In the 22 years since, Zietz has turned his family playground on the shores of Kauai into a full-blown way of life.

In 2012, he was named the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion and placed first in the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro earlier this year.

This may sound like the story of a small town kid making it big, but Kauai is a veritable pro surfer factory that’s home to Zietz, Bethany Hamilton as well as Andy and Bruce Irons.

Watch the Complex News interview below.