Curiosity and passion for the sport keeps this surfer on overdrive
Currently ranked #3 in the world, Santa Ana native Courtney Conlogue calls Huntington Beach her second home.
“I spend as much time there as I do at my house,” says Conlogue, excitedly.
Since age four, Conlogue can remember that weekends were made for family togetherness at the beach getting sun-kissed, sandy and surfing until dusk.
“Going to the beach was a family ordeal. We would go on the weekends and spend the whole day there. That was our way of bonding,” she reminisces.
Around age five, Conlogue recalls her father, Richard, walking her down the Huntington Beach Pier. He showed her the infamous Northside, a popular break for many locals, and told her that one day she would be able to surf there. A few short months later, Conlogue surfed that break and began her journey without ever turning back. Too young to really grasp surf competitions and without family pressure pushing her to compete, Conlogue kept on surfing and gaining strength and confidence.
In 2004, she entered her first surf competition, a Hello Kitty Board Fest at Huntington’s Taco Bell Reef. Winning a small prize purse, she bought a puppy and named him Drako. Conlogue, still not focused on competing, kept on surfing with no care in the world except for her family, school and her new puppy.
Around age nine, Mike Doheny, a locally-known surfer, suggested to her family that they enter Conlogue into NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) competitions. Once they agreed, she found herself in the finals competing against boys who today are top-ranked surfers and on the World Surfing League (WSL) Champions Tour. The rest, as they say, is history.
At the time of this writing, the 2017 WSL’s women’s world title race is one of the closest in history, with five of the sport’s biggest names still very much in the mix heading into the final event of the season (Maui Women’s Pro). Sally Fitzgibbons is clinging to a razor-thin lead over Tyler Wright, with Conlogue right on their heels in third place.
Conlogue is in her seventh year on tour. She is focused and stronger than ever with her only challenge not having enough hours in the day.
“A world title is my priority, and I am looking forward to winning it,” says Conlogue with her inner “Sea Tiger” voice, a nickname she was given at age four. “I am very competitive. My surfing style is like a tiger in the heat,” she giggles.
When not surfing or traveling the world while on tour, Conlogue’s life continues to stay busy. Last year, she was part of ESPN Magazine’s body issue. For the shoot she had had to overcome a big challenge by surfing naked.
“I wanted to show women’s surfing as strong, beautiful and graceful. I believe that strength is beauty,” says Conlogue about the vulnerability she had overcome to take part in this special issue. “I believe in being your authentic true self.”
Throughout her career, Conlogue has had plenty of sponsors. Billabong, Rockstar, Swatch, Toyota of Huntington Beach, Sexwax, Swatch Works, and Verizon are some of them. Her passion for art and philanthropy has no bounds, and so she is an active contributor of SurfAid and A Walk on Water, two events that are near and dear to her heart. In addition, her love for teaching the less privileged to surf stimulates her. With this tight agenda, Conlogue still found time to design a Carver Skateboard. Is there anything this young 24-year-old cannot fit into her schedule?
After the final tour event in Hawaii, we suspect upon her return home, she will hit Huntington Beach for some waves, a meal at Bear Flag Fish Co. (a favorite of hers), and a short but sweet staycation at Paséa hotel.
“As much as I love to travel, it always feels good to come home,” says Conlogue.
You can follow Conlogue’s progress at WorldSurfLeague.com, as well as the WSL mobile app.