The Very Best Of The Mentawai In 2015
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Photos & Video provided by Andy Potts for The Perfect Wave
Prolific roving Indo photographer Andy Potts is based on the Gold Coast, Australia. Andy has been a full-time professional surf photographer and videographer for approximately eight years. His passion in life right now is travel and documenting his love of wave riding and the ocean.
Andy travels to and documents incredible surf travel locations like Indonesia, The Maldives, Fiji, Micronesia, Hawaii and many more exotic locales. In recent years he has well and truly stepped away from the mainstream surf media, instead focusing on the everyday surfers while they are on their travels.
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Andy is stoked because his work it allows him to capture special moments in time that will never be forgotten, by travellers he may never see again. Over the past 5 years, he has spent a large chunk of his time over in the Mentawai Islands shooting on charter boats and resorts mainly for The Perfect Wave.
As the 2016 Indonesian surf season is rapidly approaching, we figured it was a great time to catch up with Andy to both review last year in The Mentawai and also find out a little bit more about what makes him tick.
Tell us a bit about your background in photography Andy?
My passion for photography has grown immensely over the past eight years as I continue to travel and seek out new locations to shoot. Surfing and the ocean have been the driving force for me taking photos and I can't see myself shooting or documenting anything else. Plus, who wants to shoot monster brides on a Saturday while its pumping and offshore?
How many seasons have you worked in The Mentawai in a row now mate?
2015 was my 5th season in the Mentawai, the place is definitely starting to feel like a second home for me now, and I'm looking to spend the next few years on the same schedule.
I know you described 2015 as the worst of your seasons in The Mentawai to date wave wise, but you obviously still scored some epic days, as did your team of photographers like Rowan and Grant etc?
Looking back on the year, it was truly not up there with 2014 and the consistent waves that last year delivered. 2015 came down to good judgement calls and capitalising on windows of opportunity. My team and I were on location for all the key swells including one very special Kandui event that will not be forgotten by all involved. It really was a year that pushed us to be smart with location decisions and time management, planning to ensure all angles where covered.
What is it you love so much about the region?
If you have been to the Mentawai before, you already know. If you haven't made the trek yet, then I don't want to spoil the surprise.
Favourite part of the coastline or section?
I really enjoy the southern spots that the islands have to offer. I find the wave quality goes hand in hand with smaller crowds and allows for much more progressive, uninterrupted sessions.
Fav wave to shoot?
I have to say Lances Right because to me, it's everything you could possibly ask for in a tropical surf location, including the razor sharp reef to keep you on your game.
You got some advice for first time Mentawai travellers?
Don't surf yourself into the ground and miss the opportunity to get involved with the local people, they truly are some of the friendliest people on the planet.
Best day you have ever seen?
Greenbush 8-10ft at 16seconds with variable winds. And no one out.
Best surfing you have seen over recent seasons?
I have been lucky enough to see some amazing surfing go down over the years and although I hate to have to choose one. I will say Bethany Hamilton in her prime at Macaronis 6-8ft at 17 seconds was a session that was just absolutely mind blowing to watch.
Any changes in 2016?
A price rise in photo/video packages sounds good. No, not really but to be honest, and although I think change and growth can be a great thing, I don't think anyone besides the locals are in a position to be making changes in a foreign land.
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