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10 alternative outdoor sports to try in Hong Kong

By David Yeung 11 August 2020 | Last Updated 31 January 2024

Header image courtesy of Daniel Hajdacki (via Unsplash)

Originally published by David Yeung. Last updated by Lily Valette.

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. Swap 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: Jéan Béller (via Unsplash)


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. Although this sport has been around in Hong Kong for many years, paragliding is still considered a niche activity with a small following amongst people who are seeking a thrilling adventure.

Hong Kong Hike ‘N’ Fly offers tandem paragliding adventures in Sai Kung for a taster course to this exciting sport. 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 Paragliding for training courses and pilot lessons.

Photo: Samuel Wong (via Unsplash)

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 of 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 festival culture. As there are many dragon boat teams and clubs, each with different requirements and memberships, the Buzz Dragonboating Society, Stormy Dragons Paddling Club, and Victoria Recreation Club are good places to start.

Photo: Daniel Hajdacki (via Unsplash)


Many people mix up this sport with windsurfing, but 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.

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Photo: yns plt (via Unsplash)


Bouldering is becoming more and more popular throughout the world—even celebrities like Zac Efron, Jared Leto, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson have had their go at the wall. Making its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, bouldering not only engages your physical self and also your mental state, but also boosts your concentration and problem-solving skills.

For the budget-conscious adrenaline junkie, it is also a very minimal sport—all you need are some proper climbing shoes, a bouldering wall, and yourself. A good number of gyms around Hong Kong can help kickstart your bouldering hobby; check them out here. 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 rocks and ridges.

Photo: Soroush Karimi (via Unsplash)


If you are not up for an intense workout of any sort, canoeing is the way to go. While this leisurely sport requires some effort, it’s all on your own terms. Whether you are in Stanley or Sai Kung, there are plenty of watersport 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 on Lantau, Long Coast Sea Sports is the best place to find canoes.

Photo: Son Tung Tran (via Pexels)


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 some places here where you can zoom from tree to tree like a flying squirrel. In fact, Hong Kong’s hilly landscape and geographic make-up—its hills, creeks, and cliffs—offer ideal locations for zip-lining. Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventures and Explorer Hong Kong both offer zip-lining experiences.

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Photo: Lily Valette


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

Photo: Hong Kong Quadball Association 香港魁地奇總會


While real-life Quidditch officially cut ties with JK Rowling in 2022, the sport based on the spellbinding Harry Potter series is now known as quadball. The full-contact game comprises two competing teams. Players run across the field with broomsticks between their legs and score points by throwing a ball—the Quaffle—through hoops on either end of a large grassy pitch. Find out more about this little-known sport and learn more about how to get involved by checking out the Hong Kong Quadball Association.

Photo: Hiroko Yoshii (via Unsplash)

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 are interested in starting or continuing your scuba diving hobby locally, there are plenty of schools and dive centres that cater to your needs. Splash Hong Kong is one of many dive companies that provide scuba diving lessons and various other diving services. Another one worth checking out is Diving Adventure, which is located in Causeway Bay.

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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. Matches are played with six players on each team.

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David Yeung


Born and raised in Hong Kong, David is a recent high school graduate embarking on a gap year. He is 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.