Island Style

The Mentawais are a chain of seventy islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The area is littered with world class waves which nearly all break on sharp coral reefs. There is more than 100 surf breaks in the area. I’ve been here 15 times and still seeing new setups (especially when the swell is big).

The best time of year to come here is during our Aussie winter. The swells are generated way down south and travel up the west coast of Australia where they come from very deep water striking this isolated archipelago. As the swells travel such a large distance to get here the gaps between the waves are very long (long intervals)…which grooms them into ultra clean lines – ideal for surfers.

There is plenty of land camps now which have popped up in the last decade…but I prefer a boat where you can surf a dozen different breaks in 12 days. Boat life isn’t for everyone though! After 10 days of being on a boat with 12 guys things can get weird.

If you’re just starting out in surfing I wouldn’t recommend the Mentawais. The waves are fast and hollow and it’s easy to cut yourself. Nearly everyone on this boat has some sort of wound. The Maldives is probably better for the newbies. But then again I just saw a Swiss guy paddle out to Hts on a Chinese mini mal. I’m not sure he’ll last long out there…

Jumpa lagi ::uge

Byron’s Soli Bailey

Anything will grow anywhere here in Indonesia.


Keenan (Conan) Crisp

Perfection at 3 foot


Wesley Kruger – 30 years old today!

Tim Kelley, sunset silk

The best finish to a day…

5 thoughts on “Island Style

  1. Uge – Love all the pics.

    The coconut palms make a great photo. Pretty much every single one you see in the Mentawais has been planted by someone. They are introduced and a big part of the economy is farming dried coconut production.

    I hope I have not spoiled it for you (too). I see “farming” not so much “island paradise” any more when I see Indo shots with coconut palms. In any case, I thought it best I tell you.


    GMAC Singapore.

  2. We had a dentist from NYC – Surfing on his ‘ Waveray ‘ – his own design – basically a cross between a boogie board and short board with multiple fins (like 6 ) . First morning he took it out at HTs – then at a variety of other breaks . He was a legend but certainly confused a few on the boat . I caught up with him post trip in NYC to find out he broke his thumb and a rib ! He now reads this site and he is tuff .

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