Having placed runner-up two years in a row, there's no denying Courtney Conlogue's desire to be a World Champion. The Santa Ana native has made it her commitment to find a way. With former pro Luke Egan in her corner this year, Courtney's bagged two of the last four events, which has moved her up to No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard. Now, after two solid results during this year's California leg (she won the Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro in July, and finished third at the Vans US Open of Surfing - Women's CT), Conlogue's headspace is looking clear and focused heading into the Swatch Pro at Lower Trestles. Here's Conlogue in her own words:
On Losing the World Title
I learned a lot from losing that Title in 2015. You learn a lot from losing anything. I was hitting it hard. I wanted it, I always want it. I went for a long walk after I lost. Some people might meditate or scream in a pillow. I walk it off. I gave it everything I had. This past year, I just kept the race going. They were ready to crown somebody in Portugal but they had to wait. I'm always in the fight. I want to win a World Title. I know everyone knows that. There's no reason to state it anymore. Now I'm just finding a way. Everyone is used to me being consistent. So, it's different this year. I've been learning a lot.
About My Game Face
I've always been upbeat. There's no reason to not be happy. I'm trying to improve something and there's no way to improve through negativity. But when I put the jersey on, that's fight time. That's me wanting to accomplish a goal. I want it. I still love what I'm doing. I'm smiling on the inside. It probably shows a little more fierce on the outside. It's a flick of a switch. I love what I do but I'm trying to improve myself and I take that seriously. It's just my game face.
Growing up Inland
Honestly I wouldn't change where I live. Growing up, anytime we went to the beach, I surfed. Even if it was onshore. We were tiny little groms back then so when the waves were small, they were still head-high for us. My brother and I, we appreciated any time spent at the beach. I think that's where I got that "live free and go all day" attitude. We surfed until we couldn't. I would come in and my mouth would be so salty and so dried out from being in the water for so long. That fire is still in me. Living inland just made me appreciate it that much more.
I've always been someone who is very active. I was doing martial arts at 4. Before that I was always outside. I never spent a second indoors unless I was sleeping, honestly. That's just how I was and still am. I love seeing where I can take myself, to be the best me. I don't like to be average, I want to master everything I do. It's all part of the process.
I've never really had the time to develop my art until now. I just got an amazing mentor and we get lost in my art room. I've always loved painting and I did it a little bit in high school. It's funny because I've never seen waves the same, since I started painting. You see this different beauty about them. People might not know about my passion for art on a canvas but they've been watching my art my whole life on Tour. I'm painting on my waves all the time. Sometimes with my creativity, I have to quiet it down a little bit because I know it won't score properly. I find little ways to show who I am, like in my wetsuit choices for example. I love wearing crazy colors.
Love of Big Waves
When I was little, I would get those butterflies and I'd challenge them. It's the best feeling, ever. Seriously, what my dad put me in. Now that I look back at it I'm like, "That's why I am able to take a beating. That's why I can go for it." One year, at Salt Creek, there was a massive swell. I was probably 10 years old at the time. My dad took us out and Pat O'Connell actually came up to me and was like, "What are you doing out here?" We were the only kids out there. It was the coolest experience. The waves were so massive. It was at least 8 feet, solid. My brother and I scored some of the biggest waves of our childhood that day.