COURTNEY Conlogue is one of life's competitors, if she wasn't a surfer then she would probably be an international skier or a top track and field athlete. We caught up with her for a chat off the back of her World Tour win in New Zealand and as she narrows in on Rio which kicks-off on May 8th.
Birthdate: August 25, 1992
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
Homebreak: Huntington Beach
Back in 2010 you told us "Everyone wants to win the World Championship, to be there holding the cup and have the champagne shot at them" Coming into the back half of 2013 and you're sitting third in the world having won the last event - how much closer does this dream feel now?
I am definitely excited to be in the running. I have given myself an opportunity to reach the title but there’s still a long way to go with a few events left on the tour.
Are the best female surfers in the world on the World Tour do you think?
The women on the WCT are the best in the world. They’ve come up in the ranks from the WQS and have qualified to compete on the WCT. Every year all the athletes on WCT must re-qualify for the following year and there are only 17 women competing on the WCT. We’re all giving it our best, training, and putting on a performance at the events.
How are you feeling about your level of surfing in comparison to the females surrounding you in the ratings? And who do you dread matching up against in a heat?
My surfing is feeling great. I’ve been putting in a lot of time in the water, getting to several different locations, and just enjoying and loving surfing. Every day I’m just amped to be living my dream. I don’t dread any match-up and each heat is a competition for me to do my best.
Video parts amongst the men are a competitive battle ground but it seems that the women put out fewer video edits (Alana excluded) - why is this? Is this down to financials or a shortage of videographers.
I’m sure there are plenty of videographers that would love work whether it’s for a men’s video or a women’s video. A few of my sponsors have put together a few short videos for their women’s teams and it’s been good exposure for us. A trip to a good location with great waves would be something that I’d welcome.
The women are charging big time and are great to watch. Would you agree with the phrase: "Pump up the prize money to the same as the blokes and add more events." It seems you guys are still sandwiched heavily at the start of the year. Do you think that it's a shame the season can't finish up in Hawaii?
It would be nice to increase the prize money for the women and to spread the events more evenly throughout the year. I just finished 4 WCT events from March 2 through April 7! There wasn’t much time for traveling between events. I would enjoy seeing a few events in Hawaii for the women. Maybe it doesn’t have to be Hawaii if they really don’t want to support the women there anymore. During my amateur and junior days I was always training and preparing myself for the better, larger, more powerful waves and there are several other locations around the world that would deliver and support more challenging conditions. A Triple Crown can be accomplished somewhere else for the women. It can be accomplished anywhere we choose.
Do you find the current level of sexualisation of female surfers to be too much? Especially with influencing the up and a coming generation. Or do you agree with Steph Gilmore's idea that it's actually one of the most powerful tools in a female surfers armoury?
Female athletes are physically fit, strong, and beautiful. The women are utilizing their diversity and beauty to reach other markets so they can gain more support for their dreams, goals, and sponsorship of athletic events. I don’t believe that sexualisation is the most powerful useful tool to female athletes. There are many other wonderful ways to character develop, represent and role-model an athlete to the public audience. People enjoy a great story.
What's next for Courtney?
I’m headed to Rio for the 5th WCT event. I’m working a lot more on my art and designs - it’s just a great way to relax and it’s another one of my hobbies. After that my sister is graduating from university and my brother is graduating from high school and heading to university and I’m looking forward to watching them get their diplomas. I’m also hoping to travel outside of the competition schedule and get some great waves.