Kandui Chronicles: Dispatches From The Mentawais

The Final Day of the Billabong Surf With A Pro trip to Kandui: Balls Out At Bankvaults

Just got home after a quick jaunt from Kandui to Padang, Padang to Jakarta, Jakarta to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo, then Tokyo to LA. A long haul but worth every minute of it. Below are the final day photos and the story of how I ended up naked on a beach with a small man holding a machete…

Kandui surf guide Bryce Saeman kicks off our last day at the resort with long barrel Bankvaults—one of the heaviest waves in the Mentawais. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Kandui surf guide Bryce Saeman kicks off our last day at the resort with a long barrel at Bankvaults—one of the heaviest waves in the Mentawais. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

I beg you to show me a better bottom turn than Rasta's at Bankvaults... Photo: Bielmann/SPL

I beg you to show me a better bottom turn than Rasta's at Bankvaults...he broke his fin out on this one! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Bankvaults bites back...it's been a few days since this wipeout and my ribs are still sore. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Bankvaults bites back...it's been a few days since this wipeout and my ribs are still sore. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Above: Messin’ around at 4 Bobs in front of Kandui Resort with the GoPro HD video camera

Inspired by Rasta, Billabong Surf With A Pro camper Aaron gets the wave of his trip at Bankvaults. That's me in the foreground claiming it for him. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Inspired by Rasta, Billabong Surf With A Pro camper Aaron gets the wave of his trip at Bankvaults. That's me in the foreground claiming it for him. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Hands down the MVP surfer of the trip, Dave Rastovich inspired, coached, and entertained us every time he set foot in the water. He's truly a remarkable surfer. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Hands down the MVP surfer of the trip, Dave Rastovich inspired, coached, and entertained us every time he set foot in the water. He's truly a remarkable surfer. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Along with his brother Bryce, Kandui surf guide TJ Saeman led by example when the waves came up at Bankvaults. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Along with his brother Bryce, Kandui surf guide TJ Saeman led by example when the waves came up at Bankvaults. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

I cringed the first time I heard we had a gnarly Stand Up Paddler guy on the trip, but Kevin Horgan from Kauai turned out to be really good guy and was really courteous when it came to his wave count. He actually helped us get waves by calling out sets and telling us which way they were headed. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

I cringed the first time I heard we had a gnarly Stand Up Paddler guy on the trip, but Kevin Horgan from Kauai turned out to be really good guy and was really courteous when it came to his wave count. He actually helped us get waves by calling out sets and telling us which way they were headed. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Rasta at Nokandui where the crew had a quick session before dark on the last day of our trip...it should be called "Kandui" when he's out there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Rasta at Nokandui where the crew had a quick session before dark on the last day of our trip...it should be called "Kandui" when he's out there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Rasta's super hack...on a twin fin. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Rasta's super hack...on a twin fin. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Donavon Frankenreiter signs off at Bankvaults on the last session of the Billabong Surf With A Pro trip to Kandui Resort in the Mentawais. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Donavon Frankenreiter signs off at Bankvaults on the last session of the Billabong Surf With A Pro trip to Kandui Resort in the Mentawais. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Day 8 Of The Billabong Surf With A Pro Trip To Kandui Resort: Balls Out At Bankvaults

Our final day and we scored! All day long, the crew scored perfect waves (of varying levels of difficulty) all around the “Playgrounds” region of the Mentawais of the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

We charged out to Bankvaults early and scored super clean, 4-6 foot tubes with just a few of us out before a few different crews sniffed out that Bankvaults was pumping. I got pitched on the inside bowl, Rasta did his usual Zen Master trip, and Donavon banged out a few sweet barrels to top off his trip to Kandui Resort.

I learned about the Mentawaiian tax system today as well. After one of the campers broke his leash and his board with a brand new Go Pro camera attached to the nose went onto the reef-strewn beach. I got onto the beach and a couple of natives had it and wanted my trunks in exchange for it. I tried to tell the bigger one (who was holding a machete, not in a threatening manner but a machete nonetheless) that I didn’t have anything on under my boardies but he was persistent and kept gesturing for my trunks. After negotiating a trade for his stained soccer shorts, I thought to myself “screw it” and began untying my new ‘Bongs. He did the same—with the luxury of a tee shirt to cover his nether regions. I was not so lucky and stood for an awkward and completely naked moment on the beach. The young boy watching the deal go down laughed and yelled out “Bagus!” which is Indonesian for “Good” and I swelled with pride—I don’t compliments on my naked torso often. Paddling back out, I told Troy (who’s board I paddled in for and works at Billabong) that he owed me a pair of trunks—I’m wearing them now so it’s all bagus.

Speaking of “Bagus” this trip was amazing. The swell was a bit on the small side at first, but gradually grew until yesterday maxed out at a solid eight-foot Hawaiian style. New friendships were formed, waves were ripped, skin was burnt, the reef ripped a few of us to shreds, and the Billabong Surf With A Pro campers got to surf, hang out, eat, and get to know two of the coolest, most ripping dudes out there—Donavon Frankenreiter and Dave “Rasta” Rastovich. Thanks to Jim Kempton, Josh Harper and the crew from Billabong for a wonderful trip! Take it from this camper, if you want to get inspired to surf better, meet some really cool people, and make some new bros, Billabong Surf With A Pro trips are for you.—Justin Coté

Click Through To The Next Page For The Previous Day

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8