BREAKING: Legendary American ICON Just Passed Away- Please Send Your Prayers


Many of you won’t know who Jack O’Neill is but you sure will now! You see, O’Neill is a legend in the surf world. 

Jack O’Neill, the Northern California surfing world icon who pioneered the wet-suit and opened one of the world’s first surf shops, has died at this home in Santa Cruz. He was 94.


The bigger-than-life figure, who sported an eye patch after a surfing accident in 1971, died of natural causes Friday while surrounded by family in his longtime oceanfront home, his family said in a statement.

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O’Neill opened up the world to ‘cold water’ surfing by inventing the wet-suit.


O’Neill grew up in Oregon and Southern California, where he began body surfing in the late 1930s. He was a Navy pilot during World War II.

If you grew up on the West Coast you know that the ocean water is damn cold in the winter.


Surfing is a lifestyle that knows no seasons.

So the trick is how to stay warm in the cold California waters. Hence, the wet suit!

In 1952, he founded the O’Neill brand while opening one of California’s first surf shops in a garage on the Great Highway in San Francisco, close to his favorite bodysurfing break at the time. He began experimenting with various materials for body protection that would allow surfers to enjoy their sport longer in the frigid northern California ocean.

He settled on neoprene, which was used by the U.S. Navy, to produce his first foam rubber vests.

This led to the establishment of a company that deals in wetsuits, surf gear, and clothing. Jack O’Neill’s name is attached to surfwear and his brand of surfing equipment. 

By the 1980s, O’Neill had become the world’s largest recreation wetsuit designer and manufacturer and the O’Neill surf brand had reached Australia, Europe, Japan and other corners of the globe.

O’Neill said he always considered Santa Cruz as “the center of surfing,” outside Southern California’s warmer waters. In 1964 he created the O’Neill surf team, giving up-and-coming young surfers new surfboards.

O’Neill’s family said he died of natural causes. Funeral arrangements and a paddle-out are pending.

Jack O’Neill

Rest in peace brother.

Sources- Wikipedia, USA Today, KSBW8

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