The Story Of Instinct

Shaun Tomson

Instinct was launched in Durban, South Africa. In the summer of 1979, Shaun was competing internationally on the world tour and, with the help of investors, Instinct was born. "I thought about my favourite part of the surfing experience; deep inside the tube, my mind was clear, in a state of perfect flow, aligning my maneuvers to my own inner rhythm, and that mindstate was Instinct."
The brand quickly gained traction and relocated to California in 1982. Instinct became a staple brand in an evolving surf industry and was the number 3 brand in the US behind heavyweights Quiksilver and Gotcha, owned by Shaun's cousin, the late Michael Tomson.

The Instinct surf team consisted of Aussie goofyfoot Tom Carroll, who would go to win ASP world titles in 1984 and 1985, and another goofyfoot from the northern beaches of Sydney, Barton Lynch, who would claim his maiden world title in 1988.

1988 Instinct team riders on a promo trip to Puerto Escondido with photographer Mike Moir

With other team riders, including Mike Burness, Greg Anderson, and Dave Parmenter, progressive marketing and advertising slogans and the innovator of surf-bleached clothing Instinct was riding a global wave and was sold Globally into over 20 countries.
By 1994 Shaun had sold off his share of Instinct to pursue other interests and spend time with family, and the Instinct brand faded. Shaun reacquired the trademarks back in the 2000s, and in 2021 Instinct relaunched in Australia and, under a sister licensing agreement in 2023, returned to its hometown of Durban, South Africa!



Check out Shaun's socials @shauntomson