Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Surfing
Inducted: 1995
Country: South Africa
Born: August 21, 1955 in Durban, South Africa

In the sport of surfing’s first decade of professionalism, 1976 to 1985, South Africa’s Shaun Tomson captured more international tour victories than any other competitor.

He was International Pro-Surfing’s (IPS) World Champion in 1977, and was the only surfer to hold an IPS Top 6 ranking for 10 consecutive years, from 1976 to 1985.

At the time of his competitive retirement, Tomson ranked as the second highest winner of major competition titles and the third highest money winner in the history of surfing.

In 1978, he was voted Surfer of the Year by Surfer magazine, and is one of only three world surfers to be featured on the cover of Surfing Magazine (the others are Duke Kahanamoku and Mark Richards), a benchmark in the sport of surfing. Said Surfing Magazine: “After more than ten years as one of the sport’s great performers [Tomson is] the most popular surfer of the past decade.”

Tomson, who first picked up a longboard at the age of 10 and eventually made the transition to shortboards, firmly established himself as the most advanced surfer of his time at Hawaii’s 1975 Pipeline Masters, Off-The-Wall and Backdoor in the winter of 1976.

His stunning performances, captured in Bill Delaney’s influential surfing film, Free Ride, solidified Tomson eminence as the world’s best.

He was voted South African Sportsman of the Year in 1978.

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