Pasongan Bay: the surfing jewel of the Mentawai Islands
- 19 May 2017 | Travel
Over the last 20 years, the Mentawai Islands have become the most sought after surf destination in the world and the focus of intense surf media exposure and interest from surf travelers the world over.
The island chain is blessed with a large number of world-class waves, intermediate level locations, and also a few beginner spots in some areas.
This combined with the tropical beauty, remote locality, tropical climate and fascinating culture of the indigenous communities has made these islands one of the most popular surf holiday destinations on the planet.
One of the jewels in the Mentawai crown is Macaronis. It is, without a doubt, one of the best waves in the world and riders of all levels are able to surf here depending on the conditions.
It is challenging for surfers from the lower end of the intermediate spectrum in small conditions through to advanced and professional surfers in large and powerful groundswells that regularly slam into the Indonesian archipelago during the southern hemisphere winter.
Macaronis is surfable on all tides and most wind conditions, and its exposition to the storm swells generated in the Southern Indian Ocean provides surfers with an astonishing level of consistency.
The spot is located in Pasongan Bay, North Pagai, in the South Mentawai islands. While the region is blessed with some world-class locations such as Macaronis, Greenbush, Rags Right and Left, Roxys, Thunders, Rednut, etc., it is less well known that there are many quality surf options right inside Pasongan Bay.
The Macaronis Resort, located in the heart of Pasongan Bay, provides immediate, year-round access to a large number of waves inside this famous bay, some of which definitely fly under the radar.
Macaronis Left is such a focus of attention for any visiting surfer to this region that some of the other quality waves in Pasongan Bay go unnoticed and are rarely surfed. Inside Macaronis resides a little brother - Mini Macas - which has been largely ignored by most people during their Macaronis experience.
It's a quality, uncrowded left-hander which commences from a bowly peak and races off into a long left-hand reef break. This is a perfect spot for lower intermediate surfers or surfers of all abilities when very large ground swells turn Macaronis into a dangerous, snarling beast of a wave.
Outside, Macaronis Right is a shifty peak that reels off through the inside providing a lengthy ride and is rarely surfed. When Macaronis is cross-shore with north-to-northwesterly winds, Macaronis Right is straight offshore and firing.
Inside, Macaronis Right is a rarely surfed gem that in the right conditions can provide an intense and hollow barrel that is the target of right-hand-starved natural-footers staying in the area.
Further inside Pasongan Bay, some of the local surfers from Silabu have started surfing a reef at the very bottom of the bay that provides both a left and right-hand reef break of varying quality.
Lastly, deep inside Pasongan Bay, you'll find a true gem for beginners and lower intermediates that are intimidated by coral reefs or do not yet have the skill set to negotiate the other waves in the area.
Fish Fingers is a long, perfect right-hand beach break that works from waist-high to well overhead, on south swells that are frequent in this area. There are also a handful of other waves in the immediate vicinity that are only known to those that have spent a significant amount of time in the area, and that only break in certain conditions.
If you would like to find out more about Pasongan Bay and the Mentawais contact the Macaronis Resort.