A Few Words With Courtney Conlogue
The 16-year-old Women's U.S. Open Champion On Her Biggest Career Win Yet
Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue is arguably one of the most driven competitors in female surfing, waking up before dawn daily, surfing hours longer than anyone else, and cross-training in her free time. And at the U.S. Open this year, all her effort and determination paid off, as she took out 2008 event champ Malia Manuel in the Final and earned herself the Hurley Women’s 6-star title. We caught up with Courtney to get the scoop on her biggest career win yet.
So, has the win it sunk in yet?
Yeah, kind of. I was up late—till like 12:30 that night. It was a bummer because I was so tired but my mind was racing.
How was it being carried up the beach with thousands of people screaming for you?
It was really, really cool. And it was definitely cool having the first time happen in my own backyard. I had quite a few of my teachers and friends from school that came out to watch and I had a lot of HB local friends on the beach cheering for me so it was really cool.
Did you train leading up to the event?
I just surfed the pier a lot and did some swimming. I swam out to the break a little bit to get familiar with it and analyze it and stuff. I think it helps a lot just staying in the water a lot and feeling out the ocean.
Do you think you had an advantage with this being your local break?
Probably. It’s definitely a tricky wave. It can take the best surfers and they won’t get a wave for their whole heat sometimes. So, I don’t know—I mean, even Kelly Slater had a rough one against Adriano, who had an amazing heat. So I guess it can always go either way.
How was it in the final coming up against the reigning champ [Malia Manuel] of the event?
I was definitely thinking, I know I got to get out there and I got to perform. Malia’s definitely an amazing surfer so you have to be on your best game to in order to beat the reigning champ. But she put on a great show as well and everyone out there was just haggling out there. But I was ready to have fun because its my kind of conditions and I like bigger waves…
So now that you’ve won this, does this put you into a position where you could possibly qualify for the Tour next year?
I don’t know. I know I have a ton of points now, so I’ll check the ratings. I really haven’t been on the Internet at all. But I haven’t competed in any events this whole year so maybe I’ll do a few more events now and see you it goes. I kind of want to get my points up first, but if I end up qualifying, that would be amazing. I want to finish high school and graduate, but after that then I’ll definitely hit the Tour hard. I don’t want to be homeschooled at all. I’m a senior so I have one more year left—I think I can hang in there one more year and finish it out. I don’t want to give up now.
I hear you’re quite the athlete. What other sports are you into?
Yeah, I do track and field. I do pole vaulting, the 4 by 400 relay, the 4 by 100 relay every once in a while, the 200, the 800, and the 400. Yeah, I’m definitely really competitive and I love trying out all this different stuff. I love moving around and trying new things because I think trying new stuff is what keeps it fun.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
This Wednesday I leave for Costa Rica for two weeks. It’s for the ISA Worlds. It should be exciting. I hear it’s going to be big, like it was the past few days here, so I’m really excited. I got the copper here at Huntington when the event was here—I think it was 4 or 5 years ago. But since I only got copper, now I want to go back and get the gold.