Mentawais Vs Fiji

meoweth's picture
meoweth started the topic in Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 6:22am

I'm planning a 5 month trip to either mentawais or Fiji. Everyone knows there are a ton of mentawais land resorts, and I've heard playgrounds gets crowded since everyone goes there. On the other hand it seems like Fiji is less travelled as there is limited accomodation near the mamanucas. I found a resort called funky fish and it works out to roughly the same as what I'd be spending in mentawais for something upscale. My guess is that Fiji will be less crowded.i would be going during the swell season, starting in April. Anyone been to Fiji?

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 1:25pm

Been to the ments once, the rest of indo a stack of times. Been to Fiji a number of times too. Stayed at funky fish twice. Funky fish is a 30min boat ride to the waves each day but obviously worth it. Cloudbreak and Restaurants are amazing waves. A 5 month stay at funky fish would get pretty tiresome. Not much else to do. I love fiji but if I was doing 5 months I'd go to indo. Way more variety .Cloudbreak and Restauarnts are my favourite waves but staying at funky fish you can only surf these waves: CLoudbreak, Restaurants, Wilkes, Namotu lefts, Tavi rights, Swimming Pools and Desperations. Fiji can get just as crowded as the ments and if there is a good swell running you can expect a dozen or so pros to show up with a film crew - It's easy to get to for all aussies, hawaiians and west coast yanks.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 1:34pm

Five months in a backpackers and you’d be on suicide watch.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:21pm

Five months, why limit yourself to just the Mentawais?...you could do the whole of Sumatra in five months, and do it good and do it fairly cheap

Roughly my plan would be

Sth Sumatra (two weeks)
Mentawais-Pagai sth/nrth, Sipora, Siberut (two months)
Telos (Three weeks) @ the Telo island surf house off course :D
Nias & hinakos (Three weeks)
Banyaks (two weeks)...hardest one to do cheap
Simeulue (Two weeks)

Start south travel north, with a little flexibility to go where conditions dictate, for example i wouldn't be starting Sth Sumatra if a solid swell forecast, save that bit for when there is a period where swell is smaller.

Fuck that would be epic, i promise you would get more good waves and barrels in those five months than your whole life.

Never been to Fiji, although my mum did live there for a few years growing up.

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:29pm

Have you done your sums to stay at Funky Fish for 5 mths ?

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:33pm

Totally agree with Indo I would go the islands Mentawai and north (I would be tempted to go Enggano Island as well).

Crowds wont really be a big issue after you get your paddle fitness most people turn up are not that fit and most wont charge there are surf guides and rippers that take their fair share but seriously after a month a couple of surfs a day there you will be superman.

Plenty of cheaper options in the Ments and beyond.

If you want cheap / aircond and a few creature comforts I always recommend these guys
http://www.theshadowmentawai.com/ absolute value for money and just the best people (locals) will look after you like family.

There are much cheaper options around Playgrounds and Telescopes areas (with out aircond)

5 months............my heads spinning at the though if only I was young again.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 6:31pm

Bloody hell...Indo's post gets me excited.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 6:44pm

right-on indo.

if only.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 7:28pm

I always wanted to do a Mentawais to Simeulue trip with a local long boat for a few months, just camping and staying in villages, just a full on cruise looking and landing in each little nook and cranny, spending a good amount of time in each area or each wave, not just surfing, but fishing and just checking out the villages interacting with locals and walking the beaches and reefs etc

Talked about it a lot when in the Mentawais with others that had worked on charter boats etc mostly with a Bintang in hand and it was serious idea, but never got off the ground, as need a bit of time and money.

Ive walked about 30km of Mentawai coast and walked maybe the same amount of coast in the telos, mostly around islands.

It's pretty cool just to see waves and reefs from different perspectives and what is on land, the weird thing is the coast can be quite far from any village but there is still always someone doing something mostly locals looking for octopus or people looking for yams or something scratching around in dirt or some guys little shack in the middle of nowhere.

You always get the best reactions, normally a look of full confusion that a westerner is in some area where god knows how many westerners have set foot because there is generally not much reason to be there, i then strike a friendly conversation of what they are looking for or if they have found any, then they normally asks where I'm going or what I'm doing etc...kind of a cool little interaction, I'm sure they go home and tell their friends of family and have a good laugh.

Would make a great little docco/surf film if got one or two surfers like Rasta with a quiver of weird boards along for the trip :D

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 7:42pm

I reckon it would make a great little memory Indo without Rasta. I love it as it is.

Not everything has to be documented.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 7:53pm

Guarantee someone’s already done it.

Remember at the end of Sik Joy when they met Sergei from France.....” Living in the jangle with tigers” .

People just do their thing. Surf the ends of the Earth .Enjoy themselves quietly then walk through life with that extra little spring in their step. The best stories don’t usually get told , it’s mostly those tainted by a profit motive that we see.

Isn’t that right , Stunet ?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 8:23pm

Aye.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 8:44pm

more waves in Fiji than the Mamanucas/yasawas.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 8:56pm

If it’s not on the cover of Tracks it never happened.

If Perfect Wave dont sell packages there it doesn’t exist.

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:04pm

That's the kind of comment that really gets the juices flowing, Indo. Just sat back and dreamed on the visions it threw up..

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:23pm
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 12:01pm

x2 on that linez

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 1:45pm

ID's surf trip up through west indo would be unreal. did a similar thing all through east indo when i was much younger before i surfed (no docco) - always think of all the waves i passed and missed on that trip ...

re staying at funky fish - most of those resorts make a big big part of their income on meals and drinks. it's not like you can go down to the local warung (or whatever it's called in fiji). you are captive to them so unless meals are included in your 5-month calculation (and meals were extra when i looked at funky fish a few years back) then your budget might get a very rude shock

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 1:52pm

5 months on the same menu also leaves you on suicide watch.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 4:12pm

@linez "That's the kind of comment that really gets the juices flowing, Indo. Just sat back and dreamed on the visions it threw up."

You mean like this B grade wave in the Ments

meoweth's picture
meoweth's picture
meoweth commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 7:39am

Indodreaming, that's a nice itinerary.

Ideally, I would want to spend most of the 5 months in one or two places, as there is the issue of the visa renewals with the social visa sponsor. It was easy to do in Bali last year, but that likely wont be the case here. What's the top uncrowded spot for an intermediate surfer that doesnt require an extra flight (just one flight from Jakarta, and not Lion air)? I heard Aceh was pretty good.

To give you an update on Fiji, I've already decided I'm going, I've booked the first month close to sonaisali island where there are boats to the breaks.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 8:10am

One flight from Jakarta will only get you to

Bandar Lumpung= then long drive to Krui/South Sumatra
Padang=Fast ferry out to Mentawais
Medan= very very long drive to Aceh
I think direct flights to Bandar Aceh

But Aceh is more an off season area, further north you go more onshore winds in main indo surf season affect waves, Simeulue is further south so variable wind wise not uncrowded anymore, same with Banyaks. (all not uncrowded)

South mainland Aceh is fickle as much swell blocked by Simeulue, nowhere is consistent and uncrowded especially accessible , if they were they would be overrun with surf camps and crowds.

Visas can be renewed in Padang with an agent, or fly to KL or Singapore.

Id get a 3 month social visa first (think they are still three months)

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith