Mentawai Bodyboarding – Why you have to do it


An interview with Welshman Lee MacGregor. He can’t get enough of bodyboarding in the Mentawai islands. 

Name: Lee MacGregor

Age: 35 

Home Town: – Swansea 

Business: MacGregor’s Garden Maintenance 

You’ve done a lot of travelling, why do you keep going back to the Mentawai’s? 

The consistency, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get waves even on a tiny swell. The quality of waves is just unlike anywhere I’ve been. You have warm water, amazing scenery, what else can you ask for? 

Describe your most memorable session in the Mentawai’s and which wave was it at? 

When I went in 2013 when there was a massive swell and they took us out on the boat to this secret slab that only works on big swells. It looked about a foot at first but stood up to 4-5 foot. I remember my friend Dan taking on off on one, a massive barrel, I thought he’s never going to come out of that but he did! It was both of us on our own one after the other getting amazing waves and barrels. We got pictures from those sessions, which are just unreal. 

What’s the way of life like on a day-to-day basis in the Mentawai’s? 

We usually get up at 5am and grab a quick bite to eat and then get in the sea pretty much straight away. We get out at about 8am and have a quick breakfast and then it’s straight back in the sea. We finish up at 11:30am and chill for a bit chatting about which break to head to next while the team that looks after us makes lunch. We head to another break and eat lunch whilst watching the waves for a bit. Normally if people are already at the break you watch for a bit whilst chilling out and they get out and it’s your turn. The waves aren’t going anywhere here so it’s cool to chill and have a bite to eat. We surf all day and then just chill and check out the islands, maybe do a bit of diving or a bit of fishing.  We spend the evening chilling and then the staff cooks up a massive meal every night, which is pretty amazing considering where we are. We sit around and have a few beers, jump in the sea for a swim, just relaxing really. 

Is the Mentawai’s the place where you have seen and ridden your most perfect waves? 

Yeah absolutely, you have to go there to see what it’s like. On the boats you can get dropped off at so many different breaks and there’s some right on your doorstep too. You can always find somewhere that is going to be good! 

What would you say to somebody considering a Mentawai’s trip? 

Don’t consider it, just do it. It will be well worth it! 

Book your next trip by visiting our Mentawai Page.