Could you introduce yourself ?
Hi, my name is Zippy Seven
You were born in NZ, how was it growing there ?
It's funny I have so many people tell me they think I'm born in the wrong era, I should have lived in the 70s. That's not true I'm from 90s NewZealand. Growing up then, in New Zealand we were lucky. No one had any money, Sustainable life was the only option. That's probably why I looked like I was from the 70's because my clothes were all second hard. My parents were young, just finishing school. My mum would take me with her to her school lectures. I would draw while her and her friends studied. It was a really creative time for them, as they were figuring out how to get by. As kids, fantasy was our reality. Sailing between islands, adventures from the shore into the bush and mountains with my brothers. We had a lot of freedom. I grew up knowing that anything you dream, and work hard for is possible. I'd seen it first hand.
You are traveling a lot because of your job, which country/culture inspired you the most and why ?
This is always changing for me depending on where I am in my mind. Right now I am most inspired by my home country. I live in the US which is currently not very inspiring, I find myself looking back to New Zealand for leadership and also a reminder of who I am.
You seem to have a deep relationship with nature, where does it come from ?
This comes from my childhood, I lived on a sailboat growing up, on an island with a lot of native trees and birds and sealife. We would listen daily to the VHF radio, ingrained in my head was the importance of tides, currents, wind and rain because we lived off rain water.
How did you get into surfing?
When I moved to Montauk a few years ago, Terence pushed me to try. I was really intimidated of the crowds so I would go out in the off season or when the waves were really shit so no one would see me trying, failing and trying to figure it out.
It seems that you are pretty addicted to it, what's so special about standing on a board ?
It makes me feel happy and free. I've learned from surfing too, this joy of doing things that scare me, I'm actually a really shy person, but you get used to putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, to feel pride in your abilities, but then, always humbled again by the ocean.
Zippy with her custom Surfin Estate's Noserider
How is it surfing in Montauk ? Must be pretty cold during the winter ?
Its hard in the cold with all the layers of neoprene and cold af hold downs, I feel like my lungs and muscles don't work as well in the cold so I'm much more weary when going out.
How does it feel being a girl in the line-up ?
Just like it is being a girl in the world its wonderful and frustrating. But mostly wonderful.
I saw you were « nominated » for the « Spray Challenge » by Taylor Steele amongst Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Stephanie Gilmore. It seems that you already have a surfing career in front of you !!
The first surf film I watched was Taylor's film Proximity, just when I was starting to surf. There's that part with Steph and Rastovitch sharing waves. I didn't know anything about surfing or who these people were. But all this aggression and masculinity I had associated with surfing was gone and I saw surfing as something free, happy and fun that I wanted to try.
During the quarantine, any reading or film advice ?
Sapiens or another of Yuval books, One girl one dream, I love that book written by Laura Decker, the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. I also like the water people podcast by Lauren and Dave Rastovitch.
Could you tell us your thought about what the world is currently facing, climate change, Covid-19 etc?
I think before Covid people found the idea of changing their whole way of life overwhelming. This global crisis has forced everyone to do just that. To listen, trust the science and change their lives over night. I'm excited to see where we go from here. Every cloud has a silver lining.
If you could travel back in time (past or future, where would you go and why ?
Maybe back to June 16-19, 1967 for the Monterey festival, or a Ziggy Stardust concert
If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be ?
What is always in your bag ?
I don't really like to carry stuff but I usually have my phone, that's pretty much my camera right now.
What is your favorite meal ?
What is your favorite place to surf ?
A secret spot in NZ. A not very secret spot in Montauk and Cote des Basques.
What is your favorite surfboard length ?
I love the petit noserider you guys make, what's the length of that?
Yeah I remember you had a lot of fun with it last summer, it's 8'0 actually.
Single, twin fin, 2+1 or thruster ?
Any project coming out soon ?
Terence and I are working on so many projects together while we are in our Covid bubble.
Photo : Terence Connors