By Ben Horvath | Photos and video by Andy Potts

When – September 14- 21, 2014
Where – Aloita Surf Resort And Spa, Mentawai,
Enquire here to get onto Occy’s September 11-18, 2015  trip

We offered surf fans the chance to surf Indo with Australia’s favourite surfer of all time, Mark Occhilupo, last year. As you can imagine, surfing in Mentawai with Occy sounds like a pretty decent trip so unsurprisingly it sold out within weeks.

The majority of Mark Occhilupo’s fans travelled from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Jakarta, before flying onto Padang – except for Russell who came out from San Diego and Kim who flew in from Hong Kong.

After a seemless connecting flight from Jakarta, our first night was spent in style at the Mercure in Padang.

We were literally in at 12.00pm, and out by 6.00am. Time for a couple of chill out drinks and time for bed.

We all rose pre dawn pumped to make the 3 hour fast speed boat journey from Muara Port out to Aloita Surf Resort and Spa in the Mentawai, but had to abort the mission within 30 minutes of departing, as it was deemed unsafe. TPW surf guide Toasty pulled the pin on the trip out to Tua Pajet soon after we powered through 4ft plus sets breaking at the rivermouth.  We soldiered on to Padang Harbour, and made plans to take the fast ferry out on Monday morning when the massive swell was still expected to be solid.. (Note this rarely happens. Conditions would only be considered unsafe to travel in extreme conditions a couple times a year max.)

day 2 scarecrows, telescopes (17)

The Perfect Wave/Aileoita ground crew Chia and Ronnie took over proceedings on land and quickly found the best solution possible, another day and night in the Mercure.

The 17-strong tour group led by host Occy, included Swellnet editor Stu Nettle, TPW photographer Andy Potts, yours truly and 14 Occy fans all keen to hang out and surf with Australia’s most powerful surfer ever.

The day was spent by the pool at the classy Mercure bar and restaraunt swapping stories and sharing laughs, getting to know an eclectic bunch of new friends. The group  included muso’s, filmmakers, freestylers, ex army soldiers, a doctor, a chippie, marketing manager, a logistics co director and three or four successful businessmen from all over Australia  and one Californian – the whole crew reasonably competent surfers

Day 3 – Monday Sept 15

We depart Muara Port this time on the fast ferry. The swell is still solid, but nothing like yesterday.

Three hours later we are at Tua Pajet Port and within ten minutes we are hooting as we catch our first glimpse of whitewater and plumes of offshore spray.

Before everyone’s froth got out of control, surf guides Cahn and Toasty inform us that Suicides was the place and that it will be 6-7ft offshore and cooking.

Everyone rushed out into a semi uncrowded line up and scored their fair share of waves.

Occy, Josh and Stu snared the best ones, but everyone got their share on a beautiful afternoon.

During the session, the D’Bora rocked up and the guests informed us they were towing into heaving 8ft plus Suicides the previous afternoon after a morning session at 10 – 12 ft Bank Vaults, a session that snapped well over a dozen boards.

Suicides dished up a bunch of barrels and a bunch of nasty reef cuts before we all retired to a tasty 3 course dinner at Aloita Restaurant and Bar well content with our first session.

Day 4 – The swell eased considerably, but there were multiple sessions at Hookers, Scarecrows and a late at Telescopes.

Telescopes by far the better wave in the region with multiple tube opportunities and highly whackable performance sections to boot.

Occy dominated at Telescopes, declaring his love for the rippable walls and bowly pockets. Occ said, “I love Telescopes – definitely the best performance wave in the region.”

We surfed there for the following two days and Occ was ripping like old, displaying incredible wave selection and speed through sections, making it look easy.

On our final day of surfing the wind shifted – so we did a day trip to HT’s.

Whilst it was only 3-4ft, it was super clean and as the tide came in there were a few side winding little bowls to be had on the Surgeon’s Table.

Nights were spent watching the day’s video and still footage shot by TPW professional surf photographer Andy Potts, talking story with Occ in the bar, priceless golden tales from two decades on tour.

Don’t miss your chance to join Occy this September 11-18, 2015 when we do it all again.

Written by:
Ben Horvath

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