Water Housing Checklist
Camera Settings - Before preparing your housing do your camera checks first. Make sure the battery is fully charged, check your memory card is in and formatted ready to go. Check your camera settings are correct before putting it inside the housing. Check your focus settings and make sure your lens and camera are clean and dry. Once you have performed all the necessary checks, insert the camera into the housing carefully, making sure it is seated properly. Make sure the base plate is secured tightly
Fogging - Always prepare your water housing before you leave for the beach, so as to minimize any chance of moisture getting in and causing condensation to form on the inside of the port. In a tropical environment prepare the housing in an air-conditioned room or use the sun to dry out the housing before closing it up. You can use silicone poches to help absorb moisture or for more information on fogging problems check out this Video from Liquid Eye Water Housings
Oring - Inspect the O-ring for any signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or deformation. Make sure it is clean and free of debris, and lubricate it if necessary with silicone grease.
Sponge - We use sponge inside our housing. The idea behind this is the sponge will absorb any water before damaging your camera if you do have a small leak. This tip was given to us by Federico Vanno at liquid barrel
Secure - If you have nuts to tighten on the housing tighten opposite corners first. Tighten the nuts evenly by hand working corner to corner and checking the seal as you tighten. Don’t overtighten the nuts and make sure you have a good seal between the Oring and the backplate. If you have clips on your housing make sure they are locked in place.
Seal - Double check all your seals before taking it in the sea. Check the seal on your back plate and the seal on your port. Do a quick dunk test in the shallows, study the seals and the inside of the housing for any leaks before swimming into the line-up
Lens Port - Water droplets - Keep your port clean: A dirty port is more likely to attract water droplets, so make sure to keep it clean. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth before and after each session. If your using a dome port try using saliva to help keep water drops off. If your using a flat port then wax works well.
Check - Before swimming out test some shots on the beach. Double check all your settings are correct. Check all your buttons are engaging on the backplate. Double check your trigger and zoom controls.
Monitor - While shooting keep checking your housing and the seal. Make sure there are no leaks and if you do have any problem or notice anything unusual then get out and check
Clean - After every session make sure you give your housing a good clean. We rinse our housing with fresh water at the beach then clean it again when we get home. Every month we give the housing a deep clean. Keeping all your equipment clean and well maintained is so important.
Take your time - When setting up your water housing and camera take your time. Most of our mistakes in the past were made when we were rushing. Keep all your gear clean and double check all your settings before swimming out. Have we missed some tricks and tips? Leave your suggestions below.
Mentawai Surf Charter Boats
How many surf charter boats are in the Mentawai Islands?
We counted 35 charter boats operating in the Mentawai Islands. These range from budget local style boats to western built luxury charter vessels. Are you planning a boat trip soon? We recently read a good article on the inertia 'How to have a successful Indonesian boat trip from the boat owners themselves'. Worth a look if you're planning a trip. Below is our directory of surf charter boats, can you think of anymore? Let us know in the comments below.
Our list of Mentawai surf charter boats.
Pelagic Surf Charters / Indies Trader 3 / Tengirri Surf Charters / Raja Elang /The Barrenjoey / The Bintang / The Huey / The Indo Satu / The Jiwa / The King Millenium / The Mahogonay / The Mangalui / The Addiction / The Naga Laut / The Nomad / Ocean Dreams / The Santana laut / The Switchfoot / Star Koat / Crystal Clear / Budyadahri / D'Bora / Moon Palikir / The Orca Laut / Sola Garcia / Sibon Baru / Jaya / Sothern Cross / The Maki boat / The Wave Hunter / Ombak Kabau / Oasis / The Asia / Wildcat surf charters / Samudra Biru / The Melaleuca
How much does a Mentawai Surf charter Cost?
Prices vary between USD $2000 to $6000 per person for a trip. While budget boats may seem like a more affordable option, it's worth considering the benefits of paying extra for your trip of a lifetime. Do your research and talk to people that have done trips before. Martin Daly did a good run down on all the boats operating in the islands 'The definitive list of Mentawai Surf Boats'. He makes some good points in this article and worth reading before you book a charter.
What to consider when booking a Mentawai surf charter
Boat Size: Consider the size of the boat and the number of guests it can accommodate. You want to make sure there is enough room for everyone to be comfortable and store their equipment. Also take into mind how many surfers are on the boat. More than 8/10 surfers on a trip might bring the per person price down but surfing in a crowd can spoil your experience.
Safety Equipment: Check the boat has the necessary safety equipment such as life jackets, first aid kits, life Rafts and most importantly a satellite phone in case of emergency.
Boat Amenities: Check if the boat provides amenities such as air conditioning, fresh water, and comfortable sleeping quarters.
Food and Beverages: Most charters offer 3 meals a day with soft drinks included. Make sure you're on a charter that's well stoked. Beer allowances vary so check that especially if you don't mind a couple of beers at the end of the day.
Mentawai Tax: Is the Mentawai tax charge included in your price for the charter. The current price per person is $100 USD. The Mentawai tax is paid in Padang before departure.
Photography Services: Is there a photographer onboard and does this come at an extra cost? Some photographers can charge up to $400 USD per person.
Airport transfers: Are your airport transfers covered from the airport to the boat?
Fuel Surcharges: are there extra charges for fuel? Check that there are no limitations on where your charter goes. Plenty of charters stick to the 'Milk Run' and don't like to deviate too far off track.
Surf Guides / Captains Check if the surf charter boat provides experienced guides who know the Mentawai Islands well. Having a good Captain or guide can make or break a trip. Take a look at the boats testimonials and check the reputation of the charter operator.
In conclusion do your research and ask around before you book on a trip. Most the charter websites claim they are the best in the business, every operator provides a different service. The key is to find a charter boat that suits your needs. Don't trust everything you read online, speak to people in the industry and chat with friends that have done trips before.
A guide to the Mentawai Islands
There are 4 main Islands in the Mentawai Chain. Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. By far the best way to access all these areas is by a surf charter boat. For a full guide on all the spots and more good information on the Islands take a look the Surf Indonesia website. We also highly recommend having a look at the Indonesian Stormrider guide from low pressure. The Indonesian Storm Rider Guide is one of the most detailed guide books for surfing in Indonesia. Dont bring it on your surf charter though, the captain may well chuck it overboard.
Have you already booked your trip and heading to the Mentawai Islands soon? Check out our Mentawai Boat Trip Checklist for what to bring with you. For more information on a Mentawai surf charters contact us at [email protected]
Improve your Go Pro Battery life
Improve your Go Pro Battery life
Are you tired of your GoPro running out of battery? As a water photographer and surfer preserving the battery life on your GoPro is crucial to capturing the best moments. Here are our tips and tricks to help improve the battery life on your GoPro.. These tips are aimed towards the Go Pro Hero 10 Black.
- Turn off Wi-Fi, The GoPro 10 comes with Wi-Fi capabilities that enable you to connect to your smartphone or tablet. However, keeping the Wi-Fi on can consume a lot of power. If you are not using the Wi-Fi, make sure to turn it off to save on battery life. You can access the Wi-Fi settings from the GoPro's settings menu and switch it off.
- Reduce the Screen Brightness, The GoPro 10 comes with a touch screen that displays your footage in real-time. However, the screen brightness can consume a lot of power. To save on battery life, you can reduce the screen brightness to the lowest level possible. You can access the screen brightness settings from the GoPro's settings menu.
- Turn Off Voice Control, The GoPro 10 comes with voice control features that enable you to operate it hands-free. However, keeping the voice control on can drain your battery quickly. If you are not using the voice control feature, make sure to turn it off to save on battery life. You can access the voice control settings from the GoPro's settings menu.
-Use a High-Quality SD Card, The GoPro 10 requires a high-quality SD card for optimal performance. Using a low-quality SD card can affect the battery life and cause the GoPro to freeze or shut down unexpectedly. Therefore, it's essential to invest in a high-quality SD card that can handle the GoPro's high-resolution footage and rapid write speeds.
-Quick Capture Feature. The GoPro 10 comes with a quick capture feature that enables you to turn on the camera and start recording with the press of a button. This feature is ideal for capturing spontaneous moments, and it can save on battery life. When the quick capture feature is on, the GoPro will enter a low-power mode when idle, conserving battery life.
- Turn off GPS, The GoPro 10 comes with GPS capabilities that enable you to track your location and speed. However, keeping the GPS on can consume a lot of power. If you are not using the GPS, make sure to turn it off to save on battery life. You can access the GPS settings from the GoPro's settings menu.
- Turn off Protune, The GoPro 10 comes with a Protune feature that enables you to adjust the settings manually. Choose your desired settings before you go surf.
-Use Enduro batteries, Always use a fully charged battery and we recommend purchasing the Enduro Batteries to maximize your time shooting in the surf. Go pro claim that Enduro batteries can last up to two or three times longer than the original batteries. We usually get up to 3hrs filming with these batteries..
- Patience, be patient and choose which waves you film wisely. You don't need to film every wave. Always double check the camera has stopped recording after the wave has passed. So many time we have been caught out with this and the camera keeps recording between waiting for waves.
- Lower Resolution, Shooting at lower resolutions and lower frame rates can also help save battery. Filming at 1080p at 6ofps will use a lot less battery than shooting at 4k 120fps. That being said, if you're looking to capture high-quality footage or plan to edit your footage later, you may want to use a higher resolution. Ultimately, it's a balance between capturing the footage you want and conserving battery life
Conclusion - By using the right settings, turning off unnecessary features, and investing in high-quality accessories, you can significantly improve the battery life of your Go Pro hero 10. Our number one tip is to use the quick capture feature but also don’t forget to reduce the screen brightness, turn off Wi-Fi, and use a high-quality SD card. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you get longer sessions filming in the ocean. If you have any tips on extending the Go pro Battery life, please leave your comments below.
Go Pro Hero 10 Review for Surfing
From a surfer's perspective, our Go Pro hero 10 review. As a water photographer and keen surfer we are always interested in the latest action cameras. Last season after reading some great reviews we decided to purchase the Go Pro Hero 10 Black. Here is our review, thoughts and some tips on using the camera.
Image Quality: The GoPro Hero 10 has a 23.6-megapixel camera that can shoot 5.3K video providing incredibly sharp, high-quality footage. This camera is capable of capturing stunning footage especially in good lighting. The camera's Hyper Smooth 4.0 image stabilization system also works great. We love the 4k video at 120 frames per second and for some super slow motion you can shoot 1080p at 240 frames per second.
Durability: The GoPro Hero 10 is designed to withstand harsh environments and is rugged enough to endure getting thrown around in the surf. It is waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters) making it the perfect camera for any water photographer. I have used the camera in all sorts of conditions, and it has held up remarkably well. The waterproofing is great but for extra safety I would advise using the water housing that go pro sell as an extra accessory. Make sure you use the antifog papers to help prevent the housing steam up.
Ease of Use: The GoPro Hero 10 is incredibly user-friendly, with simple controls that are easy to navigate. The camera can be operated with just one hand, which is very convenient when you're in the water. Additionally, the camera has a touchscreen interface, but we keep this locked when we are in the surf to prevent changing settings by mistake.
Battery Life: GoPro advertise an impressive battery life of up to 2.5 hours with continuous use. We found out it was more like an hour continues shooting. One tip is to shoot on free capture mode to increase Battery life. We usually get 3 hrs when using this setting. If you're struggling with battery life on your go pro take a look at our recent post 10 tips on how to improve your Go Pro Battery life
Additional Features: The GoPro Hero 10 comes with a variety of features that make it a great camera for surfers. We really like the slow motion settings. Additionally, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it easy to transfer footage to a smartphone or other device for editing and sharing.
Conclusion Overall the GoPro Hero 10 is an excellent camera and produces impressive image quality. Its durable, easy to use and we would highly recommend the camera. Here are some of our key points to shooting with the Go Pro Hero 10 black.
Water Housing - Purchase the water housing to keep the camera extra safe. We like using the dome port housing to capture split shots especially when shooting in clear water. The cameras are fully water proof but we like to be cautious and over time the saltwater doesn't do the camera any good
Leash - Use a leash so you don’t lose the camera. We like using the mouth mount when we are surfing and the floating selfie stick when we are filming surfers. You can also get a mount for the top of your water housing plus there are plenty of other good accessories for mounting the camera.
Quick Capture Mode - Use the Quick capture mode to save battery life. We usually get over 3 hrs battery life when shooting with the quick capture mode
Clean - Rinse the water housing with fresh water after use. Use silicone gel on the seals and use the antifog papers for inside the water housing. Make sure inside the housing is clean and dry. Use your saliva to keep the lens port free of water drops.
Enduro Batteries - Purchase spare batteries and memory cards so you have backups. We like the Sandisk 256 MB miniSD cards and the Enduro extra life batteries.
Slow Motion - Favorite shooting mode 4k at 120fps. We love shooting in slow motion. When shooting surfers, we use the Linear field of view setting. If you're surfing with the Go Pro then try the Super view field of view setting
Good Lighting - Shoot in good sunlight, we had some of our best results on sunrise and sunset. Avoid cloudy days and low light conditions.
Double Check - Fully charge batteries before you head out into the surf. Double check your battery is fully charged and you have the correct settings on your camera. Check your memory card is in and formatted ready to go.
Here is a link to the Go Pro Hero 10. We purchased our camera direct from the Go pro website but there are some good deals online. Shop around for your best price. If your buying a used go pro double check all the functions and give the camera a good test before purchasing. For any more details on the camera please email us.
Mentawai Fast Ferry Price & Schedule
Here is the schedule for the Mentawai fast ferry that runs between Padang and the Mentawai Islands. The ferry operates every day of the week but travels to different locations.
Monday, Wednesday & Friday the ferry runs between Padang and Tua Pejat (Sipora Island)
- 6am Padang - Tuapejat
- 3pm Tuapejat - Padang
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday the ferry runs between Padang and Sikalabuan / Siberut (Siberut Island)
- 7am Padang - Sikalabuan - Siberut
- 2:30pm Siberut - Padang
Friday the Ferry runs between Padang and Sikikap ( Pagai Utara Island)
- 7am Padang - Sikikap
- 1pm Sikikap - Padang
Sunday the ferry runs between Padang, Sioban and Tuapejat.
- 7am Padang - Sioban - Tuapejat
- 3pm Tuapejat - Padang
Please check the schedule on the website as these dates can change. Also please note the ferry is sometimes cancelled because of bad weather so check with the ferry operator the day before departure.
Mentawai Fast Ferry Price?
A ticket for the Mentawai Fast ferry will cost you $25 per person. You can buy a ticket at the local office on the day before departure or you can contact them online.
There is an extra charge for surfboards (Last time I paid $10 but again check before departure)
Mentawai Fast Ferry Location
The Mentawai fast ferry departs from Harbor at Muara (Pelabuan Muara)
Other Information on the Mentawai Fast Ferry.
The ferry trip usually takes between 3-5 hrs depending on the weather and where you are travelling. Always check if the ferry is running with the operator day before departure. The ferry leaves Padang early morning so you need to arrive day before departure. You can buy snacks and drinks onboard the Ferry. If you get seasick take some Dramamine or motion sickness pills before the crossing.
Are there any other ways to get to the Mentawai Islands?
There are overnight ferry's that run between Padang and the Mentawai islands. Both the Ambu Ambu and the Gambolo operate trips a couple of times a week. These are both slow ferry's and the crossing can take up to 12 hrs or more. Good for budget travel but they can be crowded and sometimes overloaded.
Can I charter a private speed boat to the Mentawai Islands?
Most the surf resorts in the Mentawai islands offer a private speedboat transfer from Padang. The prices vary on which resorts you use but this can be a dangerous crossing and its only advisable to do this trip with the more professional operators. There are also numerous surf charters running between the Islands.
Can I fly to the Mentawai Islands?
They are building a new airport close to Tua-Pejat on Pulau sipora Island. Currently Suzi air fly there twice a week but you I'm sure there will be more flights available once this project is complete.
Mentawai Boat Trip Checklist
Are you planning a Mentawai boat trip? Here is our checklist for your trip. This is a rough guide and a good reference point to get you prepared for your trip.
Passport - All travel documents with photocopies, Passport, Travel Insurance, Airline ticket (Passport over 6 months expiry). Keep all your important documents safe in a small carry bag. 30 day Visa on arrival is available at the airport and costs about 35USD
Health precautions - check with your doctor regarding malaria medication and any other vaccinations needed. (Hepatitis A and Tetanus Vaccines) Currently you need the Covid vaccination to enter Indonesia. Make sure you tell your charter operator about any serious health conditions.
Hooded Rash Vest and surf hat for them long days in the water. With the hooded vests even if you don't like wearing the hood it gives you good sun protection on the back of your neck. A rash vest will also protect your skin from irritants like saltwater, sand, and wax. Might even be worth considering a 2mm vest to help with extra buoyancy and protection from the reef.Sun Cream - Good sun cream that is water-resistant and provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, but preferably 50 or higher for maximum protection. Get some after sun lotion that contains natural ingredients like aloe vera, which to help soothe and hydrate the skin.
Leash - No comp leashes. Get a decent leash and don't use an old one. Try get a quick release system just in case you get caught out on a coral head. Look for a leash 5mm or thicker and around 6 foot long. Always good to have a few spare packed in your bag.
Reef Boots - Boots will help protect your feet from the sharp coral reef. It's worth having a pair packed even if you don't use them for surfing. We like the split toe boots with the thicker sole. Perfect for scratching up the reef to collect your surfboard if your leash breaks.
Wax - Tropical surf wax, warm water wax. Normal wax is useless. Tropical wax is typically harder and more durable than standard surf wax, which can melt or become too soft in warmer water temperatures Clean your wax off your boards before the trip.
Fins - Bring a variety of fin sizes and a spare fin key. Always good to have a couple of sets of fins on standby. Pack some large fins for them bigger days. Double check your fin system before purchasing fins. (FCS or Future)
Sunglasses - Good, polarized sunglasses, sun hat and a long sleeve shirt for fishing trips. Get a strap for your sunglasses so you don't lose them over the side of the boat.
First Aid Kit - painkillers, ibuprofen, antiseptic and antibiotics are a must. Bring a small first aid kit with you. Make sure you have a Docters note for any subscription drugs. Triple antibiotic ointment for your reef cuts.
Anti-Nausea- Sea Sickness can be a real problem, Bring some Dramamine or motion sickness medication. Sea sickness can end a trip so make sure you bring something to help if you are affected. Read the link attached to the top of this paragraph.
Cash - Extra cash & Credit card for emergency. (IDR Indonesian Rupiah) Its always handy to have spare cash for transit, extra beer money tips for the crew etc... You can get cash from the ATM or one of the banks in Padang. A good tip for the crew is around 100 USD and an extra carton of Bintang costs about 35 USD. Visa on arrival costs 35 USD.
Malaria - Mosquito Repellant for day trips ashore. Mosquitos aren't usually a problem onboard but always good to have repellant for transit. If you are worried about malaria, please check with your doctor regarding best practices and medication
USB Stick - Bring a spare USB or hard drive for photos from your trip. Check your other electronics like phone and charger. Check what electrical sockets are on your charter boat. Might have to get a travel adapter.
Board Shorts - Most your days are spent in your board shorts. Make sure you choose a decent set that are comfy and fit well. Get a couple of spare sets for the trip, we recommend at least 3 pairs.
Rain Coat - Lightweight raincoat for the stormy wet days exploring the Jungle. Not essential but always handy to have a rain jacket in Indonesia. Good if you plan to spend any time on land.
Supplements - Eat well on your trip and stay hydrated. If you're going to spend a lot of time in the surf its worth bringing some extra supplements like Vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc and Electrolytes.
Ding Repair Kit - Solar resin and ding tape for any emergency board repairs. Most surf charters have a kit onboard but always handy to have the basics.
Dry Bag - To keep all your valuables (Passport, paperwork, handphone & cash) Good to have a small bag for them days you're heading ashore to explore.
Ear Plugs - Aqua ear and ear plugs or blue tack. Antibiotic ear drops. Ear infections are commonplace in the tropics so make sure you protect them.
Surfboards - 2 standard thrusters and one step up, depending on surf forecast) We always recommend getting a little extra volume in your boards. Having that extra Paddle power is really important. Make sure you pack your boards well to avoid damage in transit. If you want to order surfboards in Bali and get them shipped to Mentawai, then try contacting Luke Studer for custom shapes.
Travel reqirements for Indonesia
Requirements for entry into Indonesia?
The entry requirements for Indonesia depends on the purpose of your visit, the length of your stay, and your country of origin. Here are some general guidelines:
- Passport with at least 6 months validity from date of arrival
- Travel Insurance that covers you for COVID19
- Proof of Covid 19 vaccination or exemption letter from your doctor
- Immigration documents - Appropriate Visa papers
- Visa on arrival is now available at the airport for short stay (under 30 days)
- Completed E-hac which is in the Peduli Lindungi Mobile Application
- Going through immigration you may also be asked to show your return ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Indonesia
Useful Links for more information!
These requirements can change so check with your Visa agent or Immigration before travel. For more details please check through these links above or get in contact with us via email. Visa on arrival is easy enough to organise at the airport and can be extebded for another 30 days if needed.
How to treat a reef cut in Indonesia
Protection - If you’re coming to Indonesia for a surf trip, then protect yourself from Injury. We recommend getting a decent pair of reef boots. I like surfing in a spring suit to give extra protection from the reef. It's also worth considering a helmet especially on the more critical reef breaks. When you wipe out tuck your legs up and don't kick off the bottom. Use your arms to protect your head and try and relax during every wipeout. Reef cuts are common place in Bali and across Indonesia, Staph infection is a real risk and Infections can get nasty real quick. Here is our breakdown of how to treat a reef cut when your in Indonesia?
Clean the wound – Use sterile water (bottled water) to irrigate
the wound. If you have a syringe use that to flush out any debris. You can also
pierce a pin hole in the top of water bottle and use that as a high pressure
flush. This works well with a two-litre bottle and you need to repeat this
flushing process over and over again. Thorough extended cleaning is the key to success. Wash around the wound with soapy water and remove any dead
skin or hair. Use sterile tweezers or a pin to remove any tough bits of coral
stuck in the wound. Use a torch light or headlamp to check the wound after you
have finished cleaning.
Sterilize the wound - After the cleaning process use saline solution and alcohol wipes to clean the wound again. People use Lime, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol to kill the bacteria but you have to be really careful not to damage the skin cells. If the skin cells are damaged then the healing process can take allot longer. If you have cleaned the wound thorough with soapy water and flushed it well with saline solution then a rub over with some alcohol wipes should do the trick.
Treatment – Once the wound is cleaned and sterile the next step is to decide if you’re going to carry on surfing. Leaving a wound open in a tropical environment can create a breading ground for bacteria and infection. A handful of studies suggest that keeping a wound covered and moist helps blood vessels regenerate faster than a wound that is allowed to dry out. If you carry on surfing the wound will take longer to heal. My advice is to keep the wound clean, free of debris and out of the sun. Make sure you apply antibiotic cream ointment daily and keep an eye out for Infection.
Staph Infection can soon cause severe sickness and even death so if an infection starts spreading you need to get on some strong oral antibiotics ASAP. Mupirocin is an antibiotic ointment that prevents bacteria growing on your skin and Ciprofloxacin is a strong oral Antibiotic that is good for bacterial infections but please check with your doctor before your trip.
Covering the Wound - If you decide to cover the wound then use hemostatic gauze to help encourage blood clotting. Cover this with an adhesive stretch dressing but make sure the area around the wound is dry and clean before you apply the dressing.
Monitor the wound and apply antibiotic cream daily, keep the dressing clean and change when needed. Use an Ice pack to reduce swelling and keep yourself hydrated to help the healing process. Seek medical attention if there are signs of the Infection spreading. If the wound is large or very deep and you can’t clean it properly yourself then get to a medical facility to be treated ASAP.
There are lots of First Aid Kits on the market, here is our checklist for the basic supplies you will need to treat a reef cut. Antibiotics, Oral (Amoxicillin & Ciproflaxin) Ointment (bacitracin) Check with your doctor, Alcohol & Antiseptic wipes, Scissors, Tweezers, a needle, a razor, Saline Solution, Syringe, Hemostatic gauze, Adhesive stretch dressing, Pain killers and Ibuprofen, Iodine, Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide (Use carefully) Torch light
Surfing in Mentawai
Surfing in the Mentawai Islands
The Mentawai Islands are located off the West coast of Sumatra,
Indonesia and are renowned for their world-class surf breaks. Surfers from all
over the globe come to experience the world class waves and warm water.
The Islands are home to some of the most consistent perfect waves in the world. The area is blessed with a unique geography that funnels swells from the Indian Ocean, creating waves all year round. There are over 100 different surf breaks scattered throughout the islands, each with their own unique characteristics. From the long peeling pointbreaks to heavy barreling slabs the Mentawai Islands offer a variety of waves suitable for all levels of surfers.
One of the main draws of surfing in this region is the warm water. The water temperature rarely drops below 25°C (77°F), making it the perfect destination for surfers looking to escape the cold waters of their home breaks.
Surfing in the Mentawai Islands is an
unforgettable experience that every surfer should have on their bucket list.
The combination of perfect waves, warm water, remote location, and unique culture
makes it a surfer's paradise. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced
surfer, there is something for everyone in the Mentawai Islands. So, pack your
bags, book a boat charter, and get ready for the surf trip of a lifetime!
How to get to the Mentawai Islands
Getting to the Mentawai Islands can be a bit of a challenge. Here are the 3 different ways to visit the islands. There is a new airport opening in 2024, This will make the islands allot more accessible.
Option 1: Fly to Padang and take a ferry to the Mentawai Islands
The most common way to reach the Mentawai Islands is to fly to the city of Padang, located on the west coast of Sumatra. There are daily flights from Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia to Padang. Once you arrive in Padang, you will need to take a ferry from the port of Padang to the Mentawai Islands. The journey takes approximately 3-12 hours depending on where you are travelling, and which ferry you decide to use. There are several ferry operators that provide services to the Mentawai Islands.
Option 2: Take a charter flight to the Mentawai Islands
For those who want to avoid the long ferry journey from Padang, it is also possible to take a charter flight directly to the Mentawai Islands. Several airlines offer charter flights from Padang to the islands, including Susi Air and Wings Air. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and can be quite expensive, but it is a great option for those who want to save time and avoid the rough seas.
Option 3: Join a surf charter boat.
For surfers, joining a surf charter boat is one of the most popular ways to explore the Mentawai Islands. These boats typically depart from Padang and take guests on a surf tour of the islands, stopping at various surf breaks along the way. Surf charter boats offer a unique and exciting way to explore the Mentawai Islands, and they often provide a range of amenities and services to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
When is the best time to surf in the Mentawai Islands?
The Mentawai Islands have two primary surfing seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). During the dry season, the waves are generally bigger and more consistent, with lighter winds creating ideal surfing conditions. This is the most popular time for surfers to visit the Mentawai Islands, and it's when you'll find the most crowded lineups.
During the wet season, the waves are generally smaller and less consistent, but there are still some good surf spots to be found. The winds are stronger during this time, stormy weather can make it a bit more challenging however, if you're looking for a more peaceful and less crowded surfing experience, the wet season can be a good time to visit.
In summary, the best time to surf in the Mentawai Islands is during the dry season (April to October) if you're looking for the best waves and ideal surfing conditions. If you're looking for a more peaceful and less crowded experience, the wet season (November to March) can also be a good time to visit.
Land camp or surf charter boat?
Both land camps and surf charter boats offer unique experiences when visiting the Mentawai Islands, so the decision ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Here are some factors to consider:
Surfing conditions: If your primary goal is to surf as much as possible, a surf charter boat may be the better choice, as it can move from spot to spot to find the best waves. On the other hand, a land camp may have easier access to certain breaks or provide a more consistent surf experience.
Comfort and amenities: A surf charter boat typically offers a more rustic and communal living experience, with shared cabins and facilities. If you prefer a bit more privacy and comfort, a land camp may be a better choice, as many offers private rooms, air conditioning, and other amenities.
Cost: A surf charter boat can be more expensive than a land camp, as it typically includes transportation, meals, and accommodations. A land camp, on the other hand, may be more budget-friendly and allow you to save money on transportation and meals.
Other activities: If you're interested in activities beyond surfing, a land camp may offer more opportunities for hiking, exploring the island, and interacting with the local community. A surf charter boat typically has less flexibility to offer other activities, as it's focused primarily on surfing. Overall, both land camps and surf charter boats can offer an incredible surf experience in the Mentawai Islands. It's worth researching different options and considering what's most important to you before making a decision.
Surf Photography by Putu Juliartha. Lombok - Indonesia
If you have ever wondered about surfing in Lombok, Indonesia then take a look at some of the stunning photography work from Putu Juliartha.. We have admired his artistic approach to surf and lifestyle photography for many years. We recently caught up with Putu and wanted to share his story with you.
Hey Putu please tell us a bit more about yourself, Where are you from? Why did you choose to be a surf photographer working in Lombok?
I was born in Lombok and I live with my family in a small Village called Tanah Embet Village in west Lombok. I work as a local guide around Lombok but my passion is photography, I started shooting surf photography back in 2013. A friend called Ebong gave me my first camera and I worked in kalimantan for a few years. I moved back to Lombok a few years back after my father passed away and I wanted to be close to my Family. We now live together with my mother my grandmother, my wife and my two daughters.
The first Camera I bought when I moved back to Lombok was a Canon 60D, I was lucky enough to get given a Sigma 150-600 lens and i've been shooting surf photography since then. The photography work along with my guiding tours helps me support my Family so I am very happy I can combine my passion with work.
I was inspired to take photographs from a young age, I always loved drawing and painting and when I was given a Camera to create my own images I really fell in love with capturing them special moments around me. These days I am shooting with a Canon 1D and 7D for my water photographs
Where are your favorite places in Lombok?
Lombok has alot of beauty and a very interesting culture, from the hills of mount Rinjani to the perfect waves at Desert point there is endless natural wonders throughout the island. The people are special and we have a mix of religions. The Watu telo people are a unique culture that adhere to both Hindu and Muslim religion praying 3 times a day and living in harmony at the foot hills of Rinjani.
Where are the best places to surf in Lombok?
You can surf all across Lombok from the west coast of Singgi down to Desert point and right across the south coast past Kuta and all the way to Ekas point. There are also waves on the east coast of Lombok, its a big island with a lot of places to explore. If you need a guide through the island please let me know.
We love Putu's work and hope you enjoyed his short story. Go follow his Instagram and if you are travelling through Indonesia then we highly recommend using local guides like Putu. If you are interested in purchasing one of his Fine art prints then they are available now in our Print Store or you can email him at [email protected]
Local Style, Lombok, Indonesia
Putu Juliartha is a surf and lifestyle photographer from Lombok, Indonesia. We had a great response from some of his photography work in a recent story we did for him. The one photograph that really stood out and which a lot of people asked me about was the image of the older guy smoking a rolled up cigarette, I asked Putu for a few words and the story of capturing this shot.
“This photograph was taken on a trip to the village of Bayan
in North Lombok. We were visiting the Village to celebrate the Maulid Nabi Ceremony.
The village is located at the foot of Mount
Rinjani and is inhabited by the Sasak community who still hold fast to its
“The Photograph is one of the Elders taking a break from the ceremony smoking a traditional style roll up cigarette 'klobot' using clove Tobacco and the dried corn husk. I took the photograph using a Canon EOS 60D camera and a Tamron Lens 17-50 (Aperture F/6.3 Exposure 1/500 ISO 200). I love to mix up my surf photography with traditional lifestyle shots like this.”
If you are interested in purchasing a Print from Putu we have his collection displayed in our Gallery of images If you’re travelling through Lombok then using local guides like Putu can be invaluable to scoring good waves and getting some good photographs. Don’t forget to save his contact for a future trip.
You can contact Putu at putulomb[email protected] or give us a shout at [email protected]
Travel information for Bali & Indonesia
Travel news and rules on entry into Bali and Indonesia change on a daily basis. With a lot of mixed information from Social media platforms its difficult to stay on top of the latest news. Here is a list of websites we use to keep updated on Travel & Visa requirements for Indonesia.
- Indonesian Expat
- The Bali Sun
- Indonesian Embassy
- Indonesian Immigration
- Bali Solve
- Welcome back to Bali
These are a mix of different sources from government run websites to private visa agents and news platforms, Its good to check your information with different sources.
When it comes to Indonesia’s entry requirements, one has to rely on official government releases called “Surat Eradan,” as many local websites make official-looking infographics based on rumors and not official policies". (loyaltiylobby.com)
Here are the current requirements for entry into Indonesia
- Proof of double vaccination or exemption letter
- Completed e-hac which is in the PeduliLindungi Mobile Application
- Have Insurance that covers you for COVID19
- Immigration documents - Passport and Visa
The visa on arrival is now available in Bali and Jakarta with no quarantine on arrival.
While we have seen positive changes recently there is still a lot of red tape and confusion on the exact requirements to enter Indonesia. Its looking more promising for the months ahead so we have our fingers crossed that we will be seeing you here soon.
If you have any questions on surf travel to Indonesia please let us know here.
Its been a slow start to the swell season here in Indonesia with a lot of wet weather and small swells. The outlook is promising with some action in the Indian ocean. Here are some photographs from the last 10 days here in Bali.
Tuesday 1st - Friday 11th March 2022
Have you got a trip to Indonesia planned soon? What would you like to know about surf travel in Indonesia? Keep an eye on the information links listed above
Surfing in Bali during the wet season
Can I surf in Bali during the wet season ?
We often get asked this question so here is some information on surfing in Bali during the wet season.
The wet season in Bali starts in October and finishes in March with the highest levels of rain seen between December through to February.
The winds can be strong and generally from a west direction, giving offshore winds on the east coast of Bali.
Bali has plenty of good waves to surf during the wet season, from friendly beach breaks to barreling reefs there is something for every level of surfing
Generally Indonesia gets less frequent swells during this period but you can still find head high waves most days. Some cyclone swells can produce solid waves providing plenty of very good days to surf
Where are the best waves to surf during the wet season?
The southeast coast of the Bukit Peninsular has some great surf spots. You will also find good waves at Sanur and Keramas beach with plenty of other options on this coast. Some other spots include Nusa Dua, Serangan and Greenball. You also get good days up at Balian and Medewi especially in the shoulder season.
The Key to success is the early morning surfs before the winds get strong. Keep an eye on the Wind forecasts so you don't miss any good days on the west coast. Take precautions surfing after the heavy rains, water quality isn't that great especially close to the river mouths. Hire a car during the peak of the wet season, driving around on a motorbike in the torrential rain isn't much fun. For a detailed guide on the surf spots throughout Bali & Indonesia I would highly recommend taking a look at the Stormrider Guide from low pressure. Its one of the most detailed surf guides that will help you with the best information on each Individual spot we have mentioned above.
Always bring good etiquette to the lineup and don't act like an idiot in the surf, remember a smile goes along way.
Below are some of our photographs from surfing in Bali during the wet season.
Keramas beach - December 2021
Misty Morning - Nusa Dua November 2021
Swell lines - January 2022
Behind the Peak - December 2020
South coast - January 2022
East coast - December 2020
Will you be planning a trip to Bali this year? Have you got a question regarding surf travel in Indonesia? Lets here your thoughts in the comments below.
Does Bali go flat?
Yes I guess it does go flat sometimes but most days you will find a wave somewhere to surf in Bali? This wet season has been slow but I don't think there was a day you couldn't surf.
Nyang Nyang and Green ball work better on the smaller swells and if you get a north wind or its glassy then its always worth checking these spots. Even on the smallest of swells you should find a wave somewhere, below is a recent photograph from one of the smaller days of this wet season.
Small fun right handers hitting the south coast of Bali last week. If your interested in one of our lineup photographs don't forget we ship our prints overseas with no extra charge.
Are you planning a trip to Bali or Indonesia soon? Have a look at our Travel page for a list of the most up to date requirements for entry into Indonesia