Courtney Conlogue in Billabong Women's Salt Water Sirens series

Courtney Conlogue in Billabong Women’s “Salt Water Sirens” Series


I’ve had the honor and privilege of photographing Courtney Conlogue at various times over the past eight years or so and the single greatest thing I’ve personally learned from her is the importance of discipline. From watching her approach to amateur contests as a young surfer to school to training to nutrition to the injuries and other obstacles she’s faced and overcome on the World Tour–she has always been on top of things in a way that screams champion, not just in sport but in life in general.
“The discipline aspect is so natural for me now because it’s been bred into every aspect of my life–from doing chores, to going to school, to doing my homework, to having a routine in the morning before I went to school …trying to work on my pop-ups in surfing when I was a little grom to get my pop-ups faster and other little things like that just to create a habit.”
In this episode of Billabong Women’s “Salt Water Sirens” series, Courtney goes on to speak about her childhood, the importance of her family, and her general approach to life.
“I love to laugh and I love to explore. I love to just be. I’m not someone who tries to overly plan something. I do plan for the future, but I don’t stress on it. I try to follow my instincts with whatever I do and back myself all the way.”
The video touches on those excruciating moments at Honolua Bay last season when the World Title slipped away, but far from being permanently devastated by it, Courtney took a few days to deal with the situation, put it behind her, and got back to work for the year ahead.
This short film is amazing and for those who care to listen to Courtney’s words, there are lessons here that could apply to any of us–parents, kids, athletes, and coaches. This being a surfing site, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention her surfing and like always, Courtney delivers with true power and creativity. Congratulations to Courtney, her family, Billabong, Collective Digital Cinema, and everyone else who has a hand in the “Salt Water Sirens” series. Really solid effort by everyone involved. Five out of five stars!!

Film Description
Every athlete will face that moment before the action begins. It’s filled with quiet determination, sharp focus, the sound of blood pounding in her ears. It’s the culmination of years of training, resilience, defeat and success, the moment that defines a champion.

For the second installment of Billabong’s Salt Water Sirens series we take an intimate look into the mindset of Courtney Conlogue, who suffered a brutal surfing injury that forced her to the sidelines as she watched her world title hopes slip out of reach. After a year of mental and physical healing, Courtney fought her way back to her strongest year ever, propelled by three World Tour wins which landed her at the #2 spot in the world. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, can her unparalleled dedication to her sport take her from the peripherals of the world’s eye to the focus: the Women’s World Title?

From the experiences that shaped her to the drive that energizes her through the dynamic landscape of competitive surfing, Salt Water Sirens is a compelling look into the journey that has transformed Courtney from an athlete to an icon.

Film/Edit By
Collective Digital Cinema
Courtney Conlogue – @courtneyconlogue
“Under Water Worlds” – Andrew Briton & David Goldsmith
“Emerson” – Jeff Cormack
“Weight of Water” – Anthony Philips
“Brave Like A Lion” – Iluka
Presented By
Billabong Womens

Courtney Conlogue in Billabong Women's Salt Water Sirens series


The Women and the Waves 2, a film by Heather Hudson, premieres at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 4pm

The Women and the Waves 2 Premieres in San Luis Obispo on 3/18

The Women and the Waves 2, a film by Heather Hudson, premieres at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 4pm

The Women and the Waves 2 Premieres at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
Mission Cinemas, Friday, March 18, 2016, 4pm – 1025 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo

Our great friend, Heather Hudson, is set to premiere her new film, The Women and the Waves 2, in San Luis Obispo in a few short weeks on March 18. If you happen to be anywhere close to that area of the coast, be sure and check out her latest film. Tickets sold at the door so bring all your friends and line up early. The Women and the Waves 2 stars Jeannette Prince, Kristy Murphy, Mary Bagalso, Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Demi Boelsterli, and Isabelle Radis.
Film Description
The Women and the Waves 2 is a documentary surf film that celebrates women and their unique approach to surfing and life. The film looks at the state of surfing today from a feminine perspective and features positive role models that give back to people and the planet.

