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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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 Mentawai

Indonesia

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By Pilou , 08-07-2007

Bungalows on Mentawais - Hi guys, i'm planning to go to the Mentawais soon but dont want to use those surf charters which I think are way to expensive for indo & surfing...
Do u have any good advices where to sleep? I would like to find some bungalows around Lances if possible.
Thanks ; )

By Anonymous , 29-06-2007

Who is GREEDY? - No Monopolies in the Mentawais. Just 5 licensed tourism companies. Licenses issued by the Mentawai Government. Everybody is welcome to apply for a license.

The majority of boat owners are not licensed and have never applied to be licensed. Why would they, if they can all remain illusive and have minimal impact on the region (positive or negative), just using the waves in the region for their own financial gain whilst the villagers look on in envy from the beaches or from their canoes.

As far as I know to have a licensed company as per the existing Mentawai Marine Tourism Regulations each company must: own minimum 2 / maximum 6 boats, own land in the Mentawais, own an office in the Mentawais, pay tourism tariffs (US$3 per day per guest), pay 10% PPN tax (a bit like GST) and pay annual income tax. Also a decent proposal must be submitted to the Mentawai government.

The resorts have apparently gained tourism licenses as they have had to qualify to hold licenses and build their resorts. This process has taken years. The boat owners must now try to comply with the laws and either join with a licensed tourism company or apply for their own tourism license.

Those holding licenses who have not developed according to their plans will be scrutinised by the government and may be in danger of loosing their license in the future. Sure, in the past the industry has barely been regulated so those who have not developed have kept a hold of their licenses. As it is promised that the industry will now be regulated, we can expect that license holders will also be scrutinised to uphold their development plans.

Mentawai Law Perda No.16 was released in 2002 and has a limit of 5 licenses to be issued in first five years of tourism development. The Perda 16 will soon be revised and it would be more worthy of disgrunted boat owners to instead rally to the government and request further licenses to be issued, if they are not in favor of joining with one of the existing licensed companies.

This would be far more respectable than the current slandering action being taken by some against the existing licensed operators who have abided by the laws. The existing license holders have jumped through dozens of hoops and have had to pay up for their license. The unlicensed operators have operated unregulated for years and made plenty of untaxed income and now are begrudged as the government would like to regulate the industry. My heart bleeds.

Licensed operators are not obliged to accept boats under their licenses. Boats are not obliged to join with either of the 5 licensed companies, but they may do if they negotiate a deal both parties are happy with. Obviously positions under these licenses would not be free, no license is for free, and the license will require financial upkeep (eg. 5% of gross currently offered by some licensed companies).

For surfers, lets hope there will soon be some management for us. The industry operators need to be managed as with recent historic events and overpopulation of boats it is clear that they can not manage themselves.

Mentawai people and its government deserve to manage their own industry. None of us want the best breaks to be swamped with boats / frothers on a regular basis, especially if surfing guests are paying US$250+ per day to surf with 30 - 40 people. After all, we are here to surf the wave, not say we have visited it!!

Hopefully this shit will work its self out soon. Go the Mentawai government, go the Mentawai people, go the licensed operators, unlicensed operators go and get your licenses sorted out, everybody stop being selfish, and provide some positive input into the industry, so it can be properly managed and everybody can enjoy without the rediculous crowds banking up once every 2 years.

A bit like a bunch of japs fighting over one of Austrlias state fishing industries. Pathetic really. Foreign operators, stand up and listen to the Mentawai Government (if you are able to understand their language)and provide them with some educated industry input (perhaps through the MMTA). Get over it, it is not ours, let's face it, the Mentawais are a jewel with a bunch of greedy foreign assholes fighting over it.

The tourists and the Mentawai community are the most important people that need to be looked after in the future. The operators must be regulated by the Mentawai Government for this to happen. WAKE UP EVERYBODY.

By Anonymous , 04-06-2007

think twice - Just inform you guys

be careful if you book trip to mentawai with Jordon and his boat the Aileoita.

His boat just raid by Indonesian police and they found huge amount of mariyuana, most probably he is a dealer of illegal drug and use his boat to cover this business.

no ones know when police raid the boat again and if you were there your holiday suddenly change onto bad holiday, easy for police to put you as suspects and part of jordon's team. you may face death penalty in indonesia

think twice!!!

By Anti Monopoly community , 04-06-2007

against monopoly in mentawai - To whom it may concern

some greedy people formed an association called MMTA to monopoly surfing community in mentawai, they want to control what boats can operate there and who are allowed to surf in mentawai islands and collect 5% from boat annual revenue, in the other word, your surf expenses will increase 5%, this money is for them for doing nothing.

please support us against those greedy people by not booking your trip through them.

they are: RICK CAMERRON (THE ELECTRIC LAMB, SANSOUCCI), JORDAN HEUER (AILEOITA 1, AILEOITA 2), DARREL ROBINSON (BINTANG AND NAVISTAR), BANGGUN (KING MILLENIUM) AND KANDUI RESORT AND MACCARONIS RESORT.

please join us to stop them!!

