"All I wanted was to surf for Gotcha.'” - Kelly Slater
“I was living in San Clemente. I remember Bob McKnight, from Quiksilver, was pissed off at me because I was starting Gotcha. Anyway, San Clemente seemed too far south, so I said to my friend, ‘Let’s just drive north a bit and see what there is.’ Driving through Laguna, I looked up and thought, ‘This place looks cool.’ So we pull over. That afternoon we found a house and that’s where we actually formed Gotcha. That’s how it happened. Over time, Laguna became THE surf town. Really. And it is. It’s the center of the industry.”
Held at Agate Street in Laguna Beach on November 14th 2020
Shaun Tomson choosing to valet at Mozambique a South African restaurant
Making his way across PCH
Respectful as always - Michael was Shauns cousin
Cool boho chic vibe
One of the biggest and notable surf brands in the history of our sport Gotcha
CoFounder Of Gotcha - Joel Cooper
Only a select few were given a MT tee - artwork by Jim "Zippy" Zapala
Shaun and Oliver Tomson (Michael's son)
Singer gesturing the shaka
To the West
Shaun with Ian Cairns to his right
Shaun's turn to speak
Oliver Tomson listening to all the people speaking about his father
Joel Cooper and Warren Ellison (cousin to Michael)
James Pribram, Paul Tomson and Joel Cooper co-founder of Gotcha
Surfers making their way to the beach
Paul Naude - Ran Gotcha, Billabong now Vissla
...from starting a surf magazine to the CEO of Billabong USA
Chuck Denny and Jeff Booth
Damien Fahrenfort (one of the better surfers from SA) hugging Michael's son
Oliver (left) and Damien
Paul and Shaun Tomson - Brothers
Surfers making their way out into the lineup
Paul and Oliver
Rest In Peace Michael Elliot Tomson 8-24-1954 to 10-8-2020
Surfers included Steve Zeldin, Bob Graff, James Lynch, Bob Mignona, Hans Hagen, Mike Todd, Enich Harris, Graham Stapleberg, Garth Tarlow, Bill Sharp, Eric Nelson and many more.
Gotcha was created in 1978 at 880 Park Ave in Laguna Beach - 1 bedroom, 1 bath beach cottage.The name Gotcha came from a Gillette razors commercial where the actor cuts himself shaving and say's "Gotcha". Michael watched this in his late teens and said he always remembered it and years later he decided to name his surf brand Gotcha.
Surfers that rode for Gotcha/MCD (More Core Division) included Martin Potter, Dino Andino, Brock Little, Derek Ho, Rob Machado, Mike Stewart, Michael Ho, Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons, Nathan Fletcher, Christian Fletcher, Chris Ward, Cheyne Horan, Vinnie De La Pena, Gerry Lopez and Matt Archbold.
Photos all taken by Jack English using a Canon eos1vhs camera and a 50mm lens with Kodak portra 400asa print film.