When you think of surfing, you tend to think of Hawaii, Australia, South Africa…. But little do people know that Big Wave Bay near Shek O is a hot spot for Hong Kong surfing enthusiasts to “catch a few waves” and “have a paddle”.
Emma and I were invited to take part in a surf lesson with Ayrton Carby, who has recently set up a surf school on the south side – Arytime. Despite having pushed the lesson back from Chinese New Year to post-Easter, the weather was slightly damp, grey and miserable – not ideal surfing conditions for two girls who are slightly/very susceptible to cold…
We rocked up and Ayrton hooked us up with boards and wetsuits. It’s worth noting that wetsuits aren’t included in the total surf lesson cost, which we were slightly surprised by – as a girl it’s important to keep all your bits in place (rather tricky when in a triangle bikini!), so our Sassy tip is to take a t-shirt and wear shorts if you don’t want to pay more.
Aryton took us out to the beach, surf boards in hand and gave us a basic overview of what we needed to do and how we should get up on the board. Five minutes later, we were in the water. There’s no quicker way to learn that jumping in the deep end (literally!) and after a few shots at standing on the board, Emma and I had (kind of) mastered our surfing skills. Having briefly discussed the difference between “goofy” and “natural” whilst on the sand, I worked out that I had been putting the wrong foot forward and resurrected it after numerous attempts.
Despite the damp conditions, Emma and I laughed the entire way through the session (much to Aryton’s dismay), yelling “BLUE CRUSH!” at one another every time we attempted to ride a wave. It was a lot of fun and opened our eyes to something we didn’t know was possible in Hong Kong.
Having spent an hour channeling our inner-Kate Bosworth, the session concluded with a high five from Ayrton and an ice-lolly from the local restaurant. With classes starting at $800 for two people ($500 for one-on-one), surfing doesn’t come cheap in Shek O with Ayrton – that said, it was a great way to start the day and would be fantastic for birthdays or hen do’s.
Time to invest in that Mara Hoffman rash guard, ladies!
* Update * Unfortunately this surf school has closed – 26/08/2016. Stay tuned for a new surfing post, coming soon!
A huge thank you to Emma & Charlotte of Bright Girls, Big City for collaborating on this article!