SUP Women | Tarryn King
Saltwater seems to run through Tarryn King's veins. A water woman to the core, the South African has a background in shortboarding and is a champion longboarder, so, naturally, she's excelled quickly since picking up SUP surfing. A two-time member of South Africa's National SUP Team at the ISA WSUPPC and wife to fellow competitive paddle surfer Tom King, Tarryn travels and trains with her husband—and she wouldn't have it any other way. Here, the Cape Town native shares details about her longboarding and SUP surfing-focused workouts, as well as her diet, favorite gear, and how SUP affects her marriage. —Shari Coble
SUP: In addition to competing in SUP, you're an accomplished competitive longboarder; how do you balance the two sports?
TK: It used to be pretty easy to mix it up and I seemed to surf my longboard and my SUP quite regularly, but, recently, my SUP has become first choice and my longboard is kind of collecting dust in the garage. I still try and get my toes on the nose every now and again, but SUP has taken over.
Do you have a single workout to help strengthen both your SUP surfing and longboarding performance?
Practice makes perfect! The more you get in the water and the more you surf the better you will get. That being said, I workout with a personal trainer three times a week, often doing strengthening and some light weights, along with bursts of cardio. I also try to get on my race board twice a week for a bit of flatwater training. In the summertime at home, we have some of the best wind in the world and our downwinders are EPIC, so summertime we could do anything from five to eight downwinders a week.
Tell us about your diet.
During the week I usually stick to a pretty healthy diet. I have a healthy breakfast every morning: either scrambled egg with avocado, or, a superfood smoothie. Lunch is always different: salad, avocado on rice cakes or a sandwich. Dinner is some meat and veggies. I'm a sucker for chocolate and eat plenty of it.
How do you see the female side of the SUP scene evolving in South Africa?
It is amazing to see the amount of ladies we are getting in the water these days. We run an all ladies SUP group once a week from our SUP store Xpression on the Beach, 'the Wahines.' Some days we have 25 super stoked ladies at a time! On the competitive side, we only have a handful of ladies doing contests, but there are a couple of young girls who are really ripping, so that's always a good sign. Keep paddling, ladies, and keep sharing the stoke!
You travel and compete with your husband, Tom; how do you think your involvement in SUP as a competitive couple has affected your relationship?
Wow, it is so unbelievably special to share with each other. I wouldn't want to do this without him. It has given us the most incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Tom is an extremely good waterman and excels in everything he does. He has a lot of knowledge in the ocean and has taught me almost everything I know when it comes to being out there in the big blue. He coaches me in and out of the water. He wakes up at 5am to come and film me surf before work, and, is always giving the best advice. I would never be able to compete at a world-class level without his coaching and always encouraging me to try my hardest! Traveling and training with him has made our relationship as strong as can be.