in two or three parts? Again thanks for the excellent instructing and letting me off the tethers. Hope your all well. Alex Peters.

Ken Fowler. Refresher Session. May 2017.

Hello John, Just wanted to say a quick 'thank you' for the refresher training yesterday. It was really great to reminisce about past characters and places, and to catch up on whats happening today. I was also so pleased that I did not have too many issues getting my free-flight wings back in order. Your advice and experience was most welcome. I will certainly book in for a further day when I'm back in the country again (most probably later in the year). Ken.

Adrian Adamson. EP Course. April 2017.

Hi John, Many thanks to you, Matt and Rod for getting me through my EP. I must sincerely apologise for not inviting Rod and yourself in for a cup of tea when you dropped off the glider and not properly introducing you both to my wife. I will email you for some more sessions maybe this weekend coming depending upon personnel commitments. I really enjoyed this week it's been great fun.

Philippa H. 1-Day Intro. Refund request. June 2016.

Hello John, Thank you very much, I have received the refund. I do appreciate your understanding and prompt response about this. I will not hesitate to recommend your hang gliding school as you have treated me so nicely. Kind Regards, Philippa.

Claire & Neil. 2-Day Intro. June 2016.

Hi John, first of all can I just say a huge thanks for a great 2 days intro. For making it enjoyable, challenging and keeping me safe. Thanks to you, Matt, Rod and Rich. Now down to business :). Neil especially wud love to build on those 2 days and aim for the EP. Regards, Claire.

Maciej. CP Course. April 2016.,

John, thanks a lot for your great instruction allowing me to enjoy my CP exam flights, one of them reaching about 1000ft ATO. And special thanks for your 'post delivery' coaching to improve my ground handling and launch technique. Yours, Maciej.

Pete Sonderskov. CP course. April 2016.

Hi John, Thanks for a really good day yesterday. It was great to fly my own glider at last and the help both yourself and Mat are giving me is much appreciated. I can't begin to describe how chuffed I felt getting back into the air like that. It's been a long journey in more ways than one but I'm really pleased with the way it's going. I'm now working on the exam homework as well. Talk soon, thanks again, Pete.

Andy Weber. Ep and Cp course. March 2016.

Hi John, I want to say a massive THANK YOU again. You, Matt and Rod have done such a great job. Given the fact that I had to travel all the way from Scotland to the South Downs, your great flexibility and your efficient training methods made it possible that I could go through the EP/CP course in just 3 blocks of consecutive days. Even if you had to go with me at three different sites a day in order to find the best conditions. The decision to go with the SDHG school definitely proved to be the right one. Hopefully I'll see you lovely guys again. May be in Spain or Lanzarote. But first let me clock up some hours here in Scotland. Cheers, Andy.

Pete Sonderskov. 2 Day Refresher Course. Aug 2015.

Hi John, I had a very good day with Matt and Rod. Matt was a great inspiration and encouraged me with very helpful insights. I was delighted to have some flights from the top (almost) of the hill and continue to be encouraged to continue to train. My aim is now to get a glider and the necessary kit and complete the CP tasks, then get an aerotow conversion. Any help you can offer regarding a wing would be greatfully received. All the best and thanks again. Pete

David Garwood. 2 Day Introduction. Aug 2015.

Hi John and Rod. Just wanted to say a massive thanks for the hang gliding lessons at the weekend. Had a great time, and while Saturday’s learning curve was a little frustrating, I’m glad we had two days back-to-back because Sunday felt a lot more controlled in the air. I reckon it’ll be this time next year before I give it another go, and it’s possible I can get Dan to come along too. He certainly seemed happier after getting a few good flights at the end of Sunday. Looking forward to seeing you again next year, so keep hold of those log books, and we can pick up from where we left off. Many thanks! David.

Pete S. Refresher course (after 20yrs). July 2015.

