Josh Moniz arrived in Australia without any pants.

“I guess I just forgot that Australia can be cold,” he says, looking down at his tree-trunk calves emerging from a pair of shorts. “Plus, I always think about pants as something you wear when you’re going out at night, and I figured we’d be surfing the whole time. I guess it’s a Hawaii thing.”

Most things with Josh are a “Hawaii thing.” His favorite part about Western Australia is a Hawaiian thing. “I love the power here. You have everything from huge barrels to the biggest, scariest ramps ever. It’s raw. It feels like home.” His least favorite thing about being here is a Hawaii thing. “The worst part about West Oz are the drives. I’ve never done such big missions as we’ve done on this trip. What was that one drive, 12 hours? I hate being in the car that long. The longest drive in Hawaii is like two hours.”

And his family is definitely a Hawaiian thing. Raised on the shores of Waikiki by his dad, legendary surfer Tony Moniz, and mom, Tammy Moniz, Josh and his four siblings grew up in the world’s most coveted sandbox. Shovels. Pales. Castles. Waves. Surfboards — plenty of surfboards.

“Coming from a big family is sick,” he says, flashing a chorus line of straight, white teeth. “There’s always something to do, someone to talk to. You’re never bored. And my brothers were always way better than me at surfing, so that pushed me more than anything to improve.”

Josh is a quiet and happy 19-year-old kid, so I expect this kind of positivity when talking about his large, well-known family. But I’m curious, with four siblings within five years of him, is it tough to stand as your own person?

“That’s probably the hardest thing,” he admits. “None of us would ever get eggy about that, but that’s for sure the toughest part about growing up in a big family. I get called Seth and Isaiah and Micah all the time, and they get called Josh. People see us as ‘The Monizes’ more than as individuals.”

Josh. Josh. Josh. He’s standing alone on this trip, his surfing the perfect mix of old-school Hawaiian power and modern-day trickery. Think Sunny Garcia mixed with Albee Layer. He’s dynamic, full of attack and rarely falls — a combination that will likely land him on tour soon.

“I love competing, and want to be on tour one day,” he says when I ask him about his goals for the next five years. “That feeling of needing a score and getting it at the end of the heat is the best thing ever.”

Even Josh’s road to qualification, his future on the CT, has become a Hawaiian thing. “Last year was the first time that I felt pressure representing Hawaii,” he says. “It was my first full year on the QS and I had a good run at the beginning, then a shocker toward the end. At first, I didn’t think anyone was watching. But when I started slipping, some of the older guys were saying, ‘C’mon, you gotta step it up!’ And I was kind of rattled, like, ‘What? You guys care how I do?’ Now that I notice that there are only a few [Hawaiians] on the QS, there’s a little pressure. But I try not to think of it because in the end, everyone from home is so supportive.”


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