Mentawai surf forecast and season

Wondering when to score the best waves for your surf trip? Here’s what you need to know about the Mentawai surf seasons.

Located about 150km off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, the Mentawai Islands are one of the world’s most coveted surfing destinations. With wide exposure to the Southern Indian Ocean, the islands experience unrivaled swell consistency, far beyond what Bali gets. Between bigger swells, there are consistent small pulses that maintain the surf, and during the peak season, bomb swells often arrive back to back. Few swells push into the 10ft+ range though, making thing the Mentawais a destination for all levels of surfers, looking to learn and improve their surfing in world-class waves and a tropical setting.

High Surf Season

May – September

Best For: Intermediate – Advanced
Crowd Factor: Medium

Shoulder Season

March – April & October – November

Best For: Beginner – Advanced
Crowd Factor: Medium

Low Season

December – February

Best For: Beginner – Advanced
Crowd Factor: Light

Mentawai High Season

The Mentawai high season runs May- September

You’ll have a hard time finding better, more consistent waves anywhere in the world than the Mentawai islands during the southern hemisphere winter. From May to September the Indian Ocean provides back-to-back swells to Indonesia.

Historical data shows that from mid-June through early August, surfers can expect overhead to double-overhead swells in the region. The Mentawai region predominantly faces west-southwest and SW swells from the South East or south central Indian ocean typically deliver the bigger and most consistent swells. While south swells deliver waves here, they will usually be smaller than what you could find in Bali or Javas more south-facing breaks

Situated near the equator in the doldrums, the islands experience frequent weak and highly variable winds which is a unique advantage over other areas of Indonesia. This means that glassy conditions are the norm and with the variable winds, different spots can turn on at different times of the day. The only time the wind gets up over 15 knots or so is during a thunderstorm. Our guides know the area like the back of their hands and will get you into the best waves of your life.

Mentawai Shoulder Season

March-April and October-November are shoulder season months in Mentawai

The Mentawai Islands are a surfer’s paradise, with overhead waves, great weather, and an overall fantastic atmosphere during the high season. But, there has been a misconception about the Shoulder-Season for years.

While it’s true that the size and consistency are down a level or two from the high season, there is no shortage of good waves. Many of our guests (including ourselves) prefer the Shoulder-Season over the in-season because we do not always want the massive, scary surf that comes with it. Instead, we get to enjoy the fun overhead surf that the Mentawais are known for, all while experiencing light crowds and great conditions, making it perfect for learning and improving your surfing.

Swell size generally trends down from October through to November with less frequent and strong storms in the Indian Ocean. This trend is then reversed from March to April as the Indian Ocean starts to come alive again in the run-up to peak season. During shoulder season it’s rare for the surf to drop down below head high for more than a few days at a time, and there is still a very good chance of a solid overhead swell, especially in October and April.

The Mentawais, unlike Southeast Indo (Java, Bali, and beyond), do not have a clearly defined wet or dry season. As a result, the winds remain light throughout the year. Although E-SE wind is favored during the high season, N-NW wind is favored during the shoulder seasons and low season. However, the wind usually remains at 10 knots or less and changes direction frequently, sometimes even within hours.

It’s no wonder that the Shoulder Season is considered the Mentawai’s best-kept secret. So, if you’re looking for a surfing adventure, don’t overlook the Shoulder-Season – it may just surprise you!

Low Season

December to February are the Mentawais low season

The low season gets a bad rap. Surf size is down and the bigger swells are less consistent as the Southern Indian Ocean takes some time off from the rest of the year’s relentless swell-making. But the conditions around Mentawai during this time are commonly clean and the surf is still pretty consistent. Waist-to-head high days, with the occasional overhead day, and significantly quieter than the other seasons. Don’t say we didn’t give you the tip.