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By the time reconciliation had been forged, the future of surfing had been written, and the professional circus — complete with sponsors, prize money, however small, and something like careers — started to take shape. In his own way, Tomson helped catalyse how the industry would function. I saw all the coverage so I wrote to Pat asking to be paid to wear the wetsuits. Tomson, though, turned the tube into a canvas, a place to express himself in bold, powerful strokes.

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I could look at the wall and the curve of the wall and understand its complexities better. I had this innate sense of riding inside the tube. At times, I even felt like I could control the wave. Tomson would go on to win the Pipeline Masters, Vans Triple Crown, World Championship and be named one of the twenty-five most influential surfers of the past century. He and his mates earned peanuts so the Slaters and Fannings could earn millions. They made something out of nothing and that something is now a ten billion-dollar global industry. In , when Tomson retired, there was no such thing as a lucrative endorsement deal for surfers put out to pasture.

You had to make your own way. While still touring, he started Instinct surf wear, which did well enough but bottomed out in So, with newborn son Mathew in tow, Tomson and his wife Carla returned to their native South Africa where Tomson fulfilled a promise to his parents to complete his education — a thirty-five-year-old undergrad at the University of Natal.

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It was very much the Oxford-Etonian concept of building the Renaissance man. Tomson and Carla returned to the States and started another line, Solitude, in It, too, had its ups and downs. At one point they were going bust, and had everything packed up on a Friday in preparation for a Monday shutdown. Only the phone stayed plugged in. Solitude was back in business on a handshake deal the next week.

Becoming a man is hard stuff. Shaun Tomson has that presence.

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It should have been a good year, The friend had been working with a grief counsellor, a swami. The friend said the swami had a message from Mathew.

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Three years later, they adopted Luke. These days, a typical morning in the Tomson household begins with three-year-old Luke waking them up at 6am. His Spanish-style home, a few blocks north of the Coast Village Road, is a relatively modest affair, considering the neighbourhood. We sit at a large, wooden table off the kitchen.

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The afternoon sun fills up the backyard behind us and a sturdy tree in the middle of it throws just enough shade. Alongside his books, Tomson has incorporated elements of his experiences into motivational speeches for corporations, universities, elected officials and environmental groups.

Recently, Tomson addressed the Santa Barbara County board of supervisors. Our attitude about the present defines our future. Our attitude about the future defines the present. Our attitude defines how we see the world and how the world sees us. Our attitude is the light that can show us the way on a journey from where we are, to where we want to be.

It is a fundamental choice for all of us. Positive or negative. Optimism or pessimism. Hope or despair. Light or darkness… This is a story of a journey… a journey from heartbreak to happiness, a journey from the dark into the light. He tells the story of a black South African boy he helped put through school back when he was competing. The man had gone on to earn two degrees and become headmaster of a school teaching 1, kids. He asked Tomson to visit the school to speak. It was like Martin Luther King.

Two of these kids spoke after I spoke — these kids could be at the head of the class at Princeton, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley. What this guy has done is amazing. As the day winds down, a kaleidoscope of colours dances in a soft sun and a sea-misted breeze carries the smell of pink ladies and poppies. Friendly Reminder: Make sure you book your car rental and accommodations in advance. Bonne lecture! Travel back in time to where Vikings once stood. Discovery is a fearless pursuit. Certainly, this was the case when the Vikings, the first Europeans recorded to reach the new world, landed at L'Anse aux Meadows over 1, years ago.