Nobody Wants To Draw The Trials Winner - Stab Mag

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The panther is on the prowl

Nobody Wants To Draw The Trials Winner

“Bryan Perez is as connected with Punta Roca as Mick is with Snapper or John is with Pipe.” – Evan Slater

news // Jun 13, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bryan Perez, aka the Pink Panther, recently won the trials at his home break Punta Roca and secured a place in El Salvador’s upcoming CT event.                                             

“The trials were special because the heat was with all my friends — even my roommate, Ericson,” Bryan told Stab. “I hope there are waves for the event, my buddy just brought me twelve boards so I’m ready. I only had two left.”  [laughs]

S/o to the poor soul that lugged these through customs @chemistrysurfboards

The bond between the panther and Punta Roca’s roping right-hander has not gone undocumented. Back in 2018, the Billabong team was served a hot dose of humility at the cobblestone point.  Their VP of Global Marketing, Evan Slater, recalled

“A few years ago we sent Griff and Seth went on a campaign shoot to El Salvador and Bryan (relatively unknown at the time) would show up and match those guys wave for wave every session. He is a world-class surfer who is as connected with Punta Roca as Mick is with Snapper or John is with Pipe — definitely one to watch,” the former Editor In Chief at Surfer Magazine concluded. 

Video upon discovery

Bryan’s love affair with the wave began in his early days. 

“When I was eight, I would surf the boards tourists broke. I loved surfing, so I focused on it,” Bryan told Stab. “Most of the other kids I grew up with followed the guns — I don’t know if they’re alive. I’m lucky my family always supported surfing.” 

At 22-years-old, Bryan has lived through a time of transformation in the small town of La Libertad — a place not exempt from El Salvador’s history of gangs, wars, and drugs.  

Bryan told Stab, “Punta Roca has changed, there’s a lot of good now— especially with Surf City”.  “Back in the day, there was nothing here — you walked by a cemetery to get to the point.”

El Salvador just placed a $170 million dollar bet on surfing, $2.5M of which were slipped tenderly into the WSL’s pocket. Since Jimmy Rotherman, Bryan Perez is the nation’s most promising hand, and this week he looks to take some big league scalps. 

His CT debut will kick-off in heat four against Filipe Toledo and Nat Young. Swell is expected to grow into the week. 

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