Courtney is ready to take the win at the Vans U.S. Open in Huntington Beach this summer. She exudes exceptional drive and determination. Her friendly, outgoing personality makes her instantly attractive to those around her as she lives meeting and connecting with people from all walks of life. With an all-or-nothing outlook, Courtney believes her surfing should do the talking. Her ability to lose with grace adds to her attractive personality, taking both success and defeat with a smile, demonstrating the makings of a true champion. Courtney is a creative being finding fulfillment beyond her sporting achievements, enhancing her well-rounded character and aspirations as a positive role model and brand ambassador. As an ambassador of SurfAid International and Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), Courtney throws her weight behind causes which she passionately supports.
Courtney, how old are you?
I’m 21, turning 22 on August 25. This year is going by really fast!
What was the best thing you did this year?
I think that’s still to happen! But I did learn a lot this year. I recently suffered an ankle injury that completely stopped me from surfing. During that time I really learned a lot about being patient. You evolve and you learn stuff about yourself that you didn’t realize before. That’s one thing that I’ve learned with my injury: be patient and observe the small things.
Yes that is so true and great advice. And when did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was 4 years old in Mexico with my dad.
What made you decide that being out on the water was what you wanted to do?
Well I always loved being on the water. My whole family would spend all day on the water. One day I saw my dad and all his friends surfing and I asked my dad to take me out on a boogie board. About a week later, my dad bought me my first surf board. He told me I had to keep it within $100. I found this really bright board that looked like Christmas morning — really bright vibrant red and green. I told him this is the one I want! I bought that board and I’ve loved surfing ever since.
Now it looks like neon green and orange because it’s been in the sun for so long but I still have it. And I’ve kept a lot of my boards that really mean a lot to me.
You must’ve had a crazy life then, since you started surfing professionally early on.
Yeah, kind of. I was born and raised in Santa Ana. I went to high school at Sage Hill High and I loved it. Orange County, and especially Santa Ana, has really turned into an artistic gem. There are a lot of artistic influences here and I love it.
What’s your favorite beach in Orange County?
I love surfing the Huntington Beach pier. Having the U.S. Open there is a great training ground. And I love surfing Newport Beach as well.
What’s your favorite hang out spot in Orange County?
I am obsessed with shopping at Whole Foods and Mother’s Market. You can always find me in the kitchen getting fresh juice, having Celia’s breakfast bowl, or the spinach lasagna bowl. You’ll also probably find me at Extreme Athletics training in Costa Mesa. I train there at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Where do you see the future of women’s surfing?
I think women’s surfing is going in such an incredible direction. It’s more mainstream, but maintaining its core values. One thing for sure is that the athletes on the women’s tour are very different but we all share the same dream of having a women’s title.
What are you doing differently now that you’re back from your ankle injury?
As an athlete, I think I always focused on the big muscle groups versus stability. Now I’m trying to focus on the little muscle groups and on form. When your form starts going downhill, your body changes and starts to compensate for those changes. So one of the main issues for me is to stay in alignment and to focus on my breath.
Stig Severinsen was very influential to teaching me about breathing. What your mental strength has to be able to control or handle in high stress situations is incredible. You have to focus on the basics. Keep it simple and evolve from that. Don’t get it too complicated.
As unfortunate that the injury was, it sounds like you’ve learned a lot.
Yeah, you only regret when you don’t learn from a situation because you didn’t pull yourself back to observe. You have to really listen. When you really listen to who comes into your life and what’s going on, you start to really take advantage of the opportunities you have in life.
Well it sounds like you’re ready to come back full force!
I can’t wait to come back! U.S. Open here I come!