Meet our guest speakers
As part of this program, our guest speakers will join one of our scheduled surfing tours to chat with our guests, passing on the wisdom they have gained from surfing. They will be discussing topics like how they have dealt with the inevitable challenges of managing fear, plateauing skills, and challenging conditions. They’ll provide their inside tips on improving and yes, answer those compelling questions about competing and winning in an industry where women’s achievements have been marginalized for decades.
World Champion Surfer
Pam Burridge is known as one of Australia’s first professional female surfers who blazed the trail for a generation of surfers that followed her. She won NSW State, National and in 1990 the ASP World Title.
Pam was the first woman in Australia to become a full time professional surfer & she has devoted herself to the pursuit of excellence in her chosen sport since
Born in 1965, and having grown up on Sydneys Bondi Beach she was given her first (homemade) surfboard in 1975 at the age of ten, entered her first competition (which she won) in 1977 at the age of twelve, won her first New South Wales State Championship in 1979 aged fourteen and was national champion the following year when she was only fifteen.
By this stage, Pam was deemed a professional by virtue of the fact that she had been invited to surf in the elite Hawaiian North Shore events; the strict rules of the governing amateur body offered no leeway for up and coming female surfers.
Pam joined the international circuit when she was sixteen and by the age of seventeen had earned her first of six runner-up finishes in the world championships. She eventually broke through in 1990, winning the world championship by what was then a record margin and becoming the first Australian woman to do so. She achieved this at Hawaiis famous Sunset beach in 3 metre waves.
Pam finished runner-up twice over the next three seasons, retired for three years, came back to finish third in 1997, then retired for good at the end of 1998.
Her record speaks volumes: 20 total world tour contest wins and ranked in the Top Eight 15 times.
During the course of her career Pam overcame eating disorders, self esteem and self confidence challenges the result of having to perform in a make dominated environment with little or no mainstream support to become one of the best surfers of her generation and a role model for many many women.
She has appeared in more than a dozen surf movies, videos, and documentaries, including Gripping Stuff (1987) Oz on Fire (1991), and Surfer Girl (1994). Pam Burridge: A Biography was published in 1992.
Join in an intimate meet and greet with Pam Burridge World Champion Surfer and chat about her life, her experiences on tour, her tips on how to improve your surfing and resilience in the water. You'll also get the chance for autographs and photos with Pam.
World Champion Surfer
Women’s Amateur World Champion in 1988 at just 18, a title she won just 4 years after learning to surf on a broken board given to her by her brother, Pauline went on to win the Women’s Pro World Championship in 1993 and in 2018 was inducted into Australia’s Surfing Hall of Fame.
Pauline represents all the values we hold dear at Surf Getaways. Values like dedication and perseverance in the face of extraordinary obstacles. It’s not commonly known that she suffered from an extreme form of rheumatoid arthritis right through her competitive career and she went on to compete and win anyway. She has also endured times of tough financial circumstances and family ructions, but she just never lost her generous spirit nor her sense of self and still continues to live her life with a positive attitude, sense of fun and an ongoing love of surfing that inspires us all at Surf Getaways.
Pauline’s 1993 championship win is known in the surfing world as one of the all-time great underdog tales. She competed without sponsors that year and had to spend most of the $30,000 prize money she had earned that year on traveling and competing. She won 3 of the first 11 events and was only leading marginally going into the 12th and final contest held in Hawaii. Two weeks before the final event Pauline was crippled with a debilitating attack of arthritis that put her in a wheelchair for days. She even had to use a pool to paddle in as her warm-up before surfing on competition day. But when the time came to compete she paddled out in windblown, 8ft swell, just made it into the finals and won. 1993 Women’s World Championship was hers. A truly inspiring achievement.
Pauline is known for an attacking competitive style, unafraid to take bigger waves and always putting herself into the best positions on a wave. During her career she was a regular pro tour winner with the following results, the while dealing with ongoing crippling arthritis attacks: 1989- 3rd, 1990- 6th, 1991- 2nd, 1992- 6th. To date, she has been competing for over 25 years and won a total of 20 WCT events and 8 WQS events. She was WQS Champion and won the Fosters Pro Surfing Tour in 2002.
She retired from competing in the Women’s World ProTour in 2006 but currently competes in the World Masters series, the most recent of which was held in Portugal in 2018. She is without doubt one of the great women surfers of all time, possessing a fierce competitive spirit, an undeniable sense of humor, an irreverent approach to living (which we love) combined with a genuine heart of gold. Pauline has also appeared in roughly 15 surf films featuring female surfers, including:
Blue Crush (1998)
Angel Eyes, The Surfing Adventure
Peaches, the Core of Women's Surfing (2000)
Surfabout, by Jenny Hedley California
Read more about Pauline...