Sep 29, 2017

Let the waters rise! - Your guide to the water world

Humans have interacted with water in different ways as long as humans have existed on the planet. Moving from fishing and swimming for survival to zorbing and surfing for recreation, the human relationship with water has come a long way.

Swimming as a recreational activity has been recorded for millennia. Egyptian cave paintings dating back 10,000 years show people in complicated swimming positions like the breaststroke and doggy-paddle. Competitive swimming, however, was first recorded as late as the early 1800s. The first indoor swimming pool, St. George’s bath was opened in 1828 in England.

The world of watersports has been growing in recent years, and is booming in Hong Kong and around the world.

 

Surfing/Windsurfing

Hong Kong is a popular destination for surfers during monsoons. The season provides consistent water swells and huge waves to ride. Since Ecotourism in Hong Kong is quite recent, there are many opportunities to find new surfing and windsurfing spots, on and around the many islands. Big Wave Bay, Shek O and Hong Kong island are some of the best known places to go surfing in Hong Kong.

The popularity of Windsurfing in Hong Kong can be measured by the success of many of the country’s windsurfing athletes in international competitions. Windsurfing was introduced in Hong Kong in the 1970s and only became popular after that. It has seen tremendous growth in recent years. An ideal place for basic training in this sport is Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre in Hong Kong.

 

Paddleboarding

Traditionally, paddle-boarding is a sport which involves kneeling or lying on a paddle-board or surfboard (a board that can range from 12 feet to 20 feet!) propelled using the arms of the rider. Stand Up paddle-boarding is an offshoot of paddle-boarding which involves a person standing on the paddle-board or surfboard propelled by a long paddle. The paddle-boards or surfboards can be made up of fiberglass, carbon fiber or/ and epoxy.

Paddle Boarding or Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) is a popular sport in Hong Kong and the SUP association also enjoys an increasing interest shown by tourists and locals, alike. The best place to enjoy SUP in HK is Sai Kung or Stanley.

 

Wakeboarding

Water Skiing, and indirectly wakeboarding, is said to have been invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson in Lake City, Minnesota. He used a boat, a clothesline and a set of makeshift skis to practice what we today know as water skiing. The 1972 Olympics included water skiing as a sport. Following its immense success, snow skiing was added two years later.

Water skiing is very similar to alpine skiing and involves many of the same skills. It is a surface water sport which uses one or two skis attached to a motor boat. With water skiing you can reach up to speeds of 36-37 miles per hour, making it perfect for thrill seekers.

Wakeboarding is based on water skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Instead of skis, the person uses a small board harnessed to the shoes and tries to ride waves generated by the motorboat to which they are harnessed.

There are many local clubs in Hong Kong that offer Wakeboarding equipment and basic training. There are also several courses available teaching you how to slalom, jump and trick across these clubs. The Lower Cheung Sha Beach in Lantau or the The Main Stanley Beach are some of the local destinations for wakeboarding.

 

Scuba Diving/Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the oldest water sports recorded in history. Snorkeling refers to the practice of swimming on or through water with the help of a snorkel (a diving mask equipped with a tube that lets the swimmer breathe underwater). The earliest snorkels known were just hollowed out reeds used by farmers. According to records, snorkeling was enjoyed by Romans way back in the 1st century AD!

Although snorkeling is possible in any kind of water, snorkelers prefer clear water bodies with minimal wave pressure, and warm waters with interesting things to see underwater.

While scuba diving in Hong Kong, you can expect to see shoals of fish, clown fish and even rays. The warm waters in Hong Kong also make it comfortable to go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling. There are several clubs that provide guided tours or training or both for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaks go back thousands of years. The indigenous peoples of the Arctic region used kayaks for fishing – hence the name ‘kayak’, which means a ‘hunter’s boat’. Kayaking was introduced as a water sport in the Berlin Olympics in the year 1936. The plastic kayaks that we see today have evolved from the original driftwood kayaks wrapped in sealskin.

Kayaks and Canoes are quite similar. They are similarly shaped thin boats that use paddles to push the boats forward. The paddles used with Canoes have a single blade while Kayaks use double blades; the Canoes have open cockpits and seats at level with the top rail of the boat while the cockpits in Kayaks are closed around the waist of the kayakers and the seats are below the rail. Other than that, kayaks and canoes are quite similar.

Ranging from close escapes from the city, like Cheung Chau and Lamma Island are near Central, the remote fishing villages like Tai O on Lantau Island or the shoreline of Plover Clove country park in the New Territories, Hong Kong provides ample opportunities to get the basic training or just take a plunge into the wide ocean with your kayak.

 

Specifics

Mozaic Club is hosting a 2-hour Kayaking Lesson followed by a relaxing lunch in Stanley on Sunday, 8 October 2017, starting at 10:30 and finishing lunch when you wish.  Members can meet on Stanley Beach and choose between single or double kayaks for the 2-hour session.

If you’re interested in joining us, please visit our Facebook events page to register: https://www.facebook.com/mozaiclub/ or visit our Calendar page: www.mozaiclub.com.hk

 

#WaterSports #Mozaiclub #Surfing #Paddleboarding #Wakeboarding #Scubadiving #Kayking

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