Thanks for a great day last Sunday, I really did enjoy it. It was good to meet the team, they are an interesting (in the best possible way) bunch and their enthusiasm is infectious. I'm even more convinced than ever that I wish to resume my HG flying. I'd like to book a further day or two with you (I'll do this online as before) and continue the training to CP level. Again many thanks, Pete.

Maciej. EP Course. June 2015.

John and Matt, I am so happy I have just completed my Elementary Pilot Course. Great thanks for your very professional and yet very friendly and student focused approach reinforcing my strengths and well spotting all my weaknesses. This is how I could progress so fast and safe. Looking forward to my Club Pilot Course at your school. Cheers, Maciek.

Fran Marquez. CP assessment day. March 2015.

Hi John, Thanks a lot for a great training session on Saturday :) I really enjoyed it. I have now transferred the payment to your account for 3 more CP training days. Best wishes, Fran.

Adam Marcinowicz. One Day Introduction. August 2014.

Hi John, Thanks for a fab introduction day on Sunday. I really enjoyed the experience. I was able to capture some of the flights from the day and put them in a video. Now on Vimeo. I look forward to my next experience of Hang Gliding. Thanks again, Adam.

See Adam's Video

Rachel Dunscombe (Photographer). Two Day Introduction. August 2014.

Dear John and the team, I thought you might appreciate a chance to see the photos from the session last sunday (31st), many thanks for such a lovely day, keeping fingers crossed the weather holds for tomorrow for Adrian's second session, I think he's really got the bug and is keen to get his elementary pilot next :-) Thank you all for being such lovely people, it was a very informative day and such a stunning location. Many thanks, and hopefully see you again tomorrow. Rachel.

See Rachel's Photos

Hugo Reggiani. One Day Intro Group. June 2014

Hi there, I wanted to write a quick email to say thank you for our fabulouse 1 day training back in June. There were three of us Max, Tom and I (two of us Frenchies). It was a great day, the weather was fantastic and we absolutely loved it! We thought we learned a hell of a lot, both in theory and practice and it certainly made us want to do more hang gliding. It's not possible at the moment as we live in London and have other priorities, but who knows... maybe one day. Anyway, it's taken me ages to come round to write this email, but I really wanted to say thank you! All the best, Hugo.

Johnathan Howes. Two Day Refresher. July 2014

John and Matt, Thanks for the two day refresher. You picked me up on four small, but very important points. Scary the little things you forget, maybe not so surprising after 19 years! I had a superb Sunday last WE at Bell hill and spent much of it floating around at cloudbase, it is really good to be back, thanks again. Regards, Jonathan Howes.

David McCarthy. Two Day Intro. May 2014

Hello John, I just got home and I wanted to write to express my thanks to you and Matt for a wonderful days tuition today! I was impressed with you two and also, I have to say with me too! The day was a great success and I was surprised and delighted to have completed my, admittedly height and distance limited, flight, and achieved a successful conclusion to the event. I thoroughly enjoyed the activity and also the great company today; marvellous ethos expounded, everyone appears to face the same direction, all positive and looking for success. So now I would really like to sign up for the full tuition course since we are going to be located in Eastbourne for much of this summer. Thanks again for today, it was great fun. Kind Regards, (Delighted of Newton Longville!) David McCarthy.

Simon Gray. One Day Intro. March 2014

Hi John, Great to meet you and Matt yesterday, I had a brilliant day, thank you for your support and guidance. I need to check my schedule for the next few weeks and come back to you for some more lessons. I look forward to seeing you again in the near future. All the best, Simon.

Radek. Two Day Intro. Sept 2013

Hi John !!! I just would like to remind You to send me details so I can pay the rest for the course (3-days more) and than we can book me for the next week :) P.S Thank You, and Matt for hard work and all that what you taught me" HG" the best as You can I will recommend Your school any one who gonna ask me, for sure. Best Regards, Radek

Rolari Segun. Two Day Intro. August 2013

Dear John, thank you for yesterday's lesson, it was excellent! I had an amazing time. Is there still room in the class next Saturday? If so, would it be possible to book me in for that? Thanks again and best wishes, Rolari.

