Surf Mentawai - Quick Facts
LOCATION: Indonesia, off the coast of Sumatra
CURRENCY: Indonesian Rupiah
The Mentawai Islands are a chain of about seventy islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia
, seperated by approx 150 km from the mainland by the Mentawai Strait.
Siberut is the largest of the islands. The other major islands are Sipura, North Pagai (Pagai Utara) and South Pagai (Pagai Selatan). The indigenous inhabitants of the islands are known as the Mentawai people.
Surf Spot Map of the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra
Since the early 1990's surfers from around the globe have been visiting the Mentawai islands to experience untouched rainforest and superb waves
. More than a dozen "world class" reef breaks exists making it one the most surf infested regions in the world. Most spots host mechanical perfection and vary in intensity, making this region suitable for surfers of all abilities.
Although the main island has plenty of surf spots, probably the best way to surf the Mentawai islands is by boat - it's expensive but you will have a mad trip.
Our good friend the South Indian Ocean produces the swells that have the islands pumping from March through to November at 6-12ft, and the cyclone swells keep the surf rolling in throughout the remainder of the year. The calm winds ensure that the swells that do arrive are always of a high standard. There are certainly consistent waves here, and it's worth visiting throughout the year.
SW Regular jaffa1949 at Beng Bengs. Photo courtesy Jaffa1949
You will need to prepare yourself
for big surf and be confident enough to handle world class waves.
These islands really do have all a surfer could want — classic waves, the crystal clear warm water and the balmy days.
Top Mentawai waves include Bankvaults, Lance's Left and Lance's Right, Macaronis
, and for the less experienced there is Gilligan's.
Just take a moment to look at the Mentawai Surfing Conditions summary table below - looks good eh!
Surfing Mentawai - The Good
Tropical Paradise / Warm Water
High Standard Swells
Perfect Righthand Waves
Surf Mentawai - The Bad and the Ugly
It's Oppressively Hot
Can Get Crowded
Pricey for a Boat Charter
Boats required for the best spots
Mentawai Surfing Conditions
Mentawai Swell Size
and Mentawai Water Temperature
If you have information on surfing Mentawai we would like to know. Tell us how good or bad your surfing vacation was by posting your trip details on our Surf Forum.
Originally all there was in this region was the famous perfect righthander at Lagundri Bay, first surfed in 1975, but since there has been a couple of world class waves located in the Hinako group of islands,
west of Nias. These waves are called Asu and Bawa.
If left handers are your thing then pick somewhere else. Apart from Asu, the waves of Bawa (and Lagundri Bay for that matter) are all big perfect rights. They are also only for advanced surfers.
So there we have it - stop reading if you are not an advanced right hand lover!
From April to August you can expect to see swells of 6-10ft and for the rest of the year you can see 3-6ft swells and other 2-6ft cyclone swells. The South Indian Ocean is a master swell creator
Another great thing about Hinako is that the calm wind, ensuring the best surf. Tidal ranges do affect the surf
at all the spots due to the already shallow reefs.
Hinako truly is one of the few places in the world that almost guarantees daily perfection and solid glass barrels.
Another fun Beng Beng lefthander. Photo courtesy Unknown / mentawai-surfcamp.com