Former World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson talks about making positive life choices.

Former World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson talks about making positive life choices.

“If there’s one existential moment in surfing, it’s when you’re 20 feet back in the tube and you’re racing for the light,” Shaun Tomson says. “It’s very much about living in that absolute moment because when you stand there on the board, the future’s just in front of your front foot, the past is just behind your back foot and the present is right beneath your feet.”

Shaun brought his message about making positive life choices to Huck’s 71a Gallery on March 10. He spoke of his experiences as a former world surf champion and the lessons learned from a lifetime of surfing. His words carry great weight. Shaun’s own life was devastated when he lost his fifteen-year-old son. The boy made a bad decision that resulted in his death. Shaun prefers not to go into specifics, but his son died playing a game with friends.

Since the tragedy, he’s delivered talks to a range of audiences, but he is particularly interested in speaking to schools. He draws heavily on his personal story, but Shaun emphasises that he is speaking from his perspective alone and the talks are refreshingly non-prescriptive. When he spoke to students at Hackney’s City Academy, he said, “The only request I’m making of you guys is, when the decision comes your way, think twice.”

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