The surf around Macaronis Resort offers something for everybody. There is a fun right hand beach break ideal for beginners nearby the entrance to the lagoon, several beginner and intermediate reef breaks, and a few serious reef breaks, that serve up the deepest, longest, hair raising barrels you could imagine.
Macaronis wave its self is unique. From 2-3 feet, it is normally a very fun wave peeling perfectly over flat coral reef; good for anybody that is able to get to their feet and go across the face. It breaks so perfectly, and usually at such a distance, that your surfing style and confidence will improve quickly.
At 4-5 feet, Macas becomes more challenging and starts to barrel from the take off, offering more power and lip for doing maneuvers and getting barreled. Over 6 feet, it becomes a dredging tube from take off. When Macas gets to this size, fortunately some of the other waves turn on, offering an alternative for those who prefer to surf something a bit more mellow.
Macas Right is a great option in N winds and with a S swell. Silabu Left is ideal for those who want clean waves on their own; it just needs a little bit of West in the swell to turn on with S - E winds. And for the beginners; in the bay there is always Fish Fingers, which is a fun mellow right hander breaking over shallow sand bottom, and Mini Macas which is another left breaking over coral further in from Macas main break.
There is also a bommy peak in the middle of the bay that can be surfed on a stand up paddle board or longboard, mainly just a drop, but still a bit of fun for those after something different to surf on their own.....
Above: An artists impression of Macaronis Bay by Guy Hastings. Shows Silabu Left on the right of the picture, Macas and Mini Macas on the left of the picture and Macas Right in the middle, on the other side of the bay.
The map above shows waves accessible from Macaronis Resort (Click here for larger version).
During peak season, while there can be a lot of charter boats around and while the twin mooring system is in play at Macaronis, we normally limit our operational range from Greenbush to Bat Cave, to avoid over-crowding of the southern breaks.
More distant waves are accessed by our 7.2 meter aluminum speedboat or dug out longboats. Bat Cave area offers some great fishing and diving opportunity, so it is sometimes good to head in the Bat Cave direction on a small day, to get a few fun waves and to see a bit of different scenery, and do some fishing or diving along the way.
Lances Right and Lances Left further to the north on South Sipora are approximately 33 miles (1 hour, 15 min) by speedboat from Macaronis. To access these waves you need to cross the Sipora Straight which sometimes gets quite rough, especially in Westerly weather conditions. The reality is, when Lances Left is working, so is Macaronis, Greenbush and a host of other quality waves in the South, of equal or better quality, and therefore it makes little sense for us to travel so far north to surf at Lances Left.
Likewise, although Lances Right is a very popular wave, it needs a West swell to break at its best and it works in Westerly winds, which can cause heavy seas making it difficult to travel north. And like Lances Left, there are several other waves in the South that work well in similar conditions as Lances Right, such as Rags Right and Rednuht which are both epic barreling righthanders as well.
During your 1 - 2 week stay, you will most likely witness 1-5 predominant swells come and go, depending on your trip duration. As the swell rises, Macas grows from medium size (good for everybody), and gradually turns more solid which may be out of some guests league. Then people are more likely to spread out surfing different breaks, while the more experienced surfers get their share of barrels at Macas or Greenbush. The peak of the swell may last 1-3 days, and then gradually will begin to subside, making Macas more user friendly again for everybody.
This cycle continually repeats its self throughout the main surfing season (March 01 - November 30), which makes Macaronis Resort an ideal travel destination for any standard of surfer. December to February also has great waves with no crowds, mainly due to there being more of a wait between swells during the Southern hemisphere summer time.
Above: A nice sunset air at Macaronis... Soli Bailey.
Above: Phil Goodrich @ Macas 2012, photo Fionn Rogers.
Above: Glassy Smackable Macas
Here is a bit more in-depth description and photos of each of the surf breaks surrounding Macaronis Resort:
Macaronis, more commonly referred to as Macas, is a mechanical left-hander that has been described by many as being the most high performance wave in existence.
In glassy or off-shore conditions 4 - 6 second barrels are manageable from the take off, while the inside section is a bit like a skaters half-pipe where you can do countless numbers of Rio's, tail-slides, floaters, airs, cut-backs, or for example CLICK HERE to see one of the best maneuvers ever pulled at Macas by Jordy Smith.
Macas is such a fun wave to surf even in onshore conditions, and is one of the few reef breaks in the world that continues to break well in all tides. Macas holds from 2 – 8 feet and technically doesn’t get any bigger than this; it just becomes more hollower and rounder, and when it gets big it is some times referred to as 'Mini Chopes'.
The greatest thing about Macas is its consistency, and that it breaks slightly different at each stage of the tide with varying West - South swell directions. But ideally SW ground swell (200 - 220 degrees) is best for the wave to line up like a machine all the way down the reef. Macas is surfable all day long in a variety of on-shore and off-shore conditions, in fact some actually prefer Macas to have a slightly on-shore SW breeze on it, as it makes the wave so damn fun and rippable.
In 2003, Waves Magazine conducted a survey pole of 50 of the world's best surfers and industry figureheads in order to rank the world's best waves purely for their enjoyment value. Macas ranked 1 in the world in that survey. In fact 76% of all surveyed, "goofy and natural footers agreed; Macaronis is the funnest wave they have ever ridden" (Waves magazine, December 2003 edition).
Our advice: Keep a watchful eye on the line up, you may find only a couple of guys surfing it to themselves around midday. Also keep a look out for storms passing by, they may turn the surf to crud for 15 - 45 minutes as they hit, but once everybody gets out of the water there will probably only be a couple of guys left sharing the off-shore conditions that follow.
Above: Some shots taken of us and our guests surfing Macaronis (Move curser to top of screen and click on photo to begin).
