Cold Water Surfing… the legend of Jack O’neill

surf clothing history

Any one that has ever pulled a thin piece of rubber over their shoulders so that they can paddle out into the cold pounding surf has Jack O’neill to thank for making that secession possible. His little shop in San Francisco is now a multimillion-dollar empire, but that wasn’t why Jack O’Neill began. He just wanted to stay warm. “I’m just as surprised by this as anyone,” O’Neill says. “I was just messing around with rubber.”

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Jack O’Neill was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1923 and was raised in Portland, Oregon. It wasn’t long before he and his family moved to Southern California. He wandered as a lad, working as a lumberjack, serving in the Army Air Corps and then moving to San Francisco in 1949. Living in San Francisco, O’Neill earned a living as a commercial fisherman, then sold architectural aluminum, fire extinguishers and skylights. He loved the ocean and sneaked away to it at every opportunity, even taking his lunch breaks down at Ocean Beach, bodysurfing in bathing trunks in the briny cold, often alone or with the odd diehard.

vintage surf clothes

Jack O’Neill started his empire when he began experimenting with materials that would prevent him from, quite literally, freezing his nuts off. It all started when he began by stuffing flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into bathing trunks “borrowed” from the Sutro Baths or Fleishacker Pool. Those worked well enough for Jack to begin a family with his wife, Marge. But early wetsuits took a huge step forward when a scientist friend showed O’Neill a sample of neoprene foam.

surfing apparel wholesale

Before Jack O’Neill, surfing in Northern California’s chilly waters was a rugged sport practiced by hardy men. It was he who kept searching for a practical way to keep warm, and it was he who worked persistently to develop the modern neoprene wetsuit, one of the most important innovations in surfing history. Other individuals have also contributed to the evolution of the wetsuit, but Jack O’Neill is the man perhaps most responsible for surfing’s endless summer.

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Vintage Hawaiian Shirts

September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Hawaiian Shirts, Men's Vintage Clothing, Vintage Clothing

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Vintage Hawaiian Shirts

#408 Vintage Hawaiian Shirts

Take us back to the original cabin cruiser shirt. Or how about that those famous Elvis movies in the islands. The Hawaiian shirt is to the islanders what the western shirt is to the south, a defining fashion icon piece that say’s allot more about where you have been and who you are than any other piece in your wardrobe.

WHOLESALE VINTAGE HAWAIIAN SHIRTS

Item # 408
Fabric:Poly/cotton/rayon
Eras:60’s – 90’s

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Please Note that the photo is only a sample of the type of items we use for our Mix. Generally our packs come with a size run of 6 small 8 medium 7 large 4 xl. Each pack is original and one of a kind, no two packs are alike. For more information on how we put together our 25 packs please

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Save The Beach

The struggle to preserve public access to the beach is spreading across the nation from California to Connecticut and from Florida to the Great Lakes. California’s beaches belong to all the people. The wealthy rich prick beachfront enclave of Malibu and media mogul David Geffen nevertheless filed suit to cut off the people’sright to reach the beach. A Newport Beach city councilmember opposes improvements to a public beach because “with grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day.” People of color and low-income people suffer first and worst from the efforts to privatize public beaches. While eighty percent of the 34 million people of California live within an hour of the coast, disproportionately White and wealthy homeowners stand to benefit from the privatization of this public good, while communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately denied the benefit of coastal access.

Beaches are not a luxury. Beaches are a public space that provide a different set of rhythms to renew public life. Beaches are a democratic commons that bring people together as equals. People swim and splash in the waves, “people watch,” surf, wile away the afternoon under an umbrella, scamper between tide pools, or gaze off into the sunset. Public access to the beach is integral to democracy and equality. Rio de Janeiro, like Los Angeles, is marked by some of the greatest disparities between wealth and poverty in the world. Yet Rio’s famous beaches are open to all, rich and poor, Black and White. The beach in Rio is the great equalizer. California’s world famous beaches must also remain public for all, not the exclusive province of the rich and famous. The Connecticut Supreme Court has recognized the First Amendment right of non-residents to use a public beach against efforts by the city of Greenwhich to restrict access to its residents. A New Jersey appellate court has recognized the right of public access to reach the beach at a private club under the public trust doctrine. A Michigan court, however, has recently limited public access to the beach along Lake Michigan. In Florida, 60% of the “public” beaches are now “private.”

In order to make a difference before it gets to late The center For the law and Public Justice along with the Surfrider foundation have put together a “Free the Beach” campaign. For more information go to http://www.surfrider.org/media5.asp

Common Threads Garment Recycling

Common Threads Garment Recycling

Way too much of what is made these days ends up in the trash at the end of its useful life.

At Patagonia, they’re working to change that. In 2005 they launched their Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, through which customers could return their worn out Capilene® Performance Baselayers to them for recycling. They’ve now added Patagonia fleece, Polartec® fleece from other manufacturers and Patagonia organic cotton T-shirts to their list of recyclables.

Their long-term goal is to take environmental responsibility for everything they make.

Please help them by changing your clothes for good.

Find out how you can participate in our garment-recycling program; see how they turn worn-out clothes into new Patagonia garments; and read the Frequently Asked Questions. Patagonia

Clean Water Initiative

May 26, 2007 by  
Filed under News & Information, Ocean, Resourcful, Surfing

The US had a record number of beach closures and health advisories last year, the most in 15 years since research organizations have been monitoring them. -The Clean Water initiative is primarily focused on protecting water quality in coastal watersheds and in the near-shore marine environment. Consequently, the Surfrider Foundation advocates for strong water quality regulations, adequate marine recreational water quality monitoring, reporting and posting, reduction of polluted discharges into the ocean and education regarding personal responsibility for the reduction water pollution. They also support smart land use planning to ensure that coastal environmental resources are protected and healthy watersheds are maintained.

Join the Surfrider Foundation and help make a difference

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