Tired of hitting up the same old water sports in Hong Kong every weekend? Kayaking, surfing, and wakeboarding just not getting your heart racing anymore? If you’re looking for a new challenge out on Hong Kong’s high seas, look no further than our guide to the coolest alternative water sports that you can try out this summer. Some of these you can participate in year-round too, so no excuses. Take it from The Little Mermaid: “Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter!”
Photo credit: @kansir (Wikimedia Commons)
Inspiration Lake is one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets, though it’s right next to the ever-popular Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. It’s a lovely place for a picnic and an even lovelier place for a good old-fashioned pedal boat ride. There are two kinds of pedal boats up for rental at the lake—two-seaters and four-seaters. There’s no time limit to how long you can use them for, but be sure to arrive early, as they’re subject to availability, and it does fill up with families on the weekends. Grab a mate or a date and have a lazy pedal around the gorgeous lake.
How much: Free entry to the lake
Boat rentals: $120 per hour for two-seaters, $150 per hour for four-seaters
Flyboarding is the perfect water sport for you if you’re looking for your next adrenaline rush, and the closest you’ll get to riding a jetpack or hoverboard. The flyboard is connected to a jet ski by a long hose, which diverts the water propulsion that powers the flyboard, and lifts the rider out of the water to heights of up to 40 feet. The team at Flyboard Hong Kong operates their flyboarding experience at Deep Water Bay, and they’ll have you zooming around above the water in no time.
How much: $1,100 for three persons for one hour, $2,200 for six persons for two hours
If you want to channel your inner Lee Lai Shan, then you should definitely give windsurfing in Cheung Chau a go. Windsurfing is a combo of surfing and sailing, and the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre was opened by San-San’s uncle—the very same one who taught her how to windsurf. They offer both beginner and advanced classes, as well as equipment rental for those who are already comfortable on a board.
If you prefer water sports that are easily accessible on Hong Kong Island, the best winds and waves are at Stanley Main Beach. The Hong Kong Aqua-Bound Centre, Hiwindlover Water Sports Centre, and government-run Stanley Main Beach Water Sports Centre all provide equipment rentals as well as professional lessons for all levels.
How much: Group lesson prices at different centres vary from $800 to $1,800 per person
Photo credit: K2H Watersport
Kitesurfing is an extreme water sport said to be similar to wakeboarding. However, the biggest differences are that it harnesses wind power via an inflatable kite, and you can do it on virtually any big body of water. You can get into kitesurfing at any fitness level as the kit is super lightweight, but you should definitely be able to swim in open waters (as with all the other sports mentioned here!). The best thing about kitesurfing is that progression happens quite quickly as soon as you master the basics. The Kiteboarding Association of Hong Kong and K2H Watersport both offer in-depth courses at various beaches around the city, and you can also tailor the classes to your own skill level.
How much: $600 for a one-day kiteboarding discovery course, while multi-day kitesurfing courses begin at $3,400. Prices vary between learning centres.
Who would have thought that this fairly modern offshoot of surfing comes to us all the way from Hawaii? Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand-up paddleboarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. It is a definite challenge to your core strength and can be practised as a form of outdoor recreation, fitness, or even sightseeing! The Hong Kong Aqua-Bound Centre hosts basic stand-up paddleboard training and courses in Stanley Beach.
How much: $650 each for two people for a two-hour class with board rental