If the typical hikes, cycle rides and trips to the beach are already starting to bore you, or you’re simply looking for some activities to add to your bucket list this summer, here are some fun ways to stay active.
This is a lot like rock climbing, except without the safety belts strapped around you. Don’t worry though! The floor is always padded with thick mattresses for you to fall on. You can climb on your own or with friends, but don’t underestimate its difficulty. It may not be rock climbing, but your muscles will start to burn from having to constantly hang on.
If you like puzzles and problem-solving, this could be the sport for you! When you arrive, you will see colour-coded labels stuck next to handles all over the wall, and each colour corresponds to a “route”. You can only use the handles with the same coloured labels to get from start to finish. Some routes can get really tricky, so take the time to plan where you’re going to place your hands and feet.
As for equipment and preparation beforehand, most centres provide crash courses and rental shoes.
Suggested bouldering centres:
• JustClimb (San Po Kong/Chai Wan)
• GoNature (Kwun Tong)
If you like video games, you will love airsoft. It’s like being in a real life CS:GO game with your friends, minus the actual dying. A win-win! The aim of the game is to “kill” everyone on the opposition for your team to win.
Centres usually have a range of zones that are designed according to different themes – from abandoned buildings to outdoor fields and dusty old car parks. The setup and loud atmosphere can really get the adrenaline pumping, making you feel like you’re on a black ops mission.
Be sure you don’t wear any kind of skin-tight clothing (I made that mistake and paid the painful price) because those bullets can hurt if you aren’t wearing the right clothing. You can bring your own guns and protective gear if you have it, but if not, rental is always available.
Centres should provide a short introductory practice session that also explains equipment safety and procedures. If they don’t, ask. It’s important to know how to play safely.
Suggested airsoft companies:
• Red Alert (Tsuen Wan)
• Shooting Workshop (Cheung Sha Wan)
Another option is to go ice skating. This could be perfect for those who insist on staying indoors, away from the sun. Obviously, this activity requires a lot of balance, and while figure skaters make it look effortless, there are a lot of muscles working simultaneously. Alternatively, rollerblading is also worth trying. It’s basically ice skating, but arguably less dangerous when (not if) you fall. Plus, you get to soak up some rays.
Ice rinks can be found at:
• Megabox, Kowloon Bay
• Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong
• Elements, Tsim Sha Tsui
There are rollerskating rinks at:
• Sai Kung
• Kwun Tong
• Tuen Mun
Hong Kong has finally jumped on the bandwagon with this. However, many seem to think that it’s more a family activity for young toddlers. Wrong! Constant jumping for an hour may seem kind of silly, but when you get to it, your heart starts pumping within the first minute. It’s a great form of cardio, because half the time you don’t even notice you’re out of breath. You’re too busy jumping on walls and trying all the cool games they have set up.
• Ryze, Quarry Bay (1 hour pricing: age seven+ HK$150, under-sevens HK$95)
• Bounce, Kowloon Bay (1 hour pricing: weekdays HK$150, weekends HK$170)
Instead of lying around on the beach with the occasional swim, why not take advantage of your time and try water sports? There are plenty of beaches around Hong Kong that offer sport facilities. Try a bit of everything to find your favourite. Every sport has its challenges. For example, some activities like surfing require a strong core and skilful coordination, whilst others like kayaking test your muscular endurance. To top it off, you could even start a relay among your friends to see who’s the fastest at sea.
If you can’t get to the beach, the LCSD has several water sports centres all around Hong Kong, and they provide training courses like the Junior Water Sports Training Scheme. The course is aimed at children aged eight to 13, and competitions and races are held throughout the year. So who knows? Maybe you’ll become Hong Kong’s next sailing champion.
Depending on where you live, here are some centres you could go to:
• The Jockey Club Wong Shek Water Sports Centre, Sai Kung
• Tai Mei Tuk Water Sports Centre, Tai Po
• Chong Hing Water Sports Centre, Sai Kung
• Stanley Main Beach Water Sports Centre, Stanley
• St Stephen’s Beach Water Sports Centre, Stanley
Your time is what you make of it, so it’s up to you to make it fun, exciting and hopefully active too. Have a great summer!