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  • Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    You wouldn't peg Courney 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 4, right around the time she learned to surf, Conlogue gleefully whupped a bunch of 6-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."

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    Courtney Conlogue

    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.

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    Courtney Conlogue

    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."

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    Courtney Conlogue

    "When I was young, we did an annual surf trip down to Mexico to hang out for a week, just camp, fish, and play in the sand. I saw my dad out there surfing and I asked him if he could take me out there and have me stand up on a few waves. He stood me up on my boogie board, and right when we got home, he got me a surfboard."

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    Courtney Conlogue

    "From that point on, I was hooked on surfing."

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

    Courtney Conlogue

    "Surfing is kind of like a bug, and once you get it, you're stuck with it for the rest of your life."

    Read More About Courtney Conlogue

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