Stab Magazine | What I really think about, with Sebastian Zietz

What I really think about, with Sebastian Zietz

From Stab issue 74: What I Really Think About, with Sebastian Zietz, 25, Kauai. Words by Mimi Lamontagne Family: I have eight siblings. They’re my best friends and pretty much the only people I hang out with at home. They all live in Kauai and it’s like I have a different best friend every day. […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

From Stab issue 74: What I Really Think About, with Sebastian Zietz, 25, Kauai.

Words by Mimi Lamontagne

Family: I have eight siblings. They’re my best friends and pretty much the only people I hang out with at home. They all live in Kauai and it’s like I have a different best friend every day. I feel bad for anyone that doesn’t have brothers and sisters because that was just action growing up. There are so many different attitudes and it definitely help make you a better person. Family is everything.

Drinking: It’s something that you should only do when there’s something going on or if you’re in an awkward situation. If you have a photo shoot, drinking is a must-do. Besides that, one of two beers every night just to help you go to sleep is okay.

Girls: I’ve got a girlfriend now so I turn a blind eye to all other girls and dedicate myself to just one. That’s the ultimate pursuit. You’re trying to get that keeper and I’ve found her.

Marriage: You definitely want to make sure that you’re with a girl who has good intentions for you. Someone you could see yourself having kids with. I believe in it but really just to solidify that you’re going to be together forever. I don’t believe in the holy part of it but once you’re married, it’s set in stone.

Florida: I was born there. It’s cool. My girlfriend is from Florida. They’re really groovy people, the most intelligent, cool people around. I haven’t spent much time in Florida and a lot of friends like to roust me because I was born there, but I moved to Kauai when I was four months old. A lot of guys like Kelly try to tell CI to put the Florida state flag on my board but I definitely am not claiming that. I claim Hawaii. I’d like to set that straight.

Anti-aloha: On Kauai it’s not that big of a deal. Everyone gets along and just cruises but we don’t have the Triple Crown coming to our doorstep and taking all our waves. It fully infiltrates the first part of the winter and I’m sure those guys have just been sitting at home with no waves at all. Then when they finally do come you have a million different barns from different parts of the world coming to your doorstep. I think it’s justified. Guys need to be a lot more respectful. Even when I go over there I’m careful of guys. It’s their turf and I’m just as much of a foreigner as anyone else. I definitely don’t agree with the stealing of surfboards that goes on sometimes but maybe if we all were a little bit more mindful of those guys that have nothing over there, the stealing wouldn’t happen.

Ice in Kauai: It really sucks and to be in such a beautiful place. I don’t see any dark side of Kauai because I travel so much that I can never get bored with it. I love going home and I appreciate the beauty but when you live there your whole life you can become really bored and a lot of guys get trapped. They’re just super bored at home and they start doing ice. It’s a pity you see so many of your friends turn to that. My parents used to say that it was because of the Green Harvest (a marijuana eradication program). Before, all the locals used to just smoke a lot of weed and everything was fine and groovy and then Green Harvest came along and made it real hard to grow weed. It became a lot more expensive and people had to turn to something else to get over the boredom. If marijuana was more accessible it’d be a lot easier for people to get over the temptation of ice. You’re not gonna commit a robbery all stoned. You’ll mellow out and show the aloha spirit.

Andy Irons: Andy is a huge inspiration to me, even growing up. The saddest thing I thought about, the thing that brought me to tears, was pulling up to Pine Trees and seeing his truck there, just knowing that he was out surfing. Of course I miss his stories and him as a person was so full of life. It’s hard to think that he’s gone. But never seeing his truck at Pine Trees… everyone used to sit in the parking lot and watch him. The waters would clear because everyone wanted to watch him surf. I still look to him as my favourite surfer and I think he’d still be ripping everybody if he was alive. It was a huge blow to Kauai.

Kelly Slater: Coming from Kauai it’s pretty easy to be a Slater Hater because he battled with Andy for so long, so hard. Watching those heats, everyone was so into Andy… we were all saying ah, he’s getting over-scored! Frick this! He tosses his hands in the air and they give him the score. But I feel like I was naïve in thinking that. Actually being on tour and seeing the surfing that he does, he’s definitely the best surfer. It’s ridiculous and it’s going to be funny to see everyone try to keep up now that they know being the best at 43, or whatever it is, is possible. The guys are going try to hold on into their late ‘30s saying Kelly did it! I feel like you’d get sick of winning so much. Personally, I can’t imagine doing this in 20 years…

Pine Trees: Heaven. Every different kind of wave, all in one. The training ground for every wave. It’s home to me and even if the waves are horrible there I still feel like they’re good because it’s so familiar. All the boys are there, every day, and if I’m ever lonely I know that there’s some other bored soul chillin’ there to cruise with and talk to. It’s the meeting place, the hangout, peanut gallery spot.

The US Government: It’s corrupt. It’s crazy that I couldn’t get a passport. I moved away when I was four months old and I was born at home so we just didn’t have the medical records. My parents blame it on the nurses that totally denied us and because my mom couldn’t actually go to the offices and yell at them they just brushed us. Growing up it was even hard for me to get jobs. I worked a lot of under the table jobs… dishwasher, busboy… and when I turned 18 it sunk in that I wasn’t going be able to travel or be able to make it as a pro surfer. That sucked, that feeling. But then a couple months later I got my passport and my dream came true. We just gathered enough documents, report cards and everything, to prove that I was a real person.

The new ASP: It’s going to be really good for the sport. The new scaffolding area is super nuts and there’s that little extra pressure to perform really well. Give the people what they wanna see because we’re living like rock stars now. But also, I feel like there’s the downside of owning all the rights to the media for the contests. They’re trying to go in a direction of NFL but they’ve gotta understand that the brands pay for the athletes. That’s going to have to change to make it worthwhile for the other companies.

Sharks: I was chased out of the water in Florida one time. It was a seven-foot bull shark and it turned straight towards us. A lot of people say that they’re an important part of the ecosystem abut us as humans are overfishing the waters now and they have nothing to eat. Now they’re starting to eat humans and there’s a lot more humans in the water. A world without sharks would be amazing. We could surf without worries all day long and have a lot more fish for ourselves.


What is this, the nineties? Behind those retro-fabbish Oakley blades are the beetling brows and joyful eyes of a man suspicious of American Government, ready to concede that maybe Slater ain’t so bad after all (Zietz grew up with AI) and who gets the whole anti-aloha thing. “You have a million different barns coming to your doorstep,” he says. Photo by Russ Hennings.


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