Steve Underwood. Refresher CP. 25/7/13.

Hi John, Had a great day today under Matt's instruction. Several short flights, maybe few below par take-off's in that I didn't hold the bar in long enough, but better in the end. So good to get flying again! Steve.

Karun Luthra. Intro Day. 6/7/13.

Me and my wife (Lizzie) thoroughly enjoyed our day! Thank you very much for that experience. We want to continue our training! I have to say I was very impressed by your experience and mostly your attention to detail and ensuring safety on the day. It really helped to reassure us and make us feel confident to take the steps as you asked! Karun.

Kaine Joel. EP Course. 1/5/13.

Hi John. Just a quick email to say thanks to you and Matt for all the training and getting me through to obtaining my EP rating. All the recommendations I was given about you guys was spot on, which of course means that I will be in touch to carry on with training and get my CP rating once I have my own glider. Chat to you soon, Kaine.

Nicos Halvatzis. Glider Service. April 2013.

Hi John, I am so pleased and so happy now with my glider after you made those adjustments. I was out flying yesterday at Firle and flew over to see you teaching below. I feel like I am flying a different glider thanks to you and Matt. Thank you again, Nicos.

Richard King. PG to HG Conversion. March 2013.

Hi Jon and Matt, just wanted to say a big thank you for the paraglider to hang glider conversion course. Of all the paragliding courses and holidays I've done this was the most enjoyable. The instruction from you both was second to none - you obviously still enjoy flying and teaching and it shows. Hope to see you on one of the holidays, Happy Landings, Rich

Simon Swords. EP Course. June 2012.

I wanted to say thank you again for an amazing week of hang gliding. Steve and I enjoyed ourselves immensely and can’t wait to get stuck in on the CP course. Matt also deserves a huge amount of praise, he’s an incredible instructor.

Don Mansfield. 2-Day Gift for Kirstie. 20/5/12.

Hi John, thanks to both you and Matt for giving Kirstie such a fantastic couple of days learning to Hang glide. She is well and truly bitten I think and has loved every minute, in fact she won’t stop talking about it. And yes I believe I will definitely be having a go too as soon as funds allow . . .

Steve Wood. Glider Service. April 2012.

Hi John, Thanks again for the service. I took the glider to Cams aerotow on Sunday. I had a couple of tows, one to 3K and another to 2K. The glider was perfect. Flew straight with and without VG and landed beautifully. Let the thermal season begin! Thanks again john you did a cracking job and it was great catching up with you. Steve.

Nigel Power. Southern Aerotow Group 14/3/12.

Thanks to all who helped with stripping down the tug wing, especially John B whose expert help and vast experience made the job so easy. Thanks John.

Chris Lewis. EP Course 26/2/12.

Hi John. Hope you're well. Had a really good session in the snow, thanks to Ozzie, Matt and Kaira (?). Missed your presence, of course.

Adrian Lee. Spain Trip Oct 2011.

John, Thank you for a worderful time in Spain. Despite coming back covered in olive oil and sand it was a lifetime experience so thanks for that. Definately interested in a trip to Lanzarote...

Greg Middleton. 1 Day Intro 8/8/11.

Just a quick note of thanks for my hang gliding tuition last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and you and Matt were most professional! I would not have any hesitation in recommending you to my friends. Cheers! Greg.

Ed Walker. 1 Day Intro 1/8/11.

Hi John and Matt, just wanted to say a quick thank you for a fantastic time yesterday. I enjoyed meeting such a nice bunch of guys at the school. I thought the day was really well planned out and your teaching style was great. I don't think I could have got any more out of the experience than I did so thanks. All the best, Ed.

Chris Naylor. EP Course 4/6/11.

