Mentawais and North Sumatra
The Mentawai Islands are an archipelago of islands containing dozens of renowned world class waves scattered among several major island clusters, and lie approx. 100km off the Sumatran mainland. Padang, West Sumatra is the nearest point of access and major airport, serviced by daily flights from Jakarta. The islands are generally an overnight boat ride from Padang, hence this is an extremely remote surfing destination. Typical trip durations here range from 10 to 14 nights minimum. Wavehunters' Mentawais fleet consists of 4 boats which service all of these islands:
North Sumatra trips are typically groups only and a North Sumatra itinerary must be requested at time of booking. A North Sumatra fuel surcharge may apply. All of our boats will do North Sumatra itineraries by special request which may include any or all of the following regions depending on the vessel: Telos, Nias, Hinako, Pulau Banyak, and Simeuleu.
Wavehunters also offers a land based surf resort in the Playgrounds zone of the Mentawai Islands.
A live-aboard charter is ideal for the surfer keen on exploring the entire Mentawais Island chain. Live- aboards have the advantages of mobility and flexibility when it comes to finding the right spot for any swell or wind direction or dodging crowds. Mobile and satellite communications now make it routine for the onboard surf guides to consult swell models and weather conditions to put you onto all of the legendary spots of the islands in optimal conditions and even find some little unexplored nooks!
Our live-aboards accept both individual and group (full boat) bookings. Group bookings (full or almost full boats) are normally made 6-15 months in advance and individual or small party bookings within 6 months in advance when more sailings are guaranteed (have reached the minimum # of passengers to sail, normally between 4 and 7pax depending on the boat). It may also be possible to book a group charter much closer to sailing, or to book individual spots more than 6 months out, so please inquire for openings.
Wavehunters' resort based option is located in the Playgrounds area of the Mentawai Islands and is considered to be one of the best surf resorts in the entire world for waves, accommodation, service, and overall experience. Kandui Resort lies on a small, idyllic tropical island and consists of eight "umas" that host up to a maximum of 18 persons at a time. With dozens of breaks within a 30 minute boat ride, if there's any swell at all you are going to score, and if the swell is pumping it will completely blow your mind!
The resort can be a great option for individuals seeking more independence than is possible on a live- aboard or who need to keep in touch with the world via the resort's Satellite internet service. Since the resort option is not subject to having minimum numbers to guarantee a departure, this may be the best option for someone looking to firm up their Mentawais travel plans immediately and without contingencies. Finally it is worth mentioning that land based resorts are not subject to mechanical issues as all boats including the best ones are. Because of its popularity, we recommend booking the resort 6-12 months in advance for the peak season, however feel free to inquire for last minute openings.
From North to South (These are the main breaks with many other spots available):
This is a mushy pointbreak - like righthander. Can offer barrels at times, but usually long rippable walls with many cutback sections.
This is a hollow left that barrels off the take-off with a short wall down the line. A great option when a lot of swell is hitting.
This is the right off the peak at E-Bay Usually a playful right that can offer some cover-ups off the take-off, but mostly a high performance waves with air sections at the end. Ends in a sandy channel.
A heavy righthander that barrels and spits. Usually larger than most spots in the area. Watch out for clean-up sets.
A shorter right that breaks down the point from Bank Vaults. Definitely fun and rippable. Usually has fairly deep water from the takeoff to the inside. Ends in a riptide that sucks all the water back out to sea. A good option when there's not much swell, and usually the most consistent spot in the area.
A very hollow left that can be shalow at times. It comes out of deep water, then unloads on a shallow section of reef before barreling towards the channel. Can get very shallow at low tides.
A long barrelling left that wraps around a small island. Usually very sectiony, but can line up on the largest of swells. Many barrels on offer, but usually only makeable for one or two sections before clsing out and racing down the line.
This is a small peak for when there is heaps of swell, or guys looking for a mellower option. Mainly a right with a short barrell off the takeoff, but quickly dies off into the channel. There's an even shorter left, but usualy not worth the effort.
One of the best waves in the Mentawais. A very long righthander that wraps around the other side of the same island as No Kanduis. Rarely makeable from start to finish, but even just from section to section you can get rides up to 100 yards or longer. Nice and hollow once it's a few feet overhead, but usually more sectiony at smaller sizes.
Another consistent lefthander for when the swell is smaller. Usually always has some riddable surf, even when other breaks are flat.
A perfect wrapping left reef. Long walls wrap around the reef with very few sections on larger days. Mostly breaks in pretty deep water, but it can get heavy and shallow on the inside on the bigger days.
Breaks off of an island just south of Telescopes. Good lefts but a bit more less predictable and shifty. It's a short, wedgy wave that works best on a dropping high tide.
A short and hollow right across the channel from Lance's Left. As the wave approaches the reef, the bottom drops out before barreling towards the channel.
Long left walls wrap down the point before hitting the last section, which is the main take- off area. Great hollow section after the take-off. A bigger gun helps on the larger days.
Hollow Trees (HT's, Lance's Right)
A great righthander that has been all over the surf mags and videos over the last decade. The main takeoff spot is up the point where most of the waves start barrelling and peel flawlessly down the reef. On larger swells it can be very shifty and hard to read. It can shift more to the end bowl where it can break, reform, then bowl again into the channel. The inside is very shallow and is often referred to as the "surgeon's table" due to the many reef-cuts doled out to traveling surfers.
One of the most perfect waves in the world. A very hollow wave with many shallow spots. Lefts start from way up the point, then gradually slow down as it approaches the channel. The further up the point you paddle, the faster it barrels when you take-off. After the initial barrel ride, this wave offers one of the most rippable walls for any maneuvers you can think of.
A great lefthander that can hold the biggest swells. It is very hollow and can often dish out some of the heaviest hold-downs in the island chain. Usually a bit more water moving around so a larger board can be useful.
A shorter, hollow right on the southern end of Rags Island. Similar to HT's only a little shorter, but just as good. It can be fickle, but it's one of the best rights in the islands.
Another large left that picks up and can hold the biggest swells. It's a top to bottom wave on the outside, that gets a bit mellower on the inside section. Another wave that usually has a lot of water moving, so a bigger board can come in handy.
Another very hollow left off a small island in the southern end of the Mentawais. Starts barrelling off the takeoff, but never really stops until a closeout section at the end of the reef. Definitely not a place to strighten out at.