Above Courtney during the last World Surfing League contest at Margaret River which she won. Photo: WSL/Kelly Cestari
Courtney what is it about surfing that you love so much?
I love the elements of nature and its unpredictability. I also love how surfing brings you to travel the world and explore with sport.
What is it like being on the pro tour? Can you give us some idea of what it’s like to be on the pro tour?
Busy and always on the move living out of the suitcase. To be honest it’s a lot of hard work and commitment especially if you want to do well. I spend over half the year traveling and competing, with that you’re on planes, in airports and in cars a lot. During the off days when I’m not preparing for an event or the waves are non-existent I explore the area and let my hair down and find all the fun little things to do in the area. Competing on tour is a lot of fun, there are only 17 women in the world on the tour and every single one is extremely talented at pushing the limits in their surfing. For me that makes it exciting and fun to be a part of because you have to learn to evolve as an individual and as an athlete.
Is it everything you thought it would be?
Yes. I knew it was going to be a fun, testing and evolving experience with highs and lows. Like all sports it is always evolving into greater things and right now I believe women’s surfing is at a wonderful stage.
How stoked are you to surf for a living?
Of course I love it or else I wouldn’t do it. Surfing is what I am meant to do. I have loved it since the start. I think any athlete is stoked when they can do their sport for a living.
Which is your favourite destination to surf and compete at?
Hossegor, France is at the top of my list. The conditions in the ocean are always changing and testing your skills mentally and physically. I also love the people and the energy there because they love watching surfing and that makes it exciting and fun for me to perform.
Do you get to hang out with the other girls on the circuit much?
Yeah. We are always competing against each other but when we have breaks or celebrations we are able to put the competition behind us and enjoy moments.
What do you do to get ‘in the zone’ before your heats?
To be honest I just focus on the moment at hand and being in the now just before my heat. Of course there are several things I do the morning of the event to get my body ready. I always have a warm up session the morning before the call of the day. There are many routines with different equipment to ready my muscles and mind. Since my ankle injury many of those routines have changed and I’ve learned a lot about doing things smart.
How much of your time do you have to dedicate to keeping fit and what kind of exercises work best for you?
I do a lot of various exercises and I spend a lot of time staying fit to prevent injury and to be physically and mentally prepared for my events. I took up prone paddling after my ankle injury. It’s incredible for upper body strength and endurance. I’m going to keep up with it because I really enjoy it very much. I do many different exercises with weights, TRX bands, stability work, core strength routines, cycling, swimming, etc. I go to a gym that specializes in gymnastics too. There are many different ways a surfer can increase their abilities in the sport. The list actually goes on and on! I enjoy trying new things and discovering other alternatives to keep it exciting and evolving.
What is your favourite move in the water?
Which song sums up your life?
Roar – Katy Perry
Happy – Pharrell Williams
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is spontaneity and having fun. Oh yeah and adventure!
What’s the one thing you’d like to say to someone who’s just starting to surf?
Have fun and when you fall just laugh, get back up and try it again. ☺
This interview appeared in SurfGirl 49.