In 1975, after a steady climb to the top breaking the Hawaiian dominated world of wave riding, a young flamboyant Shaun Tomson become the first South African to win the World Surfing Championship, at Banzi Pipeline in Hawaii. Not only did Shaun continue to stun the world with his revolutionary new style of surfing, disappearing into deep tube like tunnels formed by curling waves, Shaun also introduced the world to an ethos that has become synonymous with environmental protection and lessons to live a fulfilled life. In his book, ‘The Surfers Code’ Shaun identifies with 12 life lessons that are metaphors for the way we should all live our lives. One of those lessons is about sharing ‘the stoke’ and giving of yourself to a community that supports you.
In this spirit, in a collaboration with ‘Sabrina Love Foundation”, a charity looking after children with special needs in South Africa, Shaun has created a limited edition of an identical replica of the board that was ridden on the rise to win the world title and changed the face of surfing forever. The board is hand shaped and formed by a master craftsman using ancient tinting techniques and environmentally friendly sustainable materials including unique agave wood from the great Karoo. This board carries his life messages and is personally signed by Shaun. The board is now being auctioned and the total proceeds will be donated to the Sabrina Love Foundation, supporting special needs kids and their families.
Way out on the split ends of surfing’s fringe, exists an anachronistic little wooden surfboard company where quality, respect for our roots and a belief in the sanctity of nature are cornerstones. Here we build wooden surfboards that are inspired by the intuited hydronamic genius of the ancient Hawaiian board builders. Handcrafted, Wawa boards allow for a wave sliding experience profound purity and unbridled, utterly gratuitous, fun.
Blessing Ngobeni is one of the most prominent artist emerging out of South Africa, exhibiting in galleries around the world including Copenhagen, New York and San Fransisco. His artworks reflect art and politics and are layered with meaning.
To really create a South African unified collaboration of spirit and goodwill, he has painted an original artwork that has been be glassed on top of the surfboard. This powerful, surprising, thought provoking artistic style elevates the surfboard canvas to a piece of one of the most unique examples of functional art in the world today, depicting Blessing’s interpretation of Shaun’s life code.
Shaun Tomson’s surfer’s code
These lessons are born of the collective wisdom of the surf community and are a powerful source of inspiration in the face of extraordinary challenges of every day life.
- I will never turn my back on the ocean: Passion
- I will paddle around the impact zone: No short cuts
- I will take the drop with commitment: Courage, focus and determination
- I will never fight a rip tide: The danger of pride and egotism
- I will always paddle back out: Perseverance in the face of challenges
- I will watch out for other surfers after a big set: Responsibility
- I will know that there will always be another wave: Optimism
- I will ride and not paddle into shore: Self-esteem
- I will pass on my stoke to a non-surfer: Sharing knowledge and giving back
- I will catch a wave every day, even in my mind: Imagination
- I will realize that all surfers are joined by one ocean: Empathy
- I will honour the sport of kings: Honour and integrity