Among a crowd of waves precisioned with clockwork-like predictability, Thunders has a few tricks up its sleeve. Apart from a near-perfect barrel section and long open shoulder, you can expect some irregularity in the peak placement and the occasional “clean-up” set. Conveniently located straight out from Southern Mentawais Outpost, you’ll find just a few surfers in the lineup most days unless it is flat everywhere else in the Mentawais.




What kind of wave is Thunders?

Heavier and thicker-lipped than some of the other waves in this corner of the Mentawai Islands, you can expect Thunders to be breaking under nearly any swell condition. Peaky and less predictable than neighbouring breaks, be prepared for an extended drop-in on the bigger days, clean barrel sections, and open shoulders ripe for maneuvers along the 300 metre stretch of reef. Higher tides usually offer fast barrel sections over shallow reef shelf breaking closer to the shore, while lower tides typically provide long shoulders further out to sea. In small south swells, the top section of the reef can produce long hollow barrels. At Thunders, you’re more than likely to get caught inside more than once with the irregular swashes of whitewater. Regardless of crowds, you can still expect 3-4 surfers catching most of the waves as they read the shifty peaks and reef below. All in all, Thunders is a super fun and exciting wave for experienced and advanced surfers.

    • Wave type:

      Reef break.

    • Wave difficulty:

      Experienced – Advanced.

    • What way does Thunders break:


    • Sea bottom:

      Live coral.


  • Booties:


  • Surfboard type:

    Bring a strong leash and bigger board. More volume will help with longer bottom turns and navigating certain sections.

  • Crowd factor:


  • Hazards:

    Shifty peaks, random sneaker waves, strong currents, and rouge whitewater on the inside.

    • Best swell direction:

      Works well on various angles. South, South-Southwest, Southwest.

    • Best wind direction:


    • What tide does it work best on:

      All tides.

    • Best tide movement for surfing:

      All tides.


  • How consistent is the surf:

    Extremely consistent.

  • Best time of year for waves:

    April – October.

  • What is the vibe like in the lineup:

    Mellow, unless everywhere else is flat.

  • What other names does Thunders surf spot go by?


How do you get in and out of the surf?

If you’re staying at the Southern Mentawai Outpost you can approach Thunders from shore, just keep your eye out for keyholes in the reef and don’t paddle out in the take-off zone.


Where is Thunders surf spot?

Thunders is located smack dab in the middle of South Pagai’s many world-class breaks. This left comes in off the northwest corner of Sibigau Island, on the opposite side of the island to the surf spot Sibigau Rights.

How to get to Thunders?

From Padang, in Sumatra, the ferry route south-southwest to Sikakap port on North Pagai in is approximately 177 kilometres. The fast ferry makes this crossing in about 4 hours (6am-10am), while the slow ferry runs overnight for 13-hours (5pm-6am). If you’re staying at the Southern Mentawai Outpost, they will pick you up from Sikakap in one of their boats and take you the rest of the way, approximately 24 kilometres to Sibigau Island in South Pagai.