Tupuria King : Master of Sport and Leisure Studies (MSPLS)

Tupuria King

Waka Ama/ Outrigger Canoeing

Although the physical demands and competitive challenges of Waka Ama keep him motivated, it’s also the sports ability to create strong social bonds that makes it fun for Tupuria King. A graduate of Kaitaia College, Tupuria was introduced to Waka Ama at the age of seven by his father and believes that it’s more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. He has now been involved in the sport for 16 years, competing nationally and internationally, Tupuria has travelled to Tahiti, Hawaii, Rarotonga, California, New Caledonia, Australia and Brazil to compete. Tupuria is the current New Zealand sprint champion in the Open Men division, having won the 250m sprint 5 times and the 500m sprint 4 times consecutively. Tupuria has won the Bronze medal at the World Waka Ama Sprint Championships in both 2014 held in Brazil and 2016 held in Australia. Although Tupuria excels in the sprint events, he believes his specialty relies in the long distance races from 28km or more which are usually held in Tahiti. Tupuria has been competing in Tahiti for the last 4 years where has paddled for one of Tahiti’s most popular teams Paddling Connection. Through his experience of Tahiti, Tupuria has gained a body of knowledge and been able to apply to himself and other paddlers of NZ. Tupuria has graduated from the University of Waikato with degree of Sport and Leisure Studies and is now undertaking a Masters degree of Sport, health and Human Performance Studies with the hope of focusing his research on the physiology of Waka Ama. Through his studies he aims to grow the sport on a scientific basis that will help to develop high performance athletes that will compete at the world sprint and long distance championships.


World Waka Ama Sprint Championship Bronze Medal Premiere Men 500M Sprint - 21/08/2014
Received at the World Waka Ama Sprint Championships 2014 in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, 2014
NZ Open Men Sprint Champion - 17/01/2015
2015 NZ Waka Ama Nationals Premiere Men Sprint Champion in 250m & 500m distance.
Held at Lake Karapiro, Hamilton.
Winner of Champions Cup race 2015 - 07/02/2015
Memorial race for Bhutty Moore held in Mt Maunganui. 32km Open Ocean race with appearances from top Australian long distance paddlers.
NZ Aito Champion 2015 - 08/03/2015
Winner of the annual NZ Aito Race 2015. A 24km ocean race. Winner receives a free trip to Tahiti to compete in Tahiti Aito Race. This will be my third time competing.
Bo Herbert Memorial Race Champion 2015 - 01/03/2015
Winner of the Bo Herbert Memorial Race 2015. This is one of the most prestigious w1 races on the NZ waka ama calender with a recorded distance of 35km making it one of the longest single canoe ocean races in the country.
Pou Ahurea Maori of the year 2014 - 20/10/2014
University of Waikato Blue award for top achieving Maori in their art or sport discipline.
NZ Stand Up Paddle Nationals 2015 - 29/03/2015
2nd place in the 16km premiere men unlimited division. 3rd place in the Elite men 12'6 Division. First time ever competing in the SUP nationals. More to come!
New Caledonia Aito Race 2015 - 30/05/2015
3rd Place 30km international long distance single canoe race.
Hawaii Molokai Solo 52km 2015 - 10/07/2015
This race is a world renowned race from the Hawaiian island of Molokai accross a 52km channel to the island of Oahu. I Placed 22nd overall (OC1 division). First time competing in OC1 and longest race so far.
NZ Open Men Long Distance Champion 2015 - 10/05/2015
NZ Premier men long distance champion. 18km ocean V1 race.
Te Aito 17th Place finish - 01/07/2015
17th/500 opem men paddlers in a very prestigous 28km open ocean outrigger race in Tahiti.
Top 100 qualify for the Super Aito in August.
Super Aito 10th place finish - 01/08/2015
10th/100 open men paddlers in a very prestigous open ocean outrigger race in Tahiti. Two race legs 10km and 35km. Addition of both times from each leg are calculated.
Top 10 stand on the podium and are considered top 10 in the world for ocean va'a racing (rudderless outrigger canoeing singles)
Catalina Island Race 1st Place Sixman - 01/09/2015
Me and my Tahitian team, Paddling Connection (one of the top outrigger crews in Tahiti), won the Catalina island race in L.A California USA. 55km open ocean channel. 2nd place arrived 8 minutes behind.
NZ Open Men Sprint Champion - 21/01/2016
NZ Open Men Sprint Champion, defending the 250m and 500m event in the premier men division for the 4th year in a row.
Bo Herbert Memorial Champion - 21/02/2016
32km Ocean race in Whangarei
Bhutty Memorial Race Champioin - 27/02/2016
32km ocean race from Maketu to Mount Maunganui.
NZ Te Aito Champion - 07/03/2016
Winning the ticket to compete in Tahiti Te Aito once again. It is a 28km open ocean race. The most prestigious Va'a races in the world for single hull canoes.
World Sprint championship bronze medalist (single premiere men 500m division) 2016 - 07/05/2016
World Sprint Championship gold medalist (sixman elite premiere men 500m division) 2016 - 07/05/2016
World sprint championship gold medalist (six man club premiere men 1500m division) 2016 - 07/05/2016

At the world va'a sprint championships held in Sunshine Coast Australia 2016

Winner of the Te Aito race New Caledonia 2016 - 11/06/2016

28km open ocean race.. Single canoe race.

NZ Premiere men 500m Sprint Champion - 18/01/2017
NZ Premiere men 250m Sprint Champion - 20/01/2017
NZ Te Aito Winner - 25/02/2017

Winning this race allowed me to be the representative for NZ at the Worlds Distance Championships this year in June.

Bo Herbert Memorial Champion - 25/02/2017
Bhutty Memorial Champion - 04/02/2017
Takapuna Cup V1 Relay Champion - 11/02/2017

with Tahitian champion Kevin Ceran Jerusalemy.

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