Conlogue makes waves in competitions

Updated: September 30, 2008, 9:37 AM ET
By Brian A. Giuffra |

Courtney Conlogue remembers everything slowing down at the 2006 Billabong Pro Maui as she flew down a 15-foot Hawaiian monster.

[+] EnlargeCourtney Conlogue
D. Hump for ESPN RISECourtney Conlogue surfs against -- and beats -- the best in the world.

The face of the wave closed in. The bottom started to dredge out. The wind and water slapped her face. But none of that mattered -- all she wanted to do was survive.

Of course, what she wound up doing at the professional World Championship Tour event was announce her presence as the next big thing in surfing.

Conlogue, who was granted a wildcard entry into the event as a 14-year-old, competed in three heats and beat some of the biggest names on the women's pro surfing circuit. Since then, Conlogue has only continued her ascent to the top of the surfing world.

Now a 16-year-old junior at Sage Hill School (Newport Coast, Calif.), Conlogue won the 2008 National Scholastic Surfing Association national title and has captured a record four NSSA Southwest Conference championships. Conlogue has been labeled a phenom and called the future of American surfing, but none of that fazes her. She just enjoys the moment and concentrates on getting better every day.

"There are always things to improve on in surfing because you won't get one wave that's the same," says Conlogue, who has sponsorships from the likes of Billabong and Nixon. "I [surf ] for the enjoyment."

It's the reason Conlogue routinely wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to surf her local break at Huntington Beach Pier. It's the reason she surfs worldwide for the USA Surf Team. It's also the reason she plans to turn pro after high school. She simply enjoys the ride.

"I want to give everyone on the beach a show," Conlogue says. "You have the pressure on, you have the adrenaline, you're charging a big wave and you want to get a good score. I love the whole experience."

Especially unforgettable rides down Hawaiian monsters.

Brian A. Giuffra covers high school sports for