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Ron Mizutani

‘Sister’ On Top Of The World Once Again

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Hawaii reigns supreme in the sport of surfing and the future couldn’t be any brighter.

On Oct. 5, 21-year-old Carissa Moore captured her second ASP Women’s World Title with a convincing win at the EDP Cascais Girls Pro in Guincho, Portugal. Seven weeks later, Nov. 22, 20-year-old Kelia “Sister” Moniz surfed her way to her second straight ASP Women’s World Longboard Title.

“It’s been a pretty cool year for both us to be bringing home world titles together,” says Moniz. “It’s always a good feeling to raise the Hawaiian flag and just represent Hawaii.”

Moniz won the Swatch Girls Pro China on Hainan Island with a convincing victory over Chelsea Williams of Australia. It is the third consecutive year that the China event has crowned the ASP Women’s World Longboard champion. It also is the third year in a row both surfers were in the final of this event. Williams won it all in 2011, and Moniz has left China the last two years as the world champion.

“Winning one is amazing, and it’s like the best feeling you’ll ever have, but I think two (world titles) or more, that solidifies you as a surfer, and it makes you a little bit more legit,” smiles Moniz. “I was really happy with the second world title bringing it back home and representing Hawaii.”

Moniz is known around the world for her graceful but powerful surfing style, and she delivered both in a solid performance in the finals to beat Williams, who now has finished second in the world title chase four times.

“It’s definitely a lot of work, and I think it’s just water time, being a water baby my whole life and surfing with my brothers, my dad and my mom,” says Moniz. “Being in the ocean 24-7 and being homeschooled at one point – it’s all paying off!”

When she’s not surfing on the professional tour, Moniz travels the world, modeling. The Roxy girl spent some time in Japan following her victory in China.

“It’s amazing. I travel with two of my best friends, Bruna Schmitz and Monyca Byrne-Wickey, and we travel the world. We do surf events and campaigns, shooting with Roxy, and I couldn’t ask for a better job,” she says humbly. “I can travel and surf some of the best waves in the world and have the most fun ever. We just pretty much live our lives and have everything photographed, so I’m very blessed.”

Even though she excelled on smaller surfboards as a young surfer, including a first-place finish at the NSSA High School Nationals in the shortboard division, Moniz has excelled on a longboard. She says growing up with four brothers (which is how she got the nickname Sister) has been a blessing, as well.

“It’s the best thing ever. I was really tough growing up and also I think I learned a lot competing-wise from them, because it’s always a competition with boys,” laughs Moniz. “It was always a game, so growing up with four brothers was the best childhood ever, and we were all homeschooled our entire lives, so they were my classmates.”

Now that she’s home, Moniz is unwinding and has managed to sneak in a few surf sessions at her favorite “town” breaks. She says staying grounded is something she learned at an early age.

“Growing up in Hawaii, just having people like Aunty Rell (Sunn) and other surfers to look up to has helped me professionally,” says Moniz. “Growing up in Waikiki, you kind of learn to ride such a beautiful wave, and growing up there, it kind of allowed me to have a really smooth and graceful style. I’ll never forget my roots.”

rkmizutani@gmail.com

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