Mentawai surf trip report and travelogue by Lars Bornhoft
We have traveled twice with others to the best and the most beautiful waves that this planet has to offer.
I now stand on a small island, Telescopes in view, where I have danced for hours at a party to local and international rhythms, with 250 locals that range from age 8 to 99.
At this moment I am not surfing perfect barrels of the Indian Ocean, but rather surfing the wave of enthusiasm and gratitude. I have not come across eyes often that are happy, grateful and honest.
It all began with a dream of a young Australian surfer. While on her travels through the Mentawais, she realized that within the growing tourism industry, the local children would not have a future unless they had proper English skills. Tourism was then the only market that could improve the lives of the island long term.
The holiday resorts are established by expats and the employees come from various countries and not just from Mentawais.
Lizzie made many attempts. A Liquid Future was the initial name that was used to establish a small English school on the island, but local authorities created constant obstacles in her way and the social project was sentenced to fail.
Jamie Gray, the founder of The Perfect Wave, heard about Lizzie’s story and offered his help. This then motivated her to not give up!
On a different island another attempt was made, where a school building was quickly found. A pair of teachers from England created a training concept, and the Tourism Minister backed it.
Winter, the youngest pro who is sponsored by Hurley joined us with his family. Hurley with its social program, H2O and Christian Driggs Waves 4 Water, distributed water filtration systems to the poorest villages, for the production of safe drinking water and also explained the handling of such.
“He who gives a lot gets a lot”, this is not new to wisdom, but being able to feel it every day is definitely something special.
The party that I was dancing at was the opening ceremony of the school. It started at the beach in the morning with games, then in the afternoon there was the official process and lastly in the evening it ended with a huge a party.
There were also some of the best waves that I have ever surfed and this was the gift the Mentawai kept for us.
There were also some famous waves that made an appearance. As it was off-season time, we were often alone in the line. It was absolutely spectacular…something most would only dream of.
Thank you to The Perfect Wave and Aloita Resort Mentawai for the brilliant organisation and the accommodation.
We shall see you again in a few months.