Your Go-To Mentawai Islands Surf Handbook

19th Jun 2024

There are only a few locations around the world that are considered the ‘holy grail’ for surfers seeking perfect reef breaks and all-time barrels. The Mentawai Islands off the coast of Indonesia is one of them, known as the ultimate playground for surfers since the early 90s. With waves around every corner surrounded by remote tropical islands, the Mentawais are revered as an almost religious surfing experience.

The region consists of 70 islands and islets, offering some of the finest and most consistent waves in the world. From beginner-friendly breaks to heavy, hollow tubes, this picturesque region offers something for every skill level. 

Let’s go over why a trip to the renowned Mentawai surf region will satisfy even the hungriest of surfers.

Mentawai Surf Basics—Mentawai Islands Indonesia Mapped Out

With four main regions to choose from, the top Mentawai surf spots are scattered across Siberut Island (Playgrounds Area), Sipura Island, Pagai North and Pagai South.

Here’s a breakdown of the Mentawai Islands surf region, including where to find the best waves for every skill level.

Siberut Island (Playgrounds Area)

For mellow waves, try Nipussi (an easy ride set against a beautiful tropical backdrop), Pit Stops (a playful and rippable right-hander with a sand and reef bottom), Bang Bangs (with a section for bug turns), Bikinis (a very mellow peak, perfect for longboarders or beginners), and Baby Kandui (great for beginners and longboarders).

Great all-round spots include Pistols (a super fun right with short but good barrels, and nice sections for turns), E-Bay (a beautiful, barrelling, and world-class left, with intense emerald green water), and 4 Bobs (at times can offer almond-shaped barrels or 2-turn combos).

For experienced surfers comfortable in challenging conditions, don’t look past spots like Bankvaults (a powerful, challenging right-hander), Hideaways (a swell magnet offering plenty of barrels) and Kandui Left (big, heavy barrels and long sections) and the world-class Rifles with its SW swells for one of the longest, most perfect waves in the Mentawai Islands.

A full description of all Siberut Island waves can be found here.

Sipura Island

Beginner-friendly to intermediate spots include OTF (a perfect beginner wave out the front of Awera Surf Resort) and Tikkus (an enjoyable, playful left near Villa Mentawai). On a big swell, this is also a good, mellow option for intermediate-level surfers or longboarders. 

Lance’s Left, a consistent left in front of Kingfisher Surf Resort, offers good barrel sections and space for turns for intermediate to advanced surfers. Plus, it’s viewable from the pool bar or private bungalows at Kingfisher!

Lance’s Right (HTs), in front of Katiet Beach Resort, is one of Indonesia’s best waves with flawless barreling rights, requiring a unique mix of W swell and W winds for optimal 8-second barrels. This one’s definitely for advanced surfers only!

Advanced surfers will also love Omak Tidur or Icelands, which sometimes boasts up to 20 ft waves! Just around the corner, Scarecrows, a bowling left in front of Togat Nusa Resort, picks up significant swell and offers good barrels with big carves outside.

Check out all of Sipura Island’s surf spots here.

Pagai North

Expect fun barrels and consistent waves at Macronis,  just a 5-minute speedboat ride across the bay from Macaronis Surf Resort, or heavy waves at Greenbush for experienced surfers only.

On the flip side, Fishfingers is the ultimate destination for beginners or the kiddies, accessible within a 5-minute paddle from Macronis Surf Resort!

More waves around Pagai North can be found here.

Pagai South

Finally, Pagai South has an excellent mix of waves for all levels of surfers. 

Rags Right, a super shallow right-hand barrel that can be one of the best in the Mentawai Islands, is best suited to advanced surfers only. There’s potential to score utter perfection boasting multiple barrel sections.

Thunders becomes a swell magnet that picks up almost any available swell and handles S winds. This wave can get popular with charter boats if it’s the only spot that’s working, but the shifting peaks handle a crowd well. Expect an easy take-off into a predictable barrel on the inside section. Around the corner is a gnarly secret spot. If you’re feeling up for it, ask your surf guide!

Muts offers long, sometimes perfect left waves. Good barrel sections and space for some powerful turns.

More Pagai South waves are detailed here.

Awera Resort
Awera Resort
Mentawai Islands
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Welcome to one of the most exclusive destinations in the Mentawai Islands, the beautiful Awera Resort.

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Macaronis Surf Resort
Macaronis Surf Resort
Mentawai IslandsIndonesia
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The all-inclusive Macaronis Surf Resort offers unparalleled access to one of the funnest waves in the Mentawai Islands.

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Villa Mentawai
Villa Mentawai
Mentawai IslandsIndonesia
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Welcome to Villa Mentawai, your private surf sanctuary nestled in the wave-rich Mentawai Islands.

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Ideal Surfing Times for the Mentawai Islands

Wondering what the best time of year to surf the Mentawai Islands is? The prime time to visit is from March through October. During these months, particularly in June, July, and August, surfers can expect the most consistent and robust swells. However, this peak season also brings more crowds, attracted by the reliable surf conditions and number of charter boats in operation. 

If you’re seeking a more relaxed experience with fewer crowds, consider visiting during the off-season from November to February. This period offers mellow, playful waves, ideal for intermediate surfers looking to hone their skills without the pressure of crowded line-ups. During the off-season, far less charter boats are operational. This is something to keep in mind when planning your next Mentawai Islands surf trip.

Tips for Your Mentawai Surf Trip

As much as we’d all love to be surfing Indonesia’s Mentawai islands right this very moment, nothing happens without preparation and planning. It’s not always the most fun part, but it’s oh-so-important!

Here are some of our tips for making your next Mentawai surf trip your most brag-worthy adventure yet:

Planning Your Trip

At World Surfaris, we handle all the logistics of planning and booking your surf trip, from the research phase and flight routes to travel insurance, at no extra cost to you. Our expert team provides detailed information on surf regions, conditions and ways to navigate the Mentawai islands map with ease, tailoring options to your budget and preferences. We manage all travel administration, offer personalised advice and tips, and ensure you are well-prepared. Remember to book in advance during peak season to secure your spot on a boat or at a resort.

Plotting a Mentawai Islands surf charter trip? Check out our how-to guide on choosing the right boat here.

How to Get There

Bali, Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur are the best connecting cities for the Mentawai Islands. From here, you’ll catch a short flight to Padang, the biggest city in West Sumatra. More often than not, a layover is required in Padang before departing via boat, fast ferry or domestic flight to your resort, camp or charter.

Planning your own itinerary can be challenging due to language barriers, cultural customs, and constant operational changes. World Surfaris has direct contact with transfer operators and local authorities, ensuring a seamless journey.

It’s time to make your dream Mentawai Islands surf trip happen—let’s go!

Mentawai Islands Surf Trip Packing List

Be prepared by reviewing this list before you head off.

Surf Resorts and Charters

There are plenty of resorts and charters to choose from, depending on your budget and the type of surfing adventure you want to experience.

In terms of resorts, you can’t look past Villa Mentawai (perfect for small groups or solo travellers), the privacy and exclusiveness of Togat Nusa Retreat and the world-class Kingfisher Resort where the waves are right outside your door!

For a charter experience, Nomad offers a high-quality, authentic surf trip experience without blowing the budget, while Crystal Clear Surf Charter provides a more premium experience.

Togat Nusa Retreat
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Togat Nusa Retreat
Mentawai IslandsIndonesia
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Nestled amongst the palm trees on it’s own private Mentawai island, Togat Nusa Retreat is a tropical sanctuary perfect for surfers looking to escape, relax and unwind.

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Villa Mentawai
Villa Mentawai
Mentawai IslandsIndonesia
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Welcome to Villa Mentawai, your private surf sanctuary nestled in the wave-rich Mentawai Islands.

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Crystal Clear Surf Charter
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Crystal Clear Surf Charter
Mentawai IslandsIndonesia
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Newly built, Crystal Clear Surf Charter offers a top-tier surf experience in the Mentawai, Telo and Banyak Islands, appealing to surfers looking for extra comfort and world-class surf.

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Other Things to See and Do

The Mentawai Islands offer pristine beaches, vibrant snorkelling spots, and excellent fishing opportunities, making it perfect for couples and families. Relax on soft white sands, explore colourful coral reefs, or enjoy a fishing excursion. There’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful region.

Your Next Mentawai Surf Adventure Awaits

The Mentawai Islands all have their unique charm and range of experiences, but one thing’s for sure – they all offer paradise-like surf for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, the Mentawai surf region promises an unforgettable experience with its diverse surf spots, from mellow breaks to intense barrels. 

Planning your journey with World Surfaris’ expertise and connections means your trip will be seamless and stress-free. Choose one of our surf resorts and charters and you’ll be on your way to Mentawai surfing at its finest. 

Ready to surf perfect waves? Explore our detailed Mentawai islands map and let World Surfaris handle the logistics. Book now to experience the best of a Mentawai surf trip and enjoy a seamless adventure in paradise!

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