For Tammy Moniz, the ocean is life and surfing represents a heritage that has been passed down from ancient Hawaii’s past. “It represents a love and passion to be one with nature and to find fun with family and friends,” she says. Tammy is a professional surf instructor and their family owns and operates a surf school, Moniz Family Surf in Honolulu, HI. Tammy and her family embody surf in every way, some even call them “surf royalty.”
Tammy grew up on the beaches, although she was not always a surfer. In fact, as a child she was so intimidated by surfing that she didn’t even try. Now, as an instructor she says, “we teach people how to surf and progress in their surfing, but mostly, we want to share an experience, a feeling of the beauty it is to ride a wave. There is a freedom that you feel when you get on a wave and kinda like dance with her.”
Tammy and her husband passed their love for the ocean and surf onto their 5 children, and now their grandchildren. “Our kids grew up on the beach, but they didn’t take to the waves until they were about 6. Well except our youngest who was surfing before he could swim,” she says. They spent every day at the beach and now are professional surfers themselves. Her daughter Kelia, is a two-time surfing World Champion.
When she thinks about the meaning of surf for her family, it’s fun and a time to bond, building friendships, teaching others to enjoy the ocean and learn safety in the ocean and getting physical activity without knowing you are. “It is the best and that is what surfing has helped our whole family to do… stay healthy and strong.”
Now Tammy is introducing her grandchildren to surfing and she loves how the Veer Cruiser makes getting out with kids so easy. “The Veer Cruiser is something that my grand babies LOVE to get into. And one thing I noticed IMMEDIATELY is how EASY it is to pull/push and TURN! And… of course it feels super strong, stable and looks GORGEOUS!”
Q: What does surfing represent to you?
A: Surfing represents a heritage that was passed down from ancient Hawaii’s past. It was a pastime and sport of Hawaiian King, Queens, Princesses and Princes, and training for warriors to show their talent and skill on a board and waves. But also enjoyed by the people of Hawaii. For our family our children grew up on the beach of Waikiki, the same place where we teach, the same place where the royal people of Hawaii surfed and enjoyed their life on the beach, and where the beach boy culture (surf schools) first originated. It represents a love and passion to be one with nature and to find fun with family and friends. It has built a community of people which are and always will be family to us.
Q: Tell us a little bit about what you do professionally?
A: I guess you could say I am a professional surf instructor! Haha. But that is not really what it is labeled. We teach people how to surf and progress in their surfing, but mostly, we want to share an experience, a feeling of the beauty it is to ride a wave. There is a freedom that you feel when you get on a wave and kinda like dance with her…. especially here in Waikiki where for the most part of the year, we have beautiful, rolling gorgeous long waves that offer you that pleasure. Yup that is my job. Such a good job right!? It does require a lot of energy and I do get tired at the end of the day if I’m in the water and sun all day. But it is what we love, and we are so very blessed to have what we have here to be able to have that honor to pass this down to the next generation, and share with our visitors how special this land and waves are.
Q: Growing up yourself did you spend much time outdoors?
A: YES. We went to the beach, my brothers (I have 3 of them) surfed, but I didn’t. I was scared and super intimidated, so it kept me from even trying.
Q: What were your favorite activities you did as a family?
A: My brothers all played baseball so we spent a lot of time on the baseball field. And in high school I would love to go to the beach and body surf or play in the water at Sandy Beach and Makapuu.
Q: Do you have any specific memories from when you introduced your kids to surfing?
A: Our kids grew up on the beach, but they didn’t take to the waves until they were about 6. Well except our youngest who was surfing before he could swim. We would pull up to the beach, drop off all the piles of things… tent, tables, cooler, boards, and did homeschool on the beach while we taught lessons. The kids recess was surfing. And if they didn’t do their school, they couldn’t surf. There were also other families and kids in the area that would come and surf with our kids. We would spend weekends together, they would sleep over and load in our 15 passenger van, and we would do potlucks for dinner time. It was so amazing and these kids turned into best friends. Many of them are still best friends today!
Q: What is your favorite thing about surfing with your children?
A: I love surfing with my kids. My favorite was cheering them on and watching them get better. Now I love it more because the roles have changed and they are hooting me on waves and telling me to go or see if I’m alright if I wiped out!
Q: What do you hope your children and grandchildren will take away from your outdoor experiences together?
A: Having fun with their family, building friendships, teaching others to enjoy the ocean and learn safety in the ocean, getting physical activity without knowing you are, is the best and that is what surfing has helped our whole family to do… stay healthy and strong.