Following in the footsteps of the groundbreaking 2009 film, THE WOMEN AND THE WAVES; THE WOMEN AND THE WAVES 2 continues to explore the culture of surfing in relation to six surfers and their lives both in and out of the water.

The launch point of inspiration to make this film came in the fall of 2013 when two friends featured in THE WOMEN AND THE WAVES experienced two pivotal moments in their lives. After a valiant twenty-year battle against cancer, Robin Janiszeufski-Hesson ‘Zeuf’ was a few months away from death, and Ashley Lloyd Thompson was a few months from giving birth. One goes out. One comes in. Life rolls on. Just like the waves that are eternal.

When someone we love dies, we stop, breathe and reassess our own lives. Zeuf was a friend and mentor to many and an inspiration to all. We only have the present moment, so how will we live it?

THE WOMEN AND THE WAVES 2 emphasizes the notion that surfing is more than just a sport; it is a lifestyle, and serves as a backdrop for connections made between people, honoring the natural world, paying homage to loved ones past, and celebrating the cycle of life. Ultimately, the film is the portrayal that a life filled with gratitude for one another and the world we live in, is a life well lived. And when the joy of surfing is added to the equation it makes life that much more sweet!

For upcoming screenings, information, or to purchase the original, award-winning 2009 film, The Women and the Waves, please visit


Haben Girma surfs a wave in San Diego with Surf Diva

Haben Girma, Deaf and Blind Harvard Law School Graduate, Goes Surfing with Surf Diva Surf School


“Can I learn to surf?” – Haben Girma, Deaf and Blind Harvard Law School Graduate

“Sure you can!” – Izzy Tihanyi, Surf Diva Surf School

Imagine closing your eyes and dropping in… Haben Girma is an incredibly inspiring deaf and blind lawyer. The Harvard Law School graduate came to San Diego over New Year’s to learn to surf. After she tandem surfed a few years ago riding on her belly, her goal was to surf on her own standing upright. We are stoked that she came to Surf Diva Surf School. Big shout out to the volunteers who helped make the lesson an amazing and safe experience for her.
About Haben
Haben is deaf and blind. Against all odds she graduated from Harvard Law School and was the keynote speaker at at the White House Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act last year. She has​ ​recently held a​ ​TEDx Talk and​ ​is actively practicing at Berkeley-based nonprofit, Disability Rights Advocates​.
About Surf Diva Surf
Quoted “The Starbucks of surf schools” by Newsweek Magazine, Surf Diva Surf School is considered the pillar of women’s surfing and offers surfing and standup paddleboard (SUP) lessons year-round for women, men, and children. Located in La Jolla, California with operations also in Costa Rica, Surf Diva is actively involved in charities and outreach to support both the local community and to raise awareness to protect the environment. The Surf Diva Boutique was awarded #1 Women’s Retailer​ ​in the US by the Surfing Industry Manufacturing Association (SIMA)​.

Haben Girma learns about foot placement on the surfboard with Surf Diva Surf School

Haben Girma surfs a wave in San Diego with Surf Diva

Haben Girma surfs with Surf Diva. Group photo of Haben and volunteers.

Surfer girl, Tia Blanco, sitting on her longboard and looking toward the sunset. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film, A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

Tia Blanco in “A Short Escape” – a Surf Film by Justin Jung with Music by Catherine Clark

Although the vast majority of us ride surfboards shaped by someone else–hopefully your local shaper whenever possible–it’s still fun to get yourself covered in foam by making an attempt at shaping your own surfboard at least once in your surfing life. If you can’t get time in your own shaper’s bay, a perfect alternative is to head to Shaper Studios where they have all the tools necessary to make your dream board a reality. In this video by the talented Justin Jung, Tia scores some time away from the competitive scene and enjoys a relaxing session at home on a self-shaped longboard, all backed by a wonderful track by Catherine Clark.

