Waves of fun for all at surf schools
If you're looking to stay cool this summer, then why not learn to surf - surely the 'coolest sport' there is.
Hong Kong's beaches offer some great spots for beginners of any age to get started, with beaches on South Lantau, Sai Kung and south of Hong Kong Island offering year-round waves, and a variety of surf schools and instructors.
For grommets (that's surfer-talk for youngsters) aged five to 13, a great place to head is the Quicksilver Treasure Island Surf Camp at Pui O beach on South Lantau. Over the summer, Treasure Island will be hosting a series of week-long surf camps.
'We can offer accommodation to overseas visitors, or for kids who live in Discovery Bay or elsewhere, but most of the children are picked up in Central every morning and we take them on the ferry to Mui Wo then on to the camp,' says Hunt Smith, surf camp co-ordinator at Treasure Island.
'Parents can come too, but we usually suggest the kids go by themselves as they tend to enjoy the camp more that way.' Each day finishes at about 4.40pm.
Children on the camps, which run from Mondays to Fridays, spend about three hours each day learning to surf, with another hour or more spent on other fun activities. 'We have a mixture of local and expat kids, and all of our instruction is done in English, so it's also an ideal way for local kids to have an immersive English language experience while they learn to surf,' Smith says.
All the staff at the surf camps are fully trained and qualified to teach children to surf, with many of them coming from New Zealand for the summer to teach on the camps. 'It's definitely a safe sport,' Smith says. 'For the young kids, we always have at least one teacher for every three kids, so there are plenty of eyes making sure everyone is safe.'
Children typically learn on boards up to about three metres long, that offer good stability.
Camps run every week over the summer, with the last one on August 16. The price for the week is HK$2,900. Wannabe surfers can find out more information and contact details at www.treasureislandhk.com.
Treasure Island also offers day camps and lessons to children and adults of all ages.
Other options for beginners include lessons at Long Coast Seasport, just a bit further along the South Lantau Road from Pui O at Cheung Sha (www.longcoast.hk).
For those looking to learn on Hong Kong Island, Xgame offer lessons at Big Wave Bay (www.xgamehk.com).