Super Surf Empowerment || Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro '17

By: Kaley Roberts for Scrimshaw Collective

Officially, Courtney Conlogue won the 2017 Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro. She took the cape with skill, power and a sweet air-reverse that earned her a 9.77 against fellow finalist – and fellow Californian – Sage Erickson.

But there was more than just competition in the Oceanside air at the tenth-annual Supergirl Pro. Between breaths of sea-salt and rolling sets of brilliance, we couldn’t help but feel fueled by bottom turns and bursts of female empowerment.

The event was totally badass yet shamelessly girly at the same time. Between heats, we indulged in on-land surf-conversing with Surf Diva while sipping berry-flavored Go Girl energy drinks and joined a line of ladies to get a sassy hairstyle (pink highlights optional). We watched as wide-eyed girls sprinted across the sand to snag their pro-surfer idols’ autographs and listened to the all-female DJ competition bumping behind us. Aside from being completely invigorated by how rad and progressive female surfing has become, our favorite part of the Supergirl Pro was the conversations we caught with so many awesome women along the way:

Name: Donna

We met her: Pioneering her way across the parking lot, to the beach

Why she’s super: Donna was headed to meet her 5 young granddaughters at the SuperGirl Pro surf competition – a few of whom have recently started surf lessons. She told us, “In my generation, women had their things, and men had theirs. But now it’s so open for women to do whatever they want to do. Even though the guy surfers get a lot of recognition, these women are every bit as much athletes.” Donna likes to remind her granddaughters, “not to let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Name: Macy Callaghan (pro-surfer)

We met her: Smiling with a fellow pro-surfer outside of the athletes’ tent

Why she’s super: Sixteen year-old pro-surfer Macy Callaghan has been catching attention as the “teenager heading to the top”. An incredible athlete with serious ambition, Macy thinks that “this competition is by far the best. It’s all girls, we have such a fun time … they’re really supporting us and pushing us.” She raved about how much fun she has “hanging out” with the other pros, embodying the mantra of women lifting each other up, even in such a competitive environment. We love Macy. Plus, she has a wicked Australian accent.

Name: Kylie

We met her: Chatting it up with other spectators amongst the crowd.

Why she’s super: Kylie is 8 years-old and was vacationing from Georgia with her family. When we met her, she was hot off her first two surf lessons ever! We asked her what she thought of the surfers and she said they’re “cool.” We thought we saw a turn in her shy smile when we suggested she could be one of them someday.

Name: Amanda

We met her: Scoping out the surfers between shifts as one of their on-staff physical therapists.

Why she’s super: If eight years as a physical therapist with the Women’s Surf League weren’t dope enough, Amanda’s also a yoga teacher, writer and an all-around well-being pro. She shared her unique perspective on the Supergirl competition with us, saying, “These women are super strong… they surf, they shred, they’re ripping. They train so hard. From my standpoint, seeing what they do psychically, that’s inspiring. It’s not about being super skinny and models. It’s about being powerful.” You rock, Amanda.

Name: Dawn

Where we met her: Snapping action shots from the Oceanside pier.

Photo: Kurt Steinmetz

Why she’s super: Dawn woke up early to do a solo drive down from Los Angeles because she’s working on her action-photo game.  What got her through that three-hour trek? “ These are the top women surfers in the world,” she said. “It’s fun for me to shoot, because when you have really great athletes, because you get really great pictures.” Dawn was handing us pointers left and right on maneuvering the event, and we could see the passion that lit her up as she walked us through the ins and outs of surfing as a sport. Before we left, we found out that photography is just Dawn’s side hustle. During the week, she’s an art director for feature films. Casual.

So, officially, Courtney Conlogue was cape-d the Supergirl pro at Paul Mitchell’s tenth-annual competition. But from what we saw, last weekend Oceanside was buzzing with super women.  

Photo: Kurt Steinmetz