Making Cranking Mentawai Lefts on an Alaia? WTF?

by Glenn Reeves

surfing Mentawai left

Dropping down now: holding your line is not easy with no fins

One of the appealing aspects of surfing the Mentawais is the variety of breaks. If you prefer your lefts more reserved and a little less like a freight train–Hideaways for example–then you’ve got it, head over to Beng-Beng .Whatever your level or choice your equipment, minimally, has to be able to get you into the wave and tracking high quickly.

Whatever the case you’d hardly want to tackle any sort of wedging left on a square tail and no fins, would you? Well, you might, just for fun and if you did you’d be on an alaia.

Popular around the world in the early 1900s they disappeared before making a comeback in 2006. Check out the video for what it looks like in one of those lefts. Cudos to the rider though. I’ve always thought that surfing talent wins the day over equipment: put an egg on exactly the right design in a technically challenging break and carnage is likely the result. Conversely, talent would get a dunny door into the channel at Chopes.

This guy makes it look pretty easy. At first glance it looks like he’s on a Mal, albeit a not particularly well-designed one. Sluggish and sloppy,  he gets it pretty high as it fights to drop down and as a result can’t maintain a line to punch through the end.

Fun when you’ve got 5 or 10 minutes to spare in between more serious appointments.

The history of the alaia right here. Where else?

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