Catching Kandui at it's Best

Scoring Remote Surf on the Best Indo Swell in Recent Memory

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Andrew bites down on the GoPro while threading the needle at Rifles.

Our Pioneer Andrew Bennett recently had the opportunity to chase the biggest Indian Ocean swell in many years. After seeing forecasted swell models light up the whole country of Indonesia, Andrew pulled the trigger and began the process of getting half way around the world as fast as possible. Here’s his story . . .

“Planning a last minute surf-strike mission can be complicated when the destination is in the Mentawai Islands, which are 100kms off the coast of Indonesia. The trip involves timing the schedules of airplanes, cars, layovers and boats which adds up to about 40 hours of travel time to reach the island of Karamajet, the home of Kandui Beach Villas.”

Bank Vaults was HUGE on the bigger days of the swell. Shot 1 of 2.
Bank Vaults was HUGE on the bigger days of the swell. Shot 1 of 2.
This is one of the big days of the swell. If you've ever seen a bigger wave that this at Bank Vaults
Have you ever seen a photo or video of a bigger wave at Bank Vaults? Shot 2 of 2.
After the swell calmed down a bit, the lefts offered un-crowded lineups and long tubes.
After the swell calmed down a bit, the lefts offered un-crowded lineups and long tubes.
Setting up another dreamy Indo barrel.
Setting up another dreamy Indo barrel.

“The swell that I chased was forecasted to be the biggest one of the Southern Hemisphere winter. Based on the southerly direction of the swell angle, I was hoping to surf one of the best right-handers on the planet, Rifles.”

High and tight at Rifles. These days at Rifles were some of the best tubes of my life.
High and tight at Rifles. These days at Rifles were some of the best tubes of my life.

“The wave is notoriously fickle because of the unpredictable winds that seem to coincide with high tide. Turns out that the resident surf guide, Zachary Keenan , said that this swell produced the best day he’d seen at Rifles in his 3 years on the island.”

The lineup at Rifles.
The lineup at Rifles.
@blackpearl (57 of 406)
Perfection!
After so many tubes, you can really perfect your backside tube stall techniques.
After so many tubes, you can really perfect your backside tube stall techniques. Dragging your arm or body to stay at the same speed as the wave is crucial.
The days after the big swell were clean, uncrowded, and perfect. There was even opportunities to do a few cutties  in between barrels.
The days after the big swell were clean, uncrowded, and perfect. There was even opportunities to do a few turns in between barrels.
The smaller days offered up some ramps for airs too!
The smaller days offered up some ramps for airs too!

“You never know for sure if the surf will be good, even if you decide to chase a swell as late as possible. But at least your chances to score are higher. Luckily, the surf was epic and I got some of the best tube rides of my life. Can’t wait ’til next time!” – AB

Photos by Black Pearl Photography and Kandui Beach Villas.

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