He started the alaia revolution in 2005 and was named Shaper of the Year in 2009 for this. Then he took the dynamics of the alaia and applied them to modern materials and designed the Seaglass Project Tuna and Albacore boards to make a new age of finless surfboards.
Tom was the inspiration for the wood board movement. In 2001 he discovered that paulownia is the best wood for surfboards because of its highly unusual property of not sucking up salt water. Tom stopped making foam surfboards and turned only to paulownia wood and made over 300 hollow wood finned surfboards. (Also, the alaia revolution was possible because Tom’s work with paulownia). Tom is most proud of his green factory which has no toxic chemicals and almost no waste.
Tom started shaping surfboards in 1979 and his brother Jon took up the planer a few years later. Working together Tom and Jon have developed many surfboards and are still working together. Jon is in Encinitas, California while Tom moved to Noosa Heads, Australia in 1998.