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Wisata Pantai Sumatra Barat yang terkenal adalah surfing Mentawai

Ico ka koat, anai sipu surfing! 
(Look at the waves, there are people surfing!)
The appeal above is a fragment of the lyrics of the song "Malainge Buggei, Mentawai Koat" from Taluba, a local Mentawai band.


The song tells the beaches and waves of Mentawai that are favored by surfers. Surfing, no doubt, has been absorbed into a part of the contemporary Mentawai face. In the villages of Muara Siberut, for example, plural surfboards are found in people's homes.


On the streets, it is not difficult to find residents, from small children to the elderly, wearing T-shirts bearing the Hurley logo or Volcom surf pants. Also easily found are T-shirts bearing the names of the resorts in Mentawai (for example, Kandui).


When Scott Wakefield, Chris Goodnow, and Tony Fitzpatrick "discovered" the waves in Mentawai in the 1980s, they might not have thought this "discovery" would push for many changes.
Then, the figure of Martin Daly emerged in the 1990s. With his rescue boat, he took several professional surfers to Mentawai several times to taste the recently discovered surfing paradise.


However, Daly uses the mouth-to-mouth method when inviting surfers there. In the universe of surfing, "discovery" of new waves is something sacred.


Among surfers, it has become the norm that the location of "new waves" must be kept tight as long as possible, as much as possible.

The secret about the Mentawai waves broke in 1994.


Two companies based in Australia began to sell surfing tours to Mentawai openly to the public. Daly's ideals and other early surfers in the Mentawai to keep the Mentawai waves for themselves vanished.


So, Mentawai waves began to become an industry and made tourism sales. In the years that followed, more tour operators took part in the Mentawai wave business. They bring tourists with rented boats, live in the sea for a certain period of time, and do not touch the land. The surfing world in Mentawai, at first, did not contain interactions with local people.


Surfers just want to play on the waves; they have nothing on land. After all, anyway, the danger of malaria threatens on land.


From the Sea Up to the Ground When chartered boats are still the dominant transportation in Mentawai surfing tours, the lives of local people on land are simply ignored backgrounds. Gradually the more known Mentawai made tourists from other economic castes interested.


Ralf Buckley, Director of the International Center for Ecotourism Research, Australia, labeled this type of tourist as a backpacker surf: those who don't have enough money for a luxury tour with a rented boat but still want to taste the Mentawai waves.


So, these tourists go to Mentawai and look for options to stay on the mainland. What followed was human and cultural interactions: between local residents and surfers, between Mentawai and "Western" culture.According to Nick Towner, surfers who live in the sea (boat charter) only focus on the waves, while those who live on land do not hesitate to immerse themselves in the Mentawai culture.
Let's go to Ebay, the lodging area for surfers in Southwest Siberut. Once, surfers first came by on a fishing boat. The name Ebay wasn't there at that time. Mentawai people still call it Mappadegat.


The area is not an administrative village, but an agricultural land belonging to the people of Taileleu — a village that was lately mentioned because it was planned to be the location of a Special Economic Zone (KEK).


Most of them plant coconut (to be processed into copra) and cloves. Usually cultivators, they also have lodges where they live when processing their fields. Their permanent home is on Taileleu. So, Mapaddegat is only inhabited during the season and the harvest season.

These small, simple lodges owned by farmers in Mapaddegat are what surfers see as opportunities.


They asked permission from the cottage owners to be able to hitchhike and sleep there while they were looking for waves to drive. Farmers also gave permission for surfers to live in their huts, usually for months, by paying IDR 5,000-IDR 50,000 at that time.


In addition, foreign tourists bring their own food ingredients and cook them themselves. "Sometimes we have dinner together with them," recalled Lemanus, one of the cultivators on Mapaddegat. The closest waves in the farming settlement were then named Ebay by surfers — for some reason, it was clearly located in the bay (bay). Now not many people call Mapaddegat.


That name has lost popular name Ebay. Gradually, Ebay's face changed. The more surfers that go there, also changes the life of the cultivators. Now many of them have set up homestays or surf camps specifically for the surfers who come. Some even set aside, or even left, their farming activities and focused on surfing business.


