How Stomping A Flip In Texas Propelled Seth Moniz To Number One On The QS
“I just have so much confidence, I feel like I’m landing everything!”
Seth Moniz – son of Tony and Tammy, brother of… many – is currently leading the WSL’s Qualifying Series.
With the QS season passing its unofficial mid-point of the US Open, Seth has already exceeded the qualification-point mark for last season’s CT, which is not an official guarantee that he’ll make it this year, but it’s a damn good omen.
Because he resides in such a fortuitous position, Seth, a 20-year-old Hawaiian, is able to spend the next month and a half at home, enjoying a flurry of south swells and relishing in his abundance of Q-points.
We caught Seth after a session at one of the South Shore’s many flirtatious reefs.
Hey Seth! So I’m looking at your 2018 stats, and for the first half of the season you didn’t have any great results, but then in your last three events you’ve bagged a bunch of keepers, and now you’re number one on the QS. So… what changed?
Yeah it’s pretty crazy. It seems like right after Waco, when I did that flip, everything’s just been going so well for me. Like I went to Japan and made my first QS final, and then I went to Ballito and got a third in the first Prime of the year, which gave me even more points than my second in Japan. Then I just had the U.S. Open – it was actually the first year I’ve been able to do it – and the waves were really small, so my goal there was to get a ninth. When I made that heat with Evan – the one where I did that air – that heat from ninth to fifth is a huge leap in points, so it helped me out a lot. Also we brought Rainos Hayes this year. He was my coach when I was a grom, and he’s definitely been a positive force this season.
On the US Open webcast they were saying that the WSL dropped a couple of the 6,000 events on the back end of the schedule, which will actually make it easier for you to hold onto your position come the end of the season…
Yeah, when they announced that they were cancelling those events at the beginning of the year I was pretty bummed, but now that I have three results I definitely don’t mind as much [laughs]. I’m already above the point total that qualified in 2017, and there were even more points on offer last year. So I’m not just gonna sit back and assume that I’m safe, but I’m definitely in a good position right now.
Especially considering the scores you need to drop are so low! If you just make a couple heats at any of the remaining Primes, you’re guaranteed to be on the CT next year. Does that make you more or less nervous to surf the coming events?
Ummm it makes me a little bit nervous, but I’m also just feeling super confident right now. My surfing has improved a lot and I’m finally surfing how I want to in heats. I know I can go win a few more heats if I just keep doing what I’m doing.
You’re 20 now, which is young but not super young, so do you feel like your surfing will be ready for the big leagues next year, should you qualify?
Yeah you know, I was never one of those kids that wanted to qualify super young. The last few years I focused a lot less on contests and more on just traveling and improving my surfing. I did the QS, but my focus wasn’t really on qualification. This year, that all changed. I don’t know why, but it just feels like my surfing has improved so much. I’m not scared to draw big names anymore. I finally feel ready.
You’ve got a big family, most of whom have surfed professionally, but it’s just your older brother Josh that has been on this QS journey with you for the past few years. He’s currently sitting at 31st on the rankings, which by no means is puts him out of contention, but theoretically speaking, would it be weird to qualify before him?
I don’t think it would be weird. He and I have always been super supportive of each other throughout our entire careers. Josh actually won the first event of the year [the Volcom Pipe Pro] but then injured himself in Australia. For the rest of the season he’s been surfing through that injury, and it’s definitely affected him. But he’s finally back to 100% now and surfing way better. I’d really love to qualify with him and start the CT together, and I think he’s gonna make a big push on the back end of the season.
If only he’d gone to Waco too! [laughs]
Yeah, it’s funny… I had no idea what the wavepool was gonna be like or anything, I just got a call from my friend Rob Kelly to go check it out, and I wasn’t doing anything at home so I just decided to fly over. Then I got there and realized how sick the place was, and how nuts the air section is. After landing that air, the whole thing went pretty viral which was cool, but also just going there and practicing gave me the confidence to land everything. When I left Texas to go back home, I was just stomping everything. Even at the US Open, I don’t think I fell. I was just riding out of everything.
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