Watch: TC and Otto in the Telos

Swellnet Dispatch

Photos by Russell Ord, clip by Andre Rerekura.

Kai Otton and Tom Carroll recently undertook a trip to the newly minted Monkeys Resort South Telo. For Tom, the trip marked the welcome end of a fairly testing period of recovery from a succession of surgeries.

“I’d just come off a knee replacement, which had been planned really well. The rehab had all gone smoothly, then I was snowboarding with my daughter late last year – the knee was holding up well – when I caught a toe edge on some sticky snow and rolled onto my right shoulder. It was a five centimetre full thickness tear of my rotator cuff – absolutely toasted. It was a full half year before hitting the ocean.

“The shoulder was a totally different experience to the knee. Where there was all the time in the world to prepare and plan around the knee, the shoulder was out of the blue, and the rehab was a really tricky and long six months in comparison.

“And so coming out the other side of that, I was super happy to get the opportunity to get to the Telos – I hadn’t been there since 2003 on a trip with Martin Daly – and to surf these really fun breaks with few others out was the perfect way back into surfing. The Telos is such a beautiful place to be.

“I’ve always pushed myself hard in the water, but this trip, I was still coming into my knee and shoulder and had to be mindful the whole time about not going beyond my capabilities, so I had to surf at 70 percent.

“My younger self would have really struggled with not going flat out, but I was able to enjoy going at 70 percent, thanks largely to the Vedic Meditation I’ve been practicing for the last three years. (20 minutes, twice a day) It’s allowed me to care coherently for myself. It’s a relief to finally be able to enjoy surfing within my limits, not pushing at the edge of them all the time.

“The break out at Monkeys is a really fun, playful ride, but there’s all these other spots – around the corner and up the reef – that ramp up the scale, lots of options and you can push yourself. The south Telos is a smorgasbord really. I think the break ‘New Schools’ is the funnest right and my favourite.

“It was epic to have a whole lot of surfs with Kai. He’s a brilliant surfer with a loose, relaxed style. I remember what it was like to be relatively fresh off the tour – you still express yourself in your performance – and it was inspiring and great to see him surf so well and be around his great energy.”

Like Tom, Kai had come off a fairly ordinary run injury wise – consecutive surgeries for hernia, knee, and surfer’s ear issues are enough to dampen anyone’s surf stoke, but when the invite came for the Monkeys trip, Kai jumped at it.

“I’d never been to the Telos before and it’s always good to check a new place out. There’s a real range of waves in the area. Monkeys is super fun and perfect for intermediate skill levels and up. It’s a magnet too, there were waves at Monkeys pretty much the whole time we were there. The most consistent break in the area from what I saw.

“We didn’t get a major swell while we were there so it’s hard to say for sure but overall it generally doesn’t feel as challenging as the Ments, but there’s heaps of options. Like on the day Monkeys was onshore we went across the bay and surfed an offshore left to ourselves. One left we surfed actually hadn’t been surfed before.

“As far as the place goes, the resort’s primo. You’ve got these bungalows, palm trees, coming down to the sand. Can’t get better really. There’s a really nice vibe around the place.

“It’s been a bit challenging for me since coming off tour and all my injuries. I’ve been surfing shorter, fishier boards than I used to, and not chasing crazy stuff. It’s still good, but it’s just been different. It was unreal surfing wth Tom, he was kind of cruising but he’s as much of a frother as I am, so we’re both grommets pretty much.

“Monkeys is a good place for a frother.”

Find out more about Monkeys here

Grom squad adds colour to the Monkeys lineup

Kai proves Tom’s theory – that performance instincts don't slip once you leave the tour – correct

Kai steers traffic on a beach-clean blitz

Regulation hit with regulation Indo palms

It ain’t all rights in the South Telos. Kai rips in to Bojo’s

Tom’s stubby little Eye Symmetry fish takes a nap

Dusk atmospherics at Monkeys

Worse places to call home for a week or two

Tom on the inside section bouncy castle

Any more relaxed, Tom’d be napping

Tom pulls his best weathered seaman gaze for the camera

An eye down the line

Now check this moment out in the clip around 1:35

Find out more about Monkeys here

Comments

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 2:38pm

Only just opened 2nd half of 2018 and its been brought by Pegasus Lodges already?

nealweb's picture
nealweb's picture
nealweb commented Sunday, 9 Dec 2018 at 12:07pm

True but just backing I think, the guy who created it is still in charge.

