Surfers Pay Tribute to the Inventor of the Wet Suit

July 20, 2017

Ever wonder how surfers stay warm even in the most freezing conditions? Most wear a wetsuit, or a full-body suit that fits snuggly on their bodies to keep them from getting too cold in the water.

By Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6165557

The invention of the wetsuit allowed surfers to ride the waves in locations that otherwise would have been impossible to surf. To surfers around the world, it was Jack O’Neill, a great surfer and inventor of the wetsuit, that propelled surfing into the world-wide sport it is today.

By OSO (www.oneillseaodyssey.org) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Mr. O’Neill passed away earlier this month at the age of ninety-four. To honor his memory, surfers from around the world gathered at Mr. O’Neill’s favorite surf spot, Paradise Point in Santa Cruz, California, and paddled out to form a circle. Although the paddle-out was never meant to be more than an event for surfers to pay their respects to Mr. O’Neill, the overwhelming number of people who participated in the event unofficially broke a world record. It’s estimated that more than 3,000 surfers participated in the paddle-out! The previous world record for a paddle-out was only recently achieved by the Huntington Beach International Museum in Huntington Beach, California, on June 20th, 2017, when 511 surfers participated in that paddle-out.