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August 21: The Surfer

August 21, 2014
t1larg.shaun.tomsonSouth African surfer and environmentalist Shaun Tomson was born in Durban on this date in 1955. Tomson dominated amateur surfing in South Africa in the 1960s, has been listed as one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time, and was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win professional competitions. In 1977 he won the International Professional Surfers World Championship. Since 1984 Tomson has been active with the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental group dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and beaches. To see him surfing, look below. “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. 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 Tomson