Bianca Valenti catching some tube time. Photo: Sachi Cunningham.
It’s on every surfer’s bucket list who fancies themselves hard core. Once an unchartered gold mine of perfect waves kept secret by a hand full of buccaneers, we now know “The Ments” like it’s our backyard break from surf and social media. “Macas” and “HTs” are tossed around as household names like “Pipe” and “Mavs”. The trip has been perfected into a 10-12 day trip that, for a mere $2000 – $5000 (not including air fare) you can surf for 6-8 hours a day, have a personal chef keeping your belly full and unlimited Bintangs (that’s the local brew) to pass the time while you rest and rehydrate. If you’ve played your cards right, you’ll be with 5-10 of your best friends, all charging surfers having the best surf trip of your life. No neoprene. Schools of angel fish and fluorescent green coral at your feet and waves long and consistent enough that you feel like you’re practicing your swing at the driving range. Barrels for days.
This is why you come to the Mentawais. Photo: Sachi Cunningham.
That was the fantasy that I saw materialize for male surfing friends over the years, or an occasional wife or girlfriend lucky enough to safely join a boat of frothing men in search of waves.
Our home for 10 nights and 10 days, the Samudra Biru, or “Ocean Blue.” Photo: Sachi Cunningham.
Then the opportunity presented itself recently to get in on an all women’s boat trip to the Mentawais with my favorite home break homies from Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I was not going to let anything get in the way. I left my 2 ½ year old daughter with my husband who, fortunately for me and the negotiations that come with both parents being surfers, had already celebrated his 40th birthday with a crew of friends at the Macaronis camp a few months prior.
Left to right, Bianca Valenti, Monique Labuschagne Kitamura and Leah Guillermo paddle out. Photo: Sachi Cunningham.
From left to right, Rebecca Wunderlich, Suzie Yang, Cindy Yang, Bianca Valenti, Leah Guillermo and Beth Price sizing up the lineup. Photo: Sachi Cunningham.