The surfing tale of the Moniz family

December 20, 2018 | Surfing
The Moniz family: Tony, Tammy and their five surfer kids | Photo: Moniz Archive

They are one of the most well-known Hawaiian surfing families.

Their blood reflects not only Hawaiian but also Portuguese, Japanese, Irish and Chinese ancestry.

Tony and Tammy Moniz met each other at Local Motion when Montgomery "Buttons" Kaluhiokalani was riding for the brand.

"One day, I was working behind the desk, and someone came in the front door and just kind of started reading surfing magazines," explains Tammy.

"So I just tapped my manager John: 'who's that guy over there?' And he's like: 'oh that's Tony Moniz.' First thing I thought: 'Oh, Tony and Tammy Moniz! And the rest is history."

The couple raised five kids: Micah (1991), Kelia (1993), Isaiah (1994), Joshua (1996), Seth (1997). And they all became prolific surfers.

"Sweet dad, you could say; he was never too aggressive with us and never pushed us to do anything we didn't want to do," reveals Isaiah.

"Surfing wasn't his focus. It wasn't about making us like the best surfers in the world. And it was never a pressure of like you have to be the best to get there you have to do this in order to be the best," adds Kelia.

The Moniz family: they all love the ocean | Photo: Billabong

Love of the Ocean

The girl of the family confirms that her dad, Tony, always instilled the love of the ocean and to respect the ocean, and to enjoy time at the beach.

Some of the younger Moniz became competitive surfers and won world titles and famous events. Like Kelia and Josh.

"He's a threat anywhere in the world. He's doing airs in small waves, and I know that if it comes his way, he's going to go. He's got it in his blood," underlines Mason Ho.

"He's really turned on his strengths this year. In my eyes, he's always been one of my favorite surfers personally."

The Moniz matriarch is happy with the way things have evolved.

"When I think about our life, I honestly sometimes think I don't know how we did it. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's great," says Tammy.

"On Instagram, we post the good parts - we're not going to post the bad parts - but there are a lot of bad parts as well."

Tony is a proud dad and husband, and he feels like surfing helped them become a better family, whether as professional or as free surfers.

"The most important thing for me is that they enjoy surfing before anything else. I'll support you do these events, but don't let the competitive side ruin your life," notes Tony.

"The ocean is your playground; the ocean is where you're going to get your fish - it's your life, it's part of Hawaii, it's Hawaiian."