In Hawaii, a rough and tough local broad is known as a tita, basically the female version of a moke. No, Kelia Moniz is not a tita, but growing up on the Rock with four brothers and local legend Tony as her dad, she’s learned to hold her own. And beyond sibling battles, Sister, as she’s called, has inherited the family’s renowned shred skills. When she’s not flying around the globe on shoots with Roxy, she’s making finals in international longboard events (if she feels like it). Kelia’s a real mover. In fact, we nearly missed her just seconds before she stepped out the door to renew her passport. —Beau Flemister
Kelia: I loved growing up with just brothers. They really toughened me up and I don’t think I’d do well with sisters — girls are so sensitive. And I’m sensitive enough, so to have another one with me in the house could be bad. [Laughs] But don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a lot of girls around the world on Roxy trips and surfer girls are sweet. If we share that same love for the water and surfing, which I think a lot of surfer girls do, then we’re good.
To us, our dad wasn’t famous. We all just saw him as an old, grouchy…dad. But we see all the respect that he gets wherever we go, especially when we’re up on the North Shore, and suddenly it’s like, “Whoa, Dad’s kinda cool.”
I like to compete. I just went to China and made the finals and I think that got me stoked to do more contests. I’d love to win a title one day — that’s my competitive goal. But as cool as it is to get in that zone of wanting to win, it’s not something I chase. I like to have that luxury of stepping back and just enjoying surfing for what it is, without a contest. But I really admire those girls on the tour full time; it’s gotta be crazy to be on the road that much, away from home.
Being able to travel with Roxy, surf incredible waves and model — I love that. I think I really only do contests to show that I can actually surf, and that I’m not just a model or lifestyle surfer. I’ve always longboarded, and at the end of the day, that’s all I really love to do. It’s a joy to be in the water, so I guess if I had a main goal it’d be to share that feeling around the world.