La recette d’un bon surf trip aux Mentawai
What could be the right recipe for a successful surf trip? Back from 12 days in Mentawaï, I would have a little idea...

1- go with friends as stupid as you
2- make sure you have a top base camp.

As for the team, I knew I wasn't wrong.

I have known Philippe, dixit L'Anguille, for around twenty years and this is not our first trip. We passed the surf instructor diploma together, and he has since opened 2 surf schools in Vendée . One certainty with this guy is that we always have a good time at aperitifs. 

Craig, my eldest son's godfather , as a good South African, doesn't do things by halves. He works like crazy all year round to develop Hurricane Surf in Europe . So, when he takes a vacation, he's really there to have fun! As for the surf camp in which we were going to spend 12 nights, again, we hadn't chosen the worst one! Craig already knew KingFisher Mentawai , 3/4 bungalows located right opposite Lance's Left on the island of Sipora . A magnificent place run by Brock and Jules, 2 Australians who managed, thanks to their welcome and their good humor, to give us a stay that I will not soon forget.

There were on the camp, in addition to us, 4 very cool Australians with whom we shared surfing, beers and fishing trips. It still took us 3 and a half days to reach KingFisher from Biarritz.

4 planes, 1 bus, a few taxis, 1 ferry (with seasickness) and 1 speed boat later, here we are, rinsed by this long journey and the Bintangs (local beer) swallowed throughout the journey (and the few gin and tonics on long hauls…)

Not really fresh, not in our best shape after a long season of work, we found ourselves facing one of the biggest swells of the season. A good 2m50 very thick hits the sharp reefs.

I jump into the water at HT's excited (there's no one!) with a 7'2 Flat Track and I paddle towards the peak. The wave throws amazing and is super fast with a tube from start to finish.

I realize that my board is not at all suitable for waves. It's too long and I really had trouble placing it on the hollow face of the wave. 

And then it's scary like the first session! I take 2/3 ends of the wave as best I can and... the big one of the series on the head. I still remember Julie saying to me “ And remember to bring back photos where you can clearly see the t-shirt!” » She makes me laugh! I'm not going to go get torn up on the reef for a photo anyway!

So I change tactics, I'm going to squat on Craig's photos, who, as I said above, doesn't do things by halves... I'm becoming a master in the art of the "photobomb"... I'm also going to look for the box to immortalize a Craig wave in an aquashot. The next day, we hit the water at Lance's Left, opposite the bedroom , it's still super solid and I decide to take the 6'5 Duo (double single fin).

It's a little bigger than the day before at HT's but the wave is less hollow and less technical. It goes much better with less board length, and the duo is reassuring because you don't risk skidding with all this drift surface in the water. There are 3 of us in the water. The dream…
Like the day before, I finished the session in the water with the box to shoot the African.

The Eel drinks Bintangs :)

The swell finally falls to offer us more fun and less challenging waves. We make Lance's Left our favorite terrain. The wave is super fun! Not really tubes but a long wall for maneuvers. And the on-shore wind which tends to blow in the afternoon does not affect the face of the wave at all (this is because there is no water…) Enjoy the 6 '2 Prawns that slide by themselves. The fast sections go easily and I take great pleasure in surfing this endless left. 

We also surf Bintang (the wave, not the beer) a slab on the right 5 minutes by boat. We have a glimpse of what it could be like with offshore... There are rarely more than 8 of us in the water. Often boats come to drop anchor in front of the wave. When there are too many people for our liking, we go on to other adventures. Motorcycle racing on the beach, underwater fishing or even angling.

Kingfisher lives up to its name, they have incredible fishing gear available. So we spent almost all of our days fishing. We will have eaten sashimi every evening around a gigantic fire on the beach. Another great moment of the trip, a boat full of South Africans arriving to watch the rugby final. I'll let you imagine the atmosphere at the camp and the party that followed on their luxury boat...A trip with friends feels good! What is especially pleasing is to see how in 20 years, nothing has changed with the Anguille. We still laugh as much at the same jokes and we will never become adults, it's official!

I only want to go back now...

Terima kasih Kingfisher !

photo credit: Anas Nasrullah, Geni Larosa, Damien Marly