Mentawais Surf Charter – If you haven’t, you should!
Last week we wrote an article about how the Maldives by charter is a must-do. This week we’re pulling focus away from the Maldives and heading southeast into the warm, turquoise waters of the Mentawais.
For the uninitiated, the Mentawais is a chain of islands that sit just west of Padang and has been dubbed by many (ourselves included) the ‘Surfers Disneyland’. This article will include brief respites at Nias, Banyaks and the Telos as well as the Mentawais. While they’re not part of the Mentawais any surfer worth their salt would willingly chase waves there.
Here are four reasons why we rate the Mentawais by surf charter.
More Waves, More Options!
The Mentawais is one of the (if not the most) diverse and plentiful wave havens in the world. The secret came to the spotlight in the late 90s but the Mentawais has been known to a few intrepid surfers since the early 1980s – when Martin Daly and a handful of others stumbled across the surfers ‘promised land’. In a way, it was like Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth but with a result far beyond… Florida. Daly and crew discovered the surfers’ heaven. That was the early ’80s, by the late ’90s the cat was out of the bag and ever since surfers from around the world have been travelling to the Mentawais in homage. The archipelago hosts over 50 ‘known’ surf breaks (that’s not including Nias, Banyaks or the Telos). With such a buffet on offer you’re going to get waves, you’re going to get spoiled for choice and any surf guide will tactfully dodge crowds and co-ordinate arrivals and departures with others so the lineup isn’t too hectic. That’s just quantity, let’s focus on variety now.
More Waves for Your Skill Level
A long time ago we wrote an article ‘Why size isn’t everything this summer.’ It touched briefly on the bulk of travelling surfers sitting in the ‘average to good’ skill level of the bell curve. There are definitely great surfers out there that aren’t recognised, little gods of local line-ups but in the grand scheme of things, there is more ‘average to good’ surfers out there. On any given charter, outside of a sponsored shoot, the mix of skills on board will most likely sit well within the ‘average to good’ category. Where you sit on that spectrum will define which waves you want. You’re a great surfer, you’re going to want great waves that challenge you, if you’re an average surfer that bar might be set a little too high. What might be a thrilling challenge to the best surfer on board might be an anxiety-inducing nightmare steaming relentlessly over a shallow reef to another. Getting a gauge on your group’s skill set is important. Everyone pays the cash, everyone gets to enjoy the bounty. But that’s the neat part of the Menatwais – there’s enough bounty to share. If you’re unsure, the Telos, Nias and the Banyaks offer something a little less daunting (but by a margin not an absolute).
The take-home is this, the waves breaking across the Mentawais are perfect for ‘you’ and your group by sheer quantity and variety alone. Any charter with a decent guide, and we only represent those, can you and your group to those waves.
Good Guides Dodge Crowds
You’re not always going to be alone out there. The breaks across Mentawais are not a secret. Some spots are harder to get to and there’s the odd hidden break and ‘secret spot’ but often you’ll be sharing sets. How many people are in the line-up is up to your guide. We only represent charters and guides who know the area, who can intuit ahead of schedule where to plant your group according to; your group’s skill level, desire and of course where will be breaking best without an abundance of hassle. Sometimes that means a long steam overnight, sometimes that means a lesser-known wave, sometimes that means communicating with other vessels and guides to coordinate – rest assured they’re on the case. Our guides and charters will deliver you to the right wave at the right time, in the meantime eat up and sleep well – you’ve got plenty of paddling to do.
Meals, Steams and Adventures
In the last article, we focused on the benefits of a charter. All-inclusive board (usually with more than a few free beers thrown in), delicious healthful meals to keep your energy levels up and time to connect with friends or opportunities to make more. They’re not factors unique to a Maldives charter, not by a long shot. On any Mentawais charter, we represent, you can expect: Nourishing, tasty meals and plenty of snacks and drinks in between. A very restful night’s sleep (trust us this one is massive), opportunities to take it easy – read that book, toss a line in, visit a reef or explore an abandoned island and of course. You can expect that extra mile or overnight steam to get you ‘that wave’ but above all you can expect a really, really, really great surf!
If you’re leaning towards a Mentawais, Telos, Nias or Banyak adventure now’s the time to lock it in. We’ve got a bit of a deal going on at the moment, you can read up on it and find inspiration – HERE