Often, surfing fades in and out of the lives of many, even some Hall of Famers, like Pam Hill’s friend and fellow Floridian Mimi Munro. But for Hill, surfing has been a welcomed constant — a sport that is as nourishing and exciting for her today as it was in 1965, when she caught her first wave at Harvard Drive, in Jacksonville, Florida.
It was not long after, in 1967, when she picked up her first trophy — at the Daytona Beach Junior Championships. For the next thirty years, Hill became a prolific competitor in every division of the Eastern Surfing Association, winning the ESA’s Iron Woman Surfer Award three times over. Hill also holds several United States Surfing Championship titles. And you better believe she’s kept every trophy. “I probably have thousands of trophies,” Hill laughs.
Although she remained a regular competitor until 1997, Hill also began contest directing in the 1980s, and these days she is the ESA’s Southeast Regional director. But her busy role hasn’t stopped her from helping out — or, more precisely, from being sought out by — other events around Florida, like the National Kidney Foundation’s annual fundraising surf festival.
Though her commitment has been to ensuring contests are run smoothly and fairly, her passion has always been fostering the careers of young female surfers. “It’s cool,” says Pam. “Sometimes there are more girls out in the water than boys.” Hill was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2016.