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Mentawai Surfer's Accommodation

Advanced difficulty
Maximum 10 participants
All meals included

Southern Mentawai Outpost encourages its guest to maintain sustainability and support the local economy. Come and take a guilt-free vacation knowing that you are leaving the smallest possible impact in a beautiful, pristine place - something that is becoming a commodity in today’s crowded and often polluted world. If this matters to you as much as getting barreled on your surfboard, then your choice is clear: make Southern Mentawai Outpost your eco-conscious surf resort destination.

Meet the instructors

Eric
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Highlights

  • Surfers' accommodation in Mentawai, close to the world-famous surf break, Thunders
  • Suitable for advanced level, no surf guiding
  • Overnight ferry from the Mentawai Islands to Padang
  • Roundtrip ferry tickets and boat transfers
  • Daily meals, snacks, and drinks
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


12 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
Airport transfer included: Minangkabau International Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Environmentally friendly

Southern Mentawai Outpost is located directly in front of the well-known Thunders break. The concept guiding the design of SMO is that of a full eco-resort. The creators of the resort believe that sustainability is the best approach to any development, and therefore have designed SMO to be completely solar powered.

Generators are very rarely used (only when absolutely necessary), and guests of the resort will likely never hear one. After 10 years of living on a boat with a generator running 24 hours a day, one of the co-creators has insisted the team keep the area as pristine and quiet as possible.

With so many waves close to Sibigau there is no reason to live on a cramped boat any longer! No generator, no smog, no traffic or motorbikes without mufflers, no horns, no big smoking two-stroke engines – this place was created to escape all of that.

SMO also has running water from its own wells. How amazing is it to be on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean and have fresh water wells!

The buildings are constructed entirely of Bamboo and have been designed and positioned with prevailing winds in mind. Due to the mindful design of the buildings, air conditioning is unnecessary. The SMO team is sure you’ll be sleeping comfortably under your sheets at night.

Bamboo is not only sustainable building material but has a great reputation for withstanding earthquakes, which are frequent in Indonesia. In addition, the resort is located in the shadow of a large hill. In the event of a Tsunami, the hill provides an available route for vertical evacuation, which is the only sure way of staying safe in such an event. Tsunamis, like the recent one in Japan, have shown people that no building can truly be a “Tsunami proof,” and the only way to remain free from harm is to be in deep water or at elevation. Fortunately, Sibigau Island is blessed with both options.

SMO holds a maximum of ten surfers / guests, which provides privacy and prevents the grounds from feeling crowded. The small capacity also allows the SMO team to give guests a more personal experience, similar to the experience of a boat trip, with a high staff-to-guest ratio. The staff will see to all your needs, just like on the ‘Addiction’ Surfing Charter trips Eric crewed, but you will also have the privacy of your own room and space to stretch your legs on the island.

Sibigau offers endless empty beaches and jungles for hiking and exploring. The team can provide information about the local flora and fauna one may encounter on their adventures. The SMO team encourages guests to embrace the sustainability ethic as well, please be conscious while packing. There is not much thought to recycling or production of trash in Indonesia. Please leave your plastic packaging at home and recycle or reuse what you can. Also, don’t forget to use your metal SMO water bottle that will be gifted to you upon arrival.

Program

Your adventure with Southern Mentawai Outpost begins when you arrive at the Padang Airport. You will be greeted by SMO staff and driven to a local hotel of your choice. To get to the Mentawai Islands, you will need to cross the Mentawai Strait. The most reliable and safest way to do this is aboard one of two ferry boats; Ambu Ambu or Mentawai Fast.

Ambu Ambu is an overnight ferry. Until this new year, it was the main method of transport to cross from Padang to the Mentawai Islands. The journey is 13 hours, but it is comfortable. Bunk beds in the forward air-conditioned cabin are available, as well as private rooms with two to four beds.

You will take the fast ferry out and the overnight ferry for the return journey.

Please note that you must arrive at Padang on Thursday evening and you may fly out any time after 12:00 p.m. on Thursday for the departure.

Waves

No verbal description of a wave can do it justice, each surfer will have their own personal take on what the wave is like for them. There’s every type of break in lefts and rights, there are waves for all wind directions, all swell sizes, and directions.

There is always something to surf around Southern Mentawai Outpost. It is located directly in front of Thunders, the most consistent swell magnet, possibly in all of Indonesia.

Even in the Mentawai’s, there are more days of the year in between swells than there are days with the swell. So for most trips, the best spot in the area is directly in front of your house! Another huge benefit to this is that Southern Mentawai Outpost always knows when the swell has hit, and what the direction is, just by looking out front to see how the wave is breaking.

Southern Mentawai Outpost is not governed by the guesswork involved in getting swell forecasts and crossing their fingers that the forecast was correct and the wave traveled to that morning is working. When deciding where to surf Southern Mentawai Outpost use their sight, not a website.

Just like surfing anywhere else on the planet, the breaks that are working at any given moment, are determined by the conditions, but you can be sure that there is always a classic session to be had within reach of Southern Mentawai Outpost.

Thunders

Thunders is the most consistent high-quality break in Indonesia. This lefthander has multiple sections to surf strung along the 300-meter plus stretch of reef, each with its own distinct personality. The two main sections most commonly surfed since they’re the most mechanical of the bunch are located directly in front of Southern Mentawai Outpost. The smaller the swell, the more the wave hugs the edge of the reef and this results in the break becoming hollower and more mechanical as the swell height and/or period decreases.

Even on the flattest day of the year, head-high waves still come through and at that size, it’s common to have each set dishing out multiple waves with two to three-second barrels for those quick enough to squeeze under the lip on the takeoff. The bigger it gets, the further it moves off the reef and on the biggest swells, it delivers the closest thing the Mentawais has to big wave surfing, with more than 25 feet wave faces breaking in deep water. While huge barrels abound, the only takers that the author has witnessed were content to navigate a steep drop into a bottom turn and carve on the open wave face.

Southern Mentawai Outpost exists because Thunders never fails to deliver an exciting wave for any level of surfer.

Note: This surf accommodation package is suitable for advanced levels. You will surf directly in front of the accommodation, and there will be no surf guiding.

Instructors

Eric

Location

Southern Mentawai Outpost is an all-inclusive ecologically conscious surf resort located on the previously uninhabited island of Sibigau. Sibigau offers endless empty beaches and jungles for hiking and exploring. Southern Mentawai Outpost can provide information about the local flora and fauna one may encounter on their adventures.

There are no villages on the island, allowing visitors to enjoy near-exclusive access to expansive white-sand beaches and jungle trails. If you are looking for privacy and peace of mind, this is the place to get it.

The island is home to the world-famous surf break Thunders, one of Indonesia’s most consistent high-quality left-handers. The smaller Thunders gets, the harder it barrels, and at head-high height, it can spin off barrels of 3 seconds or more to the lucky few who are willing to test its inside section.

For those who want to ease into things, the wide section of the break offers a thrilling take-off and wide-open walls. Thunders can handle all sizes, and for the chargers, there are days with legitimate 20ft face waves. If that isn’t your thing, there are a number of other breaks in the area, including the renowned Roxy’s aka Coldsprings, which offers fun barrels and walls when Thunders is throwing out waves past your gulp limit.

Rag’s Right and Rag’s Left are also within sight of Thunders, less than 3 miles away. There are additional spots you’ve never heard of where you’re likely to get a good session with just you and your friends. The boats are standing by to get you into the waves of your dreams!

On the days when Thunders and some of the nearby spots are onshore, Rag’s Right, as well as another right-hand break just becoming recognized to the world, known to many as Thunderbox, offers some of the deepest and thickest barrels in the Mentawai Islands and Indonesia have to offer!

