interview & photos / tom carey

Let’s get the basics out of the way – state your name, age, where you live, all your sponsors… you know the drill.
My name is Seth Moniz, I’m 19 years old from Honolulu, Hawaii. Sponsors are Billabong, FCS, DVS, Vertra, Dragon Alliance and I ride Wade Tokoro Surfboards.

And where’d you grow up?
I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. Grew up in town surfing Kewalo Basin, Waikiki, and all that, Diamondhead… so I’m pretty much a towney.

Who was the crew you surfed with growing up?
I grew up surfing with Zeke Lau, Keanu Asing, my brother Josh and Carissa Moore – so we have a solid little town crew.

What was it like growing up in Honolulu and going to school there?
Yeah, I like it a lot. I got to spend like four months here in the winter and in the summer I’ll spend my time in town when the waves are good there. I homeschooled my whole life actually, so that was pretty cool and I got to surf a lot. I still had my mom to crack the whip and make us do our work but it was cool. I spent most of time at the beach at my younger years.

Tell us about the history of surfing in your family.
Basically, my dad’s side of the family were all surfers and my dad kinda took it more seriously. He had a pretty good career. He surfed big waves and did the whole tour thing and he basically has passed that down to us, and now me and Josh are chasing it. I’m doing the QS now and hoping to get on the CT soon, as soon as possible. That’s our big goal right now for sure – to make the CT and do all that stuff.

And how many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have three brothers and one sister and all of us surf, even mom. My oldest brother is 25 and I’m the youngest at 19. It’s kind of a close spread and we all grew up together doing the same things, which is pretty cool.

What’s it like at the Billabong House (on the North Shore) during the wintertime?
It’s pretty hectic. Actually, it depends when. During the Pipe Masters and Triple Crown there’s just people coming in and out all day long – just randoms to Billabong corporate guys… I stay there for Sunset and Haleiwa but once the Pipe contest is on I get out of there because there’s like a party every night, big ragers. But it’s really cool; I got to stay there at a young age when guys like Andy and Parko were there. It was really cool to watch them and surf Pipe when I was really young. And it was cool just to be in a house with them and live with them for a little bit.

When you were a grom would you get pretty star-struck with all of those guys, the Billabong legends that were on the team?
For sure. I think Andy was one of the big ones. He would be there and we wouldn’t see him very much, but every time we did he would come out with a grin and talk to the boys. It was pretty cool to just talk with him, but in the conversation I’d be pretty star-struck. And then Bruce would come out and I’d be like, “Oh shit!” It was so sick to be staying right there at a house with them. It was really cool.

That’s so rad. Any cool stories about being at the house with any of those guys that really sticks out?
Ummm… cool stories? There’s been so many stories at the Billabong house that I don’t know what even to talk about. It’s a pretty mellow house honestly; I think it’s one of the more mellow houses on the North Shore. We kinda keep to ourselves and not much goes on besides when the Pipe Masters is on, then it’s just good parties. Last year The Entourage crew came through, you know that HBO TV show? They were cruising down there pretty much every day, staying at the house, cruising, and that was really cool.

Take us through what this year has been like for you: places you went, how hectic the schedule is for a guy trying to qualify for the tour, what’s it like for you?
Yeah, it’s pretty hectic trying to qualify and trying to fit in surf trips – that can be pretty hard. And I love to go on surf trips just to make you feel happy and stay positive. After contests, surfing bad waves and losing in the first round or something you wanna get good waves and keep it positive. I’m basically traveling six to eight months out of the year – nah, maybe just six because I’m lucky enough that there are two or three events at home and that allows for a lot of time at home in the wintertime. It’s a solid three or four months and then summertime I’m basically gone all summer.

So you have it kinda easy then?
Yeah, but longest in the summer I’ll come home for a week, tops. Mostly, it’s like three or four days and then we’re out of there, going somewhere else for a surf trip or a contest.

What’s your rank on the QS right now?
I think I’m like 60, not really what I want right now, but… I’m 19 now and my goal is to make the tour after next year so I’m really gonna push it to get there. I definitely don’t wanna spend too much time on the QS because it’ll just kill you. You’ll get over it if you spend like seven years on the QS.

How much pressure is on you guys to make that tour? Do you feel it at times?
Yeah there’s pressure for sure. I feel like it’s time to start winning comps and getting results. I think we’re getting there. Me and Josh are working super hard just doing that, trying to do as much as we can when we’re at home; working on our boards, working with coaches.

What do you think it takes? There are so many good surfers out there, what do you think it takes to crack that top 10 or whatever? What’s the difference to make the tour?
I think you have to just standout. A lot of times guys on the QS just start surfing so similar, everyone starts doing their safe turns. I feel like a lot of guys aren’t too risky, they’re just surfing safe on the QS. I’d say just going for it and making it, and that’ll get you there. But being consistent; sometimes you don’t have to over-surf in a heat… that’s probably it.

So just be smart and go big when you have to?
Yeah, just be smart and go big when you have to.

Nice, where are some destinations that you want to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
I haven’t been to the Philippines yet. I’d like to go surf Cloud 9 and there are a few underground slabs that I wanna go check out, for sure. I’ve pretty much been everywhere else… Namibia, Namibia was on our checklist and we went there but we didn’t get it really good. It was fun but it wasn’t something special so we’ll probably try to get back, maybe next year.

Any hobbies or any weird things you like to do?
Yeah, me and Josh dive and fish. We just came back from a trip where we went to another island to dive and we basically just camped out there for a weekend with some friends. We dove everyday and ate our fish we caught, it was pretty cool. The island is Molokai; it’s mellow, real, real Hawaiian culture. Nothing like Oahu; there’s no one out there and you’re catching your own food, hunting for your own food. So that’s one of our big hobbies.

Anything else we should no about you? Any dark secrets?
Not much. Golf – but that’s pretty standard right now. Everyone is getting into that niche, golfing.

Ok, if you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Just one person… Dinner… Hmmm… Uh… Margo Robbie.

That’s a good one. A lot of people don’t even think about the female part and they just go for Elvis or something. But that’s a good one; keep it simple, and alive too. Any last words or advice? If you were on your deathbed what would you say while you were going out?
Don’t worry about me, live your life, I’ll be fine.

Alright, thanks so much Seth, we appreciate you taking your time to talk with us.