Header images courtesy of Brett Jordan (via Pexels)
Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
Sick of hitting up the same old water sports in Hong Kong? Kayaking, surfing, and wakeboarding just not getting your heart racing anymore? If you’re looking for a new challenge out on the 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!
Inspiration Lake is one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets, though it’s right next to the 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. Although there’s no time limit to how long you can use them, be sure to arrive early, as they are 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.
Flyboarding is the perfect water sport for you if you’re looking for your next adrenaline rush. It’s the closest you’ll get to riding a jetpack or hoverboard. Flyboards are 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. Flyboard Hong Kong operates out of Deep Water Bay, and the team will have you zooming around above the water in no time.
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 Lee Lai-shan’s uncle—the very same one who taught her how to windsurf. It offers 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.
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.
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.