The only spoiled bone in his body is his third thumb, an innocuous mutation on his right hand, and he claps and snaps it all day long to beats both real and imagined—from Top 40 chick-flick radio vomit to that one funky track in his head. But while personality and gimmicks make him marketable, his surfing makes him watchable. Former TransWorld SURF intern Aaron Leiber first relayed Zietz’s surf-and-dance act to the celluloid world in his 2008 movie The Pursuit before Lachlan “Peanut” McKinnon compiled enough clips to get him a part in Taylor Steele’s second Innersection.
But within the nexus of professional surfing, nothing’s more ephemeral than celebrity. While action models are a dime a dozen, legit athletes are far more expensive. And rare. All the fruity cocktails and groovy headgear and big-breasted arm candy might look cute on a blog—hell, it might even sell some clothes—but in the end it has nothing to do with a person and their surfboard.
With no NSSA career to speak of, Seabass’ most memorable competitive achievements arrived via the 2007 Etnies Goofy vs. Regular contest, where he cashed an $8,000 first-place check for soul-arching epic Oceanside barrels, and the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior at Trestles, his first major (ASP) victory. But the real revelation happened in Huntington Beach. “I beat CJ Hobgood twice in one day,” Seabass remembers. “That’s when I decided, ‘It’s time to rise to the occasion. It’s time to step it up and be known more for being a good surfer than a dancing dipshit.’”
“It’s time to get on tour.”
“I don’t like to drink unless I’ve surfed at least twice,” Seabass admits. “Doesn’t even taste good.” It’s June 10, Kamehameha Day, and with two sessions down, Seabass is clear for beers. We’re eating fresh ahi sliced off a 153-pounder and talking story with Gavin Gillette, JD Irons, and assorted heavies when someone mentions Andy.