Wetsuit Inventor dies at 94 years old

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Wetsuit Inventor dies at 94 years old

Jack O'Neill in 2006. Photo by Dan Coyro, Santa Cruz Sentinel

“All my friends said, ‘O’Neill, you will sell to five friends on the beach and then you will be out of business.” And so they said, but they were wrong. Jack O’Neill wanted to surf comfortably in northern California’s winter on the 1950’s. There was nothing he could do or buy to stay warm, except invent something himself. And so he did, and by 1959 he had already opened his second surf shop, but this time not in San Francisco, it was in Santa Cruz, California. The Wetsuite Piooneer died on Friday 2nd of June 2017.

He invented the first Neoprene Wetsuit, and nowadays it’s hard to surf in winter without one, even other surfers will look at you strangely if you don’t wear one, but as always, there was a time in which he was considered a naive person for thinking his invention could reach somewhere, well, in fact, by the 1980’s it reached all surfing spots in the world.

Can you imagine yourself wearing an invented suit while waiting for a wave while other surfers in the Lineup take the piss out of you? Easy to imagine right? Well that’s what happened to him but “he who laughs last, laughs best” he must have thought at the time. So if you are the next Pioneer and want to try your product before hitting the market, just don’t listen to the typical losers that only want to take the micky out of the others. But first, perhaps you’d like to learn to Surf in Tenerife.

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