Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition
Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition
Journeys

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Surfing is more than grabbing a board and hitting the waves. When paired with a superyacht surf charter, guests have coaching, equipment and access to the best surf breaks in the world at their disposal.

By Julia Zaltzman | 18 June 2024

Aside from privacy and outstanding crew service, two of the most popular aspects of life aboard a superyacht are the water sports and accessing hard-to-reach places. When combined, it’s the perfect setup for a surfing charter that can maximise guests’ wave count, provide expert support, and offer overnight relocations to the best surfing spots around.

One such spot is Indonesia’s remote Mentawais Islands, which for Lana Jevremović, expedition
designer at Pelorus, is an opportunity not to be missed.

“When I joined Pelorus, I saw so much potential for surf charters. The sport is growing in appeal and to supplement the experience with a yacht takes it to a whole new level,” she says. “The Mentawais are characteristically hard to reach, with very little yachting traffic in the area, so to have the option of a high-end yacht there is incredible.”

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Galileo Photo: SuperaychtTimes

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Galileo Photo: SuperaychtTimes

A haven for surfers

The 70 Mentawais islands off the West Coast of Sumatra are listed among the top ten best places in the world to surf. They pack more perfect waves per square mile than any other surf destination. Catering to surfers of all levels – from Sipora’s “killer right tube” for the experienced, to gentle breaks ideal for beginners — the Mentawais are one of the few surfers’ paradises still classified as uncrowded.

Pelorus’ surf itinerary sees guests fly into Padang to board the yacht, before embarking on the 80-nautical-mile cruise to the Mentawai fringes. The fact that many yacht captains are often avid
surfers is another bonus, says Jevremović: “When you get a captain who understands surfing, he’ll do anything to get you to the right spot.”

Guests also receive personalised coaching from big wave surfer and conservationist, Mark Healey, who has intimate knowledge of the Mentawais and big wave surfer, Frank Solomon. Each charter is tailored to guests’ surfing ability, goals and how they wish to progress, which also dictates the best time to travel. The shoulder months of March and October are less crowded, but surf season of April to September is when the swell is the strongest and most consistent.

“Surfing is a humbling sport. The progression is slow, and it requires a lot of commitment, but it’s so special to experience,” says Jevremović, who loves nothing more than to locate surf breaks off the coast of Cape Town where she grew up. “It’s important to get your technique right from the start, which is why this kind of charter is ideal. You have the support of the vessel, a litany of boards at your disposal and a pro surfer who’s coaching you through every step, with regular in-depth debriefs.” 

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Lana Jevremović

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Lana Jevremović

Inland adventures and the Mentawai tribe

For guests more focused on inland adventure, treks deep into the fauna-rich jungle led by a local guide reveal insights and interactions with the Mentawai people. Considered one of the oldest tribes in Indonesia, the Mentawais have inhabited the islands since 500 BC. They follow the Sabulungan belief, viewing the forests as the abode of ancestral spirits. On occasion, guests are invited to meet with the tribe and partake in their customs, such as crafting, fishing and the traditional art of tattooing. Those who wish can also camp overnight and experience more of their sacred rituals.

Indonesia has been building as a yachting destination, with charterers aboard yachts like Kudanil Explorer typically drawn to the biodiverse waters of Raja Ampat and the Komodo Islands. Komodo’s proximity to Sumba is now piquing interest among surfers. Though the waters close to the resort of Nihi Sumba lay claim to one of the best left-hand point breaks in the world, the northern side of the island brings great surf and deserted beaches, says Jevremović. She also highlights Raja Ampat for its exposure to the swell. 

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Mentawai tribe

Ultimate Surf Experience: Superyachts Edition

Mentawai tribe

Several Paths to Adventure

“The reason I love our surf trips is the intimacy our guests can have in the remote surf destinations we operate in,” says Thibaud Epstein, Kudanil Explorer co-founder and operations director. “They feel as though they discovered the wave and share it with their friends while enjoying first-class comfort aboard.”

In the South Pacific Ocean, Tahiti lays claim to the 10-foot Teahupo’o (meaning Wall of Heads), described by surfers as the most “perfect and feared” hollow-breaking wave in the world. Both Nomad, a well-travelled explorer, and Hemisphere, the world’s largest sailing catamaran, offer surf charters in French Polynesia with Burgess. To the east in Costa Rica, Tamarindo’s half-kilometre stretch of beach generates waves as high as three metres. A charter aboard Driftwood with Cookson Adventures means hopping between beach-fringed islands, waterfall hikes and learning to surf to the screech of howler monkeys and parakeets.

“The first place I properly surfed in my life was in the Arctic Circle, in Norway’s Lofoten Islands,” says Jevremović. “It was freezing, really gnarly and not so forgiving, but that’s where I started, and I’ve never looked back.”

Though cold water surfing in Norway’s Arctic swell is not for the faint hearted, the sport lends itself well to those keen on exploration and exhilaration. When backed by the support of a yacht and its crew, it’s nothing short of point break.

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