Kandui Villas® :: THE SURF

Kandui® is in the middle of a chain of smaller islands between Siberut and Sipora that is known as Playgrounds in the surfing world. There are more than two dozen spots breaking on about half-a-dozen small- to medium-sized islands. Jordan Heuer is originally from Hawaii but has been working non-stop in West Sumatra for the past 10 years. He is the founder of Kandui Resort, one of the founders of Kandui Villas® and helped put together this list of available spots.

Going clockwise around the island, beginning with the spots directly in front of Kandui Villas®:

Kandui Left:

AKA Kanduis or Nokanduis = a startlingly fast, hollow perfect wave, known as the best left in the world by any person and any top pro surfers who have surfed it on a good day. One of those rare things in the surfing world that lives up to the hype, and then some. Unless you grew up with Pipeline, Teahupoo, Grajagan, Cloudbreak or a NASCAR track in your front yard, few waves in the world are preparation for the length, depth and intensity of Kandui®. Surfers from around the world come back to Kandui® to figure it out and get it wired, and once they have caught one good wave there, they are hooked for life, and keep coming back to add minutes and hours of tube time to their life inventory.

Baby Kandui:

When Kandui Left is giant and only mad dogs and Englishmen are game to charge it at 12-foot plus, other mortals take the five-minute paddle down the beach to Baby Kandui, or paddle off the beach directly in front of the jetty of Kandui Villas®. When the swell is giant, Baby Kandui is a 300 yard long, tubing left hander, with 3-4 tube sections on each wave. When Baby Kandui is small and high tide, it is an easy long left that is ideal for hot dogging, or long boarding.

Malibu Right:

Only five minutes from Kandui Villas®, this is a short but sometimes fun, easy right breaking on a small, one-palm tree sand island.

Playgrounds Left and Right:

AKA Karambat Left, Bikinis or G-strings. Around the northern tip of the island and on the northeast side, but only five minutes by dinghy from Kandui Villas®. This wave is predominantly a long easy left, but also has a right hander off of it when it gets a bit bigger. A good tune-up for surfers who don’t want to immediately fling themselves into the maw of Kandui. The view of all the surrounding islands from Karambat will knock the jet lag out of you and leave no doubt you’re not in Kansas anymore.

4 Bobs:

Located directly in front of the Kandui Resort on the east side of the island, 4 Bobs is a fun, hot-dog right-hander that is many steps down in intensity from Kandui/Kanduis/Nokandui, but is still better than 99% of the waves wherever you came from. Surfers who haven’t managed a turn while racing the barrels elsewhere come to 4 Bobs to throw spray and get airs.

A Frames:

A popular, consistent left breaking off a small island on the east side of the main island. Not as intense as Kandui – because few waves in the Mentawai, or anywhere, are – A Frames can be high performance heaven for goofyfoots, but will also throw up a barrel to remind surfers why they came all that way.

Kandui Right/Rifles:

Just ask 10-time world champion Kelly Slater or anyone else who has charged it and you’ll understand it lives up to Jordan Heuer’s description:

Kandui Right (AKA Rifles) is the best right hander in the entire world. It can be up to 800+ yards long, with freight train tube after freight train tube from start to finish. Better than J-Bay, better than Sanur, and any other of the top right handers in the world. Hands down the best right hander in the world. Rifles is only six minutes from Kandui Villas®.

Maikun Island / Hideaways

Directly to the north of Kandui is the island of Maikun, which is home to another left reef called Hideaways.

Hideaways:

Far off and fickle, as this spot is on the west side of a small island somewhat shadowed by Nyang Nyang and Karangmajat. Hideaways is a left reef that everyone knows about and keeps a weather eye on, for that proper combination of swell angle and wind. When it breaks, it approaches the Teahupoo and Pipeline class for challenge and gnarliness.

Nyang Nyang Island

Nyang Nyang Island is northwest of Kandui and is home to a half-dozen breaks. Going clockwise from the southeast corner of the island:

  • Nipussi:

    A right reef about 15 minutes by fast longboat from Kandui Villas®. If you’re tired of going Mach One through barrels frontside or backside, Nipussi is the place to go for hitting the lip, launching your bag of tricks and big carves. In other words: A performance wave that actually lets you out of the barrel from time to time. Nipussi is one of the more consistent, reliable waves in the Playgrounds inventory.

  • Bank Vaults:

    About 15 minutes by boat from Kandui Villas®, Bank Vaults is the 2nd best right hander in the Mentawai after Rifles, often compared to a cross between Backdoor Pipeline and Sunset Beach, but better, and with much easier drops. At any size, Bank Vaults offers amazing tube rides, but when it’s big, this spot has the biggest right hand tubes in the Mentawai Islands.

  • Pit Stops:

    Twenty minutes from Kandui Villas®, Pit Stops right is kind of like sushi, or other acquired tastes: Some people swear by it, others swear at it. Pit Stops is a right reef and a favorite wave for surfers who want to work on their aerials, tailslides and other tricks. In other words: A hotdog wave that will still barrel, although a lot of surfers prefer to float over the barrel than ride in them on this wave.

  • E-Bay:

    Twenty minutes from Kandui Villas®, E-Bay is a fickle left reef that fires when the swell is out of the west. E-Bay starts to grind when it’s overhead and goes to double overhead plus and is a fairly typical, perfect, hollow grinding Mentawai left barrel.

  • Beng Beng:

    If you want to come to the Mentawai and enjoy the view and surf without worrying about getting caught inside or trapped inside the barrel, Beng Beng is one of the spots. Anywhere else in the world, Beng Beng would cause riots but this left reef – which is better on lower tides – is one of the easier nearby waves when the easy waves in the Kandui/Playgrounds area are not working – and Beng Beng is a good tune-up for the more Black Diamond waves available.

Karangniki Island / Burgerworld

Even farther to the northwest, the island of Karangniki is close to Siberut and is home to Burgerworld: As the name implies, Burger World is not the fastest or most powerful wave in the Playgrounds inventory, but it’s one of the more consistent waves in the area, and a place surfers flock to on those rare occasions when there is no swell. When it is in the shoulder-high-to-a-couple-feet-over-head range, Burgerworld is a long rippable right hand point break with some tube sections, and has been compared to a section of small J-Bay by some of the top touring pros.

Boats and Access

Kandui and Baby Kandui are directly in front of the Kandui Villas® and there are two dozen other spots within 30 minutes by fast boat, in all directions. For getting to the surf, Kandui Villas® has a solid inventory of boats for accessing the inventory of waves: two, five-meter heavy duty plastic dinghies, one 5.2 meter Kahajaya center-consul speed boat and four, 45-50 foot longboats for accessing the spots outside of Playgrounds: Hideaways, Nipussi, Burgerworld, E-Bay.

Kandui Villas® launches their fleet of surf boats from four cement docks. Three of the docks are built in a mangrove lagoon located behind each section of the resort making for easy transitions to and from the resort. The fourth dock is a jetty located on the front beach side of the resort, in a keyhole channel between Kandui Left and Baby Kandui.

The long boats are 45-50 feet long, and five to six feet wide. Because of the long boats’ sleek design, they cut through the chop better than any boats around, giving a smooth, comfortable and stable ride even through rough seas. Their construction is also very strong, using an entire tree the length of the boat for the body. The long boats all use three x 40 HP outboards, and go 20+ knots. They have canopies, comfortable padded seats, and all the safety gear, including life jackets, flares, GPS, EPIRB, and satellite phone contained in a Pelican case. Each boat brings a drinking water dispenser, and cooler with snacks, and drinks.

In a word: styling. In another word: safety. In a third word: speed.