2016 Mentawai Surf Season Wrap – video by Grant Davis
Flávio Salgado, known as “Flavs“, is one of The Perfect Wave’s leading surf guides. He was born in São Paulo Brazil, has a business diploma and has been an Australian citizen now for 7 years.
Flávio is an extremely experienced surfer who has been shooting the curl for 28 years, the last six as a qualified surf coach. He has been a head coach at Manly Surf School at Long Reef, NSW Australia, for 3 years, and has been guiding in the Mentawai at Aloita Resort the past 3 seasons. Flavs is an adrenalin junkie who loves life, nature, photography and, of course, the ocean.
The Perfect Wave’s marketing manager Ben Horvath caught up with Flávio to look back at the 2016 Mentawai surf season.
Ben Horvath – How many years have you been guiding up in the Mentawai?
Flávio Salgado – I’ve been guiding for 3 years and been surfing around the region for the last 6 years.
Ben – Please explain exactly where the above clip and most photos were taken in Grant’s review?
Flávio – Aloita is based in the “Central Mentawai” where most of these photos and video was shot. In that region we love the long-period SW swells and for most spots, light E winds are gold. SW winds are considered the devil wind, but when the wind goes S or NW there are 2 good options available, especially if there is good size around. Knowing these characteristics is a must. You can find pretty much everything you desire on a surf trip in this region, forgiving and not-so-forgiving waves, long and short barrels, shallow/sharp and deeper/soft reefs, a few rights but mainly lefts. The main spots, Tikus, G4, Nipple, Hookers, Icelands, Ombak Tidur, Suicides, Twiggies, Telescopes, Scarecrows and Seven Palms are the most regularly surfed by our guests.
Ben – How did you rate the consistency of swell in 2016 compared to previous seasons? How were the winds? What about crowd comparisons?
Flávio – Compared to the 2015 season, 2016 started better with some amazing sessions at Telescopes and Scarecrows, but soon enough El Ninō started delivering big swells but with strong N/NW winds that, when started, were taking up to 2 weeks to calm down. Luckily, there were heaps of options in this wind pattern – right-handers and very N-protected corners were delivering. Probably the best Icelands sessions I’ve ever had. 2015 started real slow until June/July when we scored some of the best waves the region can deliver. August started bad with heaps of SW (devil) winds taking days to calm down, giving us a week’s break in between them. In my opinion, 2015 had less consistency but better quality, whereas 2016 had more consistency with less quality. Crowd wise, 2016 was definitely the winner by far, well ahead of the 3 previous years. There were many days in 2016 Mentawai surf season when we had it all for ourselves.
Ben – Are you going back in 2017? Where will TPW clients be able to find Flávio in 2017?
Flávio – I will definitely be in the Mentawai next year, and most likely at Aloita Resort where The Perfect Wave has re-established a very good relationship, has the knowledge and can provide excellent services including us, the surf guides.