Shaun Tomson: South Africa's key code

Shaun Tomson has released "The Code", a book with a simple strategy for confronting everyday challenges and making positive, life-changing decisions.


Learning how to ride the unpredictable waves of life is not always an easy task. And the world surfing champion born August 21st, 1955, in Durban, South Africa, knows that.

In 12 personal stories Shaun shares the power of "I Will", a code that has carried him to the heights of professional success and helped him navigate the depths of profound grief after the loss of his teenage son, Mathew.

"All you need to turn hope into action is to write your promises down and say them out loud to make a promise to no one but yourself", explains Shaun Tomson.

"The Code is about many things - faith, courage, creativity, determination - but above all it's about the 12 promises we make to ourselves about the future".

Tomson's new book was inspired by the students at Anacapa School, a small, independent school in his hometown of Santa Barbara, California.

After speaking to the students Shaun asked each of them to create their own personal code, their vision of their future - to take just 20 minutes and think about their goals and write them down, starting every sentence with the words "I Will".

A week later, Shaun received the answers. "They were beautiful, sensitive, full of humor and hope. In essence the kids wrote a series of promises they had made to themselves."

It is the student's "I Will" statements that create the framework for the book. Shaun Tomson won the world surfing championship in 1977 and was listed as one of the most influential surfers of the century.

Buy "The Code" by Shaun Tomson.
Discover our surf book collection.