Synching with the sea

Tom Kay, founder of cult surf brand Finisterre, on healing and synchronicity.


Anna Westropp

Psychotherapist and business development partner, Anna sees businesses as "big humans" with personalities that need understanding and developing, just like people.

Tom believes you create your own luck. He’s a big believer in synchronicity. When I think about the words he chooses in talking to me for this feature - living in the moment, leveller, grounded - this becomes more and more evident. As a character, he strikes me as just that.

The passionate leader of surf brand Finisterre, Tom started the company 20 years ago inspired by our synchronicity with the sea and a deep belief that we can make a great product in a more sustainable way. Tom's parents passed on to him and his sister their love of the water, boats and surfing - and since then his view has been that we’re better off, as individuals, if we’re in sync with the sea.

“We have a symbiotic relationship with the ocean” says Tom, “Swimming in or being by the sea is very healing - spiritually, hormonally, mentally, psychologically, physically. It helps us live in the moment. It’s a great leveller and grounder. Half the oxygen on the planet comes from the sea. As humans, we have a very holistic relationship with it; this starts with the individual and spreads to the wider community.” Indeed, Tom volunteers with the RNLI, manning the St Agnes lifeboat.

Swimming is very healing... it helps us live in the moment.

Tom Kay, Founder of Finisterre

From the way he talks about the sea, his business and his community, it’s clear that synchronicity sings out in Tom's life. It’s hard to talk passionately about being in sync with anything if you have no concept of being in sync with yourself.

In this way connection is at the very root of the Finisterre brand. Tom helps both colleagues and customers get close to the sea, believing it helps people be more aware of our world, our health and the health of our planet. It’s all connected.

As a B Corp, Tom wants to change his world and practise what he preaches. “It’s in what you do that your beliefs come across” he says. He leads by example, “Sea Tuesdays” being a pragmatic emblem of his philosophy, when work starts at 10am, making time for a surf, swim or walk on the beach. In fact, surf lessons are paid for by the company.

It’s in what you do that your beliefs come across.

Tom Kay, Founder of Finisterre

Tom helps his team stay aligned in various ways: no fixed hours and lots of team sea-based activities, whether meditative, fun or bonding. It’s about being with others, getting in sync with them and with yourself, all bound by and connected with one of the greatest powers on our planet - the sea.