Pasangan Bay, home to Macaronis, is one of the most outstanding locations to host an intermediate surf coaching clinic in the world. Macaronis left is a 200 meter long, skate ramp like setup that breaks with such consistent quality. A surfer can execute 10 to 12 turns on a wave at Macaronis and each section is very similar to the next. Repetitive bowling sections allows a surfer to practice a bottom and top turn combination multiple times on one wave.
Macaronis also offers multiple barrel sections providing a perfect venue for surfers to work on their tube riding skills. Up to overhead plus, Macaronis offers an opportunity for intermediate surfers to hone their skills in one of the most perfect and consistent waves in the world. Over this size, Macaronis is a more challenging wave for those on the upper end of the intermediate level to practice steeper drops, and hollow waves to fine tune barrel riding and a top to bottom bowl that provides the perfect wave for critical top turns under the lip.
Pasangan Bay offers a range of additional waves that are all high quality in the right conditions. Mini Macas is little brother to Macaronis, but when the swell is maxing at Macaronis, offers a bowling left hander with a significant length of ride. Outside Macaronis Right offers a powerful, though shifty, deep water reef break that offers superb waves on its day. Inside Macaronis Right is an intense hollow tubing wave that gets the adrenaline pumping and is similar to the more famous Rags Right.
Students that are at the higher end of the intermediate level and those wishing to challenge themselves will have the opportunity to surf the world famous Greenbush when conditions are right. A fearsome, powerful barrel when large powerful ground swells pound the Mentawai Islands, but lesser known are the opportunities to surf this wave in small to medium south swells which are common in summer months. Less intense than when it is big, it still offers up a significant challenge for most surfers without the danger and intimidation factor when larger conditions prevail.
Macaronis Resort was established in 2004 and operates a high quality resort style accommodation and facilities for surfers and adventure travelers. The resort has all the first class facilities expected of a high end resort including high quality meals and guest rooms, swimming pool, wifi, satellite TV, SPA service, Yoga service and a range of activities equipment such as kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, fishing, snorkelling and spearfishing equipment, soft top surfboards for beginners etc. Macaronis caters for non surfers as well as surfers and organises daily activities for non surfing guests or those who wish to explore the tropical beauty of the surrounding region.
Surf Clinic Concept
In 2018, Macaronis Resort partnered with Clayton Surf Coaching and Shayne Nienaber Photography, to host two very successful Intermediate Surf Coaching Clinics, and fortunately we had Swellnet in Australia take notice and promote the event. The concept is to provide world class coaching in a world class surfing environment using a range of techniques including, coaching from the water using helmets fitted with speakers so the coach can communicate with students from a vantage point to provide individual assistance while the student is surfing, land based tutorials that cover body movement, technical aspects of surf board design and a whole range of other concepts developed by Clayton Nienabar. The 2018 clinics were such a success that the partnership has decided to extend the clinic to cover 4 weeks of coaching clinics in January and February 2019.
Clayton Nienaber is a Level 2 ISA Coach. Originally from South Africa, Clayton has served as South African coach for Seniors, Juniors, and Longboarders, and has previously been involved in coaching the South African Junior Team at ISA Games in France, Brazil and California. He has worked with surfers of the caliber of Jordy Smith, Travis Logie and Ricky Basnett. Clayton is also an experienced surf board shaper and can bridge the nexus between technique and surfing equipment to deepen your understanding of surfboard design.
Shayne is a professional, freelance photographer located on the Gold Coast of Australia, with a style consisting of creative and energetic imagery. Shayne’s work has been published in most major surfing publications. He is well regarded in the industry and can provide a wide selection of photographic memories for those taking part to take home with them, memories that will last a life time!
Coach Clayton’s Blog – Week 1 of the Surf Coaching Clinic – January 2018
The ferry ride from Padang to Macas provided a great opportunity to get to know the surfers taking part in the first week of the clinic. It really hit home to me how anxious and nervous all the surfers were in the lead up, regarding the wave and surfing over reef, as many had never surfed in Indonesia before, let alone surf a reef break!
As a coach, the first impression of week 1 crew was of the challenge this presented me as a surf coach. Most of those taking part had very little experience, as to how to tackle this perfect left hand break called Macaronis. The resort, staff and facilities are awesome and this really helped everybody to relax and enjoy themselves. After the presentation night and explaining to the guests what I, as their surf coach, was expecting, and how to go about it, the change I witnessed the following morning was truly astonishing. Keep it simple was the motto. Relax, breathe and try to feel the wave and not over surf it.
