Martin Daly's Story, Mentawai Islands
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Martin Daly is a great unknown on this side of the world, but in Indonesia and Australia is one of the surf living legends, and not just for having invented a surfboard model or for having founded a legendary brand of the sector.
Martin Daly must be able to enjoy some of the best waves in the world. More than 30 years ago, he began his adventure to discover the waves that were in the Mentawai. At the beginning of the eighties it was surfing in Bali, G-Land and also in Nías, but in between, there were thousands of kilometres of virgin coast.
The Mentawai Islands
It’s a small archipelago of volcanic islands located in Indonesia about 150 km from the central part of the west coast of the Sumatra island, from which the waters of the Mentawai Strait separate it. It is a clear example of an insular arch.
The main islands are Siberut (the largest of the archipelago, with 4,030 km²), Sipura (845 km²), Pagai del Sur (Pagai Utara) (622 km²) and Pagai del Norte (Pagai Selatan) (900 km²). Its capital is Tua Pejat, locality of the island of Sipura.
Nowadays it’s becoming very popular for surf and bodyboarding lovers, since there are usually good waves for the practice of these sports, whatever the weather conditions.
Life & Surf in the Mentawai
At the Nyang Nyang Island, in front of one of his five waves, you could find Ebay.
Ebay is a small paradisiacal beach, a short 15m of the water, in a typical Mentawai Indians construction, remodeled and conditioned for the surfers, will be where to live an different trip experience. Every night according to the forecasts and his guides experience where to surf.
Obviously if it works, the wave in front of the surf camp, along left, hollow and with a reef no too dangerous, will be able to do you these tubes that dreamed during two or three sessions to the day without moving you of the place, at the side is Pit Stop wave, a fun right that puts in occasions powerful and fast and walking a while by the jungle in a direction or another will have two easy waves like Nipussi or Beng Beng.
But the Mentawai Islands and the Playground zone have tens of waves, surely in any place of the world will find such concentration, so in a lot of occasions if these go to work better, loads were eaten, water and surfboards in the Sabbit Surfcamp ship and put course to the wave that touch this day.
Usually some member of the Sabbit Mentawai Surfcamp staff devotes to dive and fish the dinner that all will enjoy on the porch of the camp before reviewing the photos and videos of the day, or share watched and beers with other surfers and some local inhabitants experts in encouraging with his guitars and his harmonious music of islands.
The best is that all this will be able to enjoy it by €59 to the day with accommodation, complete pension and ship each day to surf in all the zone of Play Ground.
How to go
You can take a ferry that takes a whole night, traveling with the majority of the commodities to resupply to the small populations and where will share cellar with tens of people by some €8 or you can take the modern and fast “Mentawai Fast”, that takes some four hours, in which you will travel comfortably and that if you travel with tables will cost you some €35.
“The Mentawai Fast” goes out from Padang the Tuesdays and the Fridays to the 7 a.m and does a stop before arriving at the main population of Siberut.
Take into account that for the turn are these days those that will be able to do it. You don’t take you out a flight for the Saturday in the morning as then you will have to go you already of Tuesday or pay a faster boat only for you that will cost too much.
In any case, once you arrive to Padang a member of the Sabbit Surfcamp Mentawai team will expect you in the airport, will carry you to the accommodation near of the port whremain the the majority of the surfers and will carry you the next day to take the Mentawai fast.
Once you arrive to Siberut another member of the team will carry you already to the boat of the Surfcamp and will begin your only experience sailing by the inner channels of the mangrove and afterwards by the zone of sea between islands until arriving to the Nyang Nyang Island.
There are a lot of places in the world with good waves, a lot of incredible destinations, but can ensure you that Mentawai, is in the rank of the most beautiful and with greater waves quality. Depending always of the swell, for many of his waves is important to be a surfer with some experience, however exist waves more affordable for those who have less level or do not want to assume the risk that always comports to surf on the sharpen coral reefs thanks to which form these jewels that anybody dream to surf.
Good waves Season
The waves season is in March to October, however there are waves practically always, so the Surfcamp is opened all the year. In the last years has been usual that went in swell out of season to the equal that can happen that it do not go in in full campaign, in any case although the luck don’t accompany you and bombs fall by all sides, always will be able to surf each day in these waves that work when any another does it.
Daly knew that there had to be perfect waves and he sailed along the coast of all of Indonesia, but especially to the Mentawai to surf where nobody had been before.
His boat, the Indies Trader is one of the mythical charters for surfers that sail the waters of the Mentawai.
This GoPro video collects some of those moments and his first-person testimony.
The montage is spiced up with spectacular Felicity Palmateer, Mikala Jones, Marlon Gerber, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Anthony Walsh, and Kai Lenny images.