By Kelia Moniz
Photos Tyler Rock
Kelia: ‘Kay Aunty, clearly you are one of my favorites to watch surf and take notes from. Who did you look up to as a little Waikiki kid? Who inspired you?
Megan: Growing up in Waikiki, there were always legends in and out of the water. There’re too many! But I loved watching Uncle Lance Ho’okano, Uncle Bonga, Jenny Lee Van Gieson, Kai Sallas, and Aunty P. Makalena. They each had such a powerful presence in the lineup, but yet were so graceful and effortless on the waves. As I got older, honestly – and you’re probably going to laugh and think this is so cliché – but you, Kelia Michiko Moniz; you inspired me to be me. The best part about it is that you always reminded me to be proud of my style and to never change it.
Kelia: When we were kids we got to surf all day, every day, time was no issue. How do you manage to work a full-time job and still find time to surf?
Megan: I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard. I start work very early in the morning, 5:30 am to be exact, so by the time I’m done, I…am…..pooped! But knowing how I’m going to feel after I get out of the water is what really gets me in the water. If I had a bad day at work, I’ll make myself go surf because I know that the second that I touch that water my worries are gone. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I need the water like a fat kid needs cake.
Kelia: Do you find that surfing brings you different inspiration as an adult vs. as a kid?
Megan: For me, growing up in the surf world I almost felt like it was a job more than a fun hobby. Most of that stress, if not all, actually came from me. I was really hard on myself as a kid, and still am ’til this day, but I’ve learned to balance. I always felt like I had to prove something to someone. But the inspiration that I get from surfing now, I think it is derived from me now being an aunty. I mean, my Instagram handle [@aunty_megzzz] says it all! Now when I see the up and coming generation of girl longboarders, the thought, ‘How can I pay it forward to these girls?’ always pops into my head.
Kelia: I think I could answer this question for you, but what are things you love doing, other than surfing, that give you close to- or equal- the joy?
Megan: [Laughs] You can definitely answer this one for me! But ask anybody who knows me, and they will tell you I truly enjoy cooking and being in good company. My soul thrives off of good food and good company. There’s something about sharing moments in time with people you love and cherish that make you feel alive and beyond yourself… or at least for me anyway. Really anything to do in the ocean, I love. I love diving, but somebody – a.k.a. YOU – always wants to make excuses to not go! I’ve recently gotten hooked on canoe surfing and when I say hooked, I mean hooked! I feel like such a badass steering the canoe.
Kelia: Not all of us had the privilege of having a dad who shaped surfboards in our garage and I’ve never really asked you this question so: What was that like for you as a competitive surfer to have your shaper literally in your home? Did you start shaping with him?
Megan: First off, my dad is a madman in the shaping room. He can shape and glass a board in one day which is kind of gnarly and I’m not complaining [laughs]. I was very fortunate and very grateful to have my dad as my shaper. As I got older I got more involved with the shapes and dimensions of my boards and I feel like that helped my surfing a lot. Understanding what 3/4 of an inch changes on your board, whether it’s in the rails, the thickness of even length of the board, helped me with my movements in the water. I shaped a couple boards with him but I prefer to stick to the artwork.
Kelia: In terms of competition, what are your goals and plans? I know there’s still a little spark in you to show the world who Aunty Megs is!
Megan: My goals in surfing? I mean… a world title is always in the back of my mind trying to make its way to the front of my mind and, trust me, that’s something I’ve always been chasing. Hopefully there are more contests in the near future because a part of me still fiends to put on a jersey.
Kelia: Can you give me three random facts about you that maybe even I don’t know?
1. I always have to have my rings, a watch, and my necklace on when I leave the house. If I forget one of those three, I will turn right around to go get it. I cannot surf without my rings!
2. I used to be a regular ice skater, believe it or not. Ice palace was the spot on the weekends! After surfing all day, I would go to ice palace and skate until about midnight.
3. When I was four years old I could dive down to 13 feet and pick up those dive rings at the bottom of the pool. I’m pretty sure I’m part mermaid, but my parents won’t tell me.