The Mentawai Islands are a wave rich destination, receiving all the swell that the Indian Ocean can throw at it. The islands’ position just south of the equator means that winds are usually light and off-shore early morning and just before sunset.
It is important to say at this point that the Mentawai Islands are not a suitable destination for beginner surfers. Unlike our retreats in India, Sri Lanka or Portugal we will not be offering beginner surf lessons. The Mentawais are best suited for confident intermediate and experienced surfers.
This doesn’t mean that we will abandon you in the water, our surf host will be there to guide you into the best waves of the day and to improve your surfing throughout this retreat.
Why is it that the image of surf lessons is that of someone flailing around in the shallows? Some people wouldn’t think twice about taking a golf lesson to improve their swing or seeing a tennis coach to tweak that back hand smash. We think the same thing applies to surfing, so our lessons are not just aimed at beginners so for this Pop-Up our surf guide and instructor will be on hand to take your surfing to the next level giving you intermediate and advanced tuition to help take your surfing to the next level.
All we ask is that you can catch waves unassisted, can trim left and right on both your back hand and forehand as well as being able to negotiate your way around a line up.
We’ve chosen to host our Mentawai Pop-Up in September to make the most of consistent swell and lower numbers in the water. Have you seen ‘September Sessions’?
Each day we will aim to avoid the chance of surfing in a crowded line up and we’ll leave the crowds to do their thing in the mornings, opting to surf our quieter, local break. It is an easy walk from our accommodation and a 5 minute paddle out; it’s a good introduction wave to the Ments, offering fun lefts that can occasionally offer up barrels.
Whilst the crowds are back at their camps having late breakfast we’ll look to go on a more typical surfari, taking the boats in search for the best reef pass for the day’s conditions.
What to bring
You will need to bring your own surfboards and equipment, remember we are on an island and the resources are sparse, there are no local beach boys hiring out surfboards or offering ding repair.
How many boards ?
You’ll be allowed to travel on most airlines with a 23 kilograms board bag (or sports equipment bag as they call it).
We advise bringing 2 or 3 boards, it’s not unheard of to break a board in the Mentawais! You’ll also want to bring some extra fins and a few leashes or ‘leggies’, a few bars of warm water wax, a small ding repair kit. There are no surf shops where we’re going.
If you are unsure on what boards to pack, you should pack the boards you are comfortable riding in good waves at home.
We advise that you have a look at the conditions just before you leave and pack your equipment at the last second, but do take care to wrap them safe!
If the forecast looks smaller you could pack more standard boards or even a step down or a fish, and leave the mini gun at home!
Here are some of the more well-known waves in the area.
This wave has an easy take off that takes you to a short but very playful wall, and the beach is one of the most spectacular in the area in terms of tropical scenery.
The island (Kroniki) is one of the most amazing spots in the area and just being in the water makes it a real pleasure – it can be long and very playful.
This right-hander is probably one of the most consistent waves in the Mentawais, it can offer real fun, big take offs and a fast section down the line that can become very playful.
It is one of the best and most consistent lefts in the Mentawais. It breaks over one of the most beautiful coral reef of the area. It is safer at high tide and really good at mid tide.
It is one of the best left-handers in Mentawai, this wave is a perfect, round and it has a powerful wall that can be barrelled all the way when it’s going off.
This wave is an amazing right-hander when it gets good, breaking in deep water in two different sections. It is the big wave of the area, and breaks with all tides.