Macaronis is surfable on large or small swells, in all tides and almost any wind conditions. It has a reputation as being the most smackable on-shore wave to surf in the world and is popular with both intermediate and experienced surfers. On large swells Macas can offer some of the most epic tube riding conditions around and in smaller swells it is a perfectly shaped peeling left hander, great for all levels of surfing.
Macaronis - 5 min by speedboat
Macaronis, more commonly referred to as Macas, is a mechanical left-hander that has been described by many as being the most high performance wave in existence. In glassy or off-shore conditions 4 - 6 second barrels are manageable from the take-off, while the inside section is a bit like a skaters half-pipe where you can do countless numbers of Rio's, tail-slides, floaters, airs, cut-backs. Macas is such a fun wave to surf even in onshore conditions and is one of the few reef breaks in the world that continues to break well in all tides. Macas holds from 2 – 8 feet and technically doesn’t get any bigger than this; it just becomes hollower and rounder, and when it gets big it is sometimes referred to as 'Mini Chopes'. The greatest thing about Macas is its consistency, and that it breaks slightly different at each stage of the tide with varying West - South swell directions. But ideally double over head SW ground swell is best for the wave to line up like a machine all the way down the reef. Macas is surf able all day long in a variety of on-shore and off-shore conditions, in fact some actually prefer Macas to have an on-shore SW breeze on it, as it makes the wave so damn fun and rippable. In 2003, Waves Magazine conducted a survey poll of 50 of the world's best surfers and industry figureheads in order to rank the world's best waves purely for their enjoyment value. Macas ranked 1 in the world in that survey. In fact 76% of all surveyed, "goofy and natural footers agreed; Macaronis is the funnest wave they have ever ridden" (Waves magazine, December 2003 edition). Our advice: Keep a watchful eye on the line up, you may find only a couple of guys surfing it to themselves around midday. Also keep a look out for storms passing by, they may turn the surf to crud for 15 - 45 minutes as they hit, but once everybody gets out of the water there will probably only be a couple of guys left sharing the off-shore conditions that follow.
Macas Right - 5 min by speedboat
Macas Right becomes a quality wave in a thick South swell with Northerly winds and a medium to high tide. It is not surfed or photographed often and basically just sits in the background of Macaronis being the main stage that people come to visit. Last year, I even surprised myself, I wanted to go surf Macaronis, but some new guests weren't quite confident enough yet for the left and asked if I'd go surf the Right with them. I was totally under-gunned on my 6'0 on a solid 6 foot day, there were some smaller ones, but the bigger ones looked absolutely incredible and reeling off a couple of hundred meters down the reef. The other guys got some nice barrels and some really wally faces. Macas Right is often at its best when Macaronis is also firing, and therefore it often gets ignored. So if you would like to surf on your own whilst staying at Macaronis Resort or just with a couple of others, be different, go surf the right and you might be surprised with what you find (check with our guides first - the Right does need more specific swell, wind and tidal conditions to be breaking well, but with a northerly wind it generally always has a fun wave on it).
Bat Cave - 45 min north via speedboat
Another option for those seeking a long mellow, uncrowded right hand wave is the Bat Cave. This wave breaks for a few hundred meters down the edge of a tiny deserted island that is also a great spot to have a swim or do some snorkelling. In 2009 we surfed the Bat Cave more regularly, sometimes visiting for a day trip by long boat and sometimes doing a day trip on the Indies Explorer.
Bat Cave picks up a lot of swell and can be bigger than Macas being more exposed to the open ocean, especially if there is a bit of westerly direction in it. The wave occasionally dishes up a little barrel and offers long racy walls, but generally it is a classic point break; definitely need some paddling fitness when it gets bigger but most of the time we have surfed it around 4 - 6 feet.
Across the channel, high cliffs provide a place for those who are into cliff jumping. Bat Caves is a great all-rounder that has fun long waves and is equally as appealing for non-surfers to take in the spectacular surroundings and have a picnic on the deserted beach.
Greenbush - 40 min south via speedboat
A very hollow left hand tube that can either lock you in with no exit or you may be lucky enough to make a mind blowing tube before negotiating a safe exit off the wave. You really have to pick the right waves to paddle for, but when you pick a good one, this is definitely a tube ride you'll never forget. Not too shallow, very photogenic, and an excellent wave for those willing to charge.
Remember the epic barrel Dayne Reynolds scored in Young Guns 2? CLICK HERE to see more epic footage of Greenbush surfed by Red Bull Team in 2009... this was an epic session, we actually went around to surf it this day but low and behold the pros were already out there ripping it apart, so we went back to surf Macas which was also absolutely smoking that morning. If you want to surf the Bush during your stay, you need to time your trip on a new or full moon as Greenbush needs a big high tide to break properly. Usually early season, April - May (and a few weeks either side) seems to be the best times when winds are lighter but the bigger South swells are starting to arrive.
Rags Left - Accessible on Indies Explorer
Rag's Left is a long barrelling wave that turns on during large southwest swells. If you are lucky enough to catch Rags at 8 ft or bigger, don't forget to shoot a photo of the line-up, it is an extraordinary sight, one that you are unlikely to see too often. Rags Left is very dependent on swell direction, tide and wind, but when all of these factors fall into place, you could find yourself and just a few of your friends pulling into massive caverns which start from an outside boil, eventually mellowing further down the line into a large open face that can be ridden for a further 150m or more. This place has been surfed at 15 foot plus, so a big wave board is a must at size.
Rags Right - Accessible on Indies Explorer
The crew from Sarina Koat surf charters describes Rag's right as "a formidable opponent to your health, safety, and well-being" - and that certainly isn't far off the mark. At low tide forget it, unless you choose to surf the outside section, which can occasionally offer some alternative on a northerly wind. At high tide though and on the right swell, Rag's Right can offer perhaps some of the thickest, hollowest tubes in the Mentawai's. The wave grinds down a section of reef that is famous for two coral heads situated at the kick out point - always in the back of a surfers mind whilst locked inside the tube and looking to negotiate a safe exit.
Thunders is one of the most consistent breaks in the Mentawai's and is surfable on all tides. Higher tides usually offer racy tube sections over a shallow inside reef shelf breaking close to the island, whilst lower tides offer a forceful shoulder further out the back. In smaller south swells the top section of the reef can turn on offering long hollow barrels. Generally Thunders is an excellent option in smaller swells and can handle crowds due to there being a number of take-off spots.