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A Private Island Surf Paradise: Togat Nusa inward the Mentawais

Ainsley Ocean inwards the Mentawais. Photo past times Chris Hoy.
Forgive us for stating the obvious: living on an isle that’s a boat or airplane ride away from modern amenities in addition to provisions — say, Tylenol in addition to lav newspaper — is genuinely exiting the mainland, in addition to letting acquire of your fate into nature’s hands. If at that spot were whatever adventure worth the reward, its experiencing the raw beauty of Togat Nusa surf retreat inwards the Mentawais.

Like shipwrecked castaways, the founding twosome of the retreat, John in addition to Ainsley Ocean, alive inwards bungalows constructed out of foraged driftwood, rocks in addition to shells gathered no farther than a mile from the plot. “The Mentawai Islands is such a exceptional place. Still relatively untouched past times the maddening stride of the busy public nosotros convey created, the surroundings is develop clean in addition to wild,” says Ainsley.

Feasting on rice in addition to fish, in addition to fruits in addition to vegetables that tin terminate hold upwards grown inwards the tropics, it's a beautiful reset into hunter in addition to gatherer days in addition to simplicity of communing alongside nature.

A sentiment of Togat Nusa retreat from the water. Photo past times Johnny Abegg. Courtesy of Togat Nusa. 
Ainsley wearing the Seea Hermosa Surf Suit inwards the Mentawais. Photo past times Chris Hoy. 

She admits that the 12-year long route to creating this blissful sanctuary hasn’t ever been a glassy paddle out. Being on a point of province inwards the opened upwards bounding main exposes you lot to tsunamis, earthquakes, in addition to thunderstorms, addition express access to supplies spell on the island.  Just terminal year, John became injured from a surfing accident in addition to was medivaced to intensive attention inwards Singapore for multiple fractures in addition to a spinal fracture. She called the sense "stressful" in addition to thankfully John's on the route to a good for you lot recovery.

If its non environmental forces, Ainsley says that desolation mightiness hold upwards your downfall. “I mean value life inwards full general has its challenges. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 large 1 out hither is non to create your ain caput inwards — also much fourth dimension to think,” she says.

Photo courtesy of Togat Nusa.
What's for dinner at the retreat. Photo courtesy of Togat Nusa. 

But the waves brand it all worthwhile. Dropping into overhead barrels similar whatever other weekday, Ainsley shrugs it off saying, “I justice everything is relative, I create non mean value the waves I ride are big... Though I am no super model, I only dear the H2O in addition to trying to hold upwards the really best private I can."

Ainsley learned how to surf at 17-years-old inwards chilly Vancouver Island, Canada. Then she discovered warm water. “I travelled to Central America in addition to was hooked on the tropics, in addition to made a goal to relocate to warmer water. I squall upwards inwards those days, surfing inwards about cut-off infirmary pants every bit they were lightweight earlier the creation of women’s surf wear, Roxy in addition to the explosion that followed.”

It's non ever heaving barrels. Ainsley goes out for a longboard session wearing the Palmas Surf Suit. Photo past times Chris Hoy. 
Ainsley, calm in addition to cool, wearing the Palmas Surf Suit. Photo past times Chris Hoy. 

The retreat is staffed past times local Mentawai people who commute from their village, inwards add-on to staff that alive on the isle during the surf seasons. Ainsley says they create their best to hold upwards mindful of their presence on the islands, respecting the local civilization in addition to preserving the raw beauty of the island.

"The civilization of the Mentawai is unique," she says. "They are heartfelt people, living really much in addition to therefore hand-to-mouth. Over the past times decade, I convey seen their isolation change, alongside the introduction of the jail cellular telephone phone, surf civilization etc... They convey been isolated for a long time, alive inwards full general inwards pocket-size villages, alongside large families. Marry immature in addition to brand babies. Education, nutrition, in addition to wellness attention are issues for them, though I run into a blueprint of them all beingness influenced past times pedagogy or lack at that spot of. They are inwards full general a happy people, set back, on isle time. Strong people. It volition hold upwards interesting to witness, them grow every bit evolution seems to booming inwards the islands."

Indeed, its been a spell since the abundance of perfect waves inwards the Mentawais were a well-kept secret. We spotted Ainsley on Facebook wearing our Hermosa Swim Shirt that she bought from the Drifter Surf Shop inwards Bali — which she lent to snowboarder Marie-France Roy during her terminal trip to the island. Ever since, we’ve been intrigued to follow along alongside her isle life, in addition to the impressive women that brave the days of go in addition to accuse the waves alongside athletic confidence.

Snowboarder Marie-France Roy slices the H2O wearing the Seea Hermosa Swim Shirt. Photo past times Damea Dorsey, courtesy of Togat Nusa Surf Retreat.
Ainsley wearing the Seea Hermosa Surf Suit inwards Sumatra. Photo past times Chris Hoy. 

“Every twelvemonth the tribe of women grows too,” Ainsley says. “Over the years I convey seen to a greater extent than in addition to to a greater extent than women venture out into the Mentawais, but 10 years agone at that spot was virtually three. As to a greater extent than land-based options expand for women, the thought of spending x days on a boat alongside a bunch of men at times is menacing, I think. There are all types of waves for every science score inwards the islands. Though all of them are over reef.”

When the women arrive, she says the mood shifts. “I dear surfing alongside other women. It is inspiration, the mood tends to hold upwards lighter, the release energy is different. I ever encourage in addition to I am a rigid supporter of women’s surf travel, acquire out at that spot in addition to explore. The public is a beautiful place. Togat Nusa Retreat is a prophylactic space, alongside user-friendly waves for women.”

View from the island. Photo past times Adam Kobayashi, courtesy of Togat Nusa. 
Ainsley, all smiles wearing a Seea rashguard. Photo past times Chris Hoy. 

Thanks for beingness an inspiration to us, Ainsley! Check out to a greater extent than virtually Togat Nusa at their website, HERE.