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Mentawai’s Swell Part 1: A Rifle shot

There was a sizable swell approaching South Africa, getting bigger by the minute as it headed straight to Indo. At a certain point when it was in the Indian Ocean the swell was as big as Australia, so it was sure that it would bring amazing waves to the entire Indonesian archipelago.

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When I saw the monster approaching I called our friends from King of Millenium, who have 2 really good boats that operate in the Mentawai, Nias and Telos Islands: King of Millenium 1 which was already full and King of Millenium 2, a large, luxurious Catamaran  which still had a couple of spots available. Watching the swell for the last 10 days I was sure that the Ments were the place to be, so I got all my gear and boards ready, paid the boat and bought the tickets.

It was to be my Birthday present: 12 days on one of the best boats in the Mentawai, surfing the best waves in the world. Not bad. On top of which I soon found out I’d be having the best meals imaginable day in day out. All the meals were gourmet and I felt like I was at a 5 star resort in Bahamas, but it was the King of Millenium 2 in the Mentawai Islands.

Our guide, David Valladares is a very experienced surfer, who has worked in the Ments for more than 20 years. When I got on board, I found everyone was already there and waiting for me so that we could head out to the island. As we made our way out of Padang’s hectic Harbor David told us the swell and winds were perfect for Rifles, so we all turned in early at the prospect of an epic first day surf at the mystic wave in the vicinity of Playgrounds.

The next day I woke up around 5 am, Bali time, 4 am in the Ments and it was still dark. We were already at Playgrounds and I could hear the waves breaking but could not see anything. I was frothing, just thinking about the surf. Around 5am the captain pulled up the anchor and people began to emerge from their cabins: 4 Spanish guys: 2 from the Canary Island and 2 from the mainland, super cool guys and 4 Brazilians.

We headed out of the safety of the bay where we had parked moored in the night and out towards the waves. Every minute you could see more, around every corner more white-water appeared, and the inevitable boats and surfers. Rifles was pumping with 4-5ft waves, a bit inconsistent but given time you would get a good barrel.

We gorged ourselves at Rifles for the first 2 days of the trip, a 200 meter barrel that runs over a shallow reef. We couldn’t have expected a better start for the trip, which would include Rights and Lefts, all perfect. After those two days we headed South looking for love at Macca’s. Stay tuned for the Mentawais Part 2.

Teks and Photos: Iuri Borba

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