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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 6 July 2017

As a precursor to the JBay Winterfest, join Jordy Smith for a special O’Neill paddle out to celebrate Jack O’Neill’s life and adventures - part of numerous paddle outs worldwide.

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JOIN JORDY: Jordy Smith will lead a paddle out for Jack O'Neill. Photo WSL / Cestari

jack-o-neill3From Santa Cruz to Jeffrey’s on Sunday July 9th and Monday the 10th, O’Neill will honour the legacy of the inventor of the modern wetsuit Jack O'Neill, right.

For the South Africa edition, join O'Neