South Sipora, Mentawai, Sumatra

When thinking of South Sipora, surfers will immediately think of Lances Right (HT’s) – and its neighbouring left round the corner. Of course, these world class set-ups are the big pull for the masses but those who spend a lot of time in the area know it’s got much more to offer. There are around a dozen quality and very accessible set-ups that will often go unridden whilst the majority of the travelling surfers pursue a dream session at Lances Left or Lances Right.

Although there aren’t quite as many waves in the direct vicinity as *playgrounds* - there’s a nice variation of lefts and rights with differing ferocity. HT’s can get busy but when you consider the other so called lesser waves on offer, it’s actually pretty uncrowded when comparing to some of the other spots in the Mentawai Island archipelago.

The surf season is divided by a high season (April until October/November) and a low season (November until March). From April onwards, consistent swells frequent the Mentawai islands shores producing world class waves in the head high to double over head range. This is the busier part of the year regards crowds –with an average crowd of around 15 guys to be expected at most surf spots. It is also the dry season where you’d experience very little rain and so surfing during the mid day sun can be extremely punishing. Winds are light and variable most the year but from time to time a Southerly wind pattern will set in, limiting some of the surfing options.

During the low season the winds remain light and favourable with the exception of a passing storm. Rain is more common. The swell will also decrease in size but with so many waves on offer, there’s always somewhere with a good wave. The off season remains a great option for those wanting to beat the crowds.

With 2 of the archipelagos most famous waves gracing its shores, it’s not a surprise to see a cluster of camps in the region. That said, a trip to just HT’s might be frustrating for many travelling surfers as this semi consistent wave is not only home to some seasoned travellers but also a regular stop on the surf charter tour route.

We actually suggest staying at Lances Left, HT’s little & less hyped about brother, where only 1 camp sits alone in the bay. Of course many surfers visiting the area simply choose to visit on a charter boat on the off chance of scoring a dreamy surf at either HT’s or Lances Left.

For a full list of options to surf this wave, check our results below;

Your international flight should arrive into Jakarta, SoekarnoHatta International Airport (CGK) or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)

From Jakarta or KL, you will need to take a further flight to Padang, Minangkabau International Airport (PDG)

It’s about 1hr from Padang airport to downtown Padang where the majority of the hotels are. The Mentawai Fast Ferry departs from the river port which is close by to the hotels too. Some charter boats also depart from the river - but some also depart from Bungus port which is about 1hr from downtown Padang. Some guests will need to overnight in Padang - especially when taking the Mentawai Fast Ferry to Siberut or Sipora. Other guests wont need to, usually those departing by charter boat.

For more detailed information including airline information, airport transfers and hotels please check out the individual camps and boats listed below.

As a rule, Sumatra is best explored as an intermediate or advanced surfer although there are some camps that cater for beginners in the Mentawais as well as South Sumatra.

Beginner surfer – can only surf the white water & often misses waves. Leaner’s will wipe out regularly on take-off and whilst riding a wave.

Beginner-intermediate surfer – can catch waves regularly, trimming left & right but without performing many manoeuvres.

Intermediate surfer – Will rarely miss catching a wave & will complete most waves from start to finish. Surfers will perform basic manoeuvres such as a cut-back, re-entry and floater.

Intermediate-advanced surfer - will perform most manoeuvres including getting tubed and sometimes aerial manoeuvres. These surfers are competent on point breaks and reef breaks.

Advanced surfer – are fast, stylish and will make surfing look easy. If they’re not performing aerials, then they will be getting tubed all day long or displaying an array of carves, hacks and flowing turns.

Guests should be aware of the following hazards & natural disasters:

Malaria is something that exists but isn’t a problem if guests cover up at dawn & dusk and use plenty of anti-mosquito sprays when not in the surf. Anti-malarial medication can also be taken.

Earthquakes do occur throughout Sumatra on a regular basis. But most of them are non destructive. Most casualties are due to the poor state of its buildings, which 99% of the time, shouldn’t affect any of our guests.

Tsunami’s like the huge one in 2004 are rare. On average, once every five years or so, a large tsunami occurs in “Indonesia”. Generally, damage to the infrastructure exceeds the loss of lives. Most camps in the area have an evacuation plan as well as the charter boats. In fact being on a boat is probably the safest place to be.

Coral Reef – Although it helps shape the mechanical waves of the region, it is also something to be respectful of due it’s sharpness. It’s why we recommend only experienced riders venturing to some of the more dangerous surf spots.

South Sipora, Mentawai

Kingfisher Resort

Set in a picture perfect bay, the camp overlooks Lances Left, one of Sumatra's most legendary & consistent waves...

Surfers From: USD 170 pp / night
Non Surfers From: USD 170 pp / night

Wave Quality: World Class
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Lances Right
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 10-35 surfers
Season: April until October

Located in a palm fringed cove, the waves of Lances Right is one of the main reasons surfers make the long trip to the Mentawai Islands. More commonly referred to as "HT's" - this world class right hander is considered one of the top ten waves in the world. The wave wraps 180 degrees and actually breaks almost due south after bending and amplifying around the Southern tip of Sipora. Wide sets are softer but everything else is fast, hollow and picture perfect. Depending on swell direction and size, there are a couple of different take off zones where you can take off quite easily. And like many of the world's most alluring reef breaks, high tide is a safer option and the lower tide for the more advanced surfers. Failure to exit the inside bowl will often result in a horror experience amongst the reef pinnacles guarded by the aptly named surgeons table.

Wave Quality: World Class
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: Lances Left
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 10-25 surfers
Season: April until October

Lances Left is a very long, superbly shaped wave that is renowned for being one of the most consistent breaks in the Mentawai islands. A number of take-off options means this place rarely feels crowded, and with an easy entry, it’s obvious to see why Lances is such a popular option. At head high, expect long, peeling, down the line walls, ideal for turns, combined with two distinct tube sections. At six feet plus, the wave transforms into a steep, deep water take-off with big open faces and some makeable barrel sections. Although not the most consistent barrel in the Mentawai archipelago, it’s length and overall variation means most surfers will prefer Lances Left to HT’s. 

Wave Quality: Very Good
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Bintangs
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Average
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 5-15 surfers
Season: April until October

Although a little temperamental, this classy right-hander often produces a slabby, take-off barrel section followed by a fun bowly wall. Situated across the bay from Lances Left, although short, Bintangs can deliver some memorable sessions under the noses of the crowds at its neighbouring waves. Certainly very fun under 4 feet, a more solid swell will deliver a more consequential perfectly formed cavern along the entire length of the wave. 

Wave Quality: Very Good
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: Chongs
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Average
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 0-15 sufers
Season: April until October

One of the areas secret spots, Chongs is a thick left hander that rarely gets crowded due to its secrecy. Its outside peak offers an easy take-off before hitting the reef, bending into a long barrel section. Intermediate and advanced surfers only, the wave is surfable at all sizes - but with an increase in size, turns into a thick lipped barrel machine.

Wave Quality: Very Good
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: JJ's
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Average
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 0-15 surfers
Season: April until October

Located on an outside reef on the edge of a small bay, this right hander offers two main peaks. The outside section offers an easy take-off, before lining up into a horseshoe style barrel on the inside bowl which produces a perfect back door section. This wave is a body boarders heaven - especially with a perfect ramp at the end section. Intermediate to advanced only.

Wave Quality: Very Good
Wave Direction: Right
Also Known As: Unicorns
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Average
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 0-15 surfers
Season: April until October

Another well kept secret in the region, Unicorns is one of the more challenging waves in the area. A thick right hander with mechanical shape has a barrel comparable to that of HT's. A large peak jacks up on take-off before exploding onto the shallow reef, where it fires down the line with numerous backdoor sections along the way. Advanced surfers only.

Wave Quality: Good
Wave Direction: Left and Right
Also Known As: Beach Break
Experience: Intermediate
Consistency: Consistent
Wave Type: Beach
Crowd: 0-15 surfers
Season: April until October

A one kilometre stretch of idyllic palm fringed, white sand beach is just a stones throw from the Resort. The turquoise coloured water is picture perfect, with a series of sandbars to choose from. Good sand banks can be fickle, but with the right conditions a satisfying session can be had by the patient surfer. Also a great spot for people learning to surf

Wave Quality: Very Good
Wave Direction: Left
Also Known As: The Cobra
Experience: Advanced
Consistency: Average
Wave Type: reef
Crowd: 0-10 surfers
Season: April until October

A fairly fickle barrel, with a name that gives you some indication of what’s on offer. Often empty, the Cobra will lure in its pray when a crowded Lances Left pushes surfers to venture a little further up the reef. Just 50 meters from Lances, this short tube can occasionally link up with its more famous neighbour for a 200m+ ride! Choose your waves wisely, as a thick and fast take-off will dish out a severe beating, but make the drop and you might just get the barrel of your trip.

Charter Boats in Mentawai Islands

Star Koat SPECIAL OFFER

Star KoatMentawai & Telo Islands

The Star Koat has made a reputation for itself in recent years, as the best value for money boat in the Mentawais...

From: USD 3090 2790 per person
Max 12 / Min 6 guests

Moon Palikir SPECIAL OFFER

Moon PalikirMentawai & Telo Islands

If you're looking for that something extra from your Mentawai experience, then the MP just might be the answer...

From: USD 3600 3150 per person
Max 14 / Min 8 guests

Nusa Dewata SPECIAL OFFER

Nusa DewataMentawai & Telo Islands

The Nusa Dewata is all about scoring uncrowded surf where the larger charters simply can't compete...

From: USD 2500 2250 per person
Max 6 / Min 4 guests

Naga Laut SPECIAL OFFER

Naga LautMentawai & Telo Islands

Built in 1999, the Sea Dragon was designed exclusively for upmarket surf charters...

From: USD 3255 2590 per person
Max 12 / Min 6 guests

Aileoita

Aileoita Mentawai & Telo Islands

The Aileoita 1, is a modern & comfortable surf charter that can host groups of 8 to 10 surfers...

From: USD 2500 per person
Max 10 / Min 8 guests

Kuda Laut

Kuda LautMentawai, Telo & Banyaks

The Kuda Laut had a recent refit and is ideal for small groups looking to explore the Mentawai & Telos...

From: AUD 2800 per person
Max 7 / Min 6 guests

Bintang

BintangMentawai, Telo & Banyaks

The Bintang is one of the largest & longest serving charter boats in the West Sumatra region...

From: AUD 3500 per person
Max 14 / Min 10 guests

MV Addiction SPECIAL OFFER

MV AddictionMentawai & Telo Islands

The Addiction is the most luxurious surf charter in the Mentawai Islands as well as being one of the fastest...

From: USD 5250 4200 per person
Max 12 / Min 10 guests