Thankyou John and Matt for a great day. I think today gave me an idea how you guys like it so much. I feel I learnt a lot today but must remember the key basics and not get too ahead of myself. I will sort out my next day soon. Looking forward to it already! Thanks for a great day. It has nearly gone to the top of the list of best sport so far. See you soon. Cheers, Chris.

Rebecca Haines. One Day Intro 3/6/11.

Hi John, I hope all is going well. Many thanks to you and Matt for the great first lesson in Hang Gliding last week. I really enjoyed it and definitely want to continue with the full course. Rebecca.

Rob Harwood-Mathews. EP Course 16/5/11.

I’m not entirely sure I planned it as such, but I’m now the owner of an Aeros Target and busy training for my CP. It started with a wintry dog walk with my family and the casual observation that those guys ‘up there’ look like they are having fun and next thing I knew I had an EP course booked for my Christmas present! I just wanted to write in and say thank you to South Downs Hang Gliding and encourage even the most casual observer to go see John and Matt and give it a try. For me it was a summer alternative to surfing, a similar mindset and a new angle on things. From the first day I turned up at their shop, nervous of even a tethered flight and telling everyone I was scared of heights they took great care to ease me into the first steps. Similarly as I got over-confident and wanted to make ‘heroic leaps’ they brought me back down and made me start again. A great school, lovely attitude, thorough, safe and in it for the right reasons. I have never felt sold, rushed, ignored or pushed too hard. These guys will get you ‘up there having fun’ and I just wanted to say ‘thank you’. Rob

David Griffiths. 2-Day Refresher 17/3/11.

Hi John, Thanks to you and Matt for an extraordinary couple of days! I'm still buzzing!

Stuart Jones. 2-Day Introduction 16/3/11.

Hi John, I really enjoyed my weekend hang gliding with you guys. I have no hesitation recommending SDHG to my friends. How do I pay for the remaining three days for my EP? My two girls have now both expressed an interest in taking the EP too.

Simon Johnson. New Glider Introduction.

Thanks John for the induction and working the weather so well. Yesterday I had a great flight. I pushed the glider around a little to see what it could do, and my goodness this wing wants to fly. It easily climbs immediately higher than other launched gliders, flies faster and looks pretty mean - certainly paints over the cracks of its new pilot! I did some top launches and landings with more and more comfort in the wing.
Thank you once again for your guidance and instruction, and for giving me this opportunity in buying a machine that is certainly going to keep me flying with pride for many years to come. Thanks to Matt too and looking forward to the October trip in Spain.

Alan Payne. CP Course.

Hi John. The air and machine are talking to me better now. Must admit one of the flights surprised me in terms of increased elevation, terrific what a buzz! Thanks for you help and encouragement!

Ian Parker. One Day "Refresher".

Hi John and Ozzie. Thanks very much for the days training. I guess I flew 200m 5 or 6 times. I feel a lot more confident with each slightly longer flight. With more time in the air one can begin to think more rather than react.

Scott Dougall. EP and CP

John - I have really enjoyed my training with you, thank you very much.
Its taken me a while but its opened up a whole new world - I love it !!

Nigel Blackman. EP and CP.

Hi John, I was looking forward to thanking you, Matt and Ozie for the fantastic training, over these warmer months.  The synergy between you and Matt has complimented you both, making for a safe friendly environment to learn.  Needless to say I am looking forward to a Spanish flying trip when I can.

Barbara Redman. One Day Intro.

Hello John - just wanted to say a big thanks for the brilliant day on Saturday. Loved it - every bit of it, despite the bruises I found today! I'm definately coming back in March for the full course. thanks once again, Barbara

Graham Loving. One Day Intro.

Many thanks for last Saturday’s hang gliding. We all had a great day and enjoyed meeting up and experiencing the flying. Really appreciated all the helpful advice and enthusiastic support from Ozzie & Matt also. Thanks and best regards, Graham, Gem, Chris & Ali.

John Ashbridge. Spain Trip.

