Whether you are an experienced surfer, looking for a challenge, a solo backpacker with a more adventurous side, or thinking of just getting away from your routine daily life, this island is a haven of activity. With its challenging surfing spots, white sandy beaches with exotic fish and colorful corals, Pulau Sipora offers a little something for everyone.
Strategically located in the Mentawai Islands, Pulau Sipora is the smallest island in this cluster off the coast of West Sumatera. Compared to the other four major islands in the Mentawai, Pulau Sipora’s position is right in the middle between Pulau Pagai and Pulau Siberut. On this island is the town of Tua Pejat, the district capital of Mentawai.
Covering an area of approximately 845 km ², Pulau Sipora is approximately 10-15% pristine rainforest. Much of the population on Sipora are either farmers or fishermen.
Sipora has become one of the major tourist attractions in the vicinity due to many beautiful and unique characteristics of this island, one of which is its world class surfing. The best time to visit the island for windsurfing is from April to October, as this is when the waves are usually at their peak. Even so, you still can enjoy the challenge of the rolling waves at Pulau Sipora most all year round.
Some of the world-class surfing points, the Hollow Trees and Lance’s Left are at the southern tip of the island. A number of other famous surfing spots are located in the northwest of the island, among those being the Telescopes, Iceland, and Scarecrows.
Hollow Trees, or also known as HT or Lance’s Right are cylindrical waves (known as the right tubes) have appeared in international magazines and surfing videos for the past 10 years. When waves of this type come not too large, there will be 3 take off zones which will challenge even the most skilled surfer to maneuver smoothly. When the larger waves come, the peak of the wave where it breaks, will be connected with a continuous barrel, which will again be a welcome opportunity for surfing enthusiasts to hone their skills on the board.
Be careful with what is called The Surgeon’s Table at this surfing point. These waves appear as if they are trying to lift surfers to its peak, to wave in the air as if a trophy of some sort. The Hollow Trees site is not recommended for beginners or novice surfers as the waves present a challenge for even those with adequate skills and expertise.
Lance’s Left is a strong wave and the most consistent at Pulau Sipora and the surrounding Mentawai areas. Having the characteristics of waves with two different barrels and a take-off zone, Lance’s Left (if caught in its perfect condition) is said to be one of the most beautiful waves on the planet. The movement of the waves along the surface of the sea is a result of differences in air pressure and winds which create a larger vertical take-off zone and a perfect barrel. When the waves are not too big, Lance’s Left is suitable for surfers with intermediate skills.
In the northwestern sea of Pulau Sipora, there are two other well-known types of waves, the Telescopes and the Scarecrow. Telescopes are a type of very long waves, semi-hollow (waves rolling with a hole in the middle), and almost perfect for surfing. Many surfers who have surfed Telescope waves admit that this is one of the best waves in Indonesia. Telescopes are not too big but lots of fun to surf with their cylindrical shapes. These waves are suitable for intermediate level surfers. The Telescope waves are located the closest to Tua Pejat (the district capital), approximately 5 km to the west of the town.
The Scarecrows are a type of wave with a take-off zone from the left which is formed with the wave walls connected directly to the fast rolling barrel. These waves are also suitable for intermediate level surfers.
Photo Courtesy by Bayu Marthen