Tia Blanco Interview – Champion Teen Surfer Shares Her Secrets to Grade As in School and Fitness

17-year-old pro surfer Tia Blanco is an inspiring teen. Not only is she ranked #1 in the NSSA Open Womens Division, #1 in Surfing America Prime U18 Division and is the 2013 West Coast NSSA champion for the Open Womens division, but she is also a straight-A student who maintains a healthy vegan lifestyle and rigorous exercise regimen.

Blanco, who lives in Southern California and is a Trestles local, is one of the hottest up-and-coming West Coast surfers. Blanco was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Hawaii as well as several spots in SoCal. This “graceful goofyfoot” belonngs to the renown Surfing America team and enjoys painting and yoga. While she is focused on a National surf title and keeping her 4.0 GPA at Connections Academy, her overall goal is to make the ASP Women’s World Tour.

We got the opportunity to ask Tia a few questions about her routines and how she deals with the pressures of her occupation while balancing school and other areas of her life. Check out her answers below.

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Tell us how you got started surfing, and why you decided to pursue it seriously as opposed to a hobby?

I started surfing when I was 3 years old. My dad got me started because he thought surfing was such a healthy and beautiful lifestyle. I fell in love with surfing and realized that I wanted to do what I love and make a career out of it.

You are in phenomenal shape, which takes a lot of dedication. What do you recommend for teens who just cannot get motivated to workout?

Thank you!!! I have a “dream board” of cut out pictures of people who inspire me as well as goals I hope to achieve. If your goal is to be in good shape, for example, cut out a picture of someone who has a healthy figure and post it somewhere where you can see it everyday. My inspiration is Candice Swanpoel, the Victoria Secret model. She is perfect!

More tips from Tia:

  • Eat clean, it doesn’t have to be hard! I like getting healthy recipes from http://www.onegreenplanet.org
  • Take a run or jog (especially on the beach, if you have access)
  • Try surfing, you don’t have to be a pro to have fun and get a great workout – I go everyday
  • Try yoga at your local studio, home, or the beach
  • Stand up paddling works great for toning your muscles
  • Taking a walk with your dog, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend or parents is always a great way to get exercise (and bond)!

Tell us what your typical week looks like as far as workouts/exercise.

I train two times a week with my trainer at Forged in Fitness. I also mix in beach runs and yoga. And I surf everyday 😉

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Why did you choose to go Vegan?

Being vegan is the cleanest and healthiest diet in my eyes. It is known to reverse and prevent cancers, while eating large quantities of meat has been known to promote various cancers. Also, I would never eat my dogs, so why would I eat a pig? Pigs are said to be smarter than dogs and they are very social animals. Sometimes people don’t see the relationship and connection between pets and other animals.

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How has being a Vegan impacted your life, good or bad?

Learning about the vegan diet has made me very passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes I get so passionate about it that I have to bite my tongue to many ignorant comments. I have learned that my life is not more significant than any other life; Whether it is my mom, friend, enemy, or animal. It has impacted me to love more and hate less.

You manage to be a top athlete while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA…what are your secrets to a) managing your time and b) dealing with the pressure?

I have learned to prioritize. I try and devote a couple hours out of the day to school. I love to learn. And, I always like having a strong backup plan, if my surfing career doesn’t work out.

Tell us about your partnership with Reef.

I love the company! Reef has treated me so well, from the very beginning. They have helped create lifetime memories and made many of my dreams come true. It is just a bonus that everyone who works there is so down to earth and nice.

What has been the best moment of your career so far?

Traveling with Reef. I love all of the exotic places we go. Each trip brings new experiences that are priceless.

Have you had any scary moments while surfing?

I guess Teahupoo. I got sucked over the falls when I was duck diving, but thankfully I didn’t hit the reef.


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What are your long-term goals?

I want to make the CT! {Championship Tour] More importantly, I hope to inspire people to be the best person they can be. And, I want to travel the world with the people I love.

Teens are under a lot of pressure these days, and many of the usual role models (such as singers, actors, elected officials) are not setting very good examples. What message do you have for teens out there in dealing with all this?

How can you change the world if you are acting like the world? Start by living a positive and healthy lifestyle and the world will change one step at a time!

Anything else we should know?

Surfing is the best lifestyle I could ever ask for. I am so thankful for everything and everyone who has supported me and continues to do so. (Sponsors – family, Reef, Raen Optics, J7 Surfboards, Sticky Bumps).

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