Shaun Tomson

International Surfer, Entrepreneur & Keynote Speaker

Shaun Tomson is a high achiever in business and sport. A former professional surfer, he won the IPS World Pro Championship in 1977. Shaun co-founded, managed and sold two multi-million dollar clothing brands - Instinct in the '80s and Solitude in the 90′s. He is the author of the best-selling book Surfer's Code, and the writer and producer of the award-winning documentary film Bustin Down the Door.

An inspirational speaker and business consultant Shaun Tomson has spoken internationally to audiences as large as 3,000 people. He has shared the stage with well-known personalities including Sir Richard Branson and Malcolm Gladwell, and inspired corporations like General Motors, Cisco, Price Waterhouse, Toys R Us, Sasol, Disney, Google, Primedia, MTN and Adcock Ingram.

A professional surfer for 14 years, Shaun has been listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century and one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time. He is credited with developing a revolutionary technique for riding inside the tube, the most challenging part of the wave. During his career he was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win a pro event and he is considered to be one of the architects of professional surfing.

Shaun Thomson is a Business Finance and Administration graduate from the University of Natal. He is an inductee in the Jewish and South African Sports Hall of Fame and the US Surfing Hall of Fame. He is a 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.

Shaun lives with his wife and son in Santa Barbara, California and still finds time to chase the perfect wave.

Speaking Topics:

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.

In his keynote presentations, Shaun Tomson offers up a profound set of action principles to show listeners how to get back on the board after a wipeout and paddle back out to catch and successfully ride the next wave. We all live in a challenging sea and our attitude towards those challenges defines who we are, and how we live our lives.

Client testimonials

Shaun inspired our partners and team members in a very unique and exciting way through his life lessons and introducing us to the Surfer’s Code. We all left committed to take our Drops With Commitment and To Always Paddle Back Out no matter what the challenge. I would highly recommend Shaun for any event where you want to strongly motivate your customers, partners or team members.


Thank you for your fantastic talks – they were perfect. We got only positive feedback.

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Our dealers really enjoyed Shaun’s presentation. His surfing stories were humorous and very relevant to our business environment. The tone was just right, and the overall message was extremely motivating. I didn’t hear anything but positive comments!

General Motors

While I am not a surfer, I found Shaun’s explanation of his ‘Surfer’s Code’ imparted lessons that applied to life far beyond the sport. Shaun Tomson is an eloquent, thought-provoking, and entertaining speaker, and we greatly enjoyed his talk.

Google Santa Monica

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the inspiration & emotion & passion that poured forth on Sunday at Ted-X! Thank you for touching my soul so gently yet deeply. I shall never forget your courage & poise.

Eric Greenspan TedX