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 3:06pm

Pegasus pretty crazy. They got 3 places in the Telos now :(

At least they generally have small groups, unlike RLZ.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 4:14pm

Indeed Carpetman, most probably helps keep their logistics costs down somewhat.

RLZ, haha, you can go surf the southern or northern zone today regardless of the conditions since the other house is going there. Other operators were complaining if both boats went north or south together, to many people

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 4:44pm

They got 4 boats now. Each day 2 north, 2 south.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 5:15pm

Geez Carpetman. Stayed there many times early on, stopped going when they started dictating which direction you can go and what waves you can surf. Seen the Mangalui and Nomad moored up together in the Ments, so the same rules don't apply down there....

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 3:21pm

Still looks beautiful and fun - surfed these breaks before 'the lift' with scuz - sumatran surfariis. Haven't been back and now with a resort ...

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 4:16pm

Agree still does OHV500, me too

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 6 Dec 2018 at 4:51pm

Looks very nice...
O.K. Graham Murdoch
Whats included and whats not included for my $577 per night / 9 day stay ??

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 12:49am

A lot of hot air....read comment below.

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 6:06am

Hey Udo. I won't rabbit on about transfers and bintang counts or 'quality' etc etc, but seeing ya asked, I guess the key inclusion is where you wake up in the morning. We've got a TON of respect for RLZ – they have a great act and many stoked guests – but for some fans of the south Telo setups, doing the commute / spending all day in a boat every second day is less than ideal. (And there's the Brazillian surf camp down the ways a bit – the guys who started that joint are champions.) Monkeys is a pretty simple equation. Low-surfer guest numbers, four bungalows w A/C running on solar, nifty boat etc. Nothing earth shattering, no redefinition of the surf holiday experience or anything. But it's there. (So much for not rabbiting on eh.)

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 12:47am

Does it come with a free bout of malaria?

Nem88's picture
Nem88's picture
Nem88 commented Friday, 7 Dec 2018 at 10:34pm

Done a few trips in my 30+ yrs of trying to surf (Mentawis, Fiji, PNG etc), doing both land & boat options. Stayed @ Monkeys Sept this year... best trip I have ever done. Surf was epic (lots of options, waves every day, with one of the best waves right out front of the resort), people were awesome, bungalows were tops (clean, modern bathrooms, fans, aircon etc). Getting there takes some effort, but small price to pay for magic empty waves. I was not paid for this review, but anyone from Monkeys reading I am open to sponsorship deals

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Saturday, 8 Dec 2018 at 10:38am

Thanks Mum!

nealweb's picture
nealweb's picture
nealweb commented Saturday, 8 Dec 2018 at 9:43pm

So there was once an Ozzie bloke, with decades of experience surfing and working in Indo who fell in love with the best and most consistent wave in the Telo's and decided to build a small resort right out front of it. I was lucky enough to stay there not long ago and it was magic.
Up before the sun the boat crew have you out in the line up in 2 minutes, water is balmy and the air is still. On a good swell there are so many waves close by. If its a smaller swell you will know that you have been surfing the best wave with just a few mates when the other boat or two finally show up, so head in for a break in the resort dining area, maybe spend some time with the family who aren't 'back at the resort' knowing they wont see you until dark and cursing that they will never do this again. Maybe go look at the beachies or just watch Monkeys from your balcony and when the other guys go for their packed lunch on the tin boat in the hot tropical sun and wet boardies grab a few more super fun rights. Perhaps a little nap in the a/c, catch up on your book or wifi'ing, go for a walk or swim then when those boats have to leave for the long drive home you once again have the best wave in the area for yourselves with the sun setting over the palm trees. Your pre dinner snacks will arrive in your room as soon as you get in and dinner and Bintangs after that :)
Monkeys is a little slice of paradise.
Highly recommended!

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Monday, 10 Dec 2018 at 11:33am

Okay Mum, you can stop making aliases now.