SMO owner / operator / guide Eric is an ISA Level 2 certified surf coach, so if you want to perfect your pop-up, your barrel stall, or even your tail waft, extra instruction with him including video analysis, is available for a small fee. However, day-to-day pointers are free, just ask. The SMO team wants you to get the best waves of your life, so let them help you do it!

Surf conditions

Surf spot:

 Mentawai Islands

Monthly wave size

Best months for beginner surfers

Jan/Feb
Mar/Apr
May/Jun
Jul/Aug
Sep/Oct
Nov/Dec

Best months for intermediate surfers

Jan/Feb
Mar/Apr
May/Jun
Jul/Aug
Sep/Oct
Nov/Dec

Best months for advanced surfers

Jan/Feb
Mar/Apr
May/Jun
Jul/Aug
Sep/Oct
Nov/Dec

Monthly water temperature

Monthly recommended wetsuit

Jan/Feb
Mar/Apr
May/Jun
Jul/Aug
Sep/Oct
Nov/Dec

Food

You will wake up everyday to a bowl of fresh local tropical fruit and a steaming pot of tea or Mentawai-grown coffee on your front porch. Other meals will be served in the main restaurant, and Southern Mentawai Outpost will make sure your dietary needs are catered to, and that you never go hungry.

The staff in Southern Mentawai Outpost are also surfers and they understand that you need the necessary fuel to be sure to get the most out of your sessions. All meals are included with your stay: cold breakfast, hot breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Beers and sodas are available at the bar. Guests can run a tab and settle up before departure.

Plans are being finalized to create an organic vegetable garden, so as to include fresh local vegetables on the menu. Southern Mentawai Outpost does not support or condone unsustainable fishing practices, and any seafood served will be caught by guests or staff.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Thunderbox

Thunder Box and other rights nearby:

On the southern side of Sibigeu, a small bay offers three separate surfable reefs. Like all the breaks on the southern side of the islands in the area, these are all offshore when the other side of the island is onshore. Ie; the rights work when the lefts aren’t working, and vice versa.

The premier spot is Thunderbox. It is a slabbing right that starts off in a wedging peak (which can sometimes even be split into a right and a left), from there the rider must backdoor a gaping section. Thunderbox is one of the widest barrels out in the Mentawais, and while the ride is relatively short, the barrels to be had here are legendary. Thunderbox needs a medium swell or more to start to work properly and can hold all sizes of swell as long as the direction is right.

In the middle of Sibigeu Bay, there is a fun right-hander that doesn’t get much above head high and doesn’t need much swell to work. It is somewhat shallow which serves to make the wave faces ultra clean but otherwise isn’t a factor as this wave doesn’t have the power that other breaks in the area have, so violent encounters with the reef are minimal. Expect a speedy wall for a few quick maneuvers and an exit into a deep channel.

Across the bay from Thunderbox is a long, almost point break-esque break that starts with an approachable drop that is generally head high to maximum overhead and a half. After the drop, it quickly tapers into a long wall that is the most longboard-friendly wave in the Mentawais. The long ride is the most stress-free wave the area has to offer.

Up the reef from the take-off zone the swells hit hard and fast. While it is usually an un-makeable, walled-up freight train, almost a close out, on rare days, the right swell direction and enough size cause the wave to slow down just enough to allow enough time to jump aboard the freight train. Rides of around 100yds are common when this happens along with heavy barrels. The rider must pull off of the wave in time before it closes out. There’s no cruising into a safe deepwater channel here.

Rag's Right

Pitojat Island is located 2.5 nautical miles from the North end of Sibigau. Pitojat hosts Rag’s Right on its southern side and Rag’s Left on the northern side. Rag’s right is an extremely fast, extremely shallow barreling wave that has a section that dishes out what’s got to be one of the deepest make-able barrels in the country.

This wave is a barrel from start to finish. No mistakes are allowed, as the barrel will outrun the rider if they’re not able to get directly slotted from the takeoff, and any mistakes will be punished with a scrape or slam onto the reef. Make any wave here and it will probably be the best barrel of your life. To put it in perspective, in the surf movie, Innersection, both Kelly Slater and John Florence had ridden at Rag’s Right as the last waves of their clip. That’s saying something.

Rag’s Left

Rag’s Left is a long reef with 4-5 sections that save for the wide section on the biggest swells, are quite shallow. The consistency and surfable sections changed dramatically after an earthquake in 2007 raised the reefs in the Southern end of the Mentawai island chain.

Since then, the wave has been a bit of a crap shoot as far as which section will be working and will the wave be a heaving barrel with a ledging take-off or a relatively easy drop with a huge open face that is just right for laying down several hard rail turns.

The good news is, every year, bit by bit, the wave gets a little bit closer to returning to its former self where all the sections linked and 200M long, double overhead barrels were common.

Buddhas

Buddhas is about 4 nautical miles from Thunders. At its smallest, this break is a perfect beginner’s spot with a slow, deep water takeoff and gently sloping wall, that gradually goes flatter until it fades out into deep water. The wave can even accommodate a complete beginner as going straight is still an option.

Unlike nearly every other wave in the Mentawai's where going straight will see one “dry-docked”. This is because the wave crumbles into deeper and deeper water before fading out completely, and even allows one to paddle back around completely unscathed.

When the swell is pumping, it becomes a totally different wave. It is one of the few waves around where a barrel can be had without fear of hitting the bottom.

Coldsprings aka Roxy's

This wave is about 6 nautical miles from Thunders. ColdSprings gets its name from the cold, fresh water swirling through the line up from a nearby river and the springs in the reef. The cool water is a welcome relief some days when it feels like you’re surfing in bathtub water!

Roxy has shot a bunch of photos here for their advertisements. There used to be an interesting tree on the end of a bit of reef, you could see it next to the wave. It has since fallen down but you may still recognize the place when you arrive. Roxy’s is a great right-hander, it’s super rippable, and a lot of surfers' favorite wave.

Some people refer to this spot as Roxy’s, while others still use the original name Coldsprings. SMO uses both names: When it’s small, it’s Roxy’s, when it’s big, it’s Coldsprings.

Roxy’s is a quick ledging take-off with a quick straight section that sometimes even offers a quick head dip barrel before hitting the corner of the reef and bending back into itself. While no wave can rival the quality of Macaroni’s, this right does the best reverse impression of it.

To top that off, Roxy’s is as harmless as a reef break can get. On the biggest SW swells, the break mutates into a different beast entirely, and the implications of the name “Roxy’s” no longer apply.

Coldspring’s wave faces get to about 8-10 ft, and from there the wave only gets wider. The take-off gets ledgier, and only a take-off under the lip straight into the barrel will see you making a wave here. On the biggest swells of the year from the right direction, this is the spot for square, spitting pits!

Redbush

REDBUSH and nearby waves.

North from the bay that Roxy’s / Coldsprings resides, a long beach offers the possibility of surfing over a sand bottom, while most of the beach is a closeout, the odd peak does appear under the right conditions. North of this beach is the strait that separates the islands of North and South Pagai, there are a few novelty breaks in this area that guarantee a solo session when conditions allow them to break.

On North Pagai, a break we call Redbushbreaks on the smallest swells and in a North wind, offering an “emergency” spot of sorts as no other breaks in the area work in that combination of conditions. When there seems to be nowhere to surf, and Thunders is onshore, one can always get a wave at Redbush. It is a deepwater peak that can be fun to hunt down and connect through the reform into the inside wall.

Greenbush

GreenBush is 12 nautical miles from SMO. A fun relaxing boat ride, before thrilling moments of sheer terror and excitement! Once it was a super-secret spot, only surfed by a few boats in the know during the direct South swells.

After the release of Young Guns 2, every surfer who came to the Mentawais would request a crack at Greenbush. You have probably seen it.

