The Mentawai Islands are a chain of about 70 islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. This area has become one of the most sought after surfing destinations in the entire world. Surfers from all over the globe descend upon the Mentawai’s every year to surf the best waves of their lives. Decide on either a land based camp or a charter, either way you are going to experience a once – in – a lifetime trip. The Mentawais is recommended for the more experienced surfer. The most popular area to surf is the “playground”, and most charters and land camps are based in this here. This area is 100 nautical miles from the city of Padang where you are collected and transported from.
Despite their ideal location for getting the most out of the SW swells that consistently pour through the Sunoa Trench, the Mentawais have only been surfed since the early 90’s. This is because these islands, lying about 90km (55mi) of the Sumatran mainland, are one of the widest places on earth. Many of the tribal inhabitants of the more remote island have had, until recently, little contact with the modern world, preferring instead to lead their own age-old lifestyle. Add the fact malaria is endemic and the untouched rainforest is almost impenetrable, then it’s little wonder that the Indonesian government deterred surfers or tourists from visiting the Mentawais. These days, yacht charters take groups into this extremely fragile environment where even the waves are very sensitive to winds and tides.
There is always a perfect, crystal clear wave reeling off somewhere, close to the tree-lines shore of coral encrusted lava.