Not only accommodation, they also provide boat rental services to wave points around the island. Lemanus, who is still farming and not venturing into the surfing business, insists the presence of surfers does not interfere with the activities of residents' farming. Instead he was happy because the island became more crowded because of the presence of surfers.


Until now the fields and surfing tours are the two dominant life modes on Ebay; and both live in harmony. Scramble for Waves in Magnetism Surfing Tourism In the late 1990s, Mentawai was increasingly crowded by foreign surfers: those who were hypnotized by pictures in surf magazines about tropical waves.


The peak, Mentawai is believed to hold world-class surfing contest, Op Pro 2001. Not only that, Mentawai waves are crisscrossing in the mass media and surfing themed films, from The September Sessions (2002), Alive (2017), to Discovering the Mentawais (2018). Surf Aid International, a humanitarian organization initiated by surfers, was born in the Mentawai. Surfing tours in the Mentawai are developing very fast.


Maybe it's too fast. Until finally, after 2001, the development slowly slowed down.
But, of course, surfing in the Mentawai never stops. Mentawai Kadung waves are excellent for surfers, business commodities, and regional resources. Thousands of surfers come to Mentawai every year.


In 2017, it is estimated that more than 10 thousand foreign tourists visit the Mentawai. Last year, the Mentawai region's original revenue from tourism reached Rp7.3 billion, and this does not include building tax of around Rp4 billion.


Resorts stand strong, mostly established by foreign capital. Accommodation on land is increasingly mushrooming, including community lodges that are transformed into lodgings. Boat charter is still roaming the Mentawai sea.

So, the struggle for the waves was inevitable there. Surfing is a complicated sport, especially with the mantra "one wave, one person". Too many surfers on one wave are not fun. Especially for those who deposit a lot of money to play waves to their heart's content, fighting over waves with fellow tourists is not expected.


To overcome or prevent each other's elbows in waves, both by surfers and the surfing tourism industry, various government regulations are compiled and enforced. The state was finally dragged into the murky affairs of the Mentawai waves.


The entry of the state, indirectly, brings with it other elements that were previously often overlooked: local people. In this case, classical rhetoric is borrowed from thick dictates of "development". Something like this: tourists enjoying the Mentawai waves, tours of foreign operators make big profits, but what can the Mentawai community do?


So, in addition to managing and supervising the surfing tourism industry so as not to riot, the state (wants) invites the public to taste the "slice of cake" given by the Mentawai waves.


At least the rhetoric is like that. Waves are read as regional resources to lift the economy of the community. The rhetoric of "community development" is not only carried out by the state, but also by business people. Through the article "Mentawais Surf Tourism in the: What is it Really All About?", Glenn Reeves explains "development" is a tool used by resorts and companies operating in Mentawai to legitimize their respective businesses.


Every business actor argues that their operating unit will ultimately prosper the community, whether through money paid for land rent, taxes related to land, buildings, and business ventures; or employment opportunities at the resort or boat charter.


So, the narrative about "development" is equally used by the state and business people or both coalitions.

New Round: Mentawai Special Economic Zones Surfing and "development" have long been intertwined in the Mentawai, both naturally and artificially.


The simplicity of the two is so murky, not easy to understand. If we compare waves as text, they are read differently by each actor in Mentawai surfing tours.


Surfers read waves and surf as "pleasure", business people as "money", and the government as "regional assets". While the Mentawai people associate waves with many things: storms, crabs, threats, entertainment, misfortune, income, and so on.
 Again, it must be said: Mentawai's human-wave relations are very ambivalent.


Later, the relationship between surfing tourism and "development" in the Mentawai entered the latest round of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) headlines.


Of course, SEZs are not just about surfing. However, it is difficult to deny that waves and surfing are important attractions of the Mentawai. And without both, SEZ investors might not plan to build anything on Taileleu. Waves, surfing, and the processes that link them both have built imagination about investing billions of rupiah in Taileleu.


It is planned that 2,600 hectares of coconut and clove fields will be transformed into tourism-supporting buildings. In addition to airports and docks, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, offices, recreation centers, and others will be established.


