Long, fast and hollow, Rifles is a natural footers dream wave. On a good day, Rifles may be the best wave in the world. A clear open barrel at lightning speed careens down a long line of live coral reef off the eastern edge of Pulau Karangmajat (the opposite side to Kandui, Karangmajats other world-famous wave). There isn’t another island on the planet that can claim the calibre of two world-class waves in the form of a right and left such as Rifles and Kandui. Inexperienced reef surfers should keep well clear of Rifles and experts should be prepared for maintaining high speeds to stay ahead of Rifles tube spit.
In the channel, you can undoubtedly tell that Rifles is a powerful and hollow wave that could serve you up with a barrel of a lifetime. However, from the angle you anchor up in, you can’t tell how ridiculously fast and long Rifles is. But once you paddle into your first one, drop in and gun it for the green room, you quickly learn that the foam ball is always right on your heels. Be prepared for long hollow barrels and the odd surprise unmakeable section that shuts down. Keep your eyes out for northwest winds, strong south swell, and overhead to double overhead conditions.
Sharp pin tail step up.
Fast hollow waves, strong currents, shallow reef and potential to be dragged over the reef on the inside.
Mid to high tide.
April – October.
Frothers waiting for the wave of their dreams.
Although there is a significant channel in the reef to the south of Rifles that has been carved out by the river mouth on the southeastern edge of Pulau Karangmajat and another channel to the north of Rifles on the more sheltered side of the island you will be accessing this wave by boat. Before paddling out into the lineup, take your time to watch a few sets from the channel on the northern side of Rifles where you’ll anchor up.
Rifles surf spot breaks off a long stretch of live coral reef less than one kilometre from the eastern edge of Pulau Karangmajat (the opposite side to Karangmajat Island’s other world-famous wave Kandui).
If you are staying on a surf charter boat, set your sails for the Playgrounds area of the Northern Mentawai Islands. If you would like to be land-based in between surfs, there are plenty of accommodation options in the Northern Mentawais that cater to various budgets. Once you surf boat charter or accommodation is organised, you will have to make your way to Padang in Sumatra for pick up by your charter boat or jump aboard the slow overnight ferry or six-hour fast ferry to Siberut Island where your accommodation will pick you up and take you the rest of the way.