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The Inertia

There is no shortage of surfers complaining about crowds nowadays. It doesn’t matter if there were two people here yesterday and now there is a third today. Maybe you surfed Lowers with 100 people on the same peak last week, the 12 new, strange faces in the lineup this week are just too much to handle. Whatever the number and wherever the location, it’s always too crowded. End of story.

But the funny thing about crowds is that you don’t have to join them. You could save yourself (and the others currently complaining about said crowd size) one less gripe by simply going where it’s not as crowded. In fact, it’s the only part of the “too many people surf” conundrum that an individual can control. And yes, the tradeoff likely means scurrying for lesser waves, but at least you’ll be doing it with fewer people to battle for what’s available.

That’s the mindset this crew took in the Mentawais, at least — a place that is ground zero for the modern flood of non-local faces stacking lineups throughout the archipelago.


“When we got to the Mentawais a swell was about to hit the islands,” filmmaker Robin Aussenac tells The Inertia. “As expected, most of the boats were heading for the same surf spots.  In order to surf empty waves, our guide suggested taking the opposite direction…”

Spoiler alert: they still scored. They were still joined by other strangers. But this crew resisted the urge to join some of the most memorable, historic sessions the Mentawais saw this past season and accomplished what they came for.

What a novel idea.


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