I see the name Tia Blanco continue to pop up online and after reading her “Who’s Rad?” profile I knew she was a Hardbody. Women’s Surfing continues to gain popularity and with young women like Tia leading the charge it’s easy to see why. She’s talented, humble, confident but not cocky. Despite still being a teenager she realizes the importance of working out and eating healthy. She’s the real deal in and out of the water.
When I asked her manager Matt Meyerson how he came to manage Tia and to share his thoughts on the surfing sensation he had this to share…
Tia was brought to me through her coach, Mike Lamm. He expressed that Tia was something special and when I finally got to meet her, I understood. I had been approached by quite a few surfers for representation but with Tia I knew immediately I had to sign her. The fact that she is a true athlete and leads a healthy lifestyle focused on diet, training and eventually qualifying for the world tour was certainly a huge motivation for me to sign her. In women’s surfing the athletes are more often than not over sexualized and there is a lack of emphasis on their ability. With Tia I felt she could be marketed in a completely different light… as a true athlete; the future of women’s surfing. We love having this shining star on our roster and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
Hardbody Profile – Surfing Sensation Tia Blanco
May 5, 1997
1 sister – Aja Blanco
You started surfing at 3 with your dad but when did you first compete in surfing?
I started competing at 12.
What’s been your favorite event/contest so far?
I really liked the last contest that I surfed in. It was the ISA World Games. I got to meet so many talented surfers from around the world. It was also neat to compete as a team representing your country.
Tia represented the USA and finished third in the ISA World Jr final.
Congrats on your placing in Ecuador! How was that experience?
Thank you! Ecuador was an amazing place. The people were super nice and the food was good. I had a great time meeting surfers from all over the world. The best part of it all was cheering for my team! Whenever a teammate did well in their heat we all screamed really loud! I had so much adrenaline and got goose bumps cheering for them. When I made the grand finale it was so awesome hearing my whole team screaming for me! Best feeling ever
Where are you off to next?
My next contest will be in New Zealand.
Sweet! That’s not a bad gig. I read you Tahiti is your favorite place to surf, why is that?
Tahiti is such a beautiful place that it took my breath away. The waves I surfed were probably the most perfect waves I have ever seen (Teahupoo, Big Pass, and Haapiti).
I prefer a short board because I love going fast and feeling loose when doing turns.
Stand Up Paddle is getting more and more popular and a great workout. Any advice for those who are thinking about trying it and tips to doing it?
I like SUPing it’s really good excersize but if you’re new at it be careful. You don’t want to hit yourself or anyone else those boards. They are big and can hurt you. Start at mellow beaches
Any rituals before paddling out?
I do my warm up that my trainer taught me. Basically, I just warm up certain muscles in my body.
Are surfers athletes?
Absolutely! Sometimes we are put in tough conditions that require you to be in good shape. However, to be at the top of your game ‘surf athletes’ train hard for all conditions.
Is the life of a surfer like it’s portrayed on ‘Blue Crush’?
Haha maybe for some people. I think its different for all surfers. When I was little I constantly watched that movie! I can relate to when she would get nervous and play mind games with herself. Sometimes winning and losing is all in your head!
What advice do you have for other women thinking about trying surfing for the first time?
I would say try on a long board 1st when the waves are really small. Don’t expect anything just have fun and you will easily fall in love with the best sport in the world.
What’s the key to eating healthy on the road, especially when traveling as much as you do?
Sometimes it’s really hard but I manage to get it done. I usually go shopping right before I leave on a trip and stock up on quinoa, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal etc. I think what many people need to realize that you don’t live to eat, you eat to live.
I read that you’re big on the Vegan lifestyle of eating. In basic terms how do you explain eating VEGAN to others especially those who comment on your protein intake?
Haha, I get that all the time. Most people always ask me where I get my protein from. What they don’t realize is that dark leafy greens, beans and nuts have more protein than meat will ever have. Also, plant based protein is a much healthier protein whereas animal protein can lead to different cancers and diseases.
You’re pretty involved in PETA – how did that come about and why are you so passionate about it?
They actually contacted me on Facebook because they heard I was vegan. I love animals and PETA is a movement that I strongly believe in and that I’m really passionate about.
What peaked your interest in health and nutrition, especially at such a young age?
My aunt and uncle. They are my inspiration.
Do you time your meals around your surf?
No I usually just listen to my body. I eat whenever I’m hungry.
Favorite health / nutrition related book that you’d recommend to others?
EAT TO LIVE is a really great book.
Coconut water – love it or not so much?
The funny thing is, I used to hate coconut juice when I was little now I can’t get enough of it.
Do you use almond milk, if so what’s your go to flavor?
I use almond milk all the time I like the plain kind.
Do you take any vitamins or supplements?
I take Tahitian Noni Juice from Morinda everyday. I use Braggs Aminos, Kal’s Flake Brewers Yeast, cacao nibs, chia seeds and whole flax seeds daily. Most importantly, I think nutrients should come from
the foods you eat.
What would be the Tia Special Shake – ingredients?
Spinach, Kale, dates, carrots and a banana mixed with almond milk and cacao.
Do you prefer to mix a shake?
I use a Vita Mix.
Do you notice a difference in how the food tastes in other countries?
Yes, I definitely feel as if certain foods are better in certain countries. For example, when you go I the tropics, they always have the best tasting fruit.
Surfing is obviously a heck of a work out – what else do you do besides surfing for workouts?
I like to hike, run, do yoga and tumbling.
What would be your favorite?
An hour of hot yoga or hiking
Do you run for time or distance (on the beach)?
I like to run about 4 miles at a constant pace.
What’s your favorite type of yoga?
I love doing hot yoga
What type of a cleanse would you recommend to others?
I actually just did a green juice cleanse for 3 days it was really good.
Do you feel like you’re treated differently being “a girl” or do the guys treat you like “one of the guys”?
I think the people that know me don’t treat me different because they know I can surf, but some people assume I can’t and treat me different.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge female surfers face in the industry?
Getting sponsored. There are so many talented surfers now a days with no main sponsor. However, I believe women’s surfing is getting bigger and bigger every day so a lot is going to be changing.
You have a number of sponsors… What advice would you give to other women who are looking for sponsorship…Anything that helped you get big names like Reef?
I would say be nice and humble to every person you meet. You never know who that person is. Don’t think about it too much, just do what you do and work hard.
Any advice for women looking to get into modeling…You’ve done quite a bit of it already at a young age – any dos or don’ts you’ve learned?
Make sure you know who you’re dealing with and be confident and relaxed.
What’s your favorite social media outlet?
My favorite is Instagram but I’m required to use all social media. I have a Facebook, Tumblr and I just got a Twitter account.
Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to?
I would really love to say thank you to all the people that support me in this world especially my loved ones.
Thanks Tia and all the best!
Check out Tia’s interview with girlisnota4letterword.com. Thanks to Cindy Whitehead and Matt Meyerson of RPRT Management for the introduction and a special thanks to Sina Blanco for the awesome photos. Tia can be reached through rp-rt.com for sponsorship and other inquiries.
Photo credits: Sina Blanco