So you think surfers are all brawn, blonde hair, bru talk
and brain dead? Then you need to read this book. Former world surfing champion
Shaun Tomson shares the life lessons he’s gathered from his boyhood spent
catching waves on Durban’s beachfront to his myriad successes on the world tour
and the highs and lows he’s experienced in the business world.
Says Tomson: "Over the last 37 years, I have travelled and
surfed many of the world's best waves and have surfed with many of the world's
greatest surfers. I have taken pieces of wisdom from these surfers, and other
people, and have used them throughout my surfing life. Hopefully, you may find
these thoughts useful too."
Sound a little holier than thou? That is what I thought
when I first saw the title, never having been a fan of a book with the word
“lessons” in the title. But this book is not like that. In fact, I struggled to
put the bloody thing down!
The idea for the book grew from a card Tomson gave to
children on a beach after spending 20 minutes jotting down a list of things the
ocean had taught him. He gave it to them as a memento.
“The card was a way of getting the kids stoked and giving
them the most important lessons about life that surfing had taught me,” says
In fact, “Stoke” is a big part of the book: “I do not know
how or when the expression was introduced into surf culture, but that image of a
fire being stirred up in the pit of one’s stomach captures the feeling surfers
get when they see good waves or surf a great session.“
And for a real touch of reality and earthiness, Tomson has
dedicated the book to his 15-year-old son Mathew, who died tragically just as
the first edition was going to print.
In the lesson entitled “I Will Pass Along My Stoke”,
Tomson tells how he and Mathew had gone out surfing when the boy was nine years
old. Afterwards, Mathew collected an assortment of debris on the beach to create
a “sacred story circle”, in which father and son sat while recounting tales to
The latest edition of Surfer’s Code contains an epilogue
dedicated to Mathew, as well as a poem written by him. All parents beware – it’s
a very tough read!
From never turning your back on the ocean, never fighting
a riptide, always riding into shore to paddling around the impact zone, Tomson
takes surfing experiences and expressions, and uses them to form real world
lessons. Lessons that people can relate to …
About the Author:
Shaun Tomson was the 1977 World Champion on the
International World Surfing Tour. A native of South Africa, he spent fourteen
years on the Tour (1976-1989), nine of which in the top six. With twelve contest
wins, including a record setting six year winning streak in the prestigious
Gunston 500 in Durban, South Africa, he was considered one of the world's finest
Title: SURFER’S CODE: Twelve Simple Lessons for Riding through Life
Authors: Shaun Tomson; Patrick Moser
Price: Now only R144.00
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