Enquire

Driftwood

SURF’S UP

Perfect, glassy waves in remote, mind-bogglingly beautiful places. If only every surfer had access to a superyacht. (Plus a pro on board like Bevan Willis to teach them a few new tricks.)

If you love surfing, it doesn’t get much better than a cloudless, perfectly still day at The Hole in the Southern Mentawais. The water is clear. The sky is blue. Perfect waves are walling up and peeling off constantly. The barrels are endless, almost hypnotic in their regularity. There’s not a breath of wind. And the best thing? You and your friends have it all to yourself.

The Hole is just one of ten world-class waves that break around this remote island chain in West Sumatra, Indonesia, where a southwest swell lines up and runs down the reef, producing a wave that is fast, hollow and deliciously uncrowded. But if you’re not on a boat, the bad news is, you won’t be able to access it. The Mentawai’s top waves break far out from shore, or around islands that are as good as deserted and without any infrastructure to speak of. Luckily, as a charter guest on superyacht Driftwood, you’ll find waves like this just a short jaunt away in the tender or chase boat. Out after breakfast. Back in time for lunch. And the best surf of your life in between.

The yacht’s Second Officer and Officer of the Watch, Bevan Willis, says surfing from Driftwood is an out-of-this-world experience that never ceases to amaze him. As a pro surfer who surfed in the World Surf League Qualifying Series for two years before getting his first job on a yacht, Bevan says Driftwood has allowed him to rediscover the joy of surfing, rather than the frustration that competing could sometimes bring.

“I was tired of competitive surfing,” says Bevan. “I needed a change. So I took a job as a deckhand on a 40-metre superyacht in Italy, moved quickly to a 90-metre yacht in the Caribbean, and finally found myself on this incredible 55-metre adventure yacht that was kitted out for dive trips and surf trips, and spent time chasing waves in Central America, South America and the Indonesian archipelago. As a surfer, a lover of travel, and someone who’d wanted to work on yachts since the age of ten, what’s not to love?”

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a total beginner, Driftwood’s got you covered, with a stash of fifty or so different boards on board, and a pro-surfing Second Officer to teach you a few new tricks. One of Driftwood’s deckhands is also a professional kitesurfer, so it’s a wave-and-wind-savvy crew ready to make sure your charter is an action-packed one to remember. One-on-one surf lessons in Sumatra? A wind-powered whip around coastal Costa Rica on a kiteboard? A scuba tour of the tropical Solomon Islands? Or a journey on jet ski around the far-flung, fabled island paradise of Tikopia? If you’re chartering Driftwood, get ready to get gloriously, exhilaratingly wet.

As is typical for a Y.CO yacht, every member of Driftwood’s crew brings some kind of unique talent or singular expertise to the table. (And crew turnover is extremely low: the Captain and Chief Engineer have been on the same yacht for over a decade.) Bevan’s unique talent is his innate understanding and experience of waves, meteorology and surf forecasting. “Driftwood can take its guests right up into the heart of the best surf in the world, but that’s because we know when a certain swell is hitting a certain place in a certain direction, and the conditions needed for good surf to become magical.” It’s a wealth of knowledge that’s been acquired during a childhood spent riding waves, and a pro surfing career spent riding even bigger ones, and that’s very much complimented by Bevan’s role as Officer of the Watch, for which he undertakes bridge watches at sea, and monitors Driftwood’s navigation, charts and radio equipment.

“Sometimes I’ll be out on the tender,” Bevan says, “and I’ll see beautiful, faultless surf that I knew was coming but you still have to see it to believe it. I’ll radio Driftwood and tell the crew to bring everything over in the chase boat: guests, boards, cameras, jet skis. And we’ll all spend a day there, enjoying the waves, together.”

As a pro surfer, Bevan’s top tip for anyone with a dream of riding incredible waves in isolated, beautiful places, is just to get out there and do it. He calls it “uncharted charter”, and if there’s one pre-requisite for a surf trip on Driftwood, it’s to get away from the crowds and deep into surf that is often remote, and always unspoiled. “You don’t need to be a world-class surfer to experience world-class waves, either. Our crew can teach you, supply you with all the equipment, forecast the best swell, uncover secret spots, tow you into the right places on a jet ski, and, most importantly, keep you safe.” All guests on Driftwood need to do is enjoy the ride. And if surfing’s not your thing, then scuba diving, electric foil boarding or jumping around on inflatable obstacle courses in island archipelagos so beautiful they’d make your heart soar, just might be. Driftwood is a yacht that celebrates the majesty of the ocean in more ways than one.

Bevan Willis says his two greatest achievements in life are this: becoming Officer of the Watch on Driftwood, and, more recently, having his first child, a boy. But although the nature of the job can take him away from his family for two months at a time, for Bevan, every day on Driftwood is a blessing. “I’ve spent my entire life in the water. It was always my passion. It became my job. And I feel so lucky that the two things can now become one.”