Blog posts written by john hill
As legend has it according to O’Neill’s own account, his eureka moment shortly following the vest’s creation took place at San Francisco International Airport. After boarding a DC-3 for Los Angeles he looked down at the floor noticing a thin padding of black rubber sticking out from under the edge of the carpet. The material, a synthetic rubber invented by DuPont and named neoprene, helped insulate the heated passenger cabin from the frigid spaces below deck. It was smooth sealed, closed cell, flexible, quite strong, and proved fairly impervious to saltwater. Soon the era of the wetsuit was fueling the allure of surfing for the masses.