Surfing Nirvana: Journey Across the Mentawai Islands

Located in Indonesia’s West Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands are paradisical, boasting some of the most coveted surf breaks. With untouched forests, rugged topography, rare flora and fauna, and a unique tribal society make this collection of around 70 islands and islets an incredibly special destination just waiting to be explored by yacht.

When to go

Year round

Experience Highlights

  • Surf some of the world's best breaks in the company of pro surfers
  • Spend time with one of Indonesia's oldest tribes, the Mentawai
  • Enjoy rejuvenating activities including yoga on deck under the Indonesian sun and traditional massages
  • Utilise your yacht's extensive water toys to explore this remote island chain, from paddleboarding through pristine waters to snorkelling amongst vibrant marine life

Meet the Mentawais

The Mentawai Islands are renowned for their world-class waves (they’re often considered the best surfing destinations), catering to surfers of all levels – from thrilling barrels for the experienced to gentle breaks ideal for beginners. Picture yourself cruising through turquoise waters, surrounded by the untouched beauty of these remote islands, and then catching the perfect wave against a backdrop of lush greenery.

Beyond the surf, these islands offer a rich cultural tapestry and diverse wildlife experiences. Immerse yourself in the local culture by engaging with indigenous communities and witnessing their traditional ceremonies and rituals. Explore lush rainforests teeming with unique flora and fauna, from exotic birds to endemic primate species. For those seeking a break from the waves, embark on guided treks through the jungle, visit traditional villages, and discover vibrant marine life while snorkelling or diving in the clear waters surrounding the islands.

The Surf

Imagine carving through renowned breaks (think Lance's Right or Macaronis) where the waves cater to the advanced surfer seeking adrenaline-pumping barrels, while nearby, gentler breaks provide the perfect playground for those just starting their surfing journey.

To make the most of this incredible locale and to ensure an exceptional experience, head out to surf in the company of a professional surfer and a local guide. Dive deep into the surf culture, ride waves alongside seasoned residents, and receive personalised coaching from your pro surfer. This dual guidance not only enhances your surfing skills but also provides an intimate cultural immersion.

Padang & Sikabaluan

Flying first into Padang, you’ll meet your Captain who will escort you to your waiting vessel. After cruising to Siberut as you enjoy lunch made from fresh local ingredients, your Mentawai experience will begin. Stopping in Sikabaluan – an island minimally impacted by Western civilisation – explore the vast jungles, scenic rivers and golden beaches before spending the afternoon chasing waves around Playgrounds and Sipurna with your pro surf guide (two of the most consistent spots in the Mentawai Islands). Then, it’s back to your yacht for an evening under the stars. Sheltered in a pristine bay, indulge in a traditional welcome dinner onboard.

Jungle trekking & ancient traditions

After an energising breakfast, venture deep into the Mentawai jungle with your local guide before hopping on a canoe to reach the local community of Bat Obay. The Mentawai are a fascinating and distinctive tribe (one of the oldest in Indonesia) and are believed to have inhabited the islands since 500 BC. Viewing the forests as the abode of ancestral spirits – known as the Sabulungan belief – you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the everyday routines of the tribe, from crafting loincloths and fishing to the traditional art of tattooing.

Spend the night with the tribe taking part in their sacred traditions before returning to your yacht the next morning to spend the day chasing the swell and finding the perfect break to prepare you for the upcoming days of world-class surf.

Riding waves & island relaxation

The next few days will be spent at your leisure, chasing waves along the Mentawai island chain in the company of your expert local guide and pro surf guide who will ensure you get the most out of your time here. Ride barrels and shred perfect breaks under the tutelage of your pro instructor around some of the most renowned spots in the world such as Hollow Trees, Macaronis, Rifles, and Green Bush.

While you’re not on the water, enjoy yoga on deck under the Indonesian sun or treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage. Your vessel is also equipped with a plethora of water toys which will see you exploring this remote island chain in style (think paddleboarding through pristine waters and snorkelling amongst vibrant marine life).

After active mornings on the waves, afternoons can be spent relaxing onboard reviewing epic footage from the day and receiving personalised tips from your professional guide. Then, it’s off to a secluded island for a wild beach barbeque set up by your crew.

On your last day in paradise, rise early for a final morning surf before cruising back to Padang. Disembark your vessel and wave goodbye to your crew, leaving with memories (and blockbuster footage) to last a lifetime.

Your Pro Surf Guides

Mark Healey

Mark Healey is an award-winning big wave surfer, free diver, spearfisherman, conservationist, yoga practitioner, photographer, and filmmaker. He has devoted his life to the sea and in doing so, has become one of the world’s foremost professional watermen.

Growing up on O’ahu, Mark was first introduced to the ocean at the age of three, led by his father out into the powerful Hawaiian surf. It was this incredible experience of nature that started him on his journey to continually find ways to explore, commune with and protect our natural world.

Having explored many of the world’s most adventurous locations, Mark is intimately familiar with the Mentawais, possessing a wealth of insider knowledge that he is ready to share with those looking for an action-packed experience. Travel to the depths of the ocean with Mark guiding you through this journey of a lifetime.

Frank Solomon

Meet Frank Solomon, a renowned big wave surfer and Patagonia-sponsored athlete whose passion for conquering the world's most challenging waves is matched only by his expertise in navigating the ocean's depths. With a career that spans decades, Frank has become a respected figure in the surfing community, known for his fearless approach to massive swells and his ability to read the ocean like no other. His dedication to the sport has not only earned him accolades but has also cultivated a deep understanding of surf conditions and secret gems across various coastal paradises.

Beyond his legendary surfing prowess, Frank brings a wealth of knowledge about pristine surf spots and a commitment to ensuring an unforgettable experience. Whether it's sharing insights on optimal wave conditions, leading personalised surf sessions, or simply regaling you with tales of his adventures, Frank Solomun transforms a luxury surf yacht charter into an exclusive journey with a living legend.

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