Since the mid 90’s, the Mentawaii Islands have been regarded as one of the most wave rich destinations on the planet. Nowhere else on earth receives more consistent swell with generally light winds turning perfect swell into world-class warm waves.
Our beachfront bungalow is nestled among the shades of palm trees and located a stones throw away from the pristine waters edge. Comprising of two main rooms the free standing traditional Mentawai thatched uma has been handcrafted by local Mentawaiian craftsmen. The pairing of a traditional uma with Western comforts and amenities includes fresh bedding provided every few days, air conditioning and a shared private bathroom facility.
The most consistent seasons are generally between March and November when the Indian Ocean is turning into a groundswell-producing machine. Whatever month you go and whatever the wind, swell and tide conditions happen to be, somewhere in the Mentawai will nearly always be working.
Waves vary in size from 2 to 12 foot with the average day being 3-5 ft. They can range anywhere from fun sized walls to awesome stand-up barrels, there are set-ups for everyone. Clean, head high waves going off under offshore winds are virtually guaranteed even if there is no obvious groundswell running. Whether you’re natural or goofy, advanced beginner or the most experienced charger, this place has the right wave for you.
Surfing with perfection the perfect waves of the Ments require the perfect boards.
Here are few tips on how to pack your quiver…
How many boards ?
Don’t spend the time and money to go there without the right equipment!
Bring at least 2 boards if possible but three is optimum.
You’ll be allowed to travel on most airlines with a 23 kilograms board bag (or sports equipment bag as they call it).
This is about 3 boards with extra padding or 4 with very little extra padding.
Most people bring 2-3 boards as people are known to break a board in a trip
Along with your boards consider a minimum of three leg ropes, a few bars of warm wax, a small ding repair kit.
Which boards ?
As a general rule bring boards and fins designed to handle fast and powerful waves.
If the swell looks bigger, pack your boards accordingly with 2 of your everyday shortboards (6’0″ – 6’4”), a step-up mid-sized board (6’5” – 6’9”) and maybe a mini gun (6’10” – 7’2”) if it’s going to be huge.
If the forecast looks smaller you could pack more standard boards or even a step down or a fish, and leave the mini gun at home.
Usually, the biggest board you will ride is under 7’0″ no matter how big it gets.
If you’re used to riding a fish or quad, bring it, there’s plenty of waves where these boards will go perfect.
Mini-mals & long boards can also be ridden. So are Stand Up Paddle boards.
If you are unsure on what boards to pack, you should pack the boards you are comfortable riding in good waves at home.
You should also pack a good selection of fins. Some people can adjust their standard short board to handle bigger and hollower waves by changing their fin setup and size of fin. You could also consider having boards that are glassed a bit heavier to make them stronger and eliminate breaking the board.
It’s important to observe the correct etiquette while out surfing otherwise things have a tendency to descend in total chaos. If you’re about to come to the Mentawai you must be well aware of the basic unwritten rules in surfing, all the do’s and don’ts that every person setting foot on a surfboard should know.
Don’t forget you’re on a surfcation and hopefully the trip of a lifetime! Read on on, these are our top tips on how to bring a little surfing etiquette to your trip and score waves only your mates would dream about!
1. Listen to your guides
Surf guides will try their best to regulate the flow of surfers paddling out, they all know there’s nothing cool about dropping a group of hungry surfers on a full line up.
2. Know your limits
Take the time to watch the waves, learn where and how they break, watch the people out there and how they are surfing.
3. Take your turn
Most of Mentawais’ waves are breaking like classic point or reef breaks. Take your turn, don’t try to sneak, respect the order and everyone should have a nice time.
4. Be a gentlemen
You won’t see many girls paddling out there so maybe try to have a gentleman attitude and give away that smallest wave to that chick sitting outside… you’ll make her day and she’ll make yours with a grateful smile.
5. Ask for a pick up
Your surf guide will be watching you from the boat so when you’re done and want to get picked up, just paddle to the channel and wave your board in the air.
