Kandui Chronicles: Dispatches From The Mentawais

Day 7 of the Billabong Surf With A Pro trip to Kandui: Big Bankvaults And Kegged At Kandui

Bryce Saeman on a Bankvaults bomb. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Bryce Saeman on a Bankvaults bomb. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The token Kiwi on the trip, Tom Denton, at Bankvaults today. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The token Kiwi on the trip, Tom Denton, at Bankvaults today. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dave Rastovich a Bankvaults today. Even the Zen Master himself Rasta broke a board out there! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dave Rastovich a Bankvaults today. Even the Zen Master himself Rasta broke a board out there! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Since Bankvaults was out of her league, we took one of the boats down to Beng Beng where little Frankie Harrer belted a few lips. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Since Bankvaults was out of her league, we took one of the boats down to Beng Beng where little Frankie Harrer belted a few lips. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Donavon souls arches right up into the awaiting boat. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Donavon souls arches right up into the awaiting boat. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Super SUP'er Kevin Horgan from Kauai put in at least 10 hours today at Bankvaults and snapper four (borrowed) leashes. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Super SUP'er Kevin Horgan from Kauai put in at least 10 hours today at Bankvaults and snapper four (borrowed) leashes. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Kandui partner Jordan Heuer hasn't left the Mentawais in nine years an his experience showed today at Bankvaults. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Kandui partner Jordan Heuer hasn't left the Mentawais in nine years an his experience showed today at Bankvaults. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

On every trip to Kandui, a group of shaman from a nearby islnad come to the resort and do a performance for the guests. It's a crazy show that makes you feel like the culture out here hasn't been corrupted by anything. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

On every trip to Kandui, a group of shaman from a nearby islnad come to the resort and do a performance for the guests. It's a crazy show that makes you feel like the culture out here hasn't been corrupted by anything...except for the Casio watch. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

My new amigo, Neal Norman from Kauai via Miami, at Beng Beng. Neal got a nice shack at Kandui tonight, bounced off the reef, and tore his new Billabong trunks to shreds. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

My new amigo, Neal Norman from Kauai via Miami, at Beng Beng. Neal got a nice shack at Kandui tonight, bounced off the reef, and tore his new Billabong trunks to shreds. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Big Bankvaults And Kegged At Kandui!
After a week of fun, head high surf, the Indian Ocean kicked into gear today in the form of solid 6-8 foot Hawaiian scale Bankvaults. With only a day left, the crew was charging! Broken boards, bloody scrapes, snapped leashes, and lost surfboards littered the lineup at one of the Mentawais heaviest waves. I only got three waves, but one of them was a pretty good stand up barrel—backside is pretty challenging out there! Rasta was owning the joint, getting pitted wave after wave and mixing in giant roundhouse cutbacks on his twin fin in between shacks. Yet even the Zen Master himself broke a board after attempting an impossibly late drop on a solid eight footer.

Most of the crew surfed Bankvaults all day long with the 30-foot Kandui catamaran providing a respite from the sun and stocked with burritos, water, and beers. I put in half a day out there, then went back to the resort for a bit of downtime. After chillin’ for a bit, myself, surf guide TJ Saeman, and my new buddy Neal Norman from Kauai via Miami were headed back to Bankvaults when we spotted a four-wave set at Nokandui. With nobody out and the wind suddenly dead, we were on it. It was just the three of us out there, and although the tide was a little low, I got the two best waves of my trip—two draining barrels over the ultra shallow reef. Neal got one good one, but hit the reef after not making a section (a common occurrence out there) and shredded his his new Billabong trunks. We’re now posted up in the Kandui Cantina, and I’m pretty sure the barrels are getting longer and the drops later… With one day left, we’re all ready to go big and then go home!

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