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The 2011 Kandui Chronicles

Air Kandui
Flight
Indian Ocean
Kandui Beach
Shane Dorian
Kandui Path
Kandui Uma
Mentawai Groms
Shane Dorian
board shack

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Billabong Surf With A Pro Kandui Resort: Day 9

Once again, it's been an amazing trip to Kandui Resort in the Mentawais. A bunch of the campers got the best waves of their lives,, and everyone's surfing improved over the course of ten days with the assistance of Dave Rastovich and Shane Dorian.

The crew spilt up into two groups today, one going to Bankvaults and another headed to a spot that shall remain nameless. The nameless spot was a slurpy little left that had a nice tube on take off followed up by a bash-friendly wall. Aside from two feral dudes, we were the only one on it. We shared tube after tube, with the goofyfooters applying the arm-drag technique to slow down and get into the barrel. The campers follower Rasta and Dorian's advice and scored!

Meanwhile at Bankvaults, it "wasn't that good," according to initial reports. The photos proved otherwise (see above from the day 9 gallery). We're now posted up in the bar recounting the epic waves ridden the new friends made. The trip was just capped off with an epic session at Four Bobs with eight of us out there (including the film crew who worked their asses off on this trip) sharing waves and heckling each other relentlessly.

Terima Kasih to Kandui Resort, Billabong, Dave and Shane, Paul from Perth, Margi the best bartender in the world, Josh Harper from Billabong Camps, Soja the ripper, Matt Beauchesne, Ryan Young, Laidi the fish killer, Anthony Marcotti, Jenny, and the coolest guy in the world, All Day Ray Wilcoxen. See you all next year!

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Billabong Surf With A Pro At Kandui Resort: Day 8

With claims of “all time” and Bintangs flowing freely we’re all sitting in the Kandui Bar right hooting and hollering as we watch a slideshow from today’s action. It was simply amazing today at Rifles. Rasta got a 10-second barrel, Shane Dorian was doing double arm stalls on 8-foot bombs, and just about everybody on the trip got the best waves of their lives.

I got smashed on a few early and decided to grab the 3D GoPro rig and shoot some video. So stoked I did, too—pretty much nailed clip after clip of the boys scoring until I couldn’t take it anymore and grabbed the 6’3″ Firewire for some kegs of my own.

After seven hours in the water today and dinner just getting served, the Kandui Chronicles are done for the day, enjoy the pics and start saving your pennies so you can get out here soon…


Billabong Surf With A Pro At Kandui Resort: Day 7

Blood And Barrels As Rifles Comes Alive

After a slow start to the trip, the much-anticipated swell came up quickly today. Perhaps it was the marathon session we had in at the Kandui bar last night, you know how that works: get hammered and the surf inevitably comes up.

It was like Hawaii how fast the surf came up. Early this morning we surfed chest-high and inconsistent Rifles until it got too boring and lunch was served. After lunch, a couple of the crew came in wide-eyed and babbling about Rifles. "It's going off out there mate, what are you doing standing there?" said Paul from Perth. Sure enough, it was off the hook. Rasta was sitting on the last section of the 600-yard long right and getting pitted out of his mind on 6-8 foot freight trains. "Did you see that f—king wave!" he screamed as we paddled back up the point. Yeah I saw it and nearly shat myself. Hilton Dawe was shooting fisheye from the water and was as jacked up as the rest of us, "F—ken oath the swell came up!" he hollered as he fired off frame after frame of Rasta getting tubed.

Four of the crew got cut up out there, with Josh Harper from Billabong winning the award for best wipeout after pulling into a low tide drainer and smacking his head on the reef. "I was telling myself underwater, 'Stay awake, stay awake,'" he recounted after a having the wound cleaned by Doctor Walt. He'll need a few stitches but is jonesing to get back out there—albeit with a bit more tide on the reef.

With a few solid 8-foot sets rolling through today at one of the best rights in the world—and even bigger swell forecasted for the next couple days—we could be in for some of the best waves any of us have ever seen. Let's do this!

Billabong Surf With A Pro At Kandui Resort: Day 6

Lay Day In Paradise

The morning dawned gray and flat yet it was a welcome relief from the burning sun and we all had a chance to let our bodies rest up in anticipation of the much-talked about upcoming swell.

After a big breakfast it was time for a few of the campers to sit down with Shane and Rasta for a surfing tutorial. With the selected campers video clips from the last couple days playing on a computer monitor, the pros talked the bros (and broette Tiffany) how they can improve their surfing, no matter what level they are currently at. Shane's really good at the coaching aspect of it and has been able to improve several campers surfing with just a few key points like how to maintain speed by staying high on the wave and how to improve backside surfing by opening up your shoulders.

Doing a bit of eavesdropping, I got a couple backside tube riding tips that I'm hoping to put to use when Rifles comes out of its slumber…

Random lay day notes:

-“There’s no such thing as bad surf, just bad equiptment choices.”—Dave Rastovich

-There are no cars, cell phones, or air pollution out here. The air is so clean I haven’t had a booger to pick all week. It’s also refreshing to have a conversation with some one where they actually look you in the eye instead of tweak on the Blackberry.


Billabong Surf With A Pro At Kandui Resort: Day 5

With yet another terrible day of three foot and glassy surf, a few of the crew decided to go spearfishing while the others surfed Burgerworld. I joined the killing crew and after a lap around the island we had a cooler full of fish. Like a million other fish tales, the one that got away (a 15lb. trevally) is still haunting me but I did nail a 10lb. sweetlips grouper that eased the pain of losing the other a bit more bearable.