Maybe KEK will be the most massive, intensive, and expansive form of tourism development (surfing) in the Mentawai. The government estimates that the Mentawai SEZ will cost IDR 11 trillion.
KEK is arguably more challenging than the previous processes, such as the construction of resorts that cost millions of rupiah per night. Resorts are built on small islands which are not permanent residences for the community, but their coconut and clove fields.


While the planned location of the Mentawai SEZ is close to the permanent settlement of Taileleu residents. If the KEK is to be built, the local community will be directly exposed to the impact, both positive and negative. The Mentawai SEZ proposal is already in Jakarta to be evaluated by the central government.


The Joko Widodo government will decide whether the proposal is worth executing or not. In other places, in Mentawai surfing locations, the daily routine goes the way it is. People are farming as usual.


Surfers still come in the wave season which is just over. Fields and surfing live together, side by side. Always so long ago. Will it still be the same for the KEK era? Also read MENTAWAI related articles or other interesting writings Sarani Pitor Pakan (tirto.id - Social Culture)


Author: Sarani Pitor Pakan
Editor: Nuran Wibisono


Babak Baru: Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus Mentawai Surfing dan "pembangunan" telah lama berkelindan di Mentawai, baik secara natural maupun artifisial. Kelindan keduanya begitu keruh, tak mudah dipahami. Jika kita ibaratkan ombak sebagai teks, ia dibaca berbeda-beda oleh tiap aktor dalam wisata selancar Mentawai. Peselancar membaca ombak dan selancar sebagai "kesenangan", pebisnis sebagai "uang", dan pemerintah sebagai "aset daerah". Sementara orang Mentawai mengasosiasikan ombak dengan banyak hal: badai, kepiting, ancaman, hiburan, kemalangan, pendapatan, dan sebagainya. Lagi-lagi harus dibilang: relasi manusia-ombak Mentawai sangatlah ambivalen. Belakangan, hubungan antara wisata selancar dan "pembangunan" di Mentawai memasuki babak terbaru dalam tajuk Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus (KEK). Tentu saja, KEK bukan hanya tentang selancar. Namun, sulit untuk menampik bahwa ombak dan selancar adalah daya tarik penting milik Mentawai. Dan tanpa keduanya, investor KEK mungkin tak akan berencana membangun apa-apa di Taileleu. Ombak, selancar, dan proses-proses yang menautkan keduanya selama ini telah membangun imajinasi tentang investasi miliaran rupiah di Taileleu. Rencananya, 2.600 hektare ladang kelapa dan cengkeh akan disulap jadi bangunan-bangunan penyokong pariwisata. Selain bandara dan dermaga, akan didirikan hotel, restoran, padang golf, perkantoran, pusat rekreasi, dan lain-lain. Mungkin KEK akan menjadi bentuk paling masif, intensif, dan ekspansif dari pembangunan wisata (selancar) di Mentawai. Pemerintah memperkirakan KEK Mentawai akan menelan dana Rp11 triliun. KEK bisa dibilang lebih menantang ketimbang proses-proses sebelumnya, seperti pembangunan resor-resor bertarif jutaan rupiah per malam. Resor-resor dibangun di pulau-pulau kecil yang bukan tempat tinggal permanen masyarakat, melainkan ladang-ladang kelapa dan cengkeh mereka. Sedangkan rencana lokasi KEK Mentawai dekat dengan permukiman permanen warga Taileleu. Jika KEK jadi dibangun, masyarakat lokal akan terpapar imbasnya, baik positif maupun negatif, secara langsung. Proposal KEK Mentawai sudah ada di Jakarta untuk dievaluasi pemerintah pusat. Pemerintahan Joko Widodo akan memutuskan apakah proposal itu layak dieksekusi atau tidak. Di tempat lain, di lokasi-lokasi surfing Mentawai, rutinitas sehari-hari berjalan apa adanya. Masyarakat berladang seperti biasa. Peselancar masih datang pada musim ombak yang baru saja usai. Ladang dan selancar hidup bersama, berdampingan. Selalu begitu sejak dulu. Apakah tetap akan begitu juga saat era KEK kelak? Baca juga artikel terkait MENTAWAI atau tulisan menarik lainnya Sarani Pitor Pakan (tirto.id - Sosial Budaya) Penulis: Sarani Pitor Pakan Editor: Nuran Wibisono

Baca selengkapnya di Tirto.id dengan judul "Mentawai di antara Wisata Surfing dan Pembangunan nan Masif", https://tirto.id/mentawai-di-antara-wisata-surfing-dan-pembangunan-nan-masif-c7Ef.

