Kristy Wong dives down and discovers what water-based activities are on offer for children.
In the Water
Give your children the opportunity to discover the underwater world of clownfish and seahorses with the Splash PADI Bubblemaker, Seal and Junior open water diver courses. Budding underwater naturalists will be introduced to the wonders of the sea by the professional trainers from the Splash team. Beginners can develop their skills on the Bubblemaker programme, while the Seal Team is for young scuba divers looking for more adventurous underwater missions. For children over eight, a half day Bubblemaker course is $1200 and a full-day Seal session is $1800. Children over 10 can also join the PADI Junior Open Water Diver Course which lasts for four days, at a cost of $4800.
Unit 5, 1/F, 58-72 Fuk Man Road, Sai Kung.
What’s the oldest team sport in the Olympics? Water Polo, aka Beasts in the Water! Organised by the HK Amateur Swimming Association, the Learn Water Polo course introduces novices to one of the toughest sports around. Basic skills of water polo include passing, shooting, egg-beater treading water and game structure are all covered in the course. Kids can experience an intense competition at the end of the course where they can show off their skills and beat their opponents. Courses are suitable for children aged 12 or above and who are able to swim 200m freestyle and 200m breaststroke continuously, $340 for each four-month course.
Wan Chai or Victoria Park Swimming pool.
On the Water
Combining wakeboarding with paragliding, kiteboarding offers extreme thrills to kids
who are up for a great workout and daring experience on water. The Kiteboarding Association HK, an affiliate of the International Kiteboarding Association, offers a one-day kids discovery lesson where children can learn basic skills such as flying a four-line kite on short lines and launching. The three-day course includes more advanced techniques such as self-launching and independently rigging up long lines. Course fees are $600 for one-day group discovery sessions and $5400 for three-day sessions with two children in a group. Shui Hau Wan, Lantau from September to March, Lung Kwu Tan, Yuen Long from March to August.
Children who prefer a relaxed yet refreshing adventure can opt for kayaking. The HK Aqua-bound Centre offers kayak tours to children aged eight or above and able to swim at least 50 metres. Those under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. The tour begins with an introduction to kayaking equipment and safety requirements. Following on from that, participants then launch from the beach onto the protected waters of Stanley Main Beach and enjoy the views of Stanley Prison Hostel and Tung Tau Wan. Courses start from $300 excluding equipment rental. Stanley Main Beach.
Growing increasingly popular due to the success of Lee Lai Shan, Hong Kong’s only Olympic gold medalist, windsurfing is a must- try for kids who want to impress their friends and get fit. The Windsurfing Centre Hong Kong offers windsurfing training to children aged nine or above and able to swim 50 metres. They will learn windsurfing principles, uphauling and tacking techniques. A course costs from $450 per day, with a certificate upon completion.
Sha Ha Beach, Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung.
To experience any kind of watersport, you must learn to swim first! Harry Wright International offers swimming classes to children for all abilities. Along with classes, fun events such as inter-club meets, fun ‘splash days’ and club dinners are held to motivate young swimmers to excel. The Infant Aquatic Programme caters for babies aged four months to four years, giving them an early start in the water. The Learn to Swim Programme introduces children to various swimming techniques and skills based on ability level. Prices vary.
Aberdeen Marina Club, West Island School, South China Athletic Association and other locations.
For younger children who are less confident or experienced swimmers, skimboarding is an excellent option. Long Coast Seasports on Lantau Island offers skimboarding beginner and improver classes for children who want to learn how to control and balance on a board. They will learn where to catch the waves to get the best ride along the long coastline at Cheung Sha Beach. $350 per one-hour session for all ages.
29 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island.