Film Description
“After a long season of travels and shortboard competitions, it was nice to unwind at home and have some fun on my self shaped longboard. I will never forget days like these. Huge thanks to Justin Jung for putting this edit together. Also, thank you to Catherine Clark for the amazing song.” – Tia Blanco
Film/Edit By
Justin Jung
Tia Blanco – @tiablanco
Catherine Clark – “A Different Sun”

Surfer girl, Tia Blanco, sitting on her longboard and looking toward the sunset. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film,  A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

Tia Blanco leaps from her newly shaped surfboard. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film,  A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

Floral inlay on Tia Blanco's self-shaped single fin longboard. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film,  A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

Surfer girl, Tia Blanco, cross-steps her longboard as she surfs on a clean, summer wave. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film,  A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

California surfer, Tia Blanco, relaxes on her longboard under the warm summer sun. Frame grab from Justin Jung's surf film,  A Short Escape, playing on Jettygirl Surf Magazine

Leila X Sophia: Our Journey - Leila and Sophia Hurst on JettyGirl Surf Mag

Leila X Sophia: Our Journey

LEILAxSOPHIA: Our Journey from Leila Hurst on Vimeo.


Although Leila Hurst and I seem to pop into each other’s lives only for brief periods of time over the years, I always cherish those moments and the memorable surf sessions that happen as a result of our paths crossing. One such meeting was four years ago when her sister, Sophia, went surfing for the first time. I’ve been blessed with many great memories while running JettyGirl, but watching Leila and Sophia ride a wave together tops the list of tearjerking moments. We chronicled the day in Surfing With My Sister so feel free to give it a click after watching Leila X Sophia. – Chris Grant
Film Description
“Every person in this world is given a different set of challenges. Meet my sister Sophia. Her life in particular has been full of challenges. She was born with a walking disability known as Spina Bifida and has endured 29 surgeries in the 27 years of her life. She watched me grow up as an athlete winning surfing competitions from a young age. We had nothing in common- making it hard to relate to each other. What connected us was the fact that we were sisters. But we both shared challenges. Hers being mostly physically and overcoming them mentally and mine being internally with insecurity, society’s expectations of women and the pressure to be perfect.
Four years ago Sophia and I got connected with an organization that gives paraplegic, quadriplegic, and people with Spina Bifida a chance to experience the feeling of riding a wave. This event changed our lives forever. As sisters and as a family, we learned that we shared struggles and we began to encourage one another to overcome them.”
This is what the meaning of life is. – Leila Hurst
Film/Edit By
Gage Hingeley
Leila Hurst – @leilahurst
Quinn Erwin

Leila and Sophia Hurst

Ford Sin Límites with Lucía Martiño

Sin Límites – Champion Spanish Surfer, Lucía Martiño, Takes Three New Friends Surfing. Presented by Ford Motor Company.


We love those clips that reach out and grab your heart. After sharing a photo earlier today, we clicked a link on Lucía’s Instagram and it brought us to this gem of a video. Spanish surfing champion, Lucía Martiño, takes three new friends surfing in this short film presented by Ford Motor Company. As they drive, the surfers share stories of physical challenges like glaucoma and cerebral palsy. Later in the clip the trio of friends are on the shoreline waiting to go surfing and Lucía brings them three new surfboards for their surf session.
“I think it’s good motivation for them to keep getting in the water everyday. The great thing about surfboards is that each has its own story, and the surprise comes once they’re in the water and they see how their stories change.” – Lucía Martiño
We hope you enjoy this heart-warming video. It certainly inspired us today.
Note: If you don’t speak Spanish, click the “CC” box on the YouTube player to activate subtitles.
Filmmaker’s Description
En el surf, como en la carretera, podemos dejar atrás nuestros problemas y sentirnos libres. Cuéntanos tu historia y gana una tabla de surf:
Play & Train y Free Surfers School

Presented By
Ford España
Lucía Martiño – @lucia_martino

Ford Sin Limites with Lucía Martiño