Togat Nusa Retreat
Indonesia: Mentawai Islands
Quality and service comes first in this private tropical island sanctuary positioned in the central Mentawai islands
Northern Mentawai Islands, Indonesia, EAST ASIA
In a very short period of time, this wild and remote chain of islands, lying about 90k’s (55mi) off the Sumatran mainland, have become the most sought after destination for surfers looking to ride “the best waves in the world”. This bold claim is rarely disputed, as those who score a solid SW swell will testify and few return from the Mentawais disappointed with the wave quality and quantity. The key to this rapid ascension to the pinnacle of world surfing lies in the sheer concentration of truly world-class breaks and an unmatched flexibility when it comes to handling different swell and wind combinations. Being a degree or three below the equator helps massively, as the light, flukey winds provide a variety of directions unseen in other parts of Indonesia and it often transpires that proper glassy conditions bookend the day. Furthermore, the geomorphology of this seismically active region seems to cause unusual swell refraction and diffraction, creating unexpected waves round the back of islands and islets where none should normally exist. These coral encrusted lava reefs fringe a still relatively untouched rainforest and many of the tribal inhabitants of the remoter regions still cling to a traditional subsistence lifestyle, maintaining little contact with the outside world. Progress is unavoidable though and whereas 15 years ago, yacht charters were the only way to go, now a half dozen land camps have been established at the banner waves and many more are planned. This has led to Silabu Village installing 2 buoys in Pasongan harbour next to Macaronis, requiring boats to book in a week before arrival and pay a $30 mooring fee plus the $1.50 per head surfer fee, which are used for community projects. This limits the numbers to around 36 maximum, shared evenly between the resort and charters and stops anchor damage in the bay. This precedent may expand across the region if resorts can obtain the various government licenses. Threats to revoke charter licenses for boats not registered in Indonesia have been rumoured and would drastically reduce surf fleet numbers if implemented.
The hulking mass of Siberut presents a primal vista, with the hardwood forest shrouded in mist and it exudes an air of power and mystery, emanating from the mountainous interior. This largest island in the Mentawai chain has only been lightly surfed by long-range charter crews grabbing an opportunistic wave on the way to the Nias area. That means spots on the backside are more often seen from the northern tip at Tanjung Sigep, down to the impossibly sheltered Teluk Tabekat and out to the headland at Sikabaluan, but most will pass by like ships in the night. A good deal of the SW-facing coast is straight line reefs, exposed and messed up by wind and swell, but a few obvious jinks in the coast could produce a left or two at Tanjungs Sakaladat, Sataerataera and Simasuket. Many captains will have a few spots sussed for certain conditions and there are some mellow breaks in the playgrounds area that get ridden like Taileleo, a fun mal slide facing south, Pearlers peak nestled behind Masokut and a righthander round the backside near the Muara harbour. It is important to recognise that while there are 40-60 named breaks, many more are out there, being surfed by experienced captains who know the deal.
Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.
Condition descriptions provided by the operator
The Mentawai Islands are world renowned by surfers, not only for the quality of waves on offer here, but also for its consistency as a surf zone.
Surfeable year round, it is the southern hemisphere winter, from April through to October that sees the peak of the season, as storm activity in the southern Indian Ocean pushes swell after swell up towards the Island chain.
Situated on Pitojat Island, off the northern end of Sipora Island, guests to Togat Nusa Retreat have access to a number of quality breaks, all within a short boat ride of the Island...
We have compiled a brief glimpse of five well-known surf spots near Togat Nusa Retreat with many more secrets around us!
Rarely a day goes by when there isn't some form of surfeable wave at this swell magnet An average day at icelands will see a steepish takeoff, followed by a shorter ride with opportunity for a couple of turns and the occasional barrel.
However, it is once a big W-SW swell hits that Icelands truly starts to show itself, transforming from a small swell go to spot into somewhat of a beast. A powerful left, the takeoff is steep, as the wave jacks quickly out of deep water throwing out a heaving barrel, for anyone who has what it takes..... (maybe a bigger board?) to paddle over the lip and into it!
Your New Frontyard - A long lefthander wraps around the front of the Island for rides of up to 200 yards. Picking up most available swell and surfeable on any tide, and at any size, Scarecrows is one of the most consistent breaks in the Mentawais. A wave of many moods depending on swell size and direction, the length of the wave ensures a little of everything is on offer. On a good day out front a surfer will find, open faces perfect for carving, long racing walls and multiple barrel sections...sometimes all on the one wave! A fun wave, suitable to surfers of all abilities and skill levels. The reef here is deep by Mentawai standards, though the inside "Curry Bowl" section can get shallow and challenging at low tide, rewarding those who commit with a more intense barrel!
When its on this long lefthander would have to rank up there with as fun of a wave to be found anywhere.
Requiring a more specific swell direction, Teles is not as consistent as some of our other spots but, once the swell direction is good and lines start wrapping around into the bay at Mapadegat, it really is a sight to be seen. Long rides of over 200 meters are possible, as predictable section after section offer ample opportunities to whack, hack and pull in! Considering the quality of wave, Teles is quite forgiving, the reef here is relatively deep, though the wave should definitely not be taken too lightly. Big swells see large sets breaking further up the reef as barrels reel quickly down the line and into the regular takeoff zone, slowing down briefly before walling up and concentrating again on the inside tube section
A right hander which breaks over a shallow and very live reef, Suicides is best surfed on a high tide. Those who aren't lured too far up the reef by an enticing, yet unmakeable section, can negotiate a steep takeoff straight into a barrel before coming through to the next section and chance for a couple of turns as the wave fattens out into the channel.
Good option for some fun on small days Only a short ride from Togat Nusa, Seven Palms peels off along the reef in front of a scenic limestone coved beach. The wave tends to close out when the swell gets too big so is generally saved for a bit of a change on those smaller days. It is a fun, rippable wave capable of throwing out the odd barrel. Suitable to surfers of any skill level, those looking for more of a challenge can push themselves further up the reef to a sometimes makable faster barrel section.