Courtney Conlogue

Surfer

Surfer Courtney Conlogue     Photo: Jeff Lipsky

XX Factor: Courtney Conlogue

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You wouldn't peg 18-year-old Conlogue as a fighter. She hails from kick-back Santa Ana, Cali­fornia, in Orange County, and has made a name for herself in a sport whose athletes use the word soul without irony. But at age four, right around the time she learned to surf, Conlogue gleefully whupped a bunch of six-year-olds in a taekwondo skills tournament. "I was technically supposed to be older," she says, "but they let me in because I was gnarly." No kidding: As a 14-year-old, in 2007, Conlogue won a surfing gold medal as a member of the U.S. team in X Games 13; in 2008, she won five individual competitions, including the Surfing America USA Championships' Girls Under 18 division; and in 2009 she won the biggest competition on the U.S. mainland, the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, held at her home break in Huntington Beach. "She's an amazing talent," says big-wave rider Greg Long. "She's already one of the most formidable opponents in women's surfing." And now that she's graduated from school and can focus on surfing full time, Conlogue is only going to get better. She trains roughly six hours a day in the water, simulating the 20-minute heats common in competitions. "You only get those 20 minutes to put on a show," she says. "I don't want lack of conditioning to be the thing that hinders me." Next up is scoring a spot on the ASP World Tour, which should happen next year. "It's all I want," she says. "It's been a goal of mine since I was ten." And once she does make the tour? "I want a world title. Who knows where I'll go from there."

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