Shaun Tomson

On Feb. 7, professional surfing legend Shaun Tomson will visit the University of Oregon for a lecture, hosted by the Department of Product Design. (Andrew Harbert/Creative Commons)

On Feb. 7, professional surfing legend Shaun Tomson will visit the University of Oregon for a lecture, hosted by the Department of Product Design. Tomson won the International Professional Surfers World Championship in 1977. As part of the “Free Ride” generation, he helped revolutionize the sport with an unprecedented style and aggression.

After achieving success, Tomson began to speak in formal settings, relaying lessons and personal philosophies he gathered from surfing. “I started speaking to young people when I was a teenager,” he said. “When I started to do well competitively, I wanted to tell people that I had this dream and that I made it happen with power and purpose and love.”

Tomson later distilled his ideas into his first book, “Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life.” In his motivational speeches, he shares his own personal code and encourages others to define their own goals and guiding principles. “You can attach any meaning to any of those lines, but it’s my code,” he said. “I just give the tool for people to create their own.”

In the 1980s, Tomson made his first venture into product design with his clothing brand, Instinct. He later co-founded his second brand, Solitude, in the 1990s with his wife, Carla. His lecture will take place in the Redwood Auditorium in the Erb Memorial Union at 3 p.m. and it will focus on establishing purpose and finding passion. It is free and open to the public.


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