Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, or tempted to try the sport that everyone’s been raving about on Instagram, read on for our guide to wakeboarding and wakesurfing in Hong Kong.
Have you tried wakeboarding and wakesurfing in Hong Kong yet? We think it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to picking up a new healthy hobby. And since the heat wave is never really over in the 852, there’s still plenty of time for you to hit the beach, or hop on a board and ride some actual waves. Save your usual visit to the gyms or fitness studios for another day – it’s time to grab the end of summer by the tail and try wakeboarding and wakesurfing in Hong Kong.
Wait – what’s the difference between wakeboarding and wakesurfing?
This may feel like an embarrassingly basic question to ask but, to be fair, wakeboarding and wakesurfing are indeed very similar – both involve a person standing on some sort of board, riding on the wake (i.e. trail of disturbed water) behind a boat. However, there are some major differences.
The first one is the easiest to spot: wakeboarders are towed by the boat as they hold on to the connecting rope throughout the ride; whereas wakesurfers throw the rope back to the boat after gaining their balance. This is because wakeboarding requires the rider to gain more momentum from the boat, so that they can carve fast turns and reach greater heights as they jump from wake to wake. On the other hand, the goal in wakesurfing is for the rider to maintain their speed while they surf the wake behind the boat.
The other difference between wakeboarding and wakesurfing lies in the boards. Wakeboards are symmetrically shaped (known as twin boards), equipped with large fins, and are designed to have your feet strapped onto them with binding boots. As for wakesurf boards, they look akin to regular surfboards and are meant for barefoot riding.
At this point, you may think wakeboarding sounds easier than wakesurfing, because you’re towed and you’re less likely to slip with your feet bound to the board. But, it’s actually the other way around! Most people regard wakesurfing to be more beginner-friendly than wakeboarding. This is because you can adjust your stance more naturally and the boat speeds are lower in wakesurfing. Moreover, you’re less likely to suffer from severe injuries when wakesurfing, whereas the temptation to attempt fancy jumps while wakeboarding can put a lot of stress on your body.
You gotta know these wakeboarding and wakesurfing tricks
That said, once you have a bit of experience under your belt, half the fun of wakeboarding and wakesurfing are the tricks! Whether you want to impress your friends or just learn a bit of trivia, these wakeboarding and wakesurfing tricks are worth knowing, especially if you want to take your skills up a notch – after you master the basics, of course!
You can perform an ollie with or without the rope, making it one of the best known tricks in both wakesurfing and wakeboarding. Basically, an ollie is when you jump with your board, getting a bit of air off the surface of the water. You do this by bending your knees, jumping, and popping the board up towards your chest (work those abs, baby!). Once you manage to get the hang of it (don’t forget to land properly) while still holding onto the rope, it’s time to let go and ride your way up to the top of the wave.
2. 180 and 360
Again, the 180 and 360 are tricks you can try in both wakeboarding and wakesurfing. These tricks are all about the turns. While both tricks are a little more advanced, they are impressive, so everyone wants to master them. To initiate the rotation, use your backhand in the wave to pull your body around, looking over your shoulder as your turn to face the boat again. But, like most things in life – probably easier said than done!
3. Fire hydrant
Although this trick is exclusive to wakesurfing, the quirky name alone is as good a reason as any to put it on the list. Also, it looks surprisingly cool despite how straightforward it sounds. For the fire hydrant, you have to lower your body, then put one leg and one arm into the air, leaving the other hand and foot to balance your body atop the board. It’s like a game of on-the-water Twister, apparently!
Where to wakesurf in Hong Kong
Are you excited to try wakeboarding and wakesurfing in Hong Kong? If so, these centres are waiting for you with open arms (and glossy waters)!
1. HK Wake School
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider, and no matter your age, HK Wake School is keen to take anyone onboard (literally) with wakesurfing and wakeboarding in Hong Kong. With six boats available in Tai Po, Science Park, and Ap Lei Chau, you’ll be able to find the one with the suitable speed and budget for you. Feel free to take your little ones along, too!
HK Wake School has locations in Ap Lei Chau and the New Territories.
2. Wakesurf Hong Kong
Priding themselves as the pioneering coaches of wakesurfing in Hong Kong, Wakesurf Hong Kong has some of the newest boats and best instructors in the city. The professional team of drivers and coaches have many years of teaching experience under their belt, and provide coaching for both children and adults. The boats are equipped with life vests, wakesurf boards, wetsuits, and drysuits, to ensure your safety and comfort at all times.
Wakesurf Hong Kong, 60 Tai Tam Tuk Village, Tai Tam Tuk, Hong Kong, p. 6650 0900
3. Wakeboard Hong Kong
A particularly group-friendly centre for wakeboarding and wakesurfing in Hong Kong, Wakeboard Hong Kong offers multiple packages for families, friends, schools, and corporate events – perfect for parties! Experienced coaches drive a demo fleet of four boats and are happy to accommodate all levels of riders.
Wakeboard Hong Kong, 101 Tai Tam Tuk Village, Tai Tam Tuk, Hong Kong, p. 9638 2069