An elevator convo with Ruoxu Liu. See here for more from our Next Up series.
What do you do? Aquaticity is focused on a very special type of water sport training: free-diving and mermaiding. It’s not just about swimming on the surface of the pool, but being submerged in the water. At the same time, it isn’t scuba. It involves breath-holding. You use your own lung capacity and your own limits, and it involves more swimming. We want to make free-diving and mermaiding training more professional so people can enjoy the activity in a much safer environment. We’re the first mermaiding school here in Hong Kong.
Interested in finding all the best news, reviews, and information about water sports and more? Check out Globo Surf.
How does your business work? We’re a team of five people who take shifts. We do classes twice a week, on Saturdays and Mondays. Booking a pool can be difficult because we’re wearing costumes and fins, so because of pool regulations we need to book a venue for our own use. This summer, we used a pool on Kowloon side as well as Island School’s pool.
Compared to scuba diving, free-diving and mermaiding are more accessible. You don’t need to take a holiday and block out time to travel, you can just jump into the water and turn into a mermaid.
How did your business get started? Alan Lam founded Aquaticity four to five years ago. He started free-diving, windsurfing, wake-boarding and doing other water sports when he was a teenager. Since then, me and a couple of other girls joined and helped to promote it. Mermaiding has been getting more media attention these years.
Who are your customers? Young women in their 20s and 30s. However, we also welcome older, senior women to join us. A lot of the women are confident, working professionals who have their own career, and they come to our classes to take on a different identity and have fun in the water. Sometimes guys will come and join us too.
Our customers all have different swimming levels. Being a proficient swimmer helps, but free-diving and mermaiding are completely different skills. Besides breath holding, there’s also swimming with a monofin and doing poses in the water.
What is one of your classes like? A course session involves theory and preparing your body before getting into the water, followed by two sessions in the water with different focuses: breath holding and static skills, and swimming and dynamic skills. For those who just want to have a go, a session involves 20 minutes of breathing and stretching followed by 40 minutes in the water.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? I hope it gets more popular, not just in Hong Kong but overseas. I hope that we can become a global phenomenon!