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10 alternative outdoor sports to try in Hong Kong

By David Yeung 11 August 2020

Header image courtesy of Stripped Pixel (Shutterstock)

Sports, whether indoors or outdoors, are always a good idea to keep your body healthy and your mind mentally sane, whether you are swimming in the sea or hiking with the bees. And as enjoyable as they can be, sports such as basketball, football, rugby, or tennis can quickly become boring and routine to the average adrenaline junkie. 

Why not see what else there is to do around Hong Kong? Unexpectedly enough, there are many different unconventional sports that people all over the city participate in. Trade in your tennis racket for a dragon boat paddle and check out the top 10 alternative outdoor sports to try out in Hong Kong this summer—some of these might even surprise you!

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Photo Credit: Jéan Béller (Unsplash).
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Paragliding

It’s a bird, it’s a plane... it’s a paraglider! You may have already spotted these adrenaline junkies drifting through the skies while hiking Dragon’s Back or taking a stroll through Sai Kung Town. Although this sport has been around in Hong Kong for many years, paragliding still considered a niche activity with a small following amongst people who are looking for a thrill-seeking adventure.

To get started, X-Fly Hong Kong is a paragliding company based in Sai Kung that offers a one-day taster course in tandem paragliding. If you want to take your assisted flying to the next level, there are also other places in Hong Kong to get qualified as a paragliding pilot. Check out Ascendia Sports and the Hong Kong Paragliding Federation as they offer training courses and pilot lessons.

Photo Credit: Samuel Wong (Unsplash)
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Dragon boat racing

One of Hong Kong’s traditional pastimes has now quickly evolved into an underrated sport. Over recent years, many companies, schools, and clubs have jumped on the bandwagon of dragon boat racing and even created their own teams, giving a taste to how fast the appeal is growing across Hong Kong.

Aside from being the ultimate team sport and a great way to get a full-body workout in, dragon boating also allows you to connect with deeper traditions, as its roots are steeped in Chinese culture. As there are many dragon boat teams and clubs in Hong Kong, each with different requirements and memberships, the VRC dragon boat team is a good place to start and allow for your interest in dragon boating to develop.

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Kitesurfing

Many people mix up this sport with its sister sport of windsurfing. The difference between the two is that in windsurfing, there is a sail attached to the board, while nothing is attached in kitesurfing and you have to hold on to a kite to control your movements. It’s an all-encompassing sport that combines elements of wakeboarding, windsurfing, and skateboarding into one extreme package!

Although kitesurfing is still a growing sport in Hong Kong, there is already an internationally recognised body in this city—The Hong Kong Kiteboarding Association. Check out the Hong Kong Kiteboarding School and book your first lesson!

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Photo Credit: Verm City (Facebook)
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Bouldering

Bouldering is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world—even celebrities like Zac Efron, Jared Leto, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson have had their go at the wall! Slated to make its debut in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, bouldering not only engages your physical self but also your mental state, but it also boosts your concentration and problem-solving skills.

For the budget-conscious adrenaline junkie, it is also a very minimal sport, as all you need are some proper climbing shoes, a bouldering wall, and yourself. Thankfully, there is a good number of gyms around Hong Kong to kickstart your bouldering career; check out our suggestions here. And although you start off indoors as a novice boulderer, those who are experienced will soon want to leave the handholds behind and head outdoors to clamber over real rocks and ridges.

Photo Credit: Soroush Karimi (Unsplash)
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Canoeing

If you are not up for an intense workout of any sort, canoeing is the way to go. This leisurely sport requires some effort—but on your own terms. Whether you are in Stanley, Lantau, or Sai Kung, there are plenty of watersports centres and similar establishments to rent canoes.

HK Aqua-Bound Centre is a respected establishment to rent canoes from when in Stanley. If you are in Lantau, Long Coast Sea Sports is the best place to find canoes. If you are new to the sport and looking for a guided canoe tour, we recommend you to take a look at Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventures, not only because of canoeing but also for their other guided adventures around Hong Kong.

Photo Credit: Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventures (Facebook)
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Zip-lining

You may have not heard much about zip-lining in Hong Kong due to the fact that, well, we do live in a city, but there are actually surprising places where you can zoom from tree to tree here like a flying squirrel. In fact, Hong Kong’s hilly landscapes and geographic make-up—its hills, creeks, and cliffs—offer many ideal locations for zip-lining. Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventures offers zip-lining tours and guides for around $480 per person.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

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Canyoning

If you are interested in breaking out your best Nathan Drake impression and traversing a canyon or gorge by combining hiking, climbing, or swimming à la Uncharted, then you should definitely consider canyoning. Thanks to mother nature and geographic luck, Hong Kong boasts many waterfalls and rock pools to scale and explore. However, canyoning can be quite dangerous and risky, so it’s best to have an expert guide and instructor on hand. Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventures offers exciting and guided canyoning adventures at $680 per person.

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Quidditch

Calling all Potterheads who want to play an enchanting round of Quidditch! Yep, you heard right—there is Quidditch in Hong Kong. Based on the sport outlined in JK Rowling’s spellbinding Harry Potter series, Quidditch is a full-contact game that comprises of two competing teams who run with broomsticks in-between their legs and score for points by throwing a ball—the Quaffle—through hoops on either end of a large grassy pitch. To find out more of this little-known sport, check out the Hong Kong Quidditch Associations to get involved.

Photo Credit: Hiroko Yoshii (Unsplash)
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Scuba diving

As Hong Kong is surrounded on almost all sides by water, it truly is the best place to start your scuba diving adventure. In fact, the best time to go scuba diving in Hong Kong is between September and October when the winds change, and divers get to enjoy their swim without any algae and rubbish floating around.

Surprisingly, there is plenty of biodiversity in the waters of Hong Kong so if you’re interested in starting or continuing your scuba diving hobby, there are plenty of schools and dive centres to cater towards your needs. Splash Hong Kong is one of many dive companies that provide various services and lessons. Another one worth checking out is Diving Adventure LTD, which is located in Causeway Bay.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

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Underwater hockey

Finally, if you are looking for the ultimate alternative sport, you may want to consider underwater hockey. Imagine hockey—and now imagine hockey underwater. Whether you are bored out of your wits or you have already had a go at all of the other alternative sports on this exhaustive list, underwater hockey is definitely out of most people’s comfort zones.

One difficult aspect of this gruelling sport is that it requires disciplined breathwork, as the game is played underwater for the entire duration of the match! If you’re interested, The Hong Kong Underwater Hockey Association is now looking for fresh recruits to grow this peculiar sport in Hong Kong.

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Born and raised in Hong Kong, David is a recent high school graduate embarking on a gap year. He was always interested in writing and sharing stories that tend to be unnoticed. When he is not in the office typing away, you may find him taking photographs, running around the city, hiking, swimming in the ocean, or just chilling with a nice book at bay.

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