Kitesurfing in Hong Kong
Continuing with our posts about kitesurfing spots around the world, The Kiteboarding Outlet Founder Chris shares his experience of kitesurfing in Hong Kong:
While Hong Kong may not be known as a kitesurfing destination, there are some beaches that are good for kitesurfing when the conditions are right. For those of us that live here and want to kite, we make the best of any day there is good wind.
The winds in Hong Kong on a good day will be around 18 knots but more often than not, it will be less than that. On the water on a busy day, the majority of the kites out will be 12 to 14m and many of the riders use larger boards due to the lighter wind conditions. Occasionally, if there is a typhoon coming in or if you head out after one has passed through, there will be conditions for a smaller kite of around 8m. Popular kitesurfing kites around Hong Kong include Nobile 50Fifty, the F-one Bandit series, and Slingshot kites.
Shui Hau Wan
The main kitesurfing beach in Hong Kong is Shui Hau Wan in Lantau Island, where the airport is situated. It is a small bay and no one goes there to swim so it is pretty much only used for kitesurfing. The water is shallow and during high tide is about waist high for 200m out. During low tide, water is about a foot deep in areas so you have to be careful if you fall. There are bits of coral and rocks in the water so most of the locals wear booties but personally, I don’t like to wear them so cuts on your feet are unavoidable. Shui Hau Wan is visited when the wind direction is an easterly and as it is a bay, if it is comes in other directions, the wind drops a fair bit.
Sai Kung and Cheng Chau
There are a few other kitesurfing locations around, which are visited depending on the wind direction. Sai Kung is a location that is visited when the wind direction is northerly but can be quite a distance to get to from Hong Kong Island. There is also Cheng Chau Island which is a 30 min ferry ride from Hong Kong but having seen this location, I don’t particularly think it is great due to the small launching area available.
The Kitesurfing Community in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong kitesurfing community is very small and consists of maybe between 100 to 200 kiteboarders. As this is the case, everyone tends to know each other if you frequent the kite spots and you can make some new friends who share the same interest as you. There are 2 kiteboarding federations in Hong Kong and people tend to be members of one or the other, allowing them the use of facilities at some of the kitesurfing spots. Often, they hold BBQ’s and parties for kiteboarders, building a strong kitesurfing community in an unlikely place. In my relatively short time in Hong Kong, I have met many kiteboarders and, as on most beaches, they are friendly and always happy to help you launch and land your kite. At Shui Hau Wan, where I normally go to, there are benches for people to sit and there are always people who are happy to chat if you have come in for a rest.