Kandui Surf Resort, Mentawai islands.Surf Report for Sunday October 7, 2007 . Today unfolded as the ideal Mentawai surf experience. Eight friends taking off early in the morning on the Kandui speedboat to catch the expected new swell at Ebay. Our surfguide, Ray “all day” Wilcoxen packed a lunch so we could hang at the break if it was going off. The surf forecasts were calling for 7 foot at 18 seconds with light winds. The ride to Ebay is about 25 minutes but it felt like 10 minutes as everyone was joking and cognizant that only two days remained on our trip. As we pulled up to the break, it looked a little sick, but soon enough a large set came in and everyone scrambled from the boat. Solid head high plus waves with some much larger ones sneaking through but more importantly there were wide open barrels. Nobody else was in the water so we started our standard wave rotation pattern. Everyone gets a shot at the biggest set waves. If you do not want a wave because you are too deep then you signal by holding both your hands up. No hassle surfing, just good vibe and the best waves of your life.
Riding Ebay requires you to generate speed on the take-off and then a pig-dog or the ability to pull-in for a tube section that can last 6 plus seconds. The wave spits you out into a shallow spot so it helps to pay attention on the exit. By far, the star of the day was Brad Gerlach who seemed to have an ability to get the longest tubes, float the biggest sections and generate vertical snaps off the lip that were truly magazine worthy. Gerlach is so comfortable in waves below 20 feet that he spent many of his waves riding switch stance- pulling into sick barrels and generating more speed down the line than anyone else. The people in the line-up (two Kiwi’s joined us about mid-session) were shaking their heads in disbelief. Other notable performances included Andrew “the strangler” Griffiths, a founder of surfAid who is Mentawai seasoned and after New Zealand suffered a tragic loss to the French in the world Rugby championships during the evening was charging with aggression. Andrew was launching himself into every large set- wave that presented itself. Californian goofy-foot Matt Vandermeer bagged numerous Ebay barrels and was a clear standout on the set waves. Matt is a laid-back character with a dry and witty sense of humor- at 6’3, 215 lbs he is an accomplished martial arts expert and his grace under pressure was obvious on the set waves.
As the tide changed, the waves backed off long enough to give us a chance to eat some of the fried chicken that Ray had packed for the day. Fried chicken in the middle of the Indian Ocean- soooooo good after a 3 hour surf. The second Kandui boat pulled up- looked at the waves at Ebay and opted for Beng Beng. A little too heavy for day two in the Mentawai. It was a smart choice as it was a bigger and a more mellow choice. In two days that boat will also be charging the epic spots.
We stayed at Ebay until late in the day before the winds turned west and we quickly picked up anchor to head to Riffles- the fickle Mentawai classic right-hander that is considered one of the best in the world. We arrived but it was too small to capture most of the boats attention- but nevertheless a number of people stayed and surfed it.
Our photographer, Nate Adams hails from Florida but spends his time traveling the world capturing surf trips. Nate is proficient in the water and on land. His photos are featured on this site and he is consistently good at capturing the session highlights. He has his camera set up to shoot stills and video at the same time. During our trip he did seven hour sessions –without complaint. He compiles the shots at night into categories- adds in a bunch of scenic shots and distributes them to each person. He is a natural raconteur with a library of hilarious anecdotes.
Many that stayed at the resort reported 4 Bobs going off- 3 feet overhead and really consistent. Anthony Marcotti, internet guru and part owner of kandui missed the early boat as he was up most of the night on the internet. So he decide to test his skill at No Kandui at low tide (not advisable for the sane)- pimping a bunch of sick barrels. More swell in the water tomorrow- so it’s time for a beer, hot shower, and dinner.
Joe Dowling For Ray Wilcoxen
Kandui Surf Resort, Mentawai islands.Surf Report for Saturday 6th October 07 . The swell started to fill in on Saturday as a few guests left the resort to return to civilization. Sean Burrell headed back to California for a WQS contest , the Coldwater Classic. Sean commented that Kandui was an ideal training ground with so many different types of waves. He spent his time in the Ments working with Brad Gerlach on technique and strategy. Look for that training to pay dividends.
4 Bobs started to show its potential with consistent overhead sets. 4 Bobs is so easy to access as it is just a short paddle from the restaurant. However, in no way is it just the wave of default. When it is working it lines up and allows you to enter the wave late driving a precise bottom turn to a nice top section and so on down the line. It really tunes you up.
A boat left around 10:00 a.m. to check Hideaways and Ebay- which did not seem to be working up to their standards. The group surfed Hideaways for an hour and then switched to Beng Beng. Upon returning to the resort, some new guests were settling in and opted for a surf at 4 Bobs.
Early to bed in the hopes of more swell tomorrow
Joe Dowling for Ray Wilcoxen.
Thanks to Amen May for the photos !!