In the mid-'70s, surfing was wild -- long hair was paramount, contest conformity was bogus and feral quests for mystical waves were the road to nirvana. The last thing the sport wanted was a professional, well-spoken figure at the helm, but that's what it got in Shaun Tomson. Years ahead of his contemporaries, he stood alone with articulate grace and redefined tube riding in the process.
Tomson was born in Durban, South Africa, where he picked up his first longboard at age 10. He made the transition to shortboards as the revolution encompassed the world in years to follow. By the time the '60s were out, Tomson had won the South African Boys' title, attended his Bar Mitzvah and had his first experience in Hawaiian surf.
Shaun Tomson started, managed and sold two multi-million dollar clothing brands – Instinct in the 80’s and Solitude (co-founded with his wife Carla) in the 90’s. He is the author of the best-selling books “Surfer’s Code” and “The Code: The Power of “I Will“, and the writer and producer of the award-winning documentary film Bustin’ Down the Door. Shaun is a Business Administration and Finance graduate from the University of Natal and has a Master of Science in Leadership from Northeastern University. He is a World Surfing Champion, an inductee in the Jewish and South African Sports Hall of Fame, the US Surfing Hall of Fame, and has been described as one of the greatest surfers of all time and one of the most influential surfers of the century (Surfer Magazine 1999). Shaun is a past board member and ambassador for Surfrider Foundation, the world’s largest environmental group dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves and beaches and he received the SIMA Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2002. He is a past board member of Santa Barbara Boys and Girls club and is an ambassador for Boys to Men, a youth mentoring organization. Shaun currently lives with his wife and son in Santa Barbara, California and still finds time to chase the perfect wave.
Shaun talks about the influence of positive values on success in life and business based on his own experiences of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges, in and out of the surf. An attitude of Commitment and Positivity is the basis for his unique empowering business philosophy based on his “Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for Riding through Life“. Shaun frequently speaks internationally and he has inspired and touched the hearts of audiences as large as 3,000 people. He has shared the stage with renowned thought leaders including Sir Richard Branson and Malcolm Gladwell, and he has inspired corporations like General Motors, Cisco, Price Waterhouse, Google, Gap, Patagonia, PWC, Sasol, Disney, Primedia, Sonos, Dermalogica, Investec, MTN and Adcock Ingram.
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