The Kid Caleb, flying high in the clouds


Hi there. We’re still in the islands. Get a lot of questions on email so I’d thought I’d do a Q+A special:

How long are we in Mentawais? Back in 1 week, half way thru a 12 day charter around the islands. I like it here. Big swell hittin’ here soon.

Why? Good waves – some of the most consistent/best waves on the planet.

What boat are we on? MV Power Cat, Tengirri. It’s good.

How much does a trip like this cost? Good aussie made boat like Tengirri = $4000-$4500 pp for 12 days. Local leaking boat = $1500-$2500 pp. Pure luxury mega pad fully pimped with spinning rims = $15,000 pp

Why so many photos of Caleb Reid? Who is he? Kid Caleb is a 21 year old Bronte surfer who works at the local bottleshop in Bondi – no big sponsors (yet). The kid rips (He came 3rd to Jordy in the Jnr Pro series a while ago). Unbelievable. Can do airs on demand, pulling into anything that is hollow and charges the most ridiculous sections. Bravo. Aquabumps, Tengirri and his parents are helping him out on this trip to get some decent footage and stills. Special thanks to Huffer and GSi for also helping out the kid.

What camera do I use? Magical Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 for most, or a 5D. Lenses – too many to list, but I have 2 pelican cases full of L series glassware. Housings – a red one and a blue one made from epoxy.

Are the waves suitable for beginners up there in Mentawais? No not really, unless you like pain. (Okay okay, there are some pretty easy waves, but we don’t normally hang around there much.) I reckon Maldives is a better option. Softer landings there.

Is it a trip that my lady friend can come on? Well, it’s very male dominated on the boats – in fact it’s like a footie locker room and would take a very unique girl to like the boats… the land camps like Kandui, Aloita, WavePark, Pitstops and Ebay provide great waves, idyllic beaches and less testosterone. Bingo!

Can you surf every day? You bet. You’ll surf more here in 12 days than 1 year in Bondi (oh, and the crowds aren’t too bad as it’s so remote and quite a financial commitment to get out here).

How do you get out here? Fly to Kuala Lumpur, then across to Padang, then a long long overnight boat ride out to the islands.

Do you get boat sick? Some crew do. It’s not too bad, as most of the time you sleep in calm coves around the islands. If you get claustrophobic and are not good at relaxing I’d probably do a land based trip.

What’s the food like? Our chef, Donny Don Don is the best in the business. His kitchen is 1 metre squared and what he churns out is amazing. Some boats you might eat rice and fish 3 times a day (not ideal but good if you want to shed some kaygees).

What’s the shopping like? Nightlife? Um, if you want malls, shops etc – go to Bali. They’re still working out the basics like electricity and medicine out here. Basically you have to bring in everything. Nightlife – if you can stay up past 9pm you’re doing well after surfing 8 hours that day. There is not much to do at night here – if you want nightlife go to Ibiza.

Goodbye, have a good week. Heard the waves have been good back there :: uge

Tom Bird retro styling in the tube

Adam Coates (Bru Cafe, N. Bondi) cooling off after a sess at Icelands

Storm clouds about to rip

From left to right: Jim, Caleb, Adam, Tom, Blakey

5 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. I have never felt compelled to write a comment on your daily email Uge, but i feel i need to vent my frustration towards the goose who asked about the shopping on a boat trip in the Mentawais. I think its time to have a good hard look at yourself. Cheers for the pics and enjoy the rest of the trip.

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