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This idyllic, world class surfing destination is on the bucket list for experienced surfers the world over and features over 50 famous breaks as well as being peppered with abundant, less celebrated but equally stunning opportunities.
One of the most spectacular and acclaimed breaks is ‘Hollow Tree’, fondly shortened to ‘HT’ or sometimes known as ‘Lances Right’. Said by some to make it into the Top 5 breaks of the world this is an adrenaline-charged, often dangerous barrel which is recommended to only experienced wave riders.
In addition to the white-knuckle offerings there are waves to suit all levels across the chain of over seventy islands which form the Mentawais region. The waves are so prolific here that they even break on the opposite side of the island to the direction of the swell.
Naturally, with all these dependable, high performance waves this is a busy destination attracting surf hungry tourists from all over the world. Many die-hard westerners have even relocated to this beautiful tropical location to enjoy the waves it has to offer for the majority of the year. There are many charter boats in the area and tensions often arise when they moor at a resorts local break. This problem is being addressed at some resorts like Macaroni’s on North Pagai, by enforcing a quota of two boats a day and these must book in advance.
The Mentawai’s area is located approximately 150 kilometres off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia and is relatively easy to access. Land travel on the islands themselves, even the four main islands: Siberut, Sipora, North Pagai and South Pagai, is more challenging and that is why chartered boats are recommended. Captains in the area are knowledgeable about the waters they sail in and can easily cover the length or breadth of this island region overnight in search of the waves you seek.
Why book your Mentawai Surf Charter, Resort or Camp with World Surf Adventures?
- We are fast becoming the ‘go to’ website for surfers wanting local knowledge and expertise when it comes to organising surfing holidays in the Mentawai’s.
- We are known for extremely great customer service, very quick turn around times for your questions and a knack for being spot on with all your surf information. Basically, we know everything there is to know about surfing in the Mentawai Islands.
- We make sure that you get the best price possible. We have a great relationship with charter, resort and camp owners so we are always getting the latest best deals and specials which we pass onto you.
- We are all surfers so you are dealing with people who have surfed the Mentawai’s numerous times – so we have all the great inside information to pass onto our customers.
- All our surf charters are hand picked for their level of comfort, cleanliness and reliability.
- We are trusted, reliable and are an established surf travel agency.
The best time of year and also the most popular is between the months of April until the end of October as the monster winter storms march the swell lines from down south and to the left across the open Indian Ocean untouched until they hit here and with light trade winds blowing from the south-east.
So if you are planning a trip to the Mentawai’s best do it from March to November. From March to Mid April, the waves are a bit smaller and a bit more forgiving but as soon as May rolls around this is when things really heat up.
April to the end of October powerful swells from South Africa and Antarctica reach the Ment’s that create the most amazing rides you will probably ever have in your life. This is the time of the year where you will get the most amount of barrels.
So now, lets plan your perfect surf trip
If your the type of person that is not into any type of crowds and want a more chilled out surf session then book your Mentawai surf trip for the months of: March. April, Oct and November. If you are into the adrenaline rush that only a surf session in the Mentawai’s can provide then plan for May right through to Sept. August is the ideal month SO BOOK YOUR TRIP WELL IN ADVANCE!
This wave is a very quick left-hander and starts working on the high tide when the swell starts hitting at 6-10 ft with a South West swell & light East-South East winds. The wave breaks for up to 300mts throwing out deep amazing barrels sections. Draw your line and hold on as you could possibly get the best barrel of your life.
Just tucked around the corner from Kandui there is baby Kandui which is shorter, however, can be just as full on and perfect as Kandui. This turns on when Kandui is 6 ft+. The wave is better on a high tide and needs a South West swell & South winds.
A Frames can have two sections depending on the swell and the tide. The one outside is most consistent & has fun take offs and long walls. The wave holds big and gets better when it gets more solid. When the inside bowl is working there is a nice barrel section. Works the best on a big south swell at low tide.
A short and very wackable fun right-hander that breaks over a shallow sharp reef. Needs a Northerly wind & mid tides & 3 -5 ft. Very shallow on low tide. A great option when the everywhere is blown out by west-southwest winds.
One of the longest & most perfect rights on the planet. Needs a big south swell and northerly winds to turn on. Best at 5-8ft with a mid-high tide.
This beautiful right just down the reef from Riffles has a fun barrel section and nice walls. It breaks on all tides on a shallow reef. Needs a small southerly swell and north winds. Great option on smaller days.
This fun left & right is perfect for beginners. It is good in all tides and breaks from 2-4 ft with Northerly winds.
A beautiful left hander that breaks over a pristine colourful coral reef. Breaks best when its 6-8ft & South winds. Breaks on all tides and gets very hollow on the lower tide.
This deep water heaving right hander marches straight in from the indian ocean and is best on a south swell and North winds. Breaks on all tides, however, is better with an incoming tide. It can handle 12ft+. Great take off with a big slab section at the end.
Is the most consistant wave in the playgrounds area. It offers a nice big take off and a long wall that you can tear up down the line with a barrel section when it is small and on a low tide. Breaks on all tides the lower being better with a North wind.
When over 6 ft this wave is powerful, perfect and hollow and when it is less than 5 ft it is a nice easy wave with 2 nice barrel sections. Works on all tides, however, more hollow at low tide. Best with a North East wind and big west swell.
