The Mentawai Islands are world renowned by surfers for the quality and consistency as a surf zone. Situated on Pitojat Island, off the northern end of Sipora Island, guests to Togat Nusa Retreat have access to a number of quality breaks, all within a short boat ride of the Island. Icelands, Scarecrows, Telescopes and loads more world class waves are within a short boat ride from the resort.
Boats and Surf Tenders:
A traditional dugout canoe, powered by two 40 horsepower Yamaha engines will transfer you safely to and from the surf at speeds of up to 20 knots. Built locally, this style of boat is designed for travel in local waters and, whilst the ride can sometimes be a little wet, the length and shape of the hull helps it to cut efficiently through the surf for a smoother ride than a western style speedboat.
The drivers are experienced boatmen, growing up in the islands and around boats all their lives. It is impressive to watch the way they manoeuvre these big logs around. As well as carrying all the required safety gear, the boat has a cooler for drinks and a large roof and padded seats with backrests, ensuring guests are comfortable and protected from the sun during travel and when sitting in the boat shooting photos or taking breaks between sessions. Daily transport to optimal surf breaks are included.
Whilst you can surf year round, it is the southern hemisphere winter, from April through to October that sees the peak of the season, as storm activity in the southern Indian Ocean pushes swell after swell up towards the island chain.
We have compiled a glimpse of five well-known surf spots near Togat Nusa Retreat... with many more secrets to share once you arrive.
Iceland - Rarely a day goes by when there isn't some form of surfeable wave at this swell magnet. An average day at Icelands will see a steepish take-off, followed by a shorter ride with opportunity for a couple of turns and the occasional barrel. However, it is once a big W-SW swell hits, that Icelands truly starts to show itself, transforming from a small swell to somewhat of a beast. A powerful left, the take-off is steep, as the wave jacks quickly out of deep water throwing out a heaving barrel, for anyone who has what it takes... maybe a bigger board required to paddle over the lip and into it!
Scarecrows - Your new front yard - A long lefthander wraps around the front of the Island for rides of up to 200 yards. Picking up most available swell and surfeable on any tide, and at any size, Scarecrows is one of the most consistent breaks in the Mentawais. A wave of many moods depending on swell size and direction, the length of the wave ensures a little of everything is on offer. On a good day out front a surfer will find open faces perfect for carving, long racing walls and multiple barrel sections... sometimes all on the one wave! A fun wave, suitable to surfers of all abilities and skill levels. The reef here is deep by Mentawai standards, though the inside "Curry Bowl" section can get shallow and challenging at low tide, rewarding those who commit with a more intense barrel!
Telescopes - When it’s on, this long lefthander would have to rank up there with the most fun waves to be found anywhere. Requiring a more specific swell direction, Teles is not as consistent as some of the other spots but once the swell direction is good and lines start wrapping around into the bay at Mapadegat, it really is a sight to be seen. Long rides of over 200 meters are possible, as predictable section after section offer ample opportunities to whack, hack and pull in! Considering the quality of wave, Teles is quite forgiving, the reef here is relatively deep, though the wave should definitely not be taken too lightly. Big swells see large sets breaking further up the reef as barrels reel quickly down the line and into the regular take-off zone, slowing down briefly before walling up and concentrating again on the inside tube section.
Suicides - A right hander which breaks over a shallow and very live reef, Suicides is best surfed on a high tide. Those who aren't lured too far up the reef by an enticing, yet unmakeable section, can negotiate a steep take-off straight into a barrel before coming through to the next section and chance for a couple of turns as the wave fattens out into the channel.
Seven Palms - Good option for some fun on small days. Only a short ride from Togat Nusa, Seven Palms peels off along the reef in front of a scenic limestone coved beach. The wave tends to close out when the swell gets too big so it is generally saved for a bit of a change on those smaller days. It is a fun, rippable wave capable of throwing out the odd barrel. Suitable to surfers of any skill level, those looking for more of a challenge can push themselves further up the reef to a sometimes makable faster barrel section.
Rikas Rights - a fun ledgy hollow right hander that races down a shallow reef, hollow but user friendly. Shallow but not too heavy with plenty of opportunities to get barrelled as it peels and wraps around into deeper water. When it gets too big, there are a few more fun waves in the bay a few hundred meters away that you can paddle to.
Ariks Right - Breaks in a west swell when it’s big, and is an easy, good wave from 3-8 feet that can also barrel.
Loads more - The retreat has access to several other world class set ups. Expect variety!!
Optimum surf conditions for the Mentawais:
Swell: Sth or SW
Wind: Any type of East