Owing his love for the oceans and his inventive genius, the surfsport has become what he is today. The speech is by Jack O’Neill, founder of the company O’Neill and inventor of the neoprene suit. He was born in Denver in 1923 and moved to Southern California a few years later, where he discovered his passion for surfing. Along the way, Jack travelled the world and became internationally known as a surfer, an airplane and balloon pilot, sailor, fisherman, and adventurer. For nearly his entire life he lived by and for the world’s oceans, and worked tirelessly to promote public access to their many health, economic and environmental benefits. Now, he has died in Santa Cruz at the age of 94 years.
His vision of being able to surf longer in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. So Jack O’Neill invented the wetsuit in the early 1950s. Jack O’Neill’s neoprene suit opened a whole new world for surfing. Suddenly, the wave riders were able to exercise their sport even in cold water and thus on waves that were previously considered inaccessible. 60% of today’s water sports could not surf without Jack O’Neill’s invention.
In celebration of the life of Jack O’Neill, his company O’Neill watermen all over the globe joined collective paddle-outs: