Travelling to Mentawai with Family during Covid 19
Last time I went Mentawai was 10 years ago. (2010). Being a surf travel agent I was used travelling to Bali and Mentawai at least once a year. But since we had the kids it hasn’t been as easy to come back. We have been living in Bali for some years now, and due to my envolvement in the marketing of a surf resort in Sumbawa, we always went there any chance we had.
But here we are 2020, during a world “pandemic”… so I didnt want to travel to Europe this year. Our Italian friends, who live in Bali , with two small kids invited us to travel to a Resort in Hts Mentawai, which my agency Nomad Surfers works with. If you want special deal at Hollow Trees resort contact us.
At first we were hesitant as we heard rumours that we needed to do a swab test, but we found out that it was only a Rapid test which is a small poke in the finger.
What really made us take the decision to spend this money on times when the future of businesses are so uncertain is the special offers and the uncrowded surf we heard about.
So we came to Mentawai
We first went to Hts for one week, The swell was too big for me but perfect There was a few pros like Seth Muniz, Kolohe Andino, Ezekiel Lau, Conor Parker. I have to say I have never met such good vibes pro surfers in the water, it must be the new generation, or they must be getting PR lessons from their sponsors. Sweat hearts all of them. Calling everyone into waves.
We liked Hts Resort so much that we even extended our stay another 5 nights. If the wind goes onshore who cares, just short boat ride to the other side and surf Lances Left or the beach break which was my favourite wave there. I got the beach to myself two days in a row, 2 - 4 foot. Best bank in the middle of the beach, just like a point break. They also have scooters you can use for free.
Big thanks to Teiki one of the owners, super friendly and rips. He was brought up in a sail boat and has incredible stories to tell. His mom, a beautiful and interesting lady. And Teiki’s girlfriend Sina, who handles the bookings, super professional and friendly. Then there is the other owner Vince who is absolutely hooked on fishing and goes out twice a day.
I have to mention the Hollow trees resort has the best speedboats of any surf resort in the Mentawai which is very handy and safe to travel with children from Tuapejat which is the harbour in Mentawai where the Ferry drops you off. (Padang - Mentawai).
Then we wanted to visit Macaronis Surf Resort which Nomad Surfers has also been working for over a decade. But they needed the Swab test to host us, and my family and I will try to avoid sticking anything down our throats or up our noise,. so we skipped the visit unfortunately. Hopefully we will go back soon as Ive always said Macaronis is my favourite left hander in the world and in 2008 I surfed it for 11 hours straight.
So we decided to come to Playgrounds (North Mentawai) which has super fun waves. Our good friend Mario owner of Botik Playgrounds Resort is not opening due to Covid so we came to Kandui Resort which we can also get special deals. Contact us.
The travel between resorts was easy. All we need to organise is that the day of travel is not windy so thereat ride is smooth. The Hts resort took us by speed boat to Tuapejat (1 hour), and then Kadui Speedboat was waiting and another 1.5 hours.
As soon as we arrived to Kandui resort I surfed Four Bobs which is the wave in front of the resort. The dingy takes you from the beach to the floating deck. You surf this fun wave while the video AND Photographers are capturing every wave you surf!!! :-) Then after you are done, you paddle to the deck and freezing cold Bintang cans are waiting for you and you sit and you drink through the sunset till dark.
I found myself drinking my second Bintang and watching the boys surf , while Ray, the owner from America riding his Jetski, towing Jayden 8 and Dylan 11 year olds back to the line up. Red skies, and good music in the deck…. I honestly felt like crying from excitement.
We came to Kandui for 5 or 7 days and we are staying 21 days.
The Kandui Resort is simply one of the best Surf Resorts in the world for families with Kids. “Uncle Ray” is genuinely a Legend and my family and I are so thankful for his kindness. He has been taking our boys on the jets every day. He is so patient and you can tell how much he loves Jayden and Dylan. Every day at 5 PM Ray gets all the kids off the iPads and its surfing time for everyone till dark!!!
There is excellent fast internet, for free. Coffee, chocolates, drinks , sodas etc all free all day. There is Kayaks and Stand up paddles to use., the children dont stop for one minute all day.
In terms of surfing it cant get any better. There is always a few good surf spots to go to regadless of the wind direction and size of swell. There is different speedboats so if its 7 guests at the resort one boat goes with 3, and a few hours later the other 3 go somewhere else. While one guest might want to surf 4 Bobs by himself. This might sound like a dream but its been my life the past 10 days. I am surfing waves with one other guy that normally would have at least 25 people from charter boats and a bunch of other guests of land camps at this time of the year.
I should be keeping this a secret, but i am the owner of Nomad Surfers and this is my business so there you go! This will be the best spent money, and probably the best time to go to Mentawai. Best waves in the world with no one out. All to yourself. For special deals, or if you wish me to organise and book your family holidays to Mentawai just contact me. I have two kids 8 years old so I know whats important to families with children. We can organise your visits to several Resorts and coordinate all the transfers from one to another. Maybe combine it with a private surf charter just to yourselves for a few days. Contact Us.
I wish everyone that you make the best out of this situation, and yes there is some good things that came out of this situation. Its a good time to be a surfer in Indonesia. :-)