Thanks again for the fantastic holiday! Was very hard returning to work after those adventures! John.

Tim Hughes. Two Day Intro.

John, just a quick note to say thanks for a great weekend. Both you and Ozzy have a great laid back and safe approach to teaching. Hopefully, all being well I'll see you in the spring when I continue learning all about this exciting and fun sport. Cheers! Tim

Keith Worsdell. CP Course.

Hi John, hope you had a good time in Italy. I thought I would just let you know that I completed my final soaring flight for completion of my CP. I met Dave Massie at Bo Peep and managed a 20 minute flight with a top landing. When this bad weather breaks I will be coming down to fly every chance I get. Thanks once again, John, for your calm and knowledge without that I may well have given up! Hope to see you soon, weather permiting, thanks, Keith.

Rodney Chambers. Two Day Intro.

Hi John, I had a two day course with you and Ozzie this weekend and thought it was brilliant. I would like very much to do the next three days to complete the five day course. Thanks, Rodney.

Charles Foulkes. CP Course.

I am really chuffed about getting to CP this week and thank you again for all your patient help. Charles.

Matt Charlesworth. Spain Trip.

Our instructor, John Barratt from South Downs Hang Gliding, drove down to Spain with the gliders and we flew down to Malaga to pick up cars at the airport. He's a very cool, and confidence building, instructor and is very experienced which was very helpful as day one started with putting gliders together then doing a couple of 1,500ft top to bottoms! WOW! It makes White Horse look a bit flat. I know that lots of people reading this will have experienced this before but it was quite an eye opener to us. Adrenaline ? I love it!

Adrian Mallett. EP Course.

Hi John, Thanks for a great day yesterday, I'm really looking forward to the next one now! Adrian.

John McBride. Spain Trip.

Again many thanks for making the trip possible and for all your advice during the holiday, I feel big improvements have been made in my flying. Lijar was great to practice tight and wide 360 turns in open air space, just need the confidence to try them above the hill now. The rough terrain of Teba & Loja was a bit scary when looking down! John.

Adrian H. Spain Trip.

Hi John - just a quick note to say thanks for the Spain trip. I met my own personal objectives which were to get some good airtime, relax properly in the air, zip up my harness and do some proper soaring. Adrian.

Jolyon Roe. Hill Conversion.

John, thanks for yesterday. I enjoyed our day together and your instruction was useful. I also have to applaud your help in carrying the glider. I have never known a coach 'muck in' Very grateful to you ! In Skywings this month I see that you are credited with manufacturing the control lines for the carbon dragon micro glider - well done. All the best and I look forward to our paths crossing in the future. Jolyon.

Joanna Cooke. One Day Intro.

John hi, Thank you very much for looking after Eleanor so well today and for giving her such a good day. She obviously enjoyed herself enormously but, as you said would happen, is stiffening up in her arms and legs! I am hoping the amount of exercise she took today will cure her insomnia, at least for tonight! Regards Joanna.

Des Huth. EP and CP Course.

Hi, my name is Des, I finished training with South Downs Hang Gliding last Autumn. If you are reading this page, which is not going to be the most interesting on the site, you must be at least tempted to try hang gliding, my advice would be book some training now! Even if it is only a one or two day experience. You won't regret it, I have found it to be the most exhilarating sport I have ever experienced. As for the training costs, I consider the rates to be a bargain, the sport is very weather dependant and I have had over double the number of days training that I paid for, either half days when some flying has been possible before the wind shifted or days when we have sat on a hill and not flown at all. These occasions although disappointing are tremendously valuable, training is not just a job to John and his instructors, it is clear that they all have a great love for their sport. Anyway I hope you give hang gliding a go and I look forward to seeing you on the club hills, I fly a green and yellow Airwave glider. Des.


Home Page


South Downs Hang Gliding

Gibraltar Farm, Firle, East Sussex. BN8 6NB

Tel. 07890 362648