Is a very consistent left when there is a small southwest swell running. It is best from 3-6 ft and is excellent for all levels of surfers. Good on all tides.
Is a very fun right hander and is best at 3-5 ft, works on all tides and it is great for all levels of surfers as the take off is easy which then leads into a nice playful wall.
Possibly the most picturesque right-hander is in the world. It can be long and very playful and sometimes barrels when the section comes closer to the rocks on a lower tide. It is great for hacks and speed turns and is suited for all levels of surfing. Sometimes when the winds are more east, you can go around the island where there is a fun left.
Icelands is a powerful left that can handle any size swell thrown at it and works on all tides. The wave starts with a nice steep takeoff then can have a barrel section on the inside then a ripple bowl to lay down some heavy hacks. Can be surfed by all skill levels as the water is deep. Best with a East/South east wind.
Scarecrows has many moods depending on the swell direction and tide. This wave is very consistent as is picks up tons of swell and can handle it when it solid. The wave is perfect for carving down the line with long ripable walls and a few barrel sections then down the end you have the “Curry Bowl” section which starts draining on low tide. The reef is fairly user friendly so can accommodate beginners to advanced. Best with a South East wind.
A very quick right which fires along a shallow reef. Best on a North east wind & a high tide.
“Teles” is one of the bests lefts around. It is not as consistent as other spots, however, with a solid South West swell and light South easterlies this wave turns into a tube machine with rippable sections along the way producing long rides up to 200 mts.
It is a very fun, rippable wave that can barrel on the right conditions. Suitable to surfers of any skill level and for those chasing some deeper barrels can venture up the reef. Great option when everywhere is small. Does not handle above 6ft. Good on all tides, however, gets very shallow on the low.
Lances left is located at the bottom of Sipora island just around the corner from Lances Right and is very consistent. When the wind is from the East & the swell is from the South up to 3 sections can reel into the bay delivering anything from big walls to draining barrels. Works best on the Mid tide & handles as 12ft+. Getting caught inside when it is big is easy to do and surfing the wave all the way to the end to greedy’s then falling off will put you high and dry, if this happens use the keyhole out the front of the resort.
Lance’s Right is one of the most perfect powerful waves on the planet. When the swell is 6-8ft from the SW, light W or no wind, at least 2hrs of tide this wave turns into an insane barrel machine. You can get barreled all the way from the office until the surgeons table. It is fairly consistent considering the swell has to wrap around the bottom of the island of Sipora. Trying to get back out when caught inside on a solid swell can be risky as you can end up high and dry on the surgeons table. Best bet is to play it safe and head towards shore over the reef and go around into the deep channel and paddle back out and have another crack.
Is a long right hander that breaks along a fringing reef with a beautiful little island as the backdrop, very picturesque. It holds 10ft+, works on all tides and needs a NE wind. Very rarely gets crowded and a great beginner wave.
Macas has been voted by many as the funnest wave in the world as it breaks perfectly along the reef delivering multiple tube & whackable sections that you can really open up on. Your surfing level will be taken to the next level when you spend time here as the wave gives you a blank canvas to fine tune your surfing. When it is 2-5ft is is very fun and playful, however, when it gets above 6ft is starts doubling up and throws out heavy barrels. Best on a SSW swell & SE wind. Breaks on all tides.
Maccas right also know as KFC’s is a great escape for those who want to surf with just a few mates and is located only 5 mins across the bay from Maccas. It is best N-NE wind & a decent S swell with a fair amount of tide to cover the sharp reef fingers that protrude on low tide.
Is a long left with multiple barrel sections. This was an amazing wave before the earthquake, however on a big SW swell, SE winds & a mid tide you can score some freight train rides. When the swell is massive you can backdoor some sections that open up as wide as a truck. Don’t fall on the inside section as there is a high chance you will end up high and dry and the very sharp reef.
Probably the shallowest and one of the gnarliest waves in the ments. This wave is best on a South swell, North winds and a mid tide. The wave reels down the reef serving you some very long quick barrels. Rags right is suited for advanced surfers and is a great spectator wave as the charter boats anchor right in the channel looking straight into the barrel.
Picks up the most swell in the entire Mentawai archipelago. It is best when it is 3-4ft with a South swell as it hugs the reef and barrels on the inside. Breaks on all tides and is best in a SE wind. Thunders maxes out at 8-10 ft. Be wary sitting on the inside when it is big as you there is a high chance that you will get caught inside.
Lightouse is a right hander and needs a solid S-SW swell as it wraps around the island and marches down the reef. This wave delivers big walls and can barrel on the inside and can also handle 10ft +. Best in a west wind and works on all tides. There is also a 45ft lighthouse that you can climb and take some amazing photos of the 360’ view. One the western side of the isldand there is a left that is fickle, however, can also be very good in a massive swell.
This wave is fickle and should only be approached by surfers that are willing to commit. For those who choose to have a crack at “The Bush” they could come away with the best tube of their life. The peak stands up like a cobra then unleashes all is fury across the shallow reef. Once you are locked into the barrel there is no escape forcing you to commit 100% all the way to the end. You may get spit out at the end section or you may get shut down on. Works best on a South swell and North wind on a mid – high tide.