Surfer and the Sage: Riding the Waves of Life

By James Buckley   |   June 7, 2022

Shaun Tomson, rated the number one surfer in the world in 1977, has lived in Montecito for the better part of 30 years, and has teamed up with Santa Barbara-based author-speaker-philosopher Noah benShea; the two have published The Surfer and the Sage, A Guide to Survive & Ride Life’s Waves. It’s a small, handsomely produced tome with big, beautiful messages. 

“This world is too often too broken for too many. So we’re here to help make a few repairs. And help you make a few of your own,” is what the pair promise, and tucked in between dramatic photos of the ocean, surfers, big waves, dolphins, and inspirational sunsets, are words of wisdom that both men have culled from their combined 130-plus years on planet Earth.

Noah benShea is the Sage
Surfer Shaun Tomson and his wife, Carla

Chapters include observations on Despair & Hope, Doubt & Faith, Fear & Courage, Giving Up & Letting Go, Frailty & Resilience, Privilege & Gratitude, and the like. 

In the book’s last chapter, Shaun, the surfer, ends his turn with the tale of visiting his South African home and coming to terms with a surf break he’d never experienced because of his fear of sharks. After a successful day of surfing – and not seeing any sharks – the friend he’d surfed with asked Shaun if he knew what the locals called the break.

“Yeah, you call it One Eye,” I said.

“Do you know why we call it One Eye?” he asked.

“You call it One Eye because when the wave breaks, it looks like an eye,” I answered.

“No. We call it One Eye because there is a big Zambezi shark that lives out there in the lineup, and when it rolls over on its side to bite, all you see is one eye…”

Shaun had overcome his fear but the menace was always there.

Noah, the Sage, follows with his own observation that he’s no longer young enough to know everything.

“What I know can fill a book. What I don’t know can fill a library,” he muses, and ends with asking that you “Visualize me touching my heart and pointing at you saying, ‘peace and blessings.’”

No doubt you’ll keep this bantam-sized gem close to your bedside, as each chapter is an easy and thoughtful read.

Both men will be at Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito on Saturday, June 4, beginning at 3 pm; they will be there to launch a national tour of what’s likely to be another bestseller for the two of them.  


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