My name is Paul Clark and I’m the owner and operator of Pitstop Hill In the Mentawai Islands. We host about 250 surfers each year, about 90% of which are Australian, and are always booked out largely through repeat visits and word of mouth. I spend about 10 or 11 months of the year on the island, hosting guests and working as a surf-guide.
I’ve always bodysurfed a fair bit but I had knee surgery a little over a year ago so now, unless it’s solid and perfect for surfing, I’m bodysurfing more often than I’m on a board. I’m in the line-up with my old handplane, helping our guests get into position, and getting some fun ones from under the pack! Some of our local breaks are insane for bodysurfing.
There aren’t that many people bodysurfing in the islands at all, so I constantly end up talking with our guests and others about it.