Kandui is situated on the west side of c Island, right in the heart of the Playgrounds area of the Mentawais. It is a hard wave to describe, as it represents the absolute pinnacle of speed, perfection, length of ride and a train tunnel barrel. There is only one wave other wave on the planet which holds a candle to it: Teahupoo. Kandui is as hollow and as heavy, but its 10 times longer.
For many years surfers cruised past the Kandui lineup on their way to other waves such as Bankvaults and E-Bay, paying those crazy barrels scant attention as it was just to heavy to even look at, making cowards out of the fiercest warriors. Unlike Teahupoo, which actually has a lot of water on the reef most of the time, Kandui breaks onto a steeply shelving coral ledge, and if you blow the take off its more than 60/40 that you will get hurt. If the swell angle is slightly wrong, or the tide too low, the wave can be plain suicide… I mean, from the channel you can see the water draining off the ledge!! So for most of the 90’s it was barely surfed. Then came the 2001 OP Pro, and everything changed after that. During this contest Shane Dorian said “What do you call a heat where every single surfer got the three best waves of their life?” The surfers were Occy, CJ, Bruce, Andy, Dorian and Tim Curran. That must mean something? Check the exclusive video footage shot by All Aboard Travel’s Captain Golla of this contest, when he was the fleet captain.
There are other waves in the world where you have that same sense of an impending barrel when you take off. Places like Mundaka, G-Land’s Speedies and Panaitan’s One Palm Point are similar: You make the drop, turn your board towards the distant channel, pick a high line and just start driving… But Kandui is just a step above. The barrel is impossibly wide, and it feathers so far down the line, that all you can do, is stay ahead of the foam ball.
Kandui likes a pushing tide and a big SW swell, one of those humdingers that originate from a roaring forties Cape Town storm, and then runs across 4000 miles of open ocean, increasing its wave length with every mile, until it smacks full force into Sumatra. But its not always so heavy. If the swell is a bit more south, then the take off moves to a particular kink in the reef, and its a shorter ride with a specific kick out and can be a fun wave for most competent surfers, a great place to unleash your inner pigdog. One ten second barrel here will have you smiling for months afterwards. One funny fact of Kandui is that no-one has ever completed a cutback!