Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands are surrounded by some of the most coveted surf zones on the planet, with their incredible reef setups, calm winds, and consistent swell. While the area may not have the biggest or hollowest waves on earth, it more than makes up for it in variety. Lefts, rights, slabs, peeling points–there is a wave for every surfer here. And if your name is Matty Wilko, your wave is Macaronis.
Maccas is one of the most publicized waves in the region, and it was the center of Rip Curl’s recent Mentawai Surf Competition, won by Bali’s Lee Wilson. The mechanical left hosts a land camp in the mangrove lagoon inside of the reef, making it fairly crowded by surf trip standards.
You may notice that the background in this shot looks a bit different than the Macaronis footage that first made the place famous back in the late 1990s. On October 25, 2010 a 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the island chain in the middle of the night. The Macaronis camp was destroyed by the tsunami that followed, as surfers, villagers, and boats anchored in the bay all were caught completely off guard. The camp has since been rebuilt, but the once tree-lined point in the background still remains bare as a reminder of the dangers that lurk in these corners of the globe.