Though somewhat of a misnomer, Big Wave Bay is where Hong Kong’s surf scene began. Antony Dickson has been surfing there for 18 years and runs surf school Surfing Hong Kong.
Where are the best surfing spots in southside?
Big Wave Bay and Shek O are great. They are easily accessible by road, with shower and toilet facilities. You can SUP there too, although it will be rougher. Other good places to SUP are the Victoria Recreation Club in Deep Water Bay, Tai Tam Bay and Stanley.
Go out in the early morning or late afternoon: it’s not as crowded. It is beautiful being in the water at dawn and watching the sun come up.
What about gear?
Up to December, women can wear bikinis (plus optional board shorts and a lycra top to prevent sunburn); for men the minimum is a pair of board shorts (wear speedos inside to reduce rash), though I prefer a no-arms or short-arm 2mm wetsuit. A surf hat with a stiff brim can help to reduce glare. In Winter, go for a 3mm x 2mm full-seamed sealed wetsuit – thicker ones are warmer but more restrictive.
In Big Wave Bay, I go to Ho Lok (coca cola) shop. It has good food, lockers, warm showers, lots of boards and wetsuits, and a good surfer vibe. You can rent a board there for $50 per day. Antony runs lessons at Big Wave Bay throughout the year (6am-6pm at weekends; 6am-9am on weekdays). A one-on-one lesson (one hour and 15 minutes) costs $800, or $1000 for two hours. Group sessions can also be held. Surf and SUP boards are provided.
www.surfinghongkong.com, 6485 1673.
Top tips for surfing
1. Safety first. Recognise rips and currents that can drag swimmers out to sea. Stay calm, swim perpendicular to the current and relax. Being scared is fine, but don’t panic.
2. Watch out for other surfers. Many are inexperienced and do not control their boards. Learn to dive under the water, hold your head and count to ten. Do not be like a stunned cat in the headlights of a car, MOVE!
3. Make sure you can swim.
Photos by Antony Dickson