How To Live Rent-Free At A Mentawai Surf Resort - Stab Mag

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How To Live Rent-Free At A Mentawai Surf Resort

Dylan Wilcoxen knows the secret.

cinema // Sep 19, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dylan Wilcoxen lives a nearly incomprehensible life. As the son of Kandui Resort kingpin Ray Wilcoxen, Dylan is the heir to a treasure trove of complete wave-riding bliss. 

The path to the Mentawai Islands is a well-worn one, but despite the thousands of surfers who make the voyage each year, only a blessed few manage to stay for anything more than a few weeks. Even fewer manage to do so without critically gouging their bank accounts. 

Dylan is part of an even smaller minority. He grew up at Kandui Resort, caught his first wave there, and has spent the last 13 years frolicking in the storybook beauty of the Sumatran atolls (for free).

13-year old me would have been crapping myself. Photo: Manu Miguelez

As you’ll see above, all of his time in paradise is paying off. Dylan is already a top-tier tube fiend, and his aerial arsenal is catching up quickly. He’s also maybe the most humble pre-pubescent shredder in the game, and lets his surfing do pretty much all of the talking.

After running into Dylan on one of his adventures with the Lost Indo crew, we sat down for a quick chat about his unique upbringing, his favorite waves, and a memorable run-in with da reef.

Definite troublemakers, these ones. Photo: Kandui Resort

Stab: Hey Dylan, that clip is pretty nuts. You grew up in Kandui, right? 

Dylan: Thanks! Yeah, I was born in Padang but have spent most of my life at our resort.

How often do you leave the Ments?

Not that much. This four-month trip right now is the longest I’ve ever been off the island — Bali, San Clemente, and now Lakeys. In the past, I’ve just done little three-week trips to Lakeys and stuff.

How many people live out at Kandui full-time? Anybody your age?

Me, my dad, my mom, my two siblings, and the crew who help out at the resort. There’s one kid my age out there. His name’s Torik, he lives at another resort out there. We surf together a lot.

When did you start surfing?

Before I was even one, on a longboard with my dad. The first wave I surfed was 4Bobs, right in front of the resort, the inside is all whitewash. I don’t really remember too much honestly, it’s just always been a part of my life.

The face of a very determined 1-year old. Photo: Kandui Resort

What’s your favorite wave out there?

Probably Rifles, all those waves in that zone are crazy. When it’s on it’s probably one of the best rights in the world. I had a really good session there with Mikey from Stab, when he got injured. There were some crazy ones that day. 

How did you work up to surfing those waves?

I pretty much surfed two waves total out there before I started surfing the heavy waves. 4Bobs and Karambat Left, those waves are super mellow. Pistols was the first time I surfed one of the heavier waves. It was so scary.

Do you have any crazy stories?

I got one bad injury. I was at Pistols and it was tiny, like 3 foot, and there was this one rogue 4-footer. I snaked my friend and I got immediate karma. I dropped in and I was too deep and I went up and over, and it sucked me down so fast that I hit my back super bad on a coral head. I was out of the water for a couple weeks. It hurt to breathe. I learned my lesson for sure [laughs].

Down the rabbit hole. Photo: Kandui Resort

Where do you want to take your surfing? Any waves you’d love to surf in the world?

I really wanna surf Teahupo’o, that wave is so sick. Or Pipe! Going to Hawaii would be insane. I wanna do everything; barrels, airs, big waves.

Who’s your favorite surfer?

Mason Ho or Ian [Crane] for sure. They both charge so hard.

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