Oliver and Zoie Zietz were born on Oahu, Hawaii but relocated to Kauai when they were seven and two years old. Hailing from a family of surfers, it was only natural that the sibling duo took to the water as groms. Under the guidance of their parents and their uncle, CT surfer Sebastian Zietz, the Zietz siblings began competing in local contests. In 2022, Oliver and Zoie both took home wins in the junior’s divisions at the NSSAs in Huntington Beach, proving that they have what it takes to follow in their uncle’s footsteps and someday qualify for the Championship Tour. We caught up with Oliver and Zoie between sessions and asked how their uncle has served as a role model over the years, their greatest strengths as surfers, and their goals looking forward.

FS: How did you first get into surfing?
O.Z.: When I was really young my dad would take me surfing at Waikiki on a big longboard—I instantly loved it. Since then, I’ve been getting to surf with my uncle Sebastian Zietz (Seabass) and other great surfers on Kauai, which has helped me progress to the level of surfing I’m currently at.

Z.Z.: I was born in Kailua on the island of Oahu but moved to Kauai when I was two and have grown up here ever since. I started surfing at local spots after watching my brother, dad and uncles having so much fun out there.

Zoie Zietz

FS: Who in your family surfs?
Z.Z.: Surfing is a big part of my family and I have many relatives who surf such as my brother, Oliver, my dad, Uncle Seabass, Billy, Dusty, my aunt Ginger, and my cousin Hayden. It is so fun to surf with all of them and do contests with Ollie and Hayden!

FS: What have been some of your best competition results over the years?
O.Z.: Some of my best results are NSSA National Explorer Juniors 17 and under champ in 2022, third place in U18 at the USA surfing championships in 2022, and a quarterfinal finish at the Sunset Pro QS 1000 in 2022.

ZZ: Last year, I had a really good year and I won two divisions in Hawaii regionals, won a national title in NSSA, and got fourth in US Champs. I’m so stoked with my results last year but I want to do even better this year!

FS: Tell us about winning at the NSSAs.
O.Z.: The NSSA comp in Huntington Beach was super fun. Although the surf was pretty grindy (small and hard to surf), Huntington still had some great sections to do big maneuvers. It was also great to see some of my friends from California, Hawaii, and the east coast, and cheer them on during their heats.

I was super stoked to take the win, especially because my sister ended up winning on the same day. Also, it was an all-Hawaiian final and I think some of the best surfers in the world come out of Hawaii, which makes winning that much more of an achievement for me.

Z.Z.: We had a variation of different wave and wind conditions during the event, which made it exciting and kept me on my toes. Winning the 2022 Explorer 12 and Under division was so awesome. It was my first time winning a national title and now I want to keep them coming.

FS: Has your Uncle Sebastian been a big role model over the years?
O.Z.: Sebastian Zietz (Seabass) has helped me so much by developing my level of surfing and by taking me on awesome trips to amazing waves. Even if it’s just surfing some bad waves at home, I still learn so much each time I’m in the water with him. Three of the most important things Seabass has taught me are humility, earning it yourself, and to rip no matter how the surf is.

Z.Z.: He has helped and motivated me a lot. Last year, he took my brother, my cousin Hayden, and I, plus a bunch of our surf friends, to the Waco wave pool for the Seabass surf camp—it was so fun!

Oliver Zietz

FS: Who are some surfers that you look up to?
O.Z.: Some of the surfers I look up to most are Seabass, all my uncles, my dad, and the countless surfers I see ripping daily on Kauai—you can learn something new from anyone.

If we are talking about who I think are the best surfers in general, I would say Ethan Ewing and Mick Fanning. I like their surfing so much because they are extremely fast, powerful, and smooth.

Z.Z.: There are many surfers I look up to but my top three are Tatiana Weston-Webb because she charges, rips, and every time I surf with her, she inspires me. I also look up to Stephanie Gilmore because her style is unmatched, and she is so good it’s crazy. And last but not least, Carissa Moore because she is an amazing surfer and she inspires and helps the girls.

FS: Do you two surf together a lot?
Z.Z.: We surf together a lot and it’s nice because he pushes me to battle harder and take waves and I push him also by telling him to surf better (that annoys him). I love surfing with my brother, and I couldn’t imagine not having him. I’m very grateful.

FS: What would you say your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a surfer?
O.Z.: As a surfer, it doesn’t matter how good you think you are at something; you can always do better and learn more. But I would say my strengths are definitely my backside rail surfing and my airs. The thing I need to work on is my frontside surfing.

Z.Z.: My strengths are good timing and rail surfing. I’m still learning and have lots to work on. I am working on barrels, front side roundhouses, and picking good waves.

FS: What are your goals looking forward?
O.Z.: I want to continue improving my surfing and work on getting stronger. Plus, I want to get over to Oahu next winter and charge some bigger surf! This summer I’ll be going to SoCal for the USA Surfing Championships and the NSSA National Championships—this will be my last year doing these.

Beyond that, I plan to surf in all the Hawaii Regional Qualifying Series events and when I feel I’m ready, qualify for the Challenger Series and work with everything I’ve got to get on the Championship Tour.

Z.Z.: I really want to win the US Champs. It’s been a dream of mine and I would just love to do some of my best surfing in that contest. Another goal might be to learn to do airs, a lot of the girls are learning and it’s cool to watch. I want to be the next Kauai surfer girl to make it on the tour like Tati and Gabby.

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