In the summer months, even thinking about hiking makes one sweat. So, people looking for a way to cool off while still enjoying the wonderful nature Hong Kong has to offer opt for water sports. One of the most popular water sports is wake surfing. Aboard a flat board, you will be pulled by a rope attached to a speedboat until you’ve built up enough momentum to surf the waves created by the boat’s wake. So if you’re ready for a fun way to spend an afternoon or morning enjoying the sea and sun, read on below about where to go wake surfing in Hong Kong!

What is wake surfing?

wakeboarder flipping upside down
Feet are strapped onto the board in wakeboarding, allowing for more extreme tricks (© Steven Welch/Unsplash)

Wake surfing basically involves a surfer riding a board behind a boat. This is different from wakeboarding, which entails the rider’s feet being strapped onto the board and having to hold onto the rope to stay upright. Wake surfing starts with the surfer in the water, with their feet on the board and holding a rope, which then tightens as the boat starts moving. Once the person gets themselves upright on the board, the boat speeds up to 14 km/h to 17 km/h, at which point the surfer can let go of the rope and ride the waves!

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Where can I go wake surfing in Hong Kong?

Sai Kung

wake surfer riding a wave in sai kung
© Wakesurf Sai Kung

One of the most popular spots for wake surfing, amongst other water sports, is Sai Kung. With beautiful blue waters and scenic views of the various islands, you will not only enjoy the wake surfing experience, but also scenery. But do be careful; due to the area’s popularity, the Sai Kung seas can be a bit choppy, making it harder for beginners to learn on them.

You have many options in Sai Kung to learn wake surfing. You can hire the wake competition champions of Wake2Chill to train you how to surf. Depending on the boat, the hourly charges range from $1000 on weekdays to $1600 on weekends. You can also reach out to Evita or Wilson from Wakesurf Sai Kung to ride in their gorgeous red Malibu speedboat and take stunning photos of you (trying) to ride the waves.

Tai Po

wake surfing instructor in tai po
© Hong Kong Wakeschool

Another stunning, although harder to reach, location is Tai Po/Science Park. If you venture out to Tai Po Market MTR Station, and hop on minibus number 20K, you will reach Yu On Street and Sam Mun Tsai. Alternatively, you can take a car or taxi to Pak Shek Kok Landing, Science Park. There, you can ride the relatively calmer waves while taking in the beauty of the New Territories. You might be able to spot the Guan Yin Statue, an incredible 76-metre tall white statue of the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion at the Tsz Shan Monastery.

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A great option is Hong Kong Wakeschool (which also has operations in Ap Lei Chau), who owns six different boats with prices ranging from $700 to $1500 per hour. 

Tung Chung

leo to founder of wakeaholic hong kong wake surf school
Local pro Mr. Leo To, pictured here, is co-founder of the Hong Kong Wakeboarding Association (© Wakeaholic)

For those who either live in or love Lantau, you can also check out wake surfing on the island.  Right next to the airport, so you can spot the planes as you surf! The Tung Chung Bay almost gives you a lake-like feel, which offers the best water conditions to practice in. You will have two options to hop on the boat: from Tung Chung New Development Pier, which is a 10 minute walk from Tung Chung MTR station, or from Ma Wan Chung Pier, which has public car parks available.

Learn from one of the founders of the Hong Kong Wakeboarding Association himself, Mr. Leo To, who founded wake surfing school Wakeaholic in 1998. All coaches can teach in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese so you will not have any issues! Hourly prices are between $1000 – $1600, dependent on day of the week, boat, and time of the year. Be sure to book as soon as possible because they book up fast!

Tai Tam 

© Wakesurf Hong Kong

For an option closer to the island, you can check out Tai Tam, which is not only much quieter than some of the other locations, it also offers a green mountainous surrounding, transporting you to a holiday feel. Plus, it is only 30 minutes by car to Central and there is free parking. The wake surfing spot is just 3 minutes away from the boarding pier so you don’t waste any time and can quickly get your surf on!

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Wakesurf Hong Kong will be your best bet in Tai Tam. The school has four coaches: Bosco, Steve, Jeffery, and Ting Ting, teaching a range of levels and styles. WhatsApp 6650 0900 to find out rates and availability.

FAQ about wake surfing

What is the difference between wake surfing and wakeboarding?

The biggest difference between wake surfing and boarding is the boards themselves. Wakeboards have places to strap your feet into, and therefore allow for greater tricks and jumps, whereas skim boards (boards used for wake surfing) don’t. Wake surfing is considered easier for beginners as you are usually going at a slower speed, and it doesn’t require perfect ocean conditions.

When is the best time to go wake surfing?

Summer is definitely the most popular, but wake surfing happens all year around. What’s more important is to look out for the weather; if it’s raining or the sea is turbulent, you will be required to cancel the booking. Most coaches offer to reschedule, but be sure to check before booking.

Is it safe to wake surf if I’ve never done it before?

Absolutely! Most coaches have extensive experience working with first-timers and provide training as well as pointers as you learn. As there are lifejackets provided, even those who do not know how to swim can wake surf.

Is it safe to go wake surfing with kids?

Yes – usually children need to be about 5 years old before they can safely wake surf.

What should I wear to wake surf?

Prepare for a day at the beach! You should ideally wear swimwear and carry towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, and of course, a camera or phone to catch you in action! Lifejackets and wake surf boards are provided.

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Born in New Delhi, brought up in Hong Kong, and having lived in New York, city life is in Kopal's blood. You can find her exploring her beloved city. Whether it's the latest sustainable fashion store, or the cutest new coffee shop, she loves finding the hidden secrets of Hong Kong. In her free time, Kopal is a active advocate for animal welfare and adoption, and she runs a Facebook and Instagram page, @adoptdontshop.hk.

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