Don’t forget to smile ☺
Be friendly, be happy, be polite. If you are catching lots of waves, just once in a while just let one go to the guy on the shoulder that doesn’t want to (or is too nervous) to fight for every wave at the peak. After all, sharing is caring.
Firewire and Slater Designs Surfboard Rentals
The best waves need the best boards so for this reason GinGin has partnered with Firewire Slater designs to have a number of boards available for rental at the island. We have tested each model at our local breaks so we know they perform perfectly in the perfect Mentawai waves . Fly and travel with carry on baggage only , no more lugging board bags around the world .
Minimum rental is $100 USD and this up to ten days . Each additional day is $15USD
Delivering excitement in everyday conditions, the Firewire Spitfire Surfboard puts more maneuverability into a full outline shortboard. Firewire Marketing Director, Chuy Reyna, was looking for all the benefits of the Dominator but even more performance. The Spitfire combines a diamond tail and step-down tail rail, giving the Spitfire the tail bite of a thinner board, without losing the Dominator’s speed and flotation. The Spitfire offers the same 5/4/3 fin options and a low entry rocker for easy paddling.
The Slater Designs Sci-Fi Surfboard is an ultra responsive futuristic shape designed by Kelly and Tomo. Traditional, yet still unique in its aesthetic, the Sci-Fi is a straight rail high performance fish outline fitted with a low drag, tech tail. This mash up creates a speedy shape that holds thru turns, allows for insane release and seemingly pivots on a dime. The Sci-Fi works well in an array of everyday conditions from knee high to overhead making it an all around high performing machine.
One distinctive attribute on the Slater Sci-Fi is the eye catching flyer into double bat tail which is what perpetuates the quick, swivel like abilities. The other being the quad concave that runs out the back into a channel on the tail which helps with grip on the face. The concave runs forward to a quad inside single concave which allows for increased sensitivity and impressive planing. Fitted with a dual carbon band, an ultra high density foam stringer and a 5 fin configuration, the Sci-Fi is dialed in for fast paced, modern surf hijinks.
Tomo and Kelly have created the playful yet profound Omni Surfboard to take away the everyday boredom and open up the limit of possibilities in waves that are under head high. Using Tomo’s modern planing hull designs, the blunt shape nose and pulled in round tail result in a fast board that tucks nicely into the wave and is easy to pivot through turns. Under the foot of a knowledgeable surfer the Omni allows for extreme front foot agility, insane speed and tight hacks off the lip.
Not so much a groveler but good in small, well shaped waves, the Slater Designs Omni Surfboard is a soft, flowing shape fitted with a quad inside single concave and a straight rail toward the nose. Fitted with a dual carbon stringer reinforcement and a 5 fin configuration, the Omni is a durable and versatile performer with advanced materials and modern function.
A trimmed down version of the grovel-tastic Sweet Potato, the Firewire Potatonator Surfboard gives you more maneuverability on the face. As the name implies, the Potatonator is the result of gene-splicing the Sweet Potato and the Dominator. With a longer rail line and less girth than the Potato, and a slightly pulled in nose similar to the Dominator, the Potatonator is meant to be ridden 4”-6” longer than a Potato, and approx. 2” shorter than the DM. The double concaves are softer than the Sweet Potato and while the overall rocker has been increased slightly to enhanced performance, the low entry rocker remains which makes paddling a breeze. Designed primarily for 2’-4’ surf, the Potatonator will hold its own in 3’-5’ as well. Fin placement is optimized to be ridden as a quad, but don’t be afraid to throw in a small, knubby trailer fin to help this hybrid come alive in new ways. Splice and dice it up!
Fins and legropes are not included and anyone renting needs to bring both a set of fins (Rentals use both FCS2 and Futures) and there own legrope ( we recommend at least one additional spare legrope and that both are not ultra light small wave construction style , our waves have some punch so bring legropes that can handle it!). Terms and conditions apply. $200 deposit required for breakages or serious damages such as cracking that requires waterproofing repairs. Anyone renting needs to be aware if breakage occurs there may not be be a replacement model available and acknowledges this risk.