The Mentawai Islands are some of the best surf in the world. There are more perfect lefts and rights in one region than anywhere on earth. The Mentawais receive swell all year round with the most consistent season between March and November. Surf uncrowded waves at a large variety of reefs, beach breaks, point breaks and secluded bays. Tropical, clear blue water and a wide selection of wave types accommodate skill levels from intermediate to pro.
Although there are waves year-round, and the “off” season has the potential for un-crowded perfection, the best time of year is during the dry season. From around late March to early November, during the southern hemisphere’s winter, the Indian Ocean produces non-stop groundswells..
The Mentawais Islands have mainly glassy conditions with air temps in the 80’s to 90’s, and water temps in the mid to high 80’s. The sun is very strong near the equator, making imperative high-performance sunscreens, rash guards, hats, and plenty of hydration.
Easterly trades dominate May through Aug/Sept typically and is ideal for many of the main breaks. November through February generally experiences northwesterly winds, and there are particular spots that favor this wind direction. The transition months, during changing of seasons of March/April and September/October, have light and variable winds. These times are often glassy and can be the best time for a more sampling a variety of spots.
You have a couple of options of where to rest your weary head after a hard days surfing at the Mentawi Islands.
Several companies offer live aboard charter boats that are fully self contained and of course mobile – so you can scout around to find the best and most uncrowded breaks. These are geared solely towards surfers and the trip typically last 12-15 nights with all meals included and has a capacity of 6-12 guests.
Another option for this region, which is also much cheaper though not as convenient is to base yourself at Lagundri Bay. There are plenty of losmen (cheap Indonesia accommodation units) right on the beach here overlooking the surf and the price often includes breakfast. You can also charter small boats from here to take you on day trips to breaks further a field. Bring a mozzie net, insect repellent preferably containing DEET and anti-malaria medication with you.