Everyone learns at a different pace, so once the competent surfers figured out how to slow it down, they were sent way up the point. Those who needed more time and personal help hung back on the bowl, where we ironed out take offs, commitment to leaning on the rail, and how to flow on the wave. A huge issue we tackled was the surfers postures, which we addressed with on land drills. Once the crew mastered this, they were empowered and no longer feared the reef, and their entire level of surfing went up a notch. The focus now being on the wave and their posture and not the negative aspects, which were impeding their performance.
By the end of week 1, everyone said that they had caught the best waves of their lives on this trip, which is priceless.
Group 2 arrived and were greeted with perfection. Flawless four foot Macas with the odd bigger set every now and again. Surf fever was high and we struggled to get any theory based work done in the evening, as we were all surfed out and in bed for surf, eat, sleep and repeat. Froth levels were high, however the ability level of a few of the crew needed a significant amount of attention.
Probably the biggest lesson group 2 learned initially was to relax and surf without tension. After figuring out that its an easy paddle into the wave, and to stand up with a relaxed posture, doors opened, and once again there was a monumental improvement. Evenings were spent dissecting surfing footage and each surfer was encouraged to ‘be the coach’ and analyze other participant’s waves to get more dialed into what constitutes good or bad surfing.
There was an abundance of waves throughout week two and everyone scored, they could not have asked for a better week of waves. Part of the second group were taken across to mini Macas on the high tide to work on paddle techniques, posture and stance on their boards, and how to get on rail better, which saw them really prosper when they took all they learned and applied it at the main break.
Again crew of the Week 2 were claiming it to be the best trip they had ever been on, and the best week of waves they had ever surfed, which in my books is again a big win all round!
The Student – Andrew Wheeler (2 Weeks +)
After a long journey, arriving at Macaronis Resort can only be described as pure bliss! I was lucky enough to turn up a few days before the Week 1 clinic started and was spoiled with consistent, 4-5 foot Macas perfection with just a handful of surfers in the water. Conditions were unbelievable; so good in fact, that I’m tempted to write “forget about coming to the Mentawais in January or February, it’s just terrible”, so that I can return next year to once again sneak under the radar and score perfect, uncrowded waves! But even with a few more people in the water, the froth levels would have been just as high. That’s one thing about Macaronis, the vibe in the water is great and everyone seems to be there to have an amazing time.
This was certainly true of the week 1 coaching clinic crew. We had a fun group representing Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the US, Namibia and even Slovakia. This eclectic bunch really hit it off and, despite one or two days of average conditions at the start of the week, we were completely surfed out by the final day. Clayton’s coaching both in and out of the water was second to none, mixing everything from advice on equipment and reading waves to surfing technique and mental preparation. What sets Clayton apart is his ability to simplify surfing and quickly iron out bad technique, whether you’re a beginner or a more competent surfer. This was apparent in just how much everyone improved during both clinics. Seeing the crew charge Greenbush was certainly a highlight of the first week. There were some memorable wipe-outs, but everyone returned to Macaronis in one piece, ready to surf another day.
Week 2 was almost the reverse of week 1, with superb conditions the first few days and a smaller swell to see out the week. Like the first week, everyone scored amazing waves and the world class setup, combining coaching, video footage and five star accommodation, provided the perfect backdrop for people to improve their surfing. Days were spent in the water, catching countless waves and receiving coaching from Clayton, and evenings were spent reviewing photos and video footage captured by Clayton’s brother, Shayne, and Macaronis surf guide, Guy. If the surf wasn’t pumping, or if people just needed to rest their tired arms, the resort was the perfect place to chill. Macaronis really is a slice of heaven on earth, whether you’re a surfer or not.
Overall, my experience at Macaronis was one I’ll never forget. Everything from the food and accommodation to the staff and the waves were excellent. Throw in world class coaching and photography from Clayton and Shayne, and you have the perfect setting to improve your surfing, whilst having a truly unforgettable holiday.
For further information visit our Surf Coaching Clinic Page where you can submit an enquiry (form at bottom of page), or join our FACEBOOK GROUP where regular updates are provided and you can meet others planning on attending.