The rainy season in Mentawai gets a bad rap. But those who know Indonesia understand that surfing during the rainy season isn’t all mud and monsoons. It is one of the best times to enjoy uncrowded lineups, significant discounts, and plenty of epic waves. Many surfers prefer visiting during the monsoon season, and we’re here to explain why.
When Is the Rainy Season?
The off-season, also known as monsoon or rainy season, in Mentawai is from October to March. November, December, and January tend to be the rainiest months of the season, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be hunkered down in your cabana watching the rain fall day after day.
Even the rainiest months see plenty of ideal weather and light winds, perfect for catching head-high tubes with few other surfers in the water. This is because the Mentawais sit only 2 degrees south of the equator. The temperature is consistent, and it doesn’t have the same definitive “dry” and “wet” seasons you’ll find in Bali. It’s not uncommon to enjoy numerous days on end with zero rain during the “rainy season” in the Mentawais.
Benefits of Visiting in the Off-Season
Surfers who visit the Mentawais during the off-season return home completely surfed out and with noodle arms. The following are several benefits of surfing in the monsoon season in the Mentawais.
The Mentawais Receive All Swells
The Mentawais’ unique location, roughly 70 nautical miles off the west coast of Sumatra, leaves it exposed to all swell directions in the Indian Ocean year-round.
Crowds are Limited
Many traveling surfers see the word “monsoon” and search for other destinations for their surf adventures. Over the years, that resulted in about 98 percent of Mentawais surf resorts closing from November through February.
Travelers who venture to the region during the off-season enjoy uncrowded and sometimes even empty lineups. They get to surf some of the most popular surf spots in the world without worrying about drop-ins or chandeliers.
The peak season from March to October typically means massive swells with double overhead tubes that can be intimidating and even dangerous for most intermediate surfers. Many surfers who visit in peak season are left watching the pros from the safety of the boat.
Surfing in monsoon season means manageable waves for intermediate surfers, typically in the 3- to 4-foot or head-high range. These are ideal conditions for pulling into tubes or perfecting your roundhouse with a reduced chance of injury.
Go Easy on Your Wallet
Prices for resorts, boat trips, dining, and activities tend to be lower during the rainy season in Indonesia. It’s the best time to ask for discounts, especially for groups.
Enjoy the Tranquility of the Season
There’s nothing quite like relaxing in a hammock after two surf sessions and listening to the pattering of rainfall on the roof of your cabana. The rain during this season is accountable for creating lush greenery and a surreal environment surrounded by the elements.
No Wetsuit Necessary
Californians gear up for October and the following months by purchasing the latest wetsuits, booties, gloves, and hoods to surf winter swells in freezing cold water.
Surfing in the rainy season in the Mentawais means a water temperature of 26- to 28- degrees Celsius (78-83 Fahrenheit) and consisted of air temperatures between 26 and 32 (78-90 Fahrenheit). These temperatures are a warm welcome to anyone avoiding winter in the northern hemisphere.
Celebrate the Holidays in Paradise
Have you dreamed of a holiday season in paradise away from Black Friday sales and blizzards? The off-season is an ideal time to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays and spend your winter break getting shacked. Imagine swapping your usual holiday gift-giving for trading world-class waves in an uncrowded lineup.
There’s Something for Everyone
The Mentawais are famous for world-class surf, but that’s not all there is to do. There are ideal locations for surf lessons, picturesque reefs for snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboard excursions, and countless other adventures.
Members of your group seeking relaxation will love the spas, swimming pools, warm ocean waters, and picture-perfect beaches. The Mentawais are paradise in all seasons, and you can enjoy all the beauty without the crowds during the off-season.
Not as Risky as It Sounds
The most common factor steering surfers away from the Mentawais this time of year is the fear of getting skunked and wasting precious vacation dollars. The truth is that it’s rare for anyone to get skunked when surfing in monsoon season in the Mentawais. Most visitors enjoy fun-size waves, light offshores, and long-period swells, with a few rain showers in the mix.
Indonesia’s Best-Kept Secret
Resort owners and locals know the off-season in the Mentawais is Indonesia’s best-kept secret. Low crowds, epic waves, and often excellent weather make for unforgettable surf trips for those willing to venture away from the norm.
Like most best-kept secrets around the surfing world, people are beginning to realize that the off-season in the Mentawais doesn’t mean the swell is turned off. Now is the time to visit the Mentawais for surfing in the rainy season, before the whole world catches wind that the waves are pumping, prices are affordable, and most of the crowd decided to stay home.