5 min speedboat ride from Macaronis Resort
Macas Right becomes a quality wave in a thick South swell with Northerly winds and a medium to high tide. It is not surfed or photographed often and basically just sits in the background of Macaronis being the main focal point that people come to visit.
Macas Right is often at its best when Macaronis is also firing, and therefore it often gets ignored. So if you would like to surf on your own whilst staying at Macaronis Resort or just with a couple of others, be different, and go surf the right on a North wind and south swell, you will be surprised with what you find.
Above: Macas Right, not epic this day, but nice long walls to carve. The souther the swell, the more it turns on, and when it gets big from the South, it barrels as well (maybe ignore Greenbush for a bash at Macas Right? Needs same winds and solid South swell).
45 min north from the resort via speedboat
Another option for those seeking a long mellow, uncrowded right hand wave is the Bat Cave. This wave breaks for a few hundred meters down the edge of a tiny deserted island that is also a great spot to have a swim or do some snorkeling.
Bat Cave picks up a lot of swell and can be bigger than Macas being more exposed to the open ocean, especially if there is a bit of westerly direction in it. The wave occasionally dishes up a little barrel and offers long racy walls, but generally it is a point break with sections; definitely need some paddling fitness when it gets bigger.
Across the channel, high cliffs provide a place for those who are into cliff jumping. Bat Cave is a great alrounder that has fun long waves and is equally as appealing for non-surfers to take in the spectacular surroundings and have a picnic on the deserted beach, go snorkeling or trawling (great hook ups in this area).
Photo Above: Erin surfing Bat Cave
40 min south from Macas Resort via speedboat
A very hollow left hand tube that can either lock you in with no exit, or you may be lucky enough to make a mind blowing tube before negotiating a safe exit off the wave. You really have to pick the right waves to paddle for, but when you pick a good one, this is definitely a tube ride you'll never forget. Not too shallow, very photogenic, and an excellent wave for those willing to charge. Packs lots of power.
Remember the epic barrel Dayne Reynolds scored in Young Guns 2? CLICK HERE to see more epic footage of Greenbush surfed by Red Bull Team... this is a good example of what you could score.
If you want to surf the Bush during your stay, you need to time your trip on a new or full moon as Greenbush needs a big high tide to break at its best. Usually earlier season, April - June seem to be the best time when winds are lighter and big South swells are firing up the reef.
Click to view the Mentawai Tide Chart
Above: Chris Bown at Greenbush
Above: Troy taking a break from Lembongan.
Above: Pumping Bush Perfection...
Above: Jonno surfing 'Epic' Greenbush.
10 min north via speedboat
Silabu is surfable on all tides and is ideal for guests that are seeking a mellower left-hander and prefer to surf alone. It is an excellent wave for those just starting out surfing reef breaks, or for those who would like to surf with just a few people in order to find their feet and boost their confidence level before heading out at Macas. Generally with just a few guys in the water the atmosphere is mellow and you can take as many waves as you like, expending more energy than at Macas too because you need to do a bit more paddling here.
Silabu is more protected from the southerly wind than Macas, and as Macas can begin to turn on-shore mid morning in SE trades, Silabu Left can remain off-shore for a another hour or so. It also handles a Southerly side shore breeze quite well and still can be super fun in these conditions. Although not that long, it is a fun wave to have close by located on the other side of the headland, meaning boat guests never surf here, as it is too remotely located from Macaronis (we go through the tidal lagoon to get there). So long as Macas is breaking 3-4 feet or bigger, Silabu should be also breaking and empty.
Above: Grant packing some speed off a bottom turn at Silabu Left
Above: Big Silabu, usually it is pretty mellow, great for those starting out surfing on reef and not wanting to surf with too many people around.
Waves we go to when it's not to busy......
Rag's Left is a long barreling wave that turns on during large south-west swells. If you are lucky enough to catch Rags at 8 ft or bigger, don't forget to shoot a photo of the lineup, it is an extraordinary sight, one that you are unlikely to see too often. Rags Left is very dependent on swell direction, tide and wind, but when all of these factors fall into place, you could find yourself and just a few of your friends pulling into massive barrels which start from an outside boil, eventually mellowing further down the line into a large open face that can be ridden for a further 150m or more. This place has been surfed at 15 foot plus.
Rags Right is a non-stop tube from start to finish. At low tide forget it, unless you choose to surf the outside section, which can occasionally offer some alternative on a northerly wind. At high tide though, and on the right swell, Rag's Right can offer perhaps some of the thickest, hollowest tubes in South Mentawai. The wave grinds down a section of reef that is famous for two coral heads situated at the kick out point - always in the back of a surfers mind whilst locked inside the tube and looking to negotiate a safe exit.
Thunders is one of the most consistent breaks in the Mentawai's and is surfable on all tides. Higher tides usually offer racy tube sections over a shallow inside reef shelf breaking close to the island, while lower tides offer a forceful shoulder further out the back. In smaller south swells the top section of the reef can turn on offering long hollow barrels. Generally Thunders is an excellent option in smaller long period swells and can handle crowds due to there being a number of take off spots.
Roxies is a fun right hander that works best in W - SW swells. It is fairly consistent and very fun wave to surf, and when it gets bigger it also becomes a hollow barrel as shown in the photos below. Roxies is only 45 minutes to the South of Macaronis Resort.
Above: Roxies in 2010, blue skies and crystal blue barrels... going off!!
Above: Another perfect tube at Roxies...
Rednuht is a solid right-hander that breaks in deep water. The wave is not that long but barrels from take off and dishes up a good bit of adrenilin. This wave is quite tidal and needs the correct swell direction. Definitely worth a look in the right swell conditions... ask our Surf Guides....
Above: Adriano surfing at Rednuht
Above: Barts on a nice wall at the 'nut'.
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