Since Nov 2011 we’ve averaged 29.7% returning guests each week, so we thought it would be cool to offer a bit of an adventure to people that had come to stay with us in Costa Rica several times. The Mentawais Islands in Indonesia have featured in pretty much every surf film made in the last two decades for good reason. Low pressure systems spin across the Southern Ocean between May and September, sending swell after swell up though the still equatic Indian Ocean, during which they organize themselves into nice clean lines, ready to break over the razor edged, coral reefs of Indonesia. While these waves can be dangerous for beginners, we felt that some of our veteran Surf Simply guests were ready for the challenge.
So last week Ru, Kerianne, Harry, Oli, Jessie and Graham (an old friend of Ru and Harry’s but a new edition to the Surf Simply coaching team) travelled to the exact opposite side of the planet from Nosara, to The Macaronis Resort, to meet Todd, Lei-Shin, Steve, Shahan, Bella, Scott, Ceca, Danielle, Pat, Mike Bower and Mike Desaloms (below).
Ru in the barrel at Macaronis.
Most of us had travelled for upwards for 40 hours by the time we arrived but it was worth it as we were greeted with perfect waves, crystal clear water and 360 degree sunsets. The Mentawais are so remote that you feel like you right on the edge of the world when you’re sitting out in the water. A huge thank you to everyone who came and made the difference between a good surf trip and a truly epic one.
We’re now heading back to Costa Rica where the Surf Simply resort in Nosara will open up again for June, July and August. After that we’ll be running coaching courses in France in September and October (during the world title event) and there’s already talk of next year’s Indo trip. There has also been a few whisperings of something happening in South Africa next year…
Our coaching courses in Indonesia are now just a few weeks away. We’ll be in the Mentawais Islands for most of May, however all the spots got snapped up some time ago. Don’t worry though, we do still have some spaces at the Surf Simply Resort in Costa Rica in August and we will also be in running coaching courses in France in the Autumn (we do like to keep busy).
Last year’s intrepid guests at Surf Simply France, Sept 2011, with coaches Harry & Kerianne.Our coaching courses in France, will be running from mid September to mid October, alongside the world title contest, which is great to get involved with in between our own surf coaching sessions.
Hanging out with Surf Simply coaches Alex & Kerianne at the contest at lunchtime, watching Kelly Slater surf the same waves that we were that morning (above & below)
Ru giving the Surf Simply guests a technical break down of Taj Burrows round 4 heat captured on the Quiksilver event webcast (above).
There are also miles of uncrowded, stunning beach breaks running up the coast of France, north of the contest site. Lei-Shin, one of last year’s guests, enjoys a peaceful afternoon surf.
At present we do still have spaces but based on last year, the spots will probably go fairly quickly. So do get in touch with us if you’re interested. Kerianne is organizing the logistics of our France surf coaching courses and you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While all our instructors commit most of their year to teaching at Surf Simply, some of them continue to work on their own projects in their months off. When Kerianne isn’t teaching surf lessons and yoga for us, she’s developing her own business, Kerianne Kreger Yoga Expeditions, which includes Yoga classes, Workshops, Retreats and Yoga Teacher Training courses.
Having played NCAA Division 1 Volleyball, Kerianne knows how important it is to keep your body free from pain. She often uses her qualifications as a 500 Hr RYT and an Ayurvedic Health Educator as well as her experience in gym based fitness therapy, to help Surf Simply guests work through injuries during their stay with us. She also is great at planning goal specific, on going health and fitness regimes.
On her days off in Nosara, she teaches Vinyasa flow classes and progressional workshops at the Yoga House, a near by studio. When she heads home to California for the Costa Rican wet season in September and October, she will be hosting a Yoga Expedition in Avila Valley, CA. This particular trip, at the end of October, entails a three day, two night All Levels Yoga Retreat with yoga, hiking, massage, rest and relaxation at the Sycamore Mineral Springs, on the Central Coast of California.
To be honest we’re never quite sure where she gets all her energy from. For more information about the retreat, click here.
Visiting Bali is a trip every surfer should do at least once. It’s second only to Oahu in terms of iconic surf destinations and seems to pop up in every new surf video these days. Uluwatu was the wave that made the island famous back in the 70′s but it seems to be a right hander on the other side of the island called Keramas which gets all the attention now. Even Bali’s less glamorous neighbor, Lakey Peak in Sumbawa is getting visited regularly by the world’s best and had it’s own section in last year’s jaw dropping movie Modern Collective. Maybe the popularity is due to the fact that you can still do the southern part of Indo on a budget, where as visiting The Mentawis in the far North of the country usually involves paying as premium for a boat charter.
Ru (above,) used to spend every winter in Indo back when he coached surfing in the UK and, despite living in the same village in rural England, it was in Bali that Ru and Gem got together. So the pair were very excited to return there this autumn when the Surf Simply resort closed for September and October as the rains fell hard in Nosara.
Bali is a lot more crowded and expensive than a few years ago but the waves still pump from March to November as low pressure systems, spinning round the roaring forties, pump swell after swell up through the Indian Ocean to peel mechanically over razor sharp coral reefs.
Ru was stoked to meet up with his old friend Oney Anwar at Lakey Peak. Years ago when Ru was living at Lakey’s paying his way by taking photos of other traveling surfers, Oney was just a knee high grommet. Ru gave Oney an old pair of shorts to surf in (which were so big that Oney had to tie them on with rope) and got a few shots of him surfing one foot (yet nearly head high) waves which was a big deal back in the pre-digital era (below left).
Fast forward to the present day and Oney has become the first Indonesian to win an ASP Pro Junior Event (above right). He now has sponsorship from Al’s old friends at JoyStix Surboards as well as Rip Curl (who have had a great program running for a number of years helping talented young Indo kids surf contests and stay in school). Oney is a great ambassador for the youth Indonesia and for surfing; he is modest, polite, works hard and froths over good waves. Everyone here at Surf Simply wishes him all the best in what we hope will be a shining career as a pro surfer.
After visiting Lakey’s, Ru and Gem travelled over to G-Land. The freight train left hand reef break (above and below) peels over a kilometer of reef, stuck on the southern tip of Java. The wave gets thicker and faster the further you ride it down the reef with the final section (called Speedies) folding over on dry reef, once the tide starts to drop.
Ru & Gem were lucky enough to get some solid swell while they were there. Solid enough for Gem to put her helmet on and for Ru to comment that he still has a lot to learn. This was said between grinning with satisfaction at the waves he’d caught and muttering expletives as he dabbed alcohol on his multiple reef cuts.
How do you know if your ready for you’re first Indo trip? A good rule of thumb is this: you need to be comfortable catching waves on a board which is small enough for you to duck dive underneath a surfer as they surf over the top of you. (You could be forgiven for needing to read that again.) If you’re comfortable with that then neither the crowds nor the steep take offs, will detract from the fun which is to be had in a country which has so many surf spots that you could surf a different break every day for 34 years.
Photos by Gem; shots of Ru & Gem surfing Lakey Peak by Grommet; little Oney Photo by Ru and big Oney photo used coutesey of www.ASPWorldTour.com