When you think “China”, what’s the first word that comes into your head? “Surf,” obviously.
Along with more obvious surfing hotspots like Australia’s Gold Coast and J-Bay in South Africa, comes Tai Long Wan, Hong Kong. Translated into English it means Big Wave Bay, though unless there’s a typhoon or pasing container ship the swell often doesn’t exceed chest height. Still, it’s enough for beginners like Shanghaiist, who last weekend attended the China Coast Surf School.
Founded this summer in partnership with Quiksilver and Surfing Australia, the school gives worn out out city dwellers a chance to unwind in that most under-rated aspect of Hong Kong, the great outdoors. (The free flowing booze on the two-hour boat trip out to the beach also did much to calm Shanghaiist’s stressed state).
As a complete novice, we quickly realized we’re a long way off the pace of pro surfer Taj Burrows or the legendary Laird Hamilton. But no matter the size of the wave or skill of the surfer, catching a wave provides an unmistakable feeling. An undeniable thrill, that you just can’t match anywhere else, be it on land or at sea.
After an amazing day and aching from all the paddling, we pulled up anchor, poured ourselves a Seabreeze and set sail for the distant lights of the city. If you didn’t guess already, Shanghaiist is hooked on surfing. Hang ten, dude.
To book yourself on a slice of surfing paradise, call the China Coast Surf School on +852 9418 5159 or surf their website here. If you don’t know the difference between “dogging” and getting “frigged”, pick up some gnarly surf lingo here.