Dillon Perillo, Panama

Dillon Perillo came by the office today to say hello. He just returned from a month on The Quest, Rip Curl's boat for their Indonesian "Tip to Tip" project. Not a day off the plane he won the Malibu Invitational, and gave all $2000 of his prize money to TheraSURF, a foundation that helps special needs children by taking them into the ocean. Dillon is a good guy. A good guy who discovers new waves in Indonesia, including a beach break so amazing — so patently non-Indo, but rather something out of a warm-water French dream — that our photo department withheld the shots to save them for the print issue of SURFING. Hey, we’re still a magazine. We asked Dillon about the new spot.

SURFING Magazine: Tell us about this new wave you found.

Dillon Perillo: I think I found the beach break — I'm not sure if we were the first to surf it. We got it really good on a [otherwise] flat day around the corner from waves that people have been surfing for years. We surfed and didn't see one person around or any boats and we talked to some guys at a nearby camp and they had no idea where it was. In a way, I found it…I don't know.

What do you mean you found it? Wasn't there a whole boatload of you guys on the Rip Curl trip?

I took the Jet Ski out just to look around, and I went around the corner and I found the beach break. Sometimes I get into my explorer mood and just search for reefs because a lot of waves you can't see from the boat. So I went riding, and right when I pulled out I noticed the waves were going sideways and barreling and spitting, like every wave. I kept going down the beach but it got more closed out and more closed out — and then the Jet Ski died.

And you were stuck?

Yeah, I was like two miles away [from the boat] and the radio didn't work. I was freaking out. But then the Ski turned back on and went like 20 feet and died again. So I kept doing that all the way back to the boat. It'd go 20 feet then it'd die, 20 feet then it'd die. I finally got back and told [SURFING Senior Photographer] Nate Lawrence there was a sick wave down there, and then he took a Jet Ski and came back freaking out that it was pumping. There's only one little zone on the beach that’s even good. We pulled up there and paddled out, and it was way better than I thought it was. Like, perfect. It was like Panama, super close in to shore and just wedging. Clearest water ever, no one around. There wasn't even a swell, but it was getting bigger and bigger, and we were getting stand-up barrels. It was sick.

The photos from Dillon’s find will leak in a soon-to-come issue of SURFING, or perhaps online if we can steal the photo department’s hard drives and show you sooner.