A True California Girl
Surfing since age 12, Kim Mearig was riding shapes by alpha shaper Al Merrick and competing at the amateur level by 14, often sharing the limelight with schoolmate Tom Curren. “We went down to Huntington for the NSSA Nationals when we were 16,” Mearig recalled. “We both won and got picked for the National Team, but at the time, we didn’t even know what it was.”
Propelled by the new tri-fin Thruster surfboards and inspired by the rise of her hometown friend and hero Tom Curren, Mearig was 20 years old when she won the 1983 World Title and took home a “whopping” $5,800 in prize money. But she signed a lucrative deal with Ocean Pacific that made her the highest-paid female professional surfer on record.