O'Neill wetsuits is (one of) the oldest wetsuit company out there. It started as a surf shop opened by Jack O'Neill in the 1950s. From that first surf shop in a garage across the Great Highway in San Francisco O'Neill and O'Neill wetsuits evolved into one of the top wetsuit brands in the market. No wonder, they had a head start :). Today O'Neill is no longer just a surf shop or a wetsuit manufacturer, their range of products is much wider and includes wetsuits, surfboards, boardbags, swimsuits, clothing, shoes and more... But one eyed Jack O'Neill still stands behind and represents his family businesses.
A Short History
History of O'Neill wetsuits is history of a man called Jack O'Neill. Jack is one of the people credited for inventing the first wetsuit. Being a surfer in San Francisco back in the days mean that you were constantly battling with cold water. So Jack soon dedicated his life to inventing things that would keep surfers warm in the lineup and after a few unsuccessful attempts he invented the wetsuit (more wetsuit history, if you want). Jack O'Neill soon moved his surfshop down the coast from San Francisco to Santa Cruz where their surfing division headquarters are still located. By the way - his surfshop was also the first modern day surfshop. Until then surfshops only sold surfboards, but Jack expanded that to wetsuits and other stuff.
Another quite big surfing invention came from the O'Neill family. Jack's son Pat developed the leash. This is also how Jack lost his eye. While he was testing a leash made out of surgical tubing, which was too elastic his board snapped back and hit him in the eye. Jack now wears an eyepatch that kind of became an icon.
"It's always summer on the inside."*
O'Neill is responsible for several improvements and inventions in the field of wetsuits. Some of his wetsuit models even became generic names for wetsuits - spring suit, long john, short john. As already said, today O'Neill wetsuits are one of the top brands of wetsuit in the market so if you are going to get an O'Neill wetsuits we are sure you'll stay warm.
*"It's always summer on the inside." is O'Neill wetsuits slogan
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