When my surf sister Cat asked me if I wanted to go to the Mentawai Islands on a girls surf trip for her 40th I immediately said yes. . . and also immediately had the thought – wtf am I thinking?!. Definitely sounded more like a trip for the hardcore. However I am not one to turn down an opportunity or a challenge and decided that I would go and if nothing else become a professional sunbaker. Over confident and under prepared could be my life motto.
As only Cat could do, she assembled a crew of 11 legends and the planning began. Lists were made, Bikini’s were bought, new boards were shaped. . . and maybe a few more bikinis were bought. I was also pretty stoked to discover that of the group we had 1 GP, a critical care nurse, 2 additional nurses and a physio! Seriously! How good is that!?
Without any medical training to offer I decided to dress everyone in Skumi as my contribution. Especially as not only did we have 2 photographers at the resort we also have Meg- one of the legends in our group who not only brings the best vibes in and out of the water but is also a professional photographer. Photoshoot sorted. Boom!
Image: Cat & Mel wearing Skumi @Megan Slade Photography
Off we went creating chaos at the airports with 11 surfboard bags in tow. 1 bus, 3 flights, 2 overnight stays, a 3.5 hour ferry, a speedboat and then we were there. The Mentawai Islands welcomed us with open arms revealing Aloita Resort, the most mind-blowing place in the universe. And it was worth every second of travel. Everywhere you looked it was pure paradise. Paradise times infinity. Was I dreaming? The bungalows, the beach, the palm trees, the water, the sunsets, THE FOOD . . . everything was insanely incredible.
Huey Image: Cat the birthday girl shredding @surfphotogoofy
We were blessed by the weather and surf gods. Sunny days, offshore winds and friendly waves. The conditions were perfection. The sheer joy and excitement of diving into that crystal clear water, hearing the sizzle of the reef beneath, and your board gliding right into your hands off the top of the boat. It was as good as it gets. Now I’m not going to lie – the surf was definitely more challenging than I had expected – Some days the size was just right, but on others, they were a tad bigger than I was used to. Yet, my personal challenge extended beyond the waves themselves. It was the fear of the reef, the power in the water, surfing points and maneuvering in the line up. I had my ass handed to me, went over the falls, have had a full body salt water flush, shed a few tears and remembered how much respect the ocean demands. (We all get the opportunity learn that lesson a few times in our lives). Surfing empty beach breaks on the Sunny Coast is vastly different! Nevertheless, I did still catch waves and the more experienced in the group caught what I would technically call a shitload.
For those curious about what boards we had – most of us brought 2 and we had a range of options from a few longboards, plenty of midlengths and a few short boards (mainly used by the frothers – Cat the birthday girl, Meg the charger and Big Wave Jane).
We also managed to get ourselves a reputation out on the breaks during our time there as the ‘Wooo Girls’. I have to admit, it’s almost involuntary. As soon as one of our crew was on a wave (especially the first one of a session, giving us all a solid example of how the wave was working) there was a resounding ‘Wooooo’ a few ‘Yeeewwwww’s and other general expressions of sheer joy as closely translated to F*&K YEAH.
Eat, Sleep, Surf, Repeat Image: Me on a wave! at Hookers break @surfphotogoofy
For the next week we woke up in paradise, went to yoga lead by the super sweet Jess, readying us for the day of surfing ahead, ate incredible food for breakfast, used nearly an entire tin of surfmud on the boat to the break, surfed for 4ish hours (with a brief intermission to reapply sunscreen and smash a fresh coconut), back to the resort for a nap or a massage and an absolute feast for lunch (did I mention how good the food was?. Then it was back on the boat for the afternoon session, chasing more waves. The day concluded with evening Bintangs, another feast, and crashing into bed, our minds replaying our best (or worst) waves and wipeouts of the day.
The Mother of all Mother’s Day
We didn’t actually realise when booking that we were going to be away for Mother’s Day – but the miracle of facetime connected us briefly for the ‘I love you’s’ with our little people back home before heading out again for more waves. There may also be a rumour circulating now that this is exactly how Mother’s Day should be spent. . . more research needs to be conducted . . . .
All in all, this trip was a gathering of good souls and surfers. There’s nothing quite like heading on a trip with like-minded people with a shared passion. Everyone should do it! (Shout out to Vanessa for being my roommate and travel wife – I miss you honey 😊 )
Aloita resort is unbelievable and the backdrop of the Mentawai Islands is surreal.
Huge thanks to Meg for capturing the girls in their new beach cover ups/Skumi shirts. Thank you girls for all being my surfy supermodels and shredders in general.
And Happy Birthday Cat, thanks for the trip of a lifetime!
Roisin aka Mrs Skumi aka a Wooo Girl . . . WOOOOOOOOO!
Ps. Thanks Wade for holding down the fort and being sole parent and sole business operator for 10 days. Looks like it’s your turn next xx