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April 23, 2021
With travel off the cards, 2020 was a different year for Zane Schweitzer but he is still living his life with the same incredible amount of passion as ever, spending valuable time in Hawaii with his family and enjoying natures playground on his doorstep. We caught up with Zane in our Autumn 2020 issue of SUP International Magazine to find out about his year at home, getting married and hear about some of his incredible adventures both old and new!
Words Zane Schweitzer   // Photos Nathan Lawrence & John Carter

A manic can be someone who is incredibly enthusiastic according to Zane! So, his self-declared nickname ‘Zaniac’ pretty much sums up the way he gives 110% to whatever he does! When his is not surfing or stand up paddling, you might find Zane, windsurfing Winging, foil surfing or dirt biking around his home in Maui. Alongside his love of water sports, Zane has also inspired thousands of groms to share his passion for the ocean, while also conveying the message that we should all take care of the environment. Zane has also been an extremely successful competitor over the past decade winning the ultimate waterman event in New Zealand in 2016 and 2017 as well as countless other sup surf competitions and races. On top of all his on the water activities Zane has written an amazing book, ‘Beneath the Surface’ as well as adding speaking engagements to his list of activities. It seems like we are only in the first chapters of Zane’s incredible life journey and he is leading a great example to many of us on how we can create a better world.

Covid Wedding

To get married in 2020 was wild! I’m so grateful for how our Covid wedding turned out, though. We originally planned to have a huge celebration with all our families and 200 plus people, with group gathering restrictions our numbers had to cut down to less than 30 in the end. We had a very intimate wedding at home and it was so special! Although, we do look forward to celebrating with all our friends and family when the time allows for it!
Perfect Match 
When I first met Kim about four years ago, she was working two jobs out of college and was not quite a water woman yet. Our first date was a SUP Surf Lesson where I promised her, she would not drown! Flash forward a year and she was already confidently paddling and surfing small kind- then that evolved quickly to our first surf trip together and her first reef cuts and so on. I found myself a bad ass chick that could keep up with my craziness! She is always up for an adventure or trying something new and quickly became my best friend. We committed to riding this wave of life together and I’m so grateful!

This year has been quite refreshing yet at the same time a big reality check! Don’t get me wrong, we are all being affected by this in one way or another, and I’m trying to see the best out of the situation. I’ve realized how much time I’ve spent away from my family and my beloved home along with community over the last decade during my relentless pursuit of dreams and endeavours. In many ways this was a blessing in disguise as it gave me the well needed time to slow down and catch up with my Ohana while recharging my competitive drive and polishing my skills with our perfect training conditions for a variety of sports from wing boarding, foiling, surfing, sup to windsurf!

Maui Summer
This summer I’ve been spending a lot of time getting creative on the Hydrofoil and with the wind wing thing! It’s been quite a blast to keep things exciting with the small south swell waves and consistent wind foil surf, wing and downwind! We have had a few sizable South swells enough to motivate me to bust out the short board or more frequently my Sup Surf!

Home Life!
There’s no other way that I’d like to spend my time than with my family. I’m so grateful that my parents allowed for my siblings and our ‘ohana to create this family compound here at Launiupoko on west Maui. We spend our days doing our own thing but always make time to catch up with each other whether for a session at the beach together, or family dinner at home!

Starboard 2021
I just received my new Starboard 2021 boards yesterday and I’m so stoked! The new 6‘8“pro board is magic! I am so excited for the new board added to the quiver. Also joining the quiver is the new 14‘x 19 1/2 Sprint- my narrowest race board yet but somehow still holding the stability I remember with the 21.5” and fastest board in the quiver for sure!

Save the planet
I try and collaborate as much as I can with individuals and programs that are committed to educating or restoring our natural environment and the oceans. I also run a not for profit introducing children to Ocean sport and conservation. I believe connecting the passion and energy from sport to the responsibility to care for and protect our oceans and beaches are a great way to inspire more ocean guardians! Out of all my accomplishments, one of the greatest I am most proud of is being able to introduce kids (over 4000) to Ocean sports and ocean conservation through similar opportunities that I got to experience.

