Stab Magazine | An Interview With Seth Moniz Before His CT Debut

An Interview With Seth Moniz Before His CT Debut

The 21-year old rookie runs through qualifying, training, the impact of pools, and who burns who in the sibling-hood. 

style // Apr 1, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Seth Moniz is 21 years old and is one of a handful of rookie’s on the roster at Snapper this week. After a few solid years at home in Hawaii, Seth was always going to make the top-10 QS cut off. With a stellar mid section in 2018, Seth sat comfortably in 3rd place as the final at Sunset wrapped. 

To prepare for his ranked CT debut (he’s been a wildcard before), Seth flew out to Oz with his sister, Kelia, right in time for Cyclone Oma’s oceanic output. 

Between tireless paddling and the occasional chip in tube, we sat down with Seth to get a feel for one of the tour’s youngest. 

Below is a truncated compilation of the conversation which followed – plus, some pretty pictures! 

Stab: Wait before we go all surf, lets sort out your sibling situation again. You’re the youngest right?

Seth: Yeah, I’m the youngest, I’m 21. My brother Josh is 22, and then we’re all basically a year and a half apart. Mum and dad were straight to the point [laughs]. 

Who burns who then?

Me and Josh probably. We’re closest in age and all sit on each other. We kind of have the brotherly rivalry, it’s not too bad though, it’s mellow. 

What’s it like being in the water up here [on the Gold Coast] with this swell? 

Jack Freestone has been ripping, putting out sick clips. Other than that, I’ve been surfing every day with Mick [Fanning]. He’s still on point and surfing three times a day and surfs as much as me. I was surfing Snapper and he was telling me the lineup, the waves he likes to pick, sort of like that local insight [laughs]. 

Seth Moniz Hawaii

Seth sitting concerningly comfortable at home, Pipeline.


Billabong | Supplied

What are your thoughts on wavepools? Obviously you did that mental flip.

I back them super hard. I think it’s going to help younger kids learn how to do airs. Having that same section all the time really allows you to get comfortable. 

I feel like in a way it helped me qualify. I got way better at my airs. Did a good one at the US Open and a good one in Japan. I just spent so much time in the air at Waco. Just taking your time in the air really.  

Are you planning on fighting back against the Brazilian domination?

They’re just so good. So gnarly. They’re pushing everyone in comps which is great too, they’re so focused and know what they want. 

You know some guys are super talented but they don’t put in the work and it shows. That’s not the case with Brazilians. I’ve seen some kids that weren’t that good one year and then the next year they’re insane. The work they put in is unrivalled. 

Seth Moniz Dbah

Seth lines up a Dbah peak as Oma approached.


Juan Medina

What about big waves? Do you chase much back home?

Well, I’ve surfed Jaws, nothing crazy though; it was like 20-25 feet, glassy, perfect conditions really. I haven’t been pounded though, and that’s when you find out whether you like it or not [laughs].  

In general I like big waves though, I like Pipe, planning to surf Jaws more, and I do the outer reefs a bit. To be honest I kind of mellowed out last year though. I just focused more on the QS and was in full on comp mode.

Speaking of, was there a point where you kind of realised you might qualify? 

Yeah, sort of. I got second in Japan, third in South Africa and then the US Open I got fifth. I landed in second on the ratings and was like, ‘woah’. It all just happened so fast, and it’s still only kind of kicking in. 

Last year I was here watching [Snapper], it’s weird to think this year I’m going to be in it. 

Seth Moniz US Open

The aforementioned US Open flip. It takes something special to make the Huntington slop look surfable.



How do you feel as a rookie, do you think it’s a big disadvantage lacking that CT experience?

A little I guess, but there’s an advantage in being fresh and psyched as well. I just want to go for it. I just don’t want to put up bad performances on my first year. I want to go in like I have nothing to lose, but I guess I have a lot to lose [laughs]. At the same time though I’m only 21 and can always fight back on. 

I’m just going to try and put on fun performances, the ones where people have fun watching. 

Do you think you have any strengths that’ll work on the CT?

I’d say barrels, heavier barrelling waves I’m comfortable in, that’s kinda my strong suit. I live at the Billabong house so I grew up surfing Off The Wall. I think my air game is decent too.

So, what are you working on?

I guess my rail game and the more basic fundamentals. That’s why I’m here early, to work on the basics of comp surfing. 

Seth Moniz Snapper Red Bull

Hopefully Snapper looks like this come April 3.


Red Bull

What are you most excited for?

Definitely home, but also Snapper. I’ve surfed out here a few times when it was packed and it’s an amazing place. Other than that I guess the usual, Keramas, Chopes, you know. 

Who would you love to surf against in a heat this year?

It would be cool to drop Filipe. He’s the guy I look at and look up to. I also think we have a similar approach, that’s what I want to surf like. Kelly would be great too, it’s his last year. He’s been through so many generations of surfer’s now, I’m like the fourth generation that’s come through. 

Would love to surf against Griff too. We’re going to do Margarets together and Bells. We have a fun rivalry going on and pushed it other super hard when we were growing up. Who could surf the longest, putting in more time, all stupid little stuff though [laughs]. 

Do you have much of a training program going?

I never really trained too seriously. I kinda trained at this place called tactical strength conditioning, it’s where all these top athletes train: UFC fights, football players and that. It’s a good environment to be around top athletes. Zeke trains there too. 

It’s all a lot of core and balance for us surfers. We’re not heavy lifting or anything, it’s all just core and stability work. 

Hopefully it pays off, we’ll find out soon I guess. 

Seth is surfing in Heat 5 against 2018 runner up, Julian Wilson, and a TBD wildcard entrant. We assume your comp starved eyes will be peeled to your screens, or even the horizon if you’re there. 


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