O'Neill is originally a Californian surf wear and
surfboard brand started in 1952 by Jack O'Neill. It moved
down the coast from San Francisco to Santa Cruz by the end
of the decade. 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.
The Surf Shop became a local gathering place, and the number of surfers
began to grow. O'Neill flew in talented surfer/shapers like Phil Edwards
to make boards, and wetsuit sales climbed. Jack developed designs for a
shorty and a long john, and eventually a long-sleeved beaver-tail jacket.
Soon surfers were riding more waves, and riding them better, in large
measure because they could now enjoy longer sessions in cold water, thanks
to Jack's neoprene suits.
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.
Learn more about the
women's O'Neill clothing brand.
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