O'Neill Snowboard Jackets

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O'Neill Snowboard Jackets More in the Outlet Shop.

Size: Medium
Reg: $319.95 On Sale: $221.95
The O'Neill Story:
At some point in time, we've all heard - or rather, ignored -- a version of the "When I was a kid" lecture from our elders, squirming through some rambling nonsense about walking to school without shoes or life without video games. Well, if you were one of Jack O'Neill's children, founder of O'Neill Inc. and surf suit pioneer, you might very well listen as he told ice-cold horror stories that drove him to develop our trusty neoprene armor. Hell, you may end up helping with a few inventions of your own.

In the 1950's, Jack opened his first surf shop in a garage across the Great Highway in San Francisco, a sand dune away from his favorite bodysurfing break. There he sold his first wetsuits, a few vests he made from gluing together pieces of closed cell foam. From that very garage Jack expanded the average surfer's playground from Steamer Lane to J-Bay, and from Antarctica to those fun reef breaks off the coast of Iceland. Thanks to Jack O'Neill, "It's always summer on the inside."

"Surfing in the 50s was great," says Jack. "You knew everybody and we often took turns on the waves." But surfing in the 1950s also meant short sessions due to the cold water temperatures. Surfers tried anything to stay warm. "I remember one guy that tried to keep warm with a navy jumper and he put Thompson's Water Seal on it," recalls Jack.

"He set out in an oil slick all by himself." Cold and sick of cutting his sessions short at Ocean Beach, Jack embarked on a mission to create a surf suit.

Jack soon became a regular at the Army and Navy surplus stores (there were many after the war) collecting old WWII frogmen suits. "These suits consisted of a thin sheet of rubber, worn over something like long underwear," says Jack. "The air trapped in the underwear gave the insulation; but in the rough surf the suit would come apart at the waist entry, water would get in, displacing the air and making it hazardous."

Working with different types of flexible foam, his first success was with a unicellular plastic which may have been PVC. While it had good insulating properties, it did not have much tensile strength, so he put it under his bun-hugger-type bathing suit. This was somewhat effective. The bun-hugger-type bathing suit was the style in those days. Most surfers in San Francisco wore a suit like this, secured from Sutro Bath's for a $.25 deposit. Sometime later he glued a thin sheet of plastic to the plastic foam and made his first vest. Yet, while PVC served its purpose, it was hard to work with and Jack went back to the drawing board.

He soon came across neoprene and found it to be a good insulator, buoyant and it had more tensile strength. With the material problem much improved Jack quickly developed designs for the short john, long john, spring suits, long-sleeved-beaver-tailed jacket and full suit wetsuits. "I got a lot of laughs," remembers Jack. "Surfers would come up from down south and I remember one of them saying, 'Maybe you clowns up here need a suit but never us.' I was just trying to do more surfing, have some surfing friends and get a little income."

Despite all the naysayers, the vests started to fly off the hangers and O'Neill was in business.

Since then, O'Neill has made countless improvements to the design and quality of the wetsuit. From the introduction of the zigzag stitch to the names Jack originated which became generic, (i.e. spring suit, long john, short john, etc.). But accomplishments are nothing new to the O'Neill family. Jack was always a man of firsts, responsible for creating the modern-day surf shop. While guys like Dale Velzy and Hobie Alter had shops down south, they only sold boards.

"Since I was making wetsuits and balsa wood surfboards, I decided to call my place Surf Shop. And, I was able to get a federal trademark registration on the name 'Surf Shop' too," says Jack. He also pioneered the surfboard travel bag and was one of the first to start blowing foam blanks.

The inventor's gene seems to run in the family. His son Pat was a pioneer in developing the leash, affectionately known as the "kook cord" back then. Using materials such as nylon lines, suction cups and surgical tubing, Pat found ways to prevent his board from crashing into the cliffs and breaking in half.

"It was extremely hard to see the surgical tubing, and when I fell off my board, the board went into the wave and stretched the tubing out 22 to 23 feet," says Pat. "And then it came racing back like a speeding bullet. People had never seen anything like this. They thought it was a remote control or something."
(Taken from www.oneill.com)

The-House.com is your shop for O'Neill wakeboard gear. We carry a wide range of O'Neill products including O'Neill Snowboard Jackets, O'Neill Snowboard Pants, O'Neill PFDs & Vests, O'Neill Wet Suits, O'Neill Neoprene Accessories, O'Neill Boardshorts, O'Neill Shorts, O'Neill Women's Boardshorts, and O'Neill Caps.

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