Senior Editor

The pandemic has changed the landscape of the entire world. No longer is surf travel really an option. Tourism industries around the globe have fallen off a cliff. Airlines going bust, car rental agencies losing their shirts, etc. But all that economic disaster doesn’t have anything to do with waves. They’re still pumping, even if no one’s around to surf them. It brings to mind the old philosophical quandary: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, the team at Kandui Resort is in a bit of a unique situation. The waves are pumping, but the guests aren’t there. A silver lining to a terrible situation, if you will.

“The Mentawais have been empty the last four months and we just had the best run of surf in years,” Justis St. John, who has been posted up in the Mentawaiis since March, told The Inertia. Seven days of surf in a row from one swell. The swell started out at 28 seconds and maxed out with some of the bigger Kandui Left in years.”

If one has to be stuck somewhere during a global pandemic, Kandui Resort isn’t a bad place to be stuck, especially if you’re a surfer. It could be argued that there is no better place in the world. “Anthony Fillingim was staying with us in March and basically got stuck in the Mentawais for four months and has been scoring alone,” St. John continued. Fillingim is taking full advantage of what’s (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime situation. As perfect waves pour through, he’s taking his pick.

It’s not over yet, either. The forecast for the area is still lighting up. The travelers are nowhere to be found. The crowds have slipped back into the mist, and the Mentawais look like they did decades ago. The waves are still there, but right now there are only a handful of people who are lucky enough to surf them.

See more from Kandui Resort at and on Instagram.


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