Sumatran Surfariis started running charters north of the Mentawais in 1998, and was one of the very first to really dedicate a lot of months of the year to surfing all over the region. By late in 1999, we had already surfed the whole way around Simeulue, had surfed on the Aceh mainland, travelled through the Banyaks, surfed all along the north, west and south coasts of Nias and the Telo island chain.
The year 2000 saw SS running charters into the north area for 7 months a year and over the next decade we spent the majority of our time running charters all over this region.
These days there are some resorts, camps and other boats visiting the areas, the main waves can get busy on their days, but its still quite quiet and we have many spots we can sneak off to and surf alone.
There is more travel involved in the North, more fuel, more check ins, more cost, more wear and tear, this means less people, and also means the need for us to charge a little more. We haven’t got a north price and a Mentawais price as some boats do because we don’t want to lock you in, there are certain conditions that make the Mentawais a better option, or maybe starting in the north Mentawais and then heading north.
At Sumatran Surfariis we have priced our trips so that we can run north if its a better call. A very basic statement is that the north doesn’t have the size, quality or tubes of the Mentawais, but it has many empty lineups, clean fun waves and often suits surfers not looking for magazine/pro waves.