Beloved Mentawai Resort Owner Eric Foraker Tragically Drowns Surfing Rags Left - Stab Mag
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Beloved Mentawai Resort Owner Eric Foraker Tragically Drowns Surfing Rags Left

“He was cleaned up right before dark by a 10 foot set… nobody could find him until the next morning.”  

elsewhere // Jun 13, 2024
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eric Foraker, a seasoned surfer and the owner of the Southern Mentawai Outpost resort located at Thunders in the Mentawai Islands, tragically drowned last night. 

A source told Stab, “the incident occurred while he was surfing at Rags Left. Foraker was swept over the reef by a 10-foot wave and, due to the darkness, could not be located until the following morning.”

Foraker, who was both a husband and a father to a teenage son and young daughter, had been a fixture in the Mentawai surfing community for over 20 years. He was previously the captain of the Addiction, a 24-meter high-speed catamaran that has floated thousands of visiting surfers over the years.

The wave, Rags Left, is a long reef break with four-five sections that are generally shallow, except for a wider section that breaks during bigger swells. The consistency and quality of surfable sections at Rags Left dramatically changed after an earthquake in 2007, which lifted the reefs at the southern end of the Mentawai island chain. Since then, the wave’s behavior has become unpredictable. Depending on the day, surfers might find either a heaving barrel with a challenging ledging takeoff or a relatively easy drop leading to a huge open face ideal for executing several hard rail turns. According to surfers each year, the wave gradually regains its former glory. It’s slowly returning to a state where all sections link up, and surfers can enjoy 200-meter long, double overhead barrels, similar to what was common before the earthquake. Photo from Southern Mentawai Outpost.

Eric’s website bio reflects his deep passion for surfing: “I have led a total of more than 200 surf charters in the Mentawais and outer islands of Sumatra. I have searched the coasts of Java and Sumatra for surf by boat and even a bit by car (not recommended!). From G-Land to Aceh, I delivered over 1000 people, mostly returning guests, the “Perfect Surf Trip”, but in all those miles, and famous surf spots, my favorite spot was Thunders.”

Thunders, not a bad spot to park up. Photo from Southern Mentawai Outpost.

His bio continues, “It always has a barreling wave and its offshore all day and all night during the Southerlies we’ve experienced for most of the swell seasons since 2006. During charters I would often base myself at Thunders waiting for swells to hit, and then surf the surrounding spots. Chance encounters and seized opportunities led me to acquire some land at Thunders, and for years I have labored to make the perfect surf resort. I’m looking forward to delivering more guests the “Perfect Surf Trip” just like I have done in the past during many years on the boats.”

Though the timing of our story 1000 ways to die in Indonesia, published a little over 24 hours ago, couldn’t be any more peculiar, we want to express our deepest sympathies to those affected.

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