Wetsuit Pioneer Jack O’Neill passes away at 94

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Jack O'Neill from Santa Cruz CA founder of the O'Neill wetsuit brand passed away on June 3rd
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The founder of one of the largest surfing legacies, O’Neill wetsuits, and the man who kept us all  warm in the surf for many a winter, Jack O’Neill passed away last Friday, June 2nd.  He was 94.

Jack O'Neil wetsuits
Jack O’Neill of O’Neill wetsuits, the owner and founder of the brand, passes away at 94.

In 1952, Jack O’Neill founded the O’Neill brand largely out of a determination to stay out surfing in Northern Cal. a little longer. He’s the one who experimented with various materials and played with design until he fashioned the neoprene wetsuit as we know it today.  He is credited by many as the inventor of the first wetsuits in the 1950’s.

It’s a sad day for surfing,” said Ken ‘Skindog’ Collins when he heard the news this past Friday.

Jack O’Neill is the reason most of us are able to surf into the winter months and stay out in the water longer than we would be able to survive without going hypothermic or otherwise.  His brand and his logo is plastered on every street sign on every surf break from Cardiff to Ditch Plains.  The house that Jack built is large and, in some ways, it includes us all.

Aloha and thank you, to the legend that made surfing the year-round, cold water sport that it is today.

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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at editor@standupjournal.com . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.