D’Bora is one of The Perfect Wave’s most Popular Mentawai charter boats. Joey Melroy is D’Bora’s resident surf guide and photographer. Joey reeks of credibility, having built up a solid reputation as both a charger and reliable wave finder.
As the 2013 Indo charter season heads into the final month or so, we figured who better to check in with for a brief catch up chat?
The Perfect Wave (TPW) – When and where did you start surfing?
Joey – I started surfing at Cardiff by the Sea which is in San Diego. I was always around the water body surfing and body boarding but didn’t start surfing until I was 16.
(TPW) – What is your favorite break globally?
Joey – I won’t name it here, but probably some place in Mexico, or otherwise Hollow Trees in The Mentawai Islands.
TPW – What did you do before you got into the surf travel operator gig?
Joey – I had a window cleaning business which helped fund my travel. It was conveniently slower in the winter when the waves are good in San Diego, so I didn’t ever have to miss a swell. I was pretty much dedicated to working hard and chasing waves.
TPW – What prompted you to get into surf travel?
Joey – I was always driving down to Baja as a kid, often going solo as soon as I got my license. When I was 17 I went to Central America for 6 weeks with a few friends. No adults, just a few kids living in tents and surfing their brains out. I am 37 now and haven’t stopped since.
TPW – Who is your biggest influence in surfing over the years?
Joey – My biggest influence in surfing has been three brothers I grew up with. There was John, Cory, Ben Harding and their Uncle Louie. They taught me how to surf, took me on my first surf trip, and showed me the film “Cosmic Children” where I learned about style.
The Perfect Wave (TPW) – How has August/September been wave wise?
Joey – August and September have probably been two of the best months of the 2013 season. We got off to a slow and intermittent start to the season without too many sizeable swells, but by August it just turned on and hasn’t stopped since.
TPW – The inevitable follow up question – How have the crowds been?
Joey – Overall I believe this season has been less crowded than previous years. I think people are learning to spread out, plus a fair few operators are doing trips to north Sumatra as well, which means the Mentawais have been a little quieter.
TPW – Standout swells or weeks?
Joey – September 3-8 saw a run of solid swell with breaks like Greenbush, Rifles and other waves farther afield where D’ Bora was hiding were going off for days on end.
TPW – How about bigger picture – how do you rate the season overall?
Joey – The wind has been quite persistent. There have only been a few days in between with light and variable winds. A couple of times there was heavy cyclonic activity that made for some lumpy conditions, but the D’Bora crew knows just where to hide out and still get waves.
TPW – You guys are running charters right through November right?
Joey – This season ends for us on October 31.
TPW – When do you kick off again in 2014?
Joey – Our first trip is on January 5.
TPW – What do you do with your time on your break?
Joey – The off season for us is all about maintenance and improvements to D’Bora and her meticulous owners. We will be docking the boat, replacing all the anti-slip on the decks, improving our outdoor lounge area etc.