"One of my top 5 trips, ever" said Mick Fanning. According to Adriano de Souza it was: "The best surf trip of my entire life." After all these guys had just spent 10 days surfing the waves we all dream about complete with luxurious yacht and a film crew. What else were they going to say? Wouldn't we all like to be somewhere in the Mentawai Island chain off the coast of West Sumatra all paid for by Red Bull. Setting obvious jealousy aside - this was actually a trip with a point. The "Rising" project encourages chosen young surfers on their path to world-class success. Frenchmen Tim Boal and Michel Bourez already profited from this idea as they qualified for this year's WCT tour after improving their performances last season thanks in part to the coaching received here. Click through to watch this six part Mentawai video series.
Green Bush Barrels
About as good as it gets: Green Bush in the Mentawais, Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson and a boat-load of froth pulling some insane lefts.
Jordy's Rodeo Clown
If you're a rising young grom take note, even people over 6ft tall can learn to fly. Here's Jordy Smith making fun of some Mentawai magic by pulling off an audacious Rodeo Clown.
It wasn't just the boys having a ball, Sofia Mulanovich and co tearing it up, proving yet again that the girls are up there with anyone.
Jordy Smith of South Africa and currently ranked number 6 on the ASP World Tour commented:
To see the eyes on everyone of those kids faces and some of the top guys faces, I could tell that was the best surf that they've had in the Mentawais and their life, to see their eyes and their smiles after every single wave was just, you know, enough to put one on my face, and to make me feel stoked.
The long one
Settle down with a cup of tea. Here's 10 minutes of pure Mentawai juice. Andy Walshe, surf-coaching supremo at Red Bull summed it up by saying:
The basic goal is to provide these surfers with training and techniques to give them the opportunity to be the very best surfer they can be. Whether that's us putting them in world class waves, whether that's putting the junior surfers next to the best elite surfers we have, whether that's us providing some scientific analysis of what they're doing in the water and how they can improve on that, or if it's just basic coaching techniques… all of these parts are designed to help the athletes realize their dreams and goals.