Photo Gallery by Andy Potts and Matt Dunbar c/o The Perfect Wave.
Video by Andy Potts c/o The Perfect Wave
May is seen as the start of peak swell season in the Mentawai. Traditionally it is the time larger, longer period SW ground swells start to line up, and the SE trades kick in like clockwork.
Word from our surf guides and photographers on the ground at Aloita Surf Resort and Spa right in the heart of Mentawai is that the first fortnight or so in May was a little patchy. Thunderstorms and variable winds ensured you had to pick and choose your ideal surf windows, but crowds were down, so no one was complaining.
By mid-May, high-season style ground swells really started to kick in and the SE trades became predictable. The Perfect Wave’s resident surf photographer Andy Potts said, “The last few weeks have been pretty epic with great waves on offer right up and down the island chain. The first real chunky swell of the season delivered double overhead waves to all areas. We scored a standout session at Rifles with solid 6ft plus tubes running the length of the reef.”
A solid West swell hit early last week, delivering perfect 6-8ft Lances left and HT’s. Later in the week Macaronis was firing on all cylinders with a super clean 3-5ft SW swell.
Aloita surf guide Toasty rated Friday May 16 at 6ft Scarecrows and Wednesday May 21 at similar-sized Telescopes the standout days of the month. The period was up in the 15-second plus range and the wind was barely puffing SSE.
Surf in Mentawai – May Swell Diary.
Monday, May 12.
Icelands: Swell clean 3ft @ 11 seconds from the South West. The wind was light and variable from the North / North West. Fun drops with a few barrels on the right one. Not a boat to be seen all day.
Tuesday May 13.
Telescopes: Swell, messy 3ft plus @ 11 seconds from the south. The wind was strong west all day. Average conditions with large storms making for extreme weather conditions.
Wednesday May 14.
Scarecrows: Swell, building 2-3ft @ 12 seconds from the south west. The wind was strong North West early with a late afternoon southerly change due to isolated storms. Fun waves with no crowds throughout the day.
Thursday May 15.
Scarecrows: Swell, 3ft early, rising to 4-5ft during the afternoon @ 14 seconds from the south west. The winds were light and variable all day long with perfect glassy conditions. No crowds all day with endless walls and barrels for a lucky few.
Friday May 16.
Lances Left / HT’s: Swell, 4ft early rising to 6ft – 8ft during the afternoon @ 15 seconds from the south. The wind was light west to variable all day with perfect conditions. HT’s put on a show for all with perfect conditions and some very heavy bowls.
Saturday May 17.
Lances Left / HT’s: Swell, 3-4ft @ 10 seconds from the south. The wind was light and variable early with a strong north change during the afternoon. Super fun waves throughout the day.
Sunday May 18.
Bat Caves: Swell small 2-3ft @ 11seconds from the south, south west. The wind was light west throughout the day with calm seas.
Monday May 19.
Macaronis: Swell, small 2-3ft @ 12 seconds from the south west. The wind was light to breezy from the west with isolated storms causing choppy conditions at times. Slow conditions with unfavourable winds throughout the day.
Tuesday May 20.
Macaronis: Swell, new 3-5ft @ 14 seconds from the south west. The winds were light and variable west with calm seas all day. Pumping macaronis delivered endless tubes for most of the day with an epic late arvo session till dark.
Wednesday May 21.
HT’s: Swell, 3-4ft+ rising swell @ 13 from the south west. The wind was light and variable west with calm seas throughout the day. Slow morning with a strong pulse in the afternoon offering up near perfect 3-5 second barrels.
Thursday May 22.
Lances Left / HT’s: Swell, clean 4ft plus swell @ 13 seconds from the south west. The wind was light north early turning variable from the west with calm seas during the afternoon.