Anger issues
Oh man, it disappoints me to see people trashing our beaches. I see the ocean and the beach is not only my playground open 24 hours seven days a week, but also as our church and place of refuge. Places like this should only be respected and honoured.

Early days
I never knew that I was a part of some white-water sport royalty growing up. My father and most of my heroes were humble warriors and men and a woman of many talents. I grew up surrounded by many positive influences and opportunities for mentorship through my family’s passion and network around the ocean. I am profoundly grateful for the many opportunities that presented themselves, but more so grateful that the ocean caught my heart and mind sense as long as I can remember. Believe it or not, many kids even in Hawaii, grow up bored, I never had an excuse for that! This kept me out of trouble and kept me filled with enthusiasm to immerse myself in the water and activity- from surfing, windsurfing, paddling, diving to dirt-biking- this was my life outside of school and family time, although my big brother are usually my favourite partners to rip with!
I was attracted by the combination of longboard style surfing and the ability to manoeuvre like short board surfing once learning to use the paddle correctly! It was also something great to do on any day whether flat, windy or with huge North swell on the outer reefs!
It has been tough for all businesses and amazing to see how many people are being affected globally from this pandemic, including ourselves as ocean athletes! There’s been cuts not just in events and competitions, but it’s understandable, we are so grateful to have the sense of community and drive to continue pushing for innovation quality regardless of these crazy times! Without competitions and travels, we’ve been working hard on Proto typing and RND while also building content in an authentic way through our lifestyle and sessions! Check out my YouTube channel and Instagram- links on my website www.zaneschweitzer.com 

Crazy experiences

There are a few moments that pop into my mind, but one of the most life-changing events mentally and spiritually was the ultra-marathon style event I did with Connor in our early teenage years, the 150 mile 11 city tour in Holland. I learned how to tap into a new level of mental toughness and embrace the humility of the thought to self during these long 6-8-hour days, often alone, for 5 days straight averaging 30 miles per day. That experience has helped drive me through my everyday challenges and to fuel my drive and motivation for accomplishing goals.  Some of the other craziest times on the ocean I can remember were paddling giant waves on outer reefs of Hawaiian islands with no one around but just a few friends taking advantage of the mobility and speed of a sup board that allows us to take off into huge waves and access these spots with confidence. I’ve been able to SUP Surf places like Pe’ahi aka Jaws on Maui, Mavericks and California, Pascuales and Puerto Escondito in Mexico, Teahupoo in Tahiti and many other XXL locations utilizing the unique mobility a stand up paddle board gives you in big Seas.


After an accident falling off a cliff 30 feet to near death in Peru, I suffered many digestion and nerve issues including near daily vomiting and weight loss. For about two or three years I endured what I’ll always remember as miserable mornings and daily pain that I learned to overcome through lifestyle choices. In many ways this traumatic injury shaped me, I don’t take for granted my fortunate position in life and always make the effort to uplift the people around me and my environment while carrying the attitude of gratitude. I started being aware of the benefits of breathing, meditation, yoga, and a food plant-based diet to combat this daily struggle and it’s gotten to the point where 90% the time it’s conquered! Inspirations 
My father has always been a consistent hero of mine with his work ethic that seems to keep him going from sun-up till sundown and his passion and enthusiasm for sports and things that excite him still to this day! Other guys I’ve always looked up to where people like Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau, Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Rush Randall, and Travis Pastrana. There are so many people that I’ve found fuel and inspiration from and each day it’s exciting to get creative with where or from who that inspiration comes from!

