For the Love of Surfing: Family Ties
For Kelia Moniz surfing is in her genes. The hugely popular, fun-loving Hawaiian is just as comfortable going for a dawny as she is in full make-up for a photo shoot. The Moniz family have surfed all their lives and have dedicated themselves to surfing and their love for the sport. Heading up the Moniz family are Tony and Tammy: Tony surfed professionally for 30 years and Tammy enjoys photography and is a surf instructor. As groms Kelia (aka ‘Sister’) and her four brothers – Micah, Isaiah, Joshua and Seth – were all dropped off at Wakiki early in the morning and not picked up until sunset. So it’s not surprising that Kelia and her brothers became more used to being in the water than on land. All the brothers are rising stars in the competitive surfing field and Kelia who is well known as a Roxy surfer has also won two world longboard titles. Expect to hear more from the super-talented Moniz crew for a few more years yet.
With Coco Ho’s feminine yet badass approach to surfing, it’s easy to see why she is one of the best female competitive surfers. Coco started surfing at 7 years old. What with over 25 surfing awards to her name and qualifying for the World Surf League tour at just 17, Coco is clearly following in the footsteps of her surfing family. The Ho family are surfing royalty in Hawaii. Coco’s dad is Michael Ho – former professional surfer and one of the best tube riders at Pipeline in the mid ’70s. Coco’s uncle, Derek Ho, was the first ever Hawaiian World Champ in 1993.
For Coco, growing up in Hawaii with her big brother Mason, there was never any question whether they were going to be surfers; the only question was how dominant they would be. Mason’s fearless approach to surfing has gained him recognition around the world. Since he was a child Mason always dreamed of being on the world tour and winning a title. After trying to adapt his surfing style and get out of the shadow of his famous farther and uncle, he’s focussed on being Mason and surfing his own way. While Coco has always looked up to Mason, Mason is Coco’s biggest fan and he goes out of his way to show his support and love for her.
For The Family
Tyler and her four surfing siblings – three brothers, Tim, Owen and Mikey, and sister Kirby – all grew up in the little surf town of Culburra Beach in New South Wales, Australia. With nothing much to do in the town other than surf, it’s easy to see how they all fell in love with the sport. Their dad still surfs every day, and Tyler and Owen are household names in Australia, dominating the world tour from a young age.
However, the past two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the Wright family: The low moments around Owen’s potentially life-altering injury after a wipeout at Pipeline on the eve of a world title showdown, and the high of Tyler’s 2016 World Title. Pulling together and supporting one another has always been hugely important for the family, especially since Owen’s head injury in December 2015.
Tyler herself had a big hand in getting Owen back on his feet during his year-long break from competitive surfing and even considered pulling out of the World Tour to help look after him during his recovery. But at Owen’s request Tyler stayed on tour, dug deep and got her first World Championship title.
This year Owen is back from injury and his win at the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast in March has been heralded as one of the biggest comebacks on the World Tour. Tyler said it was a very emotional and wasn’t ready to watch Owen compete. “I think I cried for about 15 minutes after it was done,” Tyler admitted, “But yeah, a big moment. A year can change a lot.”
Photo courtesy /// Kelia surf : WSL | Kelia portrait : Roxy | Coco surf : WSL | Coco portrait : Volcom | Owen & Tyler portraits : Rip Curl | Owen & Tyler surf : WSL