The Trip that Changes Everything
While Hawaii will always be Mecca, the Mentawai Islands are undoubtedly surfing’s answer to Disneyland; an expansive surfing fun park with every kind of ride you ever dreamt of.
Between the months of March and October every year the Ments is where all the kids – including the world’s best – want to go and play. For a surfing publication that combination of perfect waves and exceptional performances is too hard to ignore. Each year we try to assemble crews that will propel one another to new heights. These boat trips are really social experiments in elitism – like getting a bunch of the world’s best musicians together and simply encouraging them to ad-lib and freestyle. Sometimes the setting and the peer pressure, pushes the surfers to do things not even they thought they were capable of. That’s why we are there with cameras pointed to ensure that the moments of rare brilliance that redefine the boundaries of surfing are captured.
We’ve dedicated almost an entire issue to our Mentawai Odyssey, which involved shooting with two different crews over the course of a month. We also produced two movies on the trip. This month features the eclectically cast Sojourn while you’ll have to wait til our Jan’ issue comes out for the more upbeat Loco Loco.
In a finite world the Mentawai Islands are probably surfing’s greatest treasure. That’s worth remembering as you pour over the pages of this month’s mag, plan your next trip and zone in on the DVD action. Approached in the right way and with an awareness of the cultural context, the Mentawai islands are the sort of place, which can transport you to a higher mental, physical and spiritual plane. Maybe that’s a little too esoteric for you to swallow, but whatever the circumstance don’t ever let anyone tell you that, ‘It’s just another trip to The Ments.’
- Luke Kennedy
Sojourn: An interplanetary surf conversation with David Rastovich & Friends; Dane Gudauskas, Soli Bailey, Brad Gerlach, Dylan Graves, Chris Del Moro and Aamion Goodwin.
We belong to a twisting, turning, alive surfing culture that is perpetually recreating itself. We bounce back to ourselves various stories that help shape the way we treat each other in the line ups and on land.
Loco Loco: Two island chains, back-to-back swells to set them alight & 10 days spent surfing from one end to the other.
The lofty volcanic ranges of central Sumatra move lazily below. The earth strangled by the primordial Sumatran rainforest in which endangered orang-utan swing and tiger stalk. I’m imagining how I’d fare if I were dropped, Bear Grylls style, into the thick of it – not well is my general conclusion – when the mountains suddenly descend, the forest thins and a wide coastal plain opens up. In the distance a first glimpse of the living, breathing and heaving expanse that will be home for the next 10 days comes into view – the might Indian Ocean … and mighty is exactly what it’s predicted to be.
On A String And A Prayer: Spy Games And Slab Hunters With Scott Dennis
When it comes to finding new waves Scott ‘Whippy’ Dennis is willing to play spy games with the bodyboarding fraternity. Although maligned by surfers, the spongers are often great pioneers of Australian slabs. Had it not been for the inexhaustible barrel lust of bodyboarders, slabs like Cyclops or Ours might never have been conquered by upright riders. This is a surfing fact that Whippy is not to proud to admit.
Clay Marzo graces the cover of December Tracks on a screamer at Greenbush. This image was taken while Clay was on location in Indonesia for the filming of Loco Loco. You’ll have to wait for the Jan’ issue to see the footage but for now you can read about all the treasure they scored in the Ments. Photo: Simon Williams.