I have had a super busy year to date in 2016. In fact, the recent years have been hectic since transitioning post pro tour to commentator, real estate agent, father etc. I was in real need of a break, so I chose a Mentawai charter aboard the Bintang with The Perfect Wave for 10 days.
At my stage in life, the Mentawai surf trip escape is the best money you can spend. A charter boat trip specifically, because I really like the camaraderie and time together.
Whether you are on a boat with friends or people you’ve never met, meeting and sharing time with the crew, and just having a laugh, surfing, fishing and relaxing time together….maybe one or two bevies.
I have been on a number of memorable trips with The Perfect Wave and they always look after me from the very first phone call through travel insurance, flights and the whole lot.
On this most recent trip earlier this month, I travelled on the Bintang, but I have also had great trips on the Huey with Sooly who’s a real character with a great boat as well. I’ve been on a bunch of other boats as well back in the heyday. I can’t remember the names of them all, but The Perfect Wave team will talk you through all existing options.
This trip was spread pretty evenly. It’s always a battle of the boats, knowing when to stay and go. We surfed the Playgrounds region for a couple days: E-Bay, Beng Bengs, Thunders (three days there, got lucky with crowds and swell), Rags (only small though), then Lances Left then Macaronis, Telescopes and Icelands and finished with the jewel in the crown, the HT’s. I’d forgotten how good that place is… I surfed it with Bruce and that epic session in Campaign, the movie back in the day… we didn’t get it that good, but it was pretty nice as you can see on the video on the top.
Besides the surf, I just love the isolation, seeing every star in the galaxy, the beauty of the islands, the volcanic reef structures and land formations, white sand beaches and palm tree lined shores. The water is just amazing as well.
In terms of boards that I would recommend for first timers to take to the Mentawai, I suppose it depends what you are chasing. If you don’t want to be short when it’s 8-10ft, take two step-ups. I usually take 6’4 and 6’1, then my 5’11 semi step-up and 5.8 and 5.9 Rare Birds from Chilli. If you are only taking 3 boards, take 2 all-rounders and 1 step-up.
In terms of wave expectations … well it is all there, depending what your tonic is. There’s playful waves in the Playgrounds vicinity (Thunders was heavy though) but generally you can expect really clean lines and an opportunity to get really barrelled and work on your turns, such a consistent wave face to nail your timing and approach to the lip.
former WQS and WCT pro surfer
The Perfect Wave regular client
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