Touring Down Under

Surfer Courtney Conlogue ended the 2013 season ranked fourth on the Women’s World Championship Tour, and with a big win at the New Zealand Surf Festival in Taranaki. After a few months off, it’s time to hit the road again for the first stop of the 2014 season -- the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Coolangatta, a suburb on the Gold Coast of Australia. Conlogue takes us with her as she heads Down Under.

Bags packed and ready to depart on my flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia. The first leg of the World Championship Tour will begin in Australia with three events, starting on March 1.

I can’t pack light -- I travel with anywhere from eight to 10 surfboards. The airlines love seeing me coming. The fees are crazy -- sometimes they want to charge per board even though they are all in one bag. They'll open my bags and start counting! Good times.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

There’s never enough room in the suitcases for all the large jackets, since we’re going from summer to winter weather during the Aussie leg. So I’m looking hot and wearing way too many layers.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

All set up for my 14-hour, long-haul flight to Australia. I carry on with me a pillow, vitamins, water additives with electrolytes, snacks, a sketchpad, drawing pencils, books and my headphones. It’s everything that will help make the hours fly by with ease and comfort.

Here I’ve got Beats on my ears and entertainment settings on. This is the longest time you’ll see me sitting down in one place! I do get up from time to time and walk around the plane for a stretch.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

I arrive in Brisbane. As I said, I carry a lot of baggage! The best feeling is when everything arrives with me at my final destination. No luggage lost, and no problems this time.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

A must-stop for my first meal in Australia: the Aussie shepherd's pie! I love these and they’re the best.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

After six hours in airports, 14 hours of flight time, and two hours of driving, I get to see the ocean. I’m taking a walk to stretch the legs and body, checking the swell and conditions of the ocean, and enjoying the beautiful view of Snapper Rocks beach and Surfer’s Paradise in the distance.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

Early morning, at the apartment, sorting out my equipment. My boards are out of the bags, and I’m getting the fins, wax and leash on and ready to go out for my first session.

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue

After checking the conditions, deciding which equipment will work best and applying loads of sunscreen, I head to the beach for my first surf of the day. There will be many different training times, in and out of the water, throughout a day.

Crazy hot and humid days mean no wetsuits are required. I can’t wear too much sunscreen to protect myself from the sun. It's going to be a long season on the tour and I can't wait to get started!

Courtesy of Courtney Conlogue