Devil Winds

SDB Pioneer Andrew Bennett Chases a Swell in Indonesia


Surfers have extremely high expectations of the surf in Indonesia for good reason. Geographically situated to take advantage of every swell passing through the Southern Indian Ocean, Indonesia easily has the best waves in the world. I made a quick five night trip to the Mentawai Islands for a swell that looked very large and had a lot of people worked up with enormous expectations.

The surf certainly showed up, but the worst possible wind direction put a damper on things. The wind howled the entirety of the three day swell. This Northwest devil wind crammed us frothers together at two surf spots out of the at least 20 breaks that exist in the Northern Mentawais Playgrounds area. Even though there was a sense of disappointment that we didn’t score Nokandui at 10-12 foot looking like a Pipeline pointbreak, we did get high quality surf. And any time you can live in boardshorts is a good time. Once you reset your expectations you realize you can’t really get skunked in the Mentawais.

I’m sure Bruno is stoked I had my GoPro to get a shot of him getting the shot of me. // Photo by Bruno Smith.
I could be wrong, but there might never be a day in the Mentawais that you couldn’t find a wave at least this good. // Photo by Bruno Smith.
Always happy to see a few empties. // Photo by Nick Liotta.
It’s always offshore somewhere in the island chain, unless it’s glassy which works too. // Photo by Nick Liotta.
Squeezing in a couple turns before that lightning storm in the background catches up to me. //Photo by Nick Liotta.
Kandui Villas is the nicest place to stay in the Mentawais. The Umas are giant and the food blows other surf camps out of the water. They also have the best two surf spots in the Mentawais on their island, Rifles and Nokandui. Taking a moment out front of my Uma to check Nokandui and absorb the beautiful set-up. // Photo by Nick Liotta.
There really was a double rainbow. // Photo by Nick Liotta.
A-frames is thought of as a B grade wave for the Mentawais but it was actually crazy how rippable it is. It bowls and comes at you giving you something to push turns off of. // Photo by Nick Liotta.
A moment of glassy conditions was a relief during this trip. // Photo by Nick Liotta.

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