Follow kami di Instagram: tirtoid | Twitter: tirto.id

Ico ka koat, anai sipu surfing! (Lihat ke ombak, ada orang surfing!) Seruan di atas adalah penggalan lirik lagu "Malainge Buggei, Koat Mentawai" dari Taluba, band lokal Mentawai. Lagu tersebut menceritakan pantai dan ombak Mentawai yang disukai turis-turis peselancar. Surfing, tak dipungkiri, sudah terserap menjadi bagian dari wajah Mentawai kontemporer. Di desa-desa Muara Siberut, misalnya, papan selancar jamak ditemui di rumah warga. Di jalanan, tak sulit mendapati warga, dari anak kecil sampai orang tua, memakai kaos berlogo Hurley atau celana surfing Volcom. Yang juga mudah ditemukan adalah kaus bertuliskan nama resor-resor di Mentawai (misalnya, Kandui). Ketika Scott Wakefield, Chris Goodnow, dan Tony Fitzpatrick "menemukan" ombak di Mentawai pada 1980-an, mereka mungkin tak mengira "penemuan" ini akan mendorong perubahan banyak hal. Lantas, muncul sosok Martin Daly pada 1990-an. Dengan kapal penyelamat miliknya, ia beberapa kali membawa peselancar profesional ke Mentawai untuk mencicipi surga selancar yang belum lama ditemukan itu. Namun, Daly memakai metode mulut-ke-mulut saat mengajak peselancar ke sana. Dalam semesta surfing, "penemuan" ombak baru adalah sesuatu yang sakral. Di kalangan peselancar, sudah menjadi norma bahwa lokasi "ombak baru" harus disimpan rapat-rapat selama mungkin, sebisa mungkin.

Baca selengkapnya di Tirto.id dengan judul "Mentawai di antara Wisata Surfing dan Pembangunan nan Masif", https://tirto.id/mentawai-di-antara-wisata-surfing-dan-pembangunan-nan-masif-c7Ef.

Follow kami di Instagram: tirtoid | Twitter: tirto.id
Ico ka koat, anai sipu surfing! (Lihat ke ombak, ada orang surfing!) Seruan di atas adalah penggalan lirik lagu "Malainge Buggei, Koat Mentawai" dari Taluba, band lokal Mentawai. Lagu tersebut menceritakan pantai dan ombak Mentawai yang disukai turis-turis peselancar. Surfing, tak dipungkiri, sudah terserap menjadi bagian dari wajah Mentawai kontemporer. Di desa-desa Muara Siberut, misalnya, papan selancar jamak ditemui di rumah warga. Di jalanan, tak sulit mendapati warga, dari anak kecil sampai orang tua, memakai kaos berlogo Hurley atau celana surfing Volcom. Yang juga mudah ditemukan adalah kaus bertuliskan nama resor-resor di Mentawai (misalnya, Kandui). Ketika Scott Wakefield, Chris Goodnow, dan Tony Fitzpatrick "menemukan" ombak di Mentawai pada 1980-an, mereka mungkin tak mengira "penemuan" ini akan mendorong perubahan banyak hal. Lantas, muncul sosok Martin Daly pada 1990-an. Dengan kapal penyelamat miliknya, ia beberapa kali membawa peselancar profesional ke Mentawai untuk mencicipi surga selancar yang belum lama ditemukan itu. Namun, Daly memakai metode mulut-ke-mulut saat mengajak peselancar ke sana. Dalam semesta surfing, "penemuan" ombak baru adalah sesuatu yang sakral. Di kalangan peselancar, sudah menjadi norma bahwa lokasi "ombak baru" harus disimpan rapat-rapat selama mungkin, sebisa mungkin.

Baca selengkapnya di Tirto.id dengan judul "Mentawai di antara Wisata Surfing dan Pembangunan nan Masif", https://tirto.id/mentawai-di-antara-wisata-surfing-dan-pembangunan-nan-masif-c7Ef.

Follow kami di Instagram: tirtoid | Twitter: tirto.id
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