Whale of a time

All the time I come across whales and sharks in the water! I’ve spent a good chunk of my life beneath the surface diving and above the surface Surfing and practicing other ocean activities to know that the ocean is a thriving ecosystem! And in a place like Maui we are fortunate enough to see all kinds of sea life daily! From turtles, dolphins, whales and even sharks. But don’t worry if you are worried about sharks I’ll share a little secret and some Hawaiian wisdom! When you approach the water’s edge, cup your hands and fill with water, take a smell and or taste, if there’s salt, there’s sharks around! Hahaha and that’s the sign of a healthy ocean. With all jokes aside, I encourage you to learn about sharks or other things that make you nervous because with understanding comes sense of comfort.

Life as groms

I will forever be grateful for our unique upbringing on Maui and the awesome crew of kids that we got to surround ourselves with! Connor, Kai and myself were just a few of these kids windsurfing Kanaha every summer day and surfing all over the place. Connor and I really connected and we came best friends at an early age and we continue to push ourselves in a way that was very unique. We’ve also been teammates with Starboard since as long as we can remember pioneering the “dream team” and this gave us the opportunity to travel the world tour for Windsurf then stand up paddle and experience the world and it’s people through our community of passionate watermen and water women! Looking back, we have been through some crazy shit together! From surfing giant waves and pulling emergency rescues with our boat flipping in high surf advisory seas, dominating many podiums in dozens of countries and pretty much every continent of our planet, to learning our life lessons through authentic experience and mentorship. Couldn’t think of a better team-mate and brother! Fear factor
Fear is something I don’t think about much as it’s an emotion I try to confront and smash whenever it appears in my life. But the simple fear that is constant to me is knowing that my kids, or our next generation will not experience the same world or unique experiences with the world and its natural environments as I have… in my short lifetime, I’ve been present enough in the ocean to witness changes in the ecosystem both home and on my travels and it scares me to see the acceleration of coastal erosion and loss of species on a global scale.. to see it and feel it is something else than to just read about it.

Maui lockdown 

In many ways it’s been a unique time our generation would have never had the opportunity to experience! A moment where tourism, population and uncontrollable growth slows down and even stops. It’s been really cool to see local families enjoying the beaches and the many things that we normally “serve” to visitors as an economy that’s driven by heads in beds and tourism. This is also been a big wake up call for all of us in Hawaii that we need to adopt a new economy that isn’t so dependent on uncontrollable growth with all of its negative repercussions to our precious natural environment.

The message

Most definitely the world is telling us something! I think if most of us just took a moment to pay attention to the world around us and embrace more moments of presence in our environment, it would be impossible for us not to notice the many examples of exposure to toxic environments due to our actions as humans.
Author within
I never dreamed I would be an author, but when my grandmother, Carolyn Jackson’s health took a turn for the worst she made me promise her to share my stories with the world and its people. It’s a commitment that I am so proud to have carried and the legacy that I am honoured to share. I’ve had many moments broken down and destroyed yeah I’ve also had quite a few on the top of the world, in my book, “Beneath the Surface”, I encourage the reader to learn from my family values, life lessons and mentorships that have contributed to my experiences, and my wave of success both personally and professionally. The entire book came from the simple practice of journaling that was left with me from my grandmother Diane Schweitzer, she gifted me my first journal before my first travel to Asia and Europe when I was 12 years old. She gifted it with a message, “Write down your experiences with the world and its people, because one day you’ll be old like us and those memories may be harder to recall!”

Sup ambitions

For Sup, I see longevity on the ocean that fits with my lifestyle! It’s a sport that I’ll continue to do near till that day I die! I’ll always enjoy my time on the ocean from a leisure paddle to an extreme downwind or Big Wave session stand up paddling. With my passion for the sport I want to continue pushing the limits of what’s possible in the waves on my Sup surfboard and continuing to follow my passion in the big surf and with short board style manoeuvres. I see a few more world titles in my future as well! I can’t stop digging deep and believing in my relentless pursuit of dreams!
Live life to the fullest and be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams!
See you on the water!

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