Time to go surfing. Be back soon...
O'Neill, The Original California Surf, Snow &
O'Neill is originally a Californian surf wear and surfboard brand
started in 1952 by Jack O'Neill.
Sometime around 1952, Jack opened the first Surf Shop in a garage
across the Great Highway. He shaped a few balsa surfboards and sold
accessories like paraffin wax and a few vests he started gluing together
from neoprene. When the vests started selling, Jack decided to go into the
wetsuit business. His friends laughed. They asked him what he planned to
do for business after the handful of surfers in the area had bought one.
Jack said he'd cross that bridge when he got to it.
The company moved down the coast from San Francisco to Santa Cruz by
the end of the decade.
As Jack improved his wetsuits- new styles, features, accessories, etc.,
surfers' territories expanded. Northern California became a year-round
surf zone. Guys were surfing New Hampshire and Rhode Island in January!
Explorations and transplants opened up Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
Meanwhile, divers, waterskiers, snow-skiers, and then windsurfers were
Jack is credited to have invented the wetsuit, his son Pat the leash on
the surfboard. The company logo symbolizes a breaking surf wave. "O'NEILL"
and the "Wave logo" are trademarks registered worldwide.
By 1980, Jack O'Neill's surf shop had morphed into a thriving
international company, dominating the world's wetsuit market and one of
the leaders in beach lifestyle sportswear in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
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