King Millenium I
Affordable, comfortable charter boat exploring Telos, Nias and of course the Mentawis, for up to 10 surfers with spacious communal areas and private room or dorm options.
We put together King Millenium with the aim of offering other surfers the chance to surf the best waves in the world in a comfortable, safe and easy way.
We, Jose Manuel “Poti” Illumbe, (Hondarribia, Basque Country), and David Valladares (Vigo, Galicia), met one day surfing in Macarronis, one of the world’s best waves, in May 2000. Poti was camping in the mangrove swamp right in front of the break while David was squatting on a local fishing boat, surfing all over the islands.
We had both travelled around Indonesia for years and although we had common friends, we had never met before.
In December 2001 we decided to set up a surf charter company in the Mentawai, West Sumatra. After over 1 year busy setting everything up in Indonesia and getting our first boat (the King Millenium I) ready, in march 2003 we did our first surf charter and it was a success.
During the first years we grew slowly as very few surfers knew about the Mentawai, and just going to indo was still considered and adventure in itself. Slowly, the first features published in surf magazines as well as word to mouth, helped us spread the good quality of the waves and of the service we provide at the King Millenium.
In 2005 we register a record number of bookings and the KMI is fully booked yearlong. We also get the first trips with pros in magazines from all over the world.
Since then, we’ve finished every season as one of the boats with more trips per year, some many that sometimes we’ve had to hire a second boat to be able to please all our guests.
Seeing that the demand was growing year after year, we decided to purchase a second boat, the King Millenium II, a catamaran, larger and more comfortable, in order to please our more demanding public. In 2007 we did the first trip of the King Millenium II.
How many people does it take to decide the trip destination?
The first group that reaches the minimum number required to book i.e. 6 people (KMI) / 7 people (KMII) decides the destination (Mentawai, Mentawai+Telo or Telo+Nias).
Where can I see the destination of each trip?
On the Rates & Packagespage the second column shows the destination. Remember that the calendar is updated only when the trip has been confirmed i.e. when the minimum number of people have booked. You can always check with us by email now.
When is the best time of the year to visit these islands?
High season in terms of swell runs from April to October (inclusive. It’s where you’ll get the biggest swells, but also the most crowded. The rest of the year these islands still get perfect waves and who knows, you might get the swell of the year with hardly anyone out!
How many passengers will there be on board?
It depends. The KMI takes a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10. The KMII takes a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 12.
What boards and how many should I take with me?
We can’t tell you which board to bring with you, but normally people bring slightly shorter and thinner boards than the ones they use at home (specially if they live somewhere with average waves). The waves in these islands are perfect, powerful and you’ll surf without a wetsuit, which will make you feel free and light. The ideal number of boards is between 3 and 4, from 5’11 to 6’10 and of any shape.
Which waves will I surf?
There’s no fixed itinerary; we’ll go where we get the best conditions for the passengers on board. We try to make everyone happy.
Should I go with a group of friends, or can I go solo with people I don’t know?
It doesn’t really matter. It’s a good idea though to travel with people of similar surfing skills, but even if you go by yourself you are going to have a great time. It’s an amazing experience so you’ll probably make friends for life.
What’s the plan if I injure myself surfing?
If we can stitch you up on board, we will do and you can stay on the board until the end of the trip…unless you want to go to Padang before, but then you’ll have to pay your way there. If it’s really serious, we’ll contact your travelling insurance company and follow instructions.
Will I get photos and videos of me surfing?
We’ve got a professional video and photo cameras on board, and we’ll record every single one of your surfs weather permitting. All the images –if bought- will be free of rights but must be credited to King Millenium if published. The photos and videos of yourself are not included in the fare. The price for all photos is 200USD and 200USD for all your video footage. It’s 300USD if you buy all your photos and videos.
Is the food included in the fare?
Of course. Once you are onboard you don’t have to worry about anything; just surf and enjoy yourself.
How many swells will we get during one trip?
During high season we can get up to 3 swells per trip. In March-May and October – November we are more likely to get 2, and one during the off months. But no matter how small the swells can be, the waves are still perfect as there are some very good set ups for small waves too.
How many hours will I surf per day?
The sun rises at 6am and sets at 6pm. You may surf as much as you want –or can- in between. And sometimes we even surf during full moons.
Will I get mobile phone reception?
We get mobile/cell phone reception in certain areas close to the major ports where we’ll have to go for port clearance. We have emergency-only satellite phones aboard.
José Manuel “Poti” Illumbe
I was born in Hondarribia and began surfing when I was 11 around Hendaye (France) with my friends. Soon enough I found out about other places to go surfing, and travelled to all over SW France, Canary Isl., Morocco, New Zealand or Portugal and developed a taste for travelling and surfing in different places.
I travelled to Indonesia for the first time in 1998 and found out a country with such a magnificent culture and amazing waves, that it changed my life completely, making me return there every year with friend from Hondarribi and Irun.
The year after I went to the Mentawai, after hearing so much about them, and realized that they truly had the best waves I had ever seen or surfed so far. In May 2000 I met David and we started King Millenium.
Born in Vigo, I first travelled to Indo in 1996 and to the Mentawai one year later.
During the next years I travelled to Indo for long periods of time and to know more areas of this country.
After exploring Bali and surrounding islands, I quickly realized that the best surfing conditions where in the islands closer to the equator.
In 2000 I tried to set up a charter company in the Mentawai, but the project was short-lived. In May next year I met Poti and in December 2001 we decided to give it a go.
Luhut, “Bangun” Hutagalung
Bangun is the Indonesian partner that Poti met the very first time he visited Padang. They became good friends instantly.
Bangun was one of the first Indonesians to work in the surf charter business in West Sumatra. Today he is the owner of several companies in West Sumatra, among them the ferry that runs to the islands as well as the petrol distribution business in the islands. He has a huge experience in maritime business in the region.
Jose Manuel “Poti” Illumbe
Languages: English, French, Spanish and Indonesian
I’ve been surfing for some 20 years, of which 10 mostly in Indonesia, where i’m based actually. I love barrels and the Mentawai are the best place in the world for its consistency for that.
I like surfing, good waves and spend time with my friends; I guess just like any other surfer. I enjoy meeting people from the four corners of the world that come to our boats. You all have interesting stories and we all have something in common: surfing.
My aim as owner and guide of the King Millenium is that every single client leaves with good memories and having surfed the best waves of their lives. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing my customers frothing for the waves they’ve scored and the good times had on board.
After so many years working here, I’m confident I know where to be on any given day in order to find the best waves that suit each surfing level.
I invite you all to come and enjoy these islands and what they offer at least once in your life.
Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Indonesian and some Japanese
I’m from Vigo, in Galicia, NW Spain, an area where the swells are very often huge, with lots of bad weather and where the water temp never drops under 18ºC. I guess that’s why when I discovered Indo, its waves and the warm water I became a total junkie and soon started looking for ways to settle down here.
For me the Mentawai Islands, and travelling through them on a boat, is perfection.
I guess that on one side travelling on a boat searching for perfect waves surrounded by some of the most beautiful islands and landscapes in the world is an unforgettable experience. On the other side the boat gives us the possibility to be at the right spot at the right moment.
I enjoy surfing good waves, with little crowds and a nice atmosphere in the line up.
For me each trip is different and a new opportunity to catch some good waves. I like and it is very important for me that all our clients leave the boat totally satisfied and wanting to come back; that’s why I try to balance everyone’s needs and expectations so, no matter what level of surf they have, they go home with some of their best memories ever.
I also enjoy soccer and talking about it with the customers, specially when they bring me info and I’ve been locked on the boat for days or weeks.
I look forward to meeting you.
How often have our dreams been fuelled by those photos of perfect indo line-ups? In 2005 I went to Indo for the first time. That trip was an eye-opener; such glassy waves, such perfection. Bali, Lakey Peak (Sumbawa) and a boat trip between Bali and Sumbawa.
The following summer I spent several months in Indonesia, from East to West, from Roti to Sumatra. In Nias I met David for the first time and we scored amazing swells for three weeks non stop.
Some months later I boarded the King Millenium I, every surfer’s dream was made real. Soon David and I got on well together. My trip on the King Millenium became more and more common, always attracted by the perfection and variety of waves in the Mentawai
In spite of having lived in Tahiti during several years and to have surfed in the four corners of the world, no place has fascinated me as much as the Mentawai.
Observing that I’m a forecast junkie and that I was always asking about tides, wind and swell direction for each break, David and Poti passed on to me their secrets on all the waves in the Mentawai.
Thanks to all this time spent on board, watching and listening to David and Poti and the decisions they make, I’ve gained enough experience to be on the right spot at the right time.
That’s how I became a guide for King Millenium. The fact that I speak several languages (French, Spanish, English and Indonesian) has also helped.
I confess there’s no better feeling than helping a group of friends to score some of the best waves in their life’s and see the spark in their eyes while sipping a beer on the deck during sunset.
Although I’m very attached to Hossegor, why I like the most is meeting new people in paradise and not one day goes without thinking about my next trip on the King Millenium.
I am Brazilian, shaper of Soul Surfboards, and also work with video production.
I used to live in California between 1999 and 2004 and since then I have been travelling most of the time alternating surftrips with times when I dedicate myself to shaping and making boards.
In 2004 I spent 9 months travelling between different islands on the south pacific and finished the trip with an epic 6 months season in Indonesia in 2005.
Sumatra was the last spot on that trip and the first to make me come back. Over the following two years I have spent pretty much the whole seasons between Nias, Mentawai and Telos, surfing and working with video.
At the beginning of the 2011 season I moved to Bali with my wife and my newborn baby. I already knew David from my first season and he invited me to work as a guide on the King Millenium.
I think that all these years building relationship, not just with the waves and the environment but, most of all with people, Indonesians and travellers, naturally prepared me for this job. I have always dedicated myself to studying maps, to understand the forecasts and to read the elements in order to be on the right place at the right time. And suddenly, that became a duty.
I speak Portuguese, Spanish, English and Bahasa Indonesia, witch helps a lot on the boat, specially to connect with the guests and the crew.
Behaviour in the water
It is very important to have the right attitude when on a boat trip, and that includes when surfing with other passenger from the same boat of from other boats. Sharing is part of the essence of these trips.
- If we get to a spot where there’s already one boat moored with its passenger surfing, it is advisable to wait for a little while and then enter the water in twos. How much would you hate it if you were surfing and another boat arrived and before the anchor is lowered, a group of ten surfers paddled your way? Give some time to others is always a good option.
- When there are several boats and a lot of surfers willing to surf, the best option is that only 4 or 5 surfers per boat are surfing at the same time. Try to avoid going all at the same time when it’s very crowded.
- You’ll be surfing reef waves with a very definite take off spot (the exact opposite to beachbreaks). So it is essential that everyone takes waves in turns. Always respect other surfer’s turn and don’t snake waves. If you paddle for a wave your turn to go is gone.
- Do NOT drop in and respect the other surfers. There are no local surfers in the islands, so respecting each other and everyone’s turns is the way to go; we are all foreigners in the water.
- If it’s your turn to go and you don’t like the wave, raise both arms in advance so the other surfers have time to paddled for that wave.
- Give away waves to fellow passengers or to surfers from other boats. It’s a much nice experience than to trying to get all the waves for yourself.
- Enjoy as much as you can while respecting the place, the sea and its people. These islands are a unique place; help us keep it this way.
Responsibilities of the passenger
Clients undertake the following responsibilities before King Millenium enterprise and other members of the trip. All travellers must fully understand and undertake to comply with the rules and regulations under the contract.
They must also bring suitable clothing and equipment for the voyage; they must also comply with standards of hygiene to prevent any health problems with fellow travellers (such as contagious diseases). They must show respectful behaviour towards fellow travellers as well as towards the staff and the crew on board.
Responsibilities KM Intl towards the passenger:
Our aim is to offer the best possible surf trip and to this purpose we will go out of our way to make sure that this is achieved. We will assume all responsibilities for losses and/or damages proven to be caused by us or any one of our crewmember. However, we are not responsible for any losses and/or damages caused by other passengers during the trip. We reserve the right to put ashore any passenger who fails to abide by our rules and any instructions that may be given during the trip, and/or any passenger whose physical or mental condition may cause trouble or threaten their own safety or that of others on board. No refunds shall be applicable in the event of such cases.
KM Intl. decides when and where to go for shelter in case of impending bad weather including the leaving Padang at a later date or returning to port before the scheduled date. Nevertheless, the passengers will be allowed to stay on board during the whole time, including meals.