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TEDx American Riviera
October 10, 2010 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Shaun Tomson was born in the coastal town of Durban, South Africa and went on to become one of the world’s best surfers, winning events all over the world culminating in the surfing world’s top honor, the World Pro Title in 1977. He competed on the pro tour for 16 years, winning 19 professional events, and at the time was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win a professional event. He was a true surfing innovator, developing a revolutionary and radical new tube riding technique.
He is recognized as one of surfing’s greatest ambassadors and is a strong proponent of environmentalism, having been chairman of the Surfrider Foundation Advisory Board for the last 8 years and recently elected to the Board of Directors. In 2002 the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association honored him as Environmentalist of the Year and in 2009 Surfrider Foundation in Hawaii presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century (Surfer 1999) and one of the 16 greatest surfers of all time. (Surfing 2004)
He is a business finance graduate from the University of Natal, one of South Africa’s best universities and is an inductee in the South African and Jewish Sports Halls of Fame and the US Surfing Hall of Fame. Shaun has created two successful multi-million dollar clothing brands; Instinct in the 80’s and Solitude in 90’s, which he sold in 2005 to Oxford, a publicly traded apparel manufacturer on the New York Stock Exchange.
He is the author of the best selling surfing and inspirational book “Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for Riding through Life”. He also recently released the award winning documentary film “Bustin’ Down the Door” and a companion coffee table book. He is currently in demand as an inspirational speaker for corporations, schools and universities and is working on new book, apparel and film projects. His first rhyming children’s book “Surf Creatures” is slated for release in October 2010. Shaun has been married to Carla for 22 years and they currently reside in Santa Barbara, California with their son, Luke.