Photo credits to Ringo Ng
As Hong Kong is located in a sheltered location, there is no wave sailing spot here. Most of the windsurfers here were sailing in flat water condition. The only place we can find waves are in surf spots, and usually the waves are closing out and the waves here are usually driven by wind swell. In order to understand the ocean more, I started surfing in Big Wave Bay last year.
Everyone wondered why I suddenly started surfing and doubted that I lost my passion towards windsurfing. I didn't know how to explain myself at that time but now I can tell the truth. The first reason is there is no wave sailing spot in Hong Kong. The second reason is if you don't know what the wave, tide and current are doing, it is dangerous to go in with windsurf gear (or simply go into the water with whatever board). Since windsurfing in waves are unlike surfing that you can duck dive or turtle roll a big set ; once you lose your balance and fall off, you may broke your mast and sail or even got hit by your own board.
One beautiful incident changed life
I met my surf teacher in Big Wave Bay by incident. He brought me into the world of surfing and ignited my passion through his surfing style.The smoothness. The freedom. The flow. The power of the nature. The adrenaline rush.
My surf teacher in typhoon Haima
Photo credits to Float Captain Hong Kong
The time I learnt surfing in Big Wave Bay, the wave quality is the best of the past 10 years. I fell in love with surfing head over heels and I always feel grateful for such beautiful incidents.
I still remembered the first time I surfed typhoon waves. I was so scared when I was standing on the beach, I felt like I was so powerless and small.
He said," You need a strong determination to ride in typhoon waves, go hard or go home, when you hesitate a second in the wave, the whole thing becomes dangerous."
I love going in typhoon days for surfing and windsurfing. However, it is important to observe and study the spot before you go into the water. Knowing your limits can also keep you safe and fun in typhoon days.
Pushing limits is the ultimate goal in windsurfing and surfing. We all want to surf bigger waves, ride stronger wind, but at the same time we respect the ocean.
Surfing taught me to be humble, respect the nature. When I surf, I feel the world is so quiet, everything is back to its simplest form. I love the simplicity. I used to have a materialistic life like most of the young people, but after I learnt surfing, I started to appreciate the beauty of "less is more". The greatest joy is having a good windsurf or surf day with my friends.
Photo credits to Ray Tam
Photo credits to Winfield Zee
Photo credits to Chopin Ng
In the past years, most of the time I drive my board by my sail, but now I learn to do the ' "magic" by moving my body. When you move smoothly in the wave, it's like dancing Salsa.
Wave sailing vs surfing
Wave sailing and surfing are both surfing in waves but I think windsurfing is very special. You feel more about the wave, because windsurfing allow you to catch the waves from very far outside. You start riding the wave where the swell is building and plunge down a perfect line of wave. While you are wave riding, you can have a long ride, slowly enjoying the wave, at the same time, when it starts to break, you can do radical turns (hit the lip vertical, top turn, bottom turn, aerials, and taka, 360s.....) It's just so versatile.
For surfing, if you are on a long board, it provides you a long ride but it cannot do very radical turns while on a short board, it allows you to do maneuvers but the ride is usually shorter.
You can ride waves for more than 200 m and simply sail back to the lineup effortlessly. Windsurfing is so dynamic, it keeps moving.
However, the limitation for wave sailing is we need a place with wind in the right direction together with the right swell to go down the line sailing. That's why the feeling of sailing down the line is precious and rare.