Michael Tomson’s Life to be Celebrated with a Paddle Out


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As of Thursday, November 12, 2020

Michael Tomson, a pioneer in the competitive sport of surfing and the surfwear business died last month at age 66 from throat cancer.

Tomson not only was among the first class of competitive surfers to participate a global pro surfing tour. He also was a co-founder of the influential surf brand Gotcha, and was one of the founders and the second president of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. He helped to create the Waterman’s Ball, a gala industry get-together which has raised more than $8 million for ocean environmental causes. Tomson will be remembered for cutting a distinctive figure in the water and in surfwear, wrote Bob McKnight, the first president of SIMA, as well as former chairman of the Quiksilver brand.

“Michael was a wonderful, intelligent, creative, competitive, generous, articulate human being with a huge heart. His stoke was infectious.  We will all miss him dearly,” McKnight wrote on the SIMA website.

A paddle-out memorial was organized to honor Tomson’s life. It is scheduled for 11 a.m., Nov. 14 at Agate Street in Laguna Beach, Calif., the town where Tomson spent much of his adult life.