After three hours of that, our guide for the day, Laidi, went off on his own (without the rookies) and proceeded to plug three dogtooth tuna and a trevally near Hideaways. Laidi is the man and thanks to him we are about to rip into a platter full of sashimi…terima kasih Laidi!

As far as the surf, the boys (and girl) went back to Burgerworld and ripped into perfect three footers. It's wasn't heaving Nokandui or 17-second tubes at Rifles but in the grand scheme of things, Burgerworld at three foot is amazingly rippable and well worth the 45-minute voyage from Kandui Resort.

It's now Bintang thirty and the crew is gathered in the bar/restaurant to recount the day…and yep, that 10lb. sweetlips has somehow grown to 15lbs. in the last hour.


Billabong Surf With A Pro At Kandui: Day 4

Back To Burgerworld…

With little swell in the water and no wind the entire crew hit up Burgerworld for the morning session. With four charter boats in the channel and a couple more from a different land camp, I'm pretty sure every surfer in the Mentawais was out there today. Despite the crowd everybody seemed to get their fair share of shredding in. Burgerworld at two-foot is an amazingly fun wave and a great way to spend a "flat" day.

The star of the session was Dave Rastovich ripping his 6'6" alaia. Dude was spinning and carving the finless plank like he was on a dance floor—it was really fun to watch the zen master in action again. He claims to have not ridden one since last year at this time but I have my doubts. Whether you're a fan of the Alaia or not, you can't argue the fact that they are damn near impossible to ride, so props to Rasta.

We just came back from a little demo of a project Shane Dorian is working on that aims to increase safety in big surf. It's still in the R&D phase but is basically a wetsuit that inflates with air when you pull a ripcord. More on that in the near future…

The crew is all settled in and definitely on "island time." The first day everyone was coffeed up and ready go at first light but now that it's day 4 we're on cruise control. The swell we've spotted on the charts is still looking promising so hopefully you'll be seeing photos of Nokandui and Rifles in a few days and not Burgerworld again. But for the moment that's what we're looking at and nobody is complaining about that!


Day 3 at the Billabong Surf With A Pro Kandui Resort Slideshow…

Not much to report on besides that Rasta and the boys showed up…

Wait, hold up…

Kandui News: The waves were two foot everywhere in the area, I shot two small reef fish, one of the dudes found a huge spider in his shower, our last remaining members of the tribe showed up, and there’s a f—king bombing swell on the charts…

Billabong Surf With A Pro: Day 2 At Kandui Resort In The Mentawais

The coolest art about these Billabong Surf With A Pro trips isn't so much the pros—it's the bros. On this trip, we've got a crazy range of people from all walks of life. "Shaka" is from Maui and looks like he hasn't left the beach ion 30 years. A couple of the dudes are from the Gulf Coast of Florida and are the biggest frothers ever and will surf all day long if the conditions are right (which they haven't been yet). We've got one girl with us, Tiffany, who's eyes got so fried yesterday she thinks we’re all as good looking.

Surf wise, we're kind of in a holding pattern waiting for swell and ideal winds. This morning the whole lot of us surfed Bankvaults and Nipussi, two rights right next to each other and about a twenty-minute boat ride from Kandui. Bankvaults was chunky and the wind was wrong but it was well overhead and there was the odd tube to be had. Not by me though. That wave has it out for me—in previous trips I've broken two boards out there and generally had the shit kicked out of me every single time I've surfed it. Today was uneventful though—maybe she's sick of me and looking for another poor sap to beat up on.

Apparently there was an earthquake off Java (news travels slow out here) last night but we didn't feel a thing. A tsunami warning was issued as well but thankfully nothing came of it.

A few of the crew are heading out to Four Bobs now, so I may have to charge up the GoPro 3D rig and try to get a few clips for your upcoming viewing pleasure…

2011 Kandui Chronicles: Day 1

"Go Ahead, Go Shred."

Welcome back to the "Kandui Chronicles" a daily blog that follows the annual Billabong Surf With A Pro at Kandui Resort in the Mentawais! There are about 18 of us in total here from all walks of life gathered onto one beautiful island way out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Last year Donovan Frankenreiter and Dave Rastovich were the pros of the trip, this year, Shane Dorian has replaced Donovan and Rasta should arrive tomorrow. We had our first surf this morning with some of the crew heading to "Burgerworld" and Shane and a few guys surfing a spot called "Pistols".

I was in the Burgerworld boat that left just as the sun was coming up. Burgerworld is kind of like a last resort out here, but really fun when it's small like today. The highlight of the session was surfing with the one and only Chandler from the classic surf movie North Shore. Yep, that Chandler aka the famous actor Gregory Harrison. He still looks the same and didn't bat an eye when I yelled across the channel, "Chandler! Is that really you?" He was like, "It's Gregory, but yeah, I played Chandler." After fanning out a bit too much on him I regained composure and chatted with him for a bit. He's a super nice dude and really down to Earth. I couldn't resist spitting out the classic line, "Go ahead, go shred," as a set approached, and sure enough, he shredded it. Dude is legit!

Anyway, super stoked to be out here with a cool crew and looking forward to making some new friends. There are also some promising looking swells lined up so cross your fingers for us…like we're not lucky enough already.