Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

O’Neill Makes History (Again)

blogoneillOriginal surf shop established as California Point of Historic Interest

First they made the world’s first viable wetsuit, allowing surfers worldwide to dive into waters too icy for most. Now O’Neill is making history again.

The California State Historical Resources Commission voted unanimously earlier this month to approve the site of the original O’Neill Surf Shop (located at the entrance to Cowell Beach) as a “California Point of Historic Interest.”

What does that mean for the little beach shack that made history? For one, it’s going to get a sign explaining its historic significance. But for most Santa Cruzans, including Santa Cruz City Council Member David Terrazas (who spearheaded the designation effort), it’s just an official recognition of something they already know.


“O’Neill is uniquely Santa Cruz,” Terrazas said in a recent press release. “Jack and his family are integral to our town, and have built something really special here.”

Developed in 1959 by Jack O’Neill, the wetsuit helped jumpstart Santa Cruz surf culture and cold water surfing on a broader level.  

“What started out as a way to catch as many waves as possible has turned into a life I could not have even dreamed up,” O’Neill said in response to the news. “I am grateful to all of you who have supported us along the way from our roots through 60 years.”

Now the City of Santa Cruz is looking to dredge up the accumulated memories of the Santa Cruzans who shared O’Neill’s odyssey with an open call for photo submissions or stories related to the original surf shop. Submissions will be incorporated into an “interpretative signage project.”


Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 2

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Extra Pop

Assembly’s pop-up space goes into regular rotation, Cabrillo wine dinner, and a visit to Mozaic


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired