Surf Travel: Mentawai season shaping up nicely
2012 looks to be one of those special years in the Mentawai Islands
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 March, 2012 : - - Here in the Mentawai Islands we have been blessed with one of the best off seasons in the last 5 years, lot's of small to medium swells with a couple of 6 foot days thrown in for good measure, and with the long range charts showing no let up in swell activity it's shaping up to be one of those 'special' years in the Mentawai Islands in 2012.
Lances is the epitome of the classic Indo wave, a very long, superbly shaped wave that is renowned for being one of the most consistent locations in the Mentawai islands. Several take off zones mean this place rarely feels crowded, and with a relatively easy entry during take off it's little wonder Lances is such a regular crowd pleaser. At three feet expect long, peeling, lined up walls perfect for pushing the limits on your turns, but also be on the lookout for two distinct barrel sections depending on swell direction. At six feet and above be prepared for corduroy lines stacked to the horizon. The wave transforms into a steep, deepwater takeoff with big open faces down the line. Although not the most prolific barrel producing wave in the Mentawai, it's length and variations through different sections mean all levels of ability can enjoy Lances. Also a great place for intermediate surfers to push themselves into bigger waves.
HT's (Hollow Trees or Lance's Right)
One of the world’s best waves, this premier righthander can produce the kind of ruler edge barrel perfection normally restricted to the imagination. When swells hit 'The Office' section of the wave, all there is to do is pull in and charge through one of the deepest, roundest and most perfect barrels you are ever likely to come across. One good wave at HT's can make your trip, and one mistake could also prove disastrous. Breaking on a shallow reef, the end of the wave sucks even shallower when passing above the aptly named 'Surgeons Table'. Still surfable on low tide, most people wait for mid to high tide to try their hand. From 1 to 10 foot, HT's will offer a barrel when combined with offshore winds.This wave can be fussy concerning swell direction, but when it turns on it really is a sight to behold, truly a freak of nature.
Situated across the bay from Lances Left this classy righthander offers short but perfect, mechanically shaped walls and barrel sections. Although playful under 4 feet, a dramatic transformation takes place once overhead. Waves surge towards the A-frame shaped reef before breaking, then throwing out a perfectly round cavern along the entire length of the wave. What this wave lacks in length it certainly makes up for in quality. A little temperamental concerning swell direction, Bintangs is often overlooked by visiting charter boats. However our close proximity and intimate local knowledge ensures we'll never miss an opportunity to score a few kegs at Bintangs.
Short punchy walls to heaving, square barrels are what you'll usually find at the Cobra. This moody lefthander can really turn it on with the correct swell direction, located just 50 meters from Lances Left, can occasionally link up with it's more famous neighbour for a 200+ meter ride! A very steep takeoff followed by a throwing backdoor section is not uncommon at the Cobra. Choose your waves carefully, as this wave has some serious venom with wider sets that will push unlucky punters across the reef. Not the easiest takeoff and barrel to negotiate, but the rewards are plentiful for those willing to try their hand. An often uncrowded or empty lineup should be enough to lure even the most reef shy surfer to chase down a throwing Cobra pit.
This rarely surfed righthander breaks like a point break with very long rides. The relatively deep water makes for long workable walls, although the odd tube has been known to show itself. Best during medium sized swells, this wave can be fickle with certain tidal influences punctuating the session with long lull periods, so some patience may be necessary, but a great option for a quiet session.
Breaking extremely close to shore this righthander is all about one thing; getting barrelled! Closeout sets are easily identified as swells approach, so try and be choosey and snag a perfectly cylindrical shaped tube from start to finish, before kicking out over a very shallow end section. Booties are recommended, even for those confident surfing coral reef set ups. As there is no channel to paddle back to the lineup, getting caught inside can be extremely hazardous!
A one kilometer stretch of idyllic palm fringed, white sand beach is just a stones throw from Kingfisher Bay Resort. The turquoise coloured water is picture perfect, with a series of sandbars to choose from. Good sand banks can be fickle, but with the right conditions a satisfying session can be had by the patient surfer. Also a great spot for people learning to surf.
Author: David Pike
Tags: Lance's Left, Mentawai, Surf Travel, Kingfisher
Surf Travel: Surfersvillage