By Anonymous , 04-06-2007

- To whom it may concern

some greedy people formed an association called MMTA to monopoly surfing community in mentawai, they want to control what boats can operate there and who are allowed to surf in mentawai islands and collect 5% from boat annual revenue, in the other word, your surf expenses will increase 5%, this money is for them for doing nothing.

please support us against those greedy people by not booking your trip through them.

they are: RICK CAMERRON (THE ELECTRIC LAMB, SANSOUCCI), JORDAN HEUER (AILEOITA 1, AILEOITA 2), DARREL ROBINSON (BINTANG AND NAVISTAR), BANGGUN (KING MILLENIUM) AND KANDUI RESORT AND MACCARONIS RESORT.

please join us to stop them!!

By Anonymous , 25-05-2007

reasonable prices on land - There are budget options in the Playground( ie.Grandmas) and other areas.One is right on Kandui island.Local guys will take you out in their small boats for a small fee.Why pay $100-300+ a day to surf in a crowd-its a joke!Support the local entrepenurs-do not go on overpriced boats or ridiculously priced land camps.The local people need your support-why can't they have their own small businesses?Sure its rougher travel,but actually it can also be quite comfortable,they are very willing to accomodate your requests-just say what extra you want and what you are willing to pay,it will work out.Plus you get see their way of life,learn the language and maybe even have a little adventure.Do you really need some outside foreigner to wipe your ass for you and charge $$$$.Be a man,go out and do some independent travel,might just put some hair on your chest,oh yeah and with the money you save you can stay way,way longer,and score SO MANY MORE WAVES !

By filipebrunodesign@gmail.com , 16-03-2007

Mentawaii Boat Share - Hi , i am filipe , and i will go to the Mentawaiis in early may , i go alone , so if there is any space for this time in any boat , drop me an email. I am from Peniche Portugal , and i surf for 23 years , not a pro but i can surf.
Looking for a cheap deal , if its too expensive i will do it the hard way , overland and try to learn their laguage.

By boats are better , 26-02-2007

don't stay on land - That's almost true, the laws have been drawn up but aren't in affect yet. It's up to you to Boycott the camps and go on the expensive boats. Boats are expensive to take care of and that's why it's so expensive. All the breaks are far away from each other and we do alot of running around to keep people happy. The reason boats have become more expensive is because they're becoming better. You can still go on feral boats but remember, they're cheaper because they use less money for maintenance, have a untrained crew and less experienced captain, worse food and less of it, often no safety equipment and they stay in the same spot for long periods of time to minimize the fuel use. Bottom line, you get what you pay for in a boat. In a camp, unless you're in playgrounds you're going to find that that one spot that you thought you'd be surfing epic all day everyday actually doesn't break perfectly all the time. Young Guns 2 got such great waves because they were fully mobile and know all the different waves and required conditions. Most of the waves are 20-30 miles away from each other. You're not going to hop in the camp's speedboat and go catch a wave when the wind comes onshore where you are. The camps will tell you that, but it's not the case. The only camps to stay in are Wavepark and Kandui, all the rest of them are run by greedy people who don't surf and just want to make a buck. They do not care if you get a wave or not. You already paid before you came!!!

By Anonymous , 23-01-2007

Maybee- maybee not? - Overland travel to the Mentawais has been possible in the past with a good knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia, a lot of preparation including taking everything you need including most food and offcourse a heap of time.

NOW???....New laws were drawn up by the Mentawai goverment and passed they restrict among many things access and where you can stay if you do not stay in aproved(licence holder accomadation) laws restricting boat charters have not been enforced, but reports are Police are seeking payment from landbased travelers.

Why were these laws drawn up???..the LIE to protect the Mentawais.

THE TRUTH = Money, as is true elsewhere the richest people have the power there is a lot of money invested in surf resorts/boat charters in the Ments.

In the same way Nias was once remote they fear(and rightly so) more surfers will go overland, resulting in more local losmens and warungs and local boats used as water taxis in areas close to good waves.

RESULT=loss of money,they now hold the power, and money talks more in Indo than anywhere.

The future=???? Higher prices for all if you want to surf the ments,the prices are crazy now with competition from 50+ boat charters, imagine when the monopoly of only 5 licence holders takes effect.

THE SAD TRUTH= The rich get richer,a handfull of locals work for about 1 juta($100 US) a month if there very lucky(could be half that)and possibly? the majority of the money goes out of the country.

BUT THE WORST BIT = the real locals who are extremely poor money wise and health care wise and are lucky to survive to 50,get shafted instead of enjoying the benfits of a resourse that is theres and having the opurtunity to open small accomadation(losmens), warungs, offer transport,via land and sea(to waves) and spread the money out through the community benefiting all, there life will remain a struggle while some forgeiners get rich(and offcourse the fat cats they must pay to keep the ments there exclusive market).

On a positive note, thankfully there are a few great organizations addressing some of the problems through the area.

Oh..I forgot to mention you lose too.

By raimondz@hotmail.com , 22-01-2007

Mentawai Budget Surf - I plan a surf holiday to the Mentawais. Could anyone please tell me if surfing here on lowbudget is possible?
Last Winter I surfed in Lombok where local fisherman ask EUR 5 to accompany you to the reefs. I any such thing possible in Mentawai? Any info seeking on the web leeds to package deals where u r spending over EUR 100 day, ridiculous prices for Indonesia!
Thanks a lot for your lowbudget travel info.

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