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#2590250 - 01/09/17 08:45 PM Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Going to book a surf trip on a Yacht Charter in the Mentawai's soon and wanted to find out if anyone had any suggestions, tips, or things to look out for.

I may be going Solo so will need to hop on a boat with another group which may be challenging. I'm pretty flexible all summer for a 10-12 day trip.

Also, anyone have suggestions for ways to get to Padang, Indo from San Diego/LA without taking 30 hours and 3-4 stops? A quick search on what it takes to get there makes me wonder how many of you do that trip (the waves better be perfect!).

Lastly, I know a lot of people suggest Singapore Airlines but I just saw an article that said they only allow 1 free board (not bag). Can anyone clear this up?

Thanks!
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#2590296 - 01/09/17 11:21 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: CloseOutBs]
etmo Offline
Michael Peterson status
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Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 2924
This summer? Kinda late! All the top boats might be booked already. Maybe you'll get lucky, or can slide in to a cancellation somewhere, or go on a 2nd tier boat, but you best get on that, asap. Many of the top boats have really cut down on solo travelers, it was leading to too many negative reviews. Groups of friends almost always have a great time. Strangers thrown together don't leave those 5-star reviews shrug

Least hops to Padang is LAX-KL and then KL to Padang. But you'll find there's a lot of factors besides number of hops. It's a tough ask to fly in to PDG just a few hours before the boat leaves, and if your baggage is delayed, you won't be happy you cut it that close. And if you believe the "journey is the destination" why are you so freaked out about a lengthy, involved, multi-step journey?

I always start with the charter company, get a reservation or at least the details for a given trip, find out when they'll pick you up at PDG airport (or sometimes elsewhere), then hit the airlines / travel websites to cobble together the flights which will make sure you're waiting at the PDG airport / other meeting point before that time.
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#2590723 - 01/10/17 09:37 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: etmo]
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks for the Info.

I had a feeling I would get busted on my comment vs. quote so I'm glad you caught that. I tend to see that quote as meaning "Live in the present", not necessarily take as many flights as you can to get from point A to point B and enjoy it (especially when you consider board bag fees).

As for the charters, I'm working with a couple right now that are open to filling spots on boats that aren't completely booked. Which boats are the top boats and which are 2nd tier?

Wish me luck!
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#2590946 - 01/11/17 11:16 AM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: CloseOutBs]
ModAl Offline
Grom
*****

Registered: 04/17/13
Posts: 115
My local shop in Camarillo is putting together that exact trip for the summer. They may still have slots available.
Give them a call
Revo surf 805-383-1288

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#2591028 - 01/11/17 01:28 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: CloseOutBs]
etmo Offline
Michael Peterson status
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Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 2924
Ratu Motu and the MV Addiction, while in different classes, are two of the top boats. Star Koat and Budyadahri are examples of 2nd tiers. Keep in mind 2nd tier doesn't mean train wreck necessarily, but if you've never been there are some factors you might not think to evaluate.

A couple for you to think about: captain -- a good captain can make a trip. Experience, both as a surf charter captain and perhaps as a surfer. I've had captains pull us out of the water because they knew the wind was going to flip 180 in the next hour, so we could get to another spot where the wind currently sucked but would be perfect in an hour and no one but us would be out, so we scored it all by ourselves. I've had captains paddle out in the water and sit for hours and hours, not catching a single wave but mis-leading surfers from another boat so we could score. But there's more to it than that -- some captains think they're doing you a favor, or are disinterested, and just dump you off in Playgrounds with 1000 other surfers. Some captains will bust their butts to ensure you have a special trip. See what you can google.

Boat speed. E.g. look at the engines on the Addiction and compare them to the Budyadarhi. If the swell is small, and you need to get from Playgrounds all the way down to Thunders, which boat will enable you to surf the AM session at Playgrounds and then get you to Thunders for the PM session, and which boat will have to keep you up all night putt-putt-putting? Many sessions are made or ruined by first-come-first-served. Often everyone gets the weather and swell updates at the same time, so it's a race to Spot X to enjoy it alone before 6 other charter boats make it a mob scene. Nice to be on the fastest boat in those not-uncommon circumstances. Oh, and that 6th boat, who still stays even though there are already 5 boats? That's a 2nd-tier boat.

Also there's the rules / culture on the boat. If they take singles, but the boat's rules or culture say, "We go where the majority votes to go" then how often are you going to surf where you want to surf? If you're a single on a boatload of 19 year-old Brazzo maniacs who blast Brazilian rap all night and just want the most macho death pits all day, are you going to enjoy that trip? What if you're a ripper and everyone else is a gray-haired SUPer, looking for mushy waves? What if they're all regulars and you're a goofy, and they don't want to surf many of the best waves just because those waves are not rights? It's a lot of money to spend, and a long way to travel, so you might want to ask , without asking a leading question, how such things are determined by the captain.

Most of this has already been said, and more besides, so google and you'll have it all. Good luck!
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#2593749 - 01/18/17 10:52 AM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: CloseOutBs]
Alvini Offline
Grom

Registered: 03/21/16
Posts: 113
Try Malaysia Airlines, cheaper and boards is allowed without additional charges.
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#2597850 - 01/26/17 11:15 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: etmo]
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks again Etmo for the info. Really helpful.

I was lucky enough to book a spot on the Bintang in July! I've heard good things about the Bintang so I'm hoping for the best.

Now onto booking flights and stressing out on which boards to bring.
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#2597851 - 01/26/17 11:19 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: ModAl]
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: ModAl
My local shop in Camarillo is putting together that exact trip for the summer. They may still have slots available.
Give them a call
Revo surf 805-383-1288


Thanks for the offer but I already had a trip lined up when I saw this. Have a great trip, maybe I'll see you out there!
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#2597855 - 01/26/17 11:25 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: Alvini]
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Alvini
Try Malaysia Airlines, cheaper and boards is allowed without additional charges.


Thanks, I'll look into them. Given the dates I'll be Flying, looks like I need to choose between Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Air China, and Singapore Airlines for the most efficient trips regarding time and stops.
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#2598504 - 01/28/17 12:55 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: CloseOutBs]
connor30 Offline
Grom

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 85
traveled on singapore air on all 3 trips to Mentawais.....they only charge for the bag. I had four boards in the 6'7" bag. Singapore only gets you to Jakarta then I flew on Garuda Air...they also didn't charge for board bag. Loved Singapore air and Garuda on all my trips.

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#2602064 - 02/05/17 06:04 PM Re: Mentawai Surf Charter suggestions?- Summer 2017 [Re: connor30]
CloseOutBs Offline
Grom

Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: connor30
traveled on singapore air on all 3 trips to Mentawais.....they only charge for the bag. I had four boards in the 6'7" bag. Singapore only gets you to Jakarta then I flew on Garuda Air...they also didn't charge for board bag. Loved Singapore air and Garuda on all my trips.


Thats awesome. Glad it worked out. I just booked through Japan Airlines (SD to Tokyo to Jakarta) because it was to most efficient on time and stops. Unfortunately, their board policy is terrible. The website says only 2 boards and its $200 each way. I'm going to take 3 and hope they dont check. Anybody else have any luck taking 3 boards on JAL? Or have any tips when flying with them?

I wanted to bring 4 boards which I heard is recommended for the Mentawais. I'm pretty good at breaking boards so I'll be lucky if I come back with any.

Glad to hear Garuda doesn't charge for boards, I'll try to book through them for the Padang legs.
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