The real key to getting this spot breaking properly is to only try to surf it in the swell direction it needs to give it the best shape - and a place to get off before it ends on dry reef. The further the conditions are from the proper swell direction, the more the wave closes out. The barrel is fast and extremely round, but the wave breaks in such a way that all the rider needs to do are pull in and set the proper line, and they will make every barrel. The gamble is on whether or not the wave is going to be one that lets you off after you get the barrel of your life, or lock you into the barrel until the death section at the end of the wave. This wave is heavy! It’s picture-perfect and waiting for you if you’re willing to charge it!

Nearby here is also a tiny right-hander that is unbelievably fun, just in case the conditions require a change of plans and we’re already in the area.

Yellowstones

It’s a secret, but please believe us – we’ll be there when it’s working! We like to surf as much, or more than you! We are owner operated and we’re doing this to get you stoked!

Macaroni's

Just about 18 miles from SMO is the world-famous Macas. This wave speaks for itself.

Secret spots

South of Sibigeu, within a 45-minute boat ride from SMO, there are a handful of secret spots. It may be hard to believe for some that in this day and age secret spots do still exist, however, these can still be called “secret” in our books, and here’s why: The break’s locations aren’t known by the majority of boats because for them, Sibigeu marks the end of the line and they don’t go any further south.

What really makes these breaks secret however is not their location, but when they are really properly doing their thing. Many boats who know of, and surf these spots likely still don’t have a full grasp on their potential, because anyone scoring those spots stays pretty quiet about it.

In keeping with this spirit, we’ll just tell you that on the right swell conditions, there’s an awesome right-hander that can be a super short rippable wall before becoming a semi-mushy shoulder great for practicing roundhouses, but the day you are always hoping for is when it is a roll-in take off that can start off as a head high barrel that has plenty of room inside to make it to the corner, where the wave bends back into itself and doubles in size and width. It’s a truly magical spot!

In this same zone, there are 3 different lefts. Rest assured if any of these spots have the right conditions to potentially work while you’re staying at SMO, you will know about it!

What's included

  • Land transfers: Airport > Hotel > Ferry / Ferry > Hotel > Airport
  • Ferry and boat crossings: Round trip ferry tickets, boat transfers from Sikakap Port > SMO
  • 13 nights accommodation (Bamboo House and overnight ferry)
  • 4 meals a day: Coffee & tea with cold breakfast before sunrise. Hot breakfast after surf, lunch when you are ready, dinner buffet (served family style), snacks
  • Drink: Water, tea, and coffee are always available
  • 10% Government Tourism Tax

What's not included

  • Photo package (around 200 USD for all photos)
  • Visa on arrival for 30 days
  • Visa on arrival for more than 30 days (35 USD)
  • 60-day visa (50 USD and 65 USD per month for extensions)
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Mentawai surfer tax (IDR 1000000 IDR / 80 USD / 105 AUD)
  • Hard alcohol, mix drinks, wine, and beer (30000 IDR / 2 USD for beer)
  • Travel Insurance with medical evacuation (approximately 60 USD, mandatory)
  • Tips for the staff (10 USD)
  • Surf equipment and lessons
  • Hotel accommodation in Padang

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at either Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). The cheapest and fastest way to travel to Padang is by booking two separate flights. By booking your international flight and local flight separately you are in greater control of the length of layover and it will save you a ton of money.

From Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK), you may fly directly to Minangkabau International Airport (PDG) with Garuda Airlines or with Lion Air and fly with Air Asia if you're coming from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL).

If you fly from Bali, you’ll layover in Jakarta on the way to Padang. Fly with Lion Air or Garuda.

You will need to book your flights to arrive the day before your trip begins and return the day after it ends. The latest flight arrival time to PDG if your trip begins on Friday is Thursday night. The earliest flight departure time from PDG if your trip ends on Wednesday is 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Airport: Minangkabau International Airport Airport transfer included: Minangkabau International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
14 days / 13 nights
from --

Availability

The stay is available all year round with arrival every Friday. The holiday starts from the ferry on Friday morning at 6 a.m. and finishes on Wednesday, arriving in Padang on Thursday.

Thursday August 1, 2024
(14 days / 13 nights)

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