At 21 years old, Zane Kekoa Schweitzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Maui native is a multi-time ocean sports world champion, a published author, and a passionate environmental advocate. But more than anything, he’s a true waterman— “I’d consider myself obsessed with anything ocean-related— from pioneering the recent evolution of sports like SUP and Hydrofoiling to surfing big waves at Jaws and Mavericks.”
Growing up on the island, Zane spent his days surfing, windsurfing, diving, and fishing with friends and family. “My connection to the island has strongly influenced my passion for water sports, as well as growing up in a family that has always encouraged and inspired me to be relentless in the pursuit of my dreams. My grandfather is the inventor of Windsurfing and my father is an 18x World titleholder, so I have some pretty incredible role models to look up to.”
Zane started traveling and competing around the age of 11 with his close friend Connor Baxter. “We grew up together and, with friends like Kai Lenny and Kody Kerbox, we have always pushed each other to excel in our sports as we travel around the globe. From Hawaii to Abu Dhabi, Brazil, France, Thailand, Tahiti, Australia, and many more, I’ve been able to surf in some of the world’s most amazing places, and have a lot of fun along the way.” To tag along for the ride, check out the Schweitzer Sports YouTube Channel where Zane and his brother, Matty, share stories and clips from the road.
Driven by the motto, “success is where preparation meets opportunity,” Zane is always looking to push the limits of what’s possible in sport and personal performance. “Over the past few years, I’ve seen my professional career take off and it’s no doubt because of my training and dedication to progressing my craft.”
Schweitzer has racked up 16 World Championship events including 2x Ultimate Waterman, 5x Master Of The Ocean, 7x APP World Tour Event Championship titles, IFCA Jr. World Champion for Windsurfing Wave Riding, and the ISA World Champion for SUP Surfing. Zane has also won the European Cup Championship, the Masters of the Ocean Championship, the US SUP Tour in both Waves and Racing, and the Standup World Tour Finals Sprint Championship at Turtle Bay. He’s been featured on 9+ magazine covers, as well as in a collection of SUP movies such as “The Sup Movie”, “H2Mexico”, “That First Glide”, “StandUp Paddle Movie”, the Exterra Planet’s “Surf Adventures” television show, Xterra Sports Adventure Series, CBS Sports Networks “The Ultimate Sup Showdown” and many more.
A true competitor in everything he does, Zane claims his Stand Up World Tour wave event championships as his biggest source of pride. “Five years ago I won the Stand Up World Tour at Sunset Beach, Hawaii Junior Division, and from there the momentum has just exploded. I won on the Big Island of Hawaii, which was amazing because it’s what I have been working towards all my life. Plus, I competed against the best athletes in the surf field so it felt like a major victory. My win at the Stand Up World Tour Abu Dhabi Championship was also a very proud moment— 1st place in Waves, 3rd in Racing, and 1st Place overall! It goes to show that if you dream big, train hard, and go for it, you can do anything.”
That feeling of limitless potential is something Zane works hard to share with others. “I learned at a very young age the importance of giving back and doing everything you can to build up the community around you. My family and I started the Schweitzer Sports Foundation to donate money, clothing, sporting equipment, books, and toys to children in need. Whenever I’m in a new part of the world, I organize free SUP lessons for children in the area and I leave some equipment so that the kids can continue to experience the joy of the ocean!”
In addition to the Foundation, Zane has founded two initiatives dedicated to causes that are close to his heart. Kahākūkahi Supergroms is a program that introduces keiki to stewardship through sport and positive lifestyle choices, nurturing a healthy relationship with kai and 'āina, and encouraging them to become ocean guardians. Westin Waterman is a project which teaches Westin guests about ocean stewardship through activities focused on sustainability, community-building, culture, sport, and wellness. Schweitzer is also the co-founder of Standup For The Cure, a Breast Cancer fundraising event that has raised over $1,000,000 for uninsured breast cancer patients.
And one of his most fun claims to fame? “I’m a big advocate of the work hard, play hard mentality, so a special career highlight for me was taking home the Guinness World Record for the largest surf lesson ever taught. Over 1,000 people in a 15-minute session!”
As a result of his service work and competitive accomplishments, Zane has earned international recognition. He has been named the Ocean Guardian Award Winner by Surfrider Foundation Maui, and SUP Male Paddler of the Year. “I believe that a healthy dose of curiosity, a willingness to learn, and an ability to share important lessons with others is the key to creating a better world.” And if you want to learn more about it, check out his book, “Beneath The Surface”.”