Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rhino Team Rider Jem Evans In Mantawais

Jem Evans has managed to break up the monotony of one of the worst Summers
on record for waves, with a trip to the Mentawais in late July. "We sailed
from Padang into the biggest Indian Ocean swell to hit the islands this
Summer. I've spent a lot of time in Indonesia, but have never been to up to
the Mentawais, we were all pretty interested and nervous to see what would
greet us on our arrival! The first couple of days ended up being a great
warm up, with 4' to 6' waves in the Telescopes area; it's amazing how much
swell these breaks can handle.
We then headed south as the swell started to ease, surfing all the better
known spots like Lance's, Maccas, Green Bush and Thunders, but also scored
empty waves at some lesser known spots. Initialy I had prepared myself for
surfing relatively crowded waves, but, in the end, actually surfed on our
own most of the time- a particular highlight was surfing Maccaronis, the
funnest left on the planet, on my own for an hour.
It was un-nerving seeing first hand the devastation caused by last year's
Tsunami. Whole islands, and most of the exposed points have had the jungle
wiped clean from them. John McGroder, the owner of our charter, helped with
the aid and clean-up process last year and had some pretty horrific stories
to tell of what happened. All charter boats now usually cruise to a safe
anchorage back behind a few islands every night, to reduce the risk of being
hit by a Tsunami, quite a sobering prospect.
The trip was an excellent opportunity to test some new SX models from JP
Surfboards, these boards go really well in any conditions, especially more
pokey reefs and points; with bigger fins I still managed to ride my 5'9" and
5'11" most of the time, your main problem over here is slowing down!
It's always amazing to surf new spots and the Mentawais is well documented
as having plenty of these, it's the kind of place where you can never spend
enough time, it also makes you realise how much you can learn at any stage
of your surfing life. Can't wait to go back......"