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8 Day Surfing Tour in Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra

Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Sailing and Surfing Indonesia

Advanced difficulty
Maximum 10 participants
All meals included

Southern Mentawai Outpost is designed for people who want to experience the consistency, quality, and intensity of the incredible waves offered by the Southern portion of the Mentawai Island. It holds a maximum of ten surfers or guests, which provides privacy and prevents the grounds from feeling crowded. The small capacity also allows to give guests a more personal experience, similar to the experience of a boat trip, with a high staff-to-guest ratio.

Meet the instructors

Eric
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Highlights

  • 7 surfing days
  • Cruise past the pristine Mentawai Islands
  • Roundtrip ferry tickets and boat transfers
  • Daily meals, snacks, and drinks
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


7 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 Southern Mentawai Outpost 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 Southern Mentawai Outpost 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 that the area is kept 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 motor bikes without mufflers, no horns, no big smoking two-stroke engines - this place was created to escape all of that. There is also a running water from the 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. You’ll surely be sleeping comfortably under your sheets at night.

Bamboo is not only a 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 that no building can truly be “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.

Southern Mentawai Outpost’s current guest housing consists of three bamboo houses, with another three coming soon. They strive to create a relaxing and uncrowded vibe. The grounds are three hectares and 100 meters of wave front property, spanning 300 meters back into the jungle.

The accommodation is kept mellow with a maximum capacity of 10 guests, avoiding the insta-crowd that can happen at big resorts. Each house is six meters by three meters and has two rooms with private entry. Your home during your stay will be one of these rooms, either with one queen bed or two single beds.

These houses are only steps away from the waters edge, you’ll be checking the surf from your front porch! Although it’s not much of a “check” when you know its firing and you’ve been waiting for it to get light enough to paddle out!

Program

Your adventure with Southern Mentawai Outpost begins when you arrive the Padang Airport. You will be greeted by the 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 and Mentawai Fast.

Sibigau is 12 miles from the ferry port in Sikakap. Southern Mentawai Outpost's staff will be waiting for you with the 21′ panga. Powered with a new 100HP 4stroke Yamaha! You’ll cruise past pristine Mentawai Islands on the way to Southern Mentawai Outpost, and you’ll be surfing by noon!

Mentawai Fast ferry schedule

  • Depart: Depart from Padang on Friday, 6:00 a.m. and arrive on Sikakap 10:00 a.m.
  • Return: Depart from Sikakap at 2:00 p.m. and then arrive on Padang 6:00 p.m.

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. They are 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 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 know 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 travelled 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 take off. 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.

Thunderbox

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 Sibigeu. 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 which 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 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 rides at Rag’s Right as their 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.

Instructors

Eric

Location

Southern Mentawai Outpostis 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.

The reefs are full of life at night, Southern Mentawai Outpost loves to eat what they catch, and get excited when guests want to go hunt lobsters, collect lamunan (sea snails), or go spear fishing.

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.

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 servef 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

What's included

  • 7 days surfing
  • Land transfers (airport to hotel to Ferry and vice versa)
  • Round trip ferry tickets and boat transfers from Sikakap Port to Southern Mentawai Outpost
  • 7 nights bamboo accommodation
  • All meals, snacks, and drinks

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 (20000 IDR / 1.50 USD for beer)
  • Travel Insurance (60 USD)
  • Tips for the staff (10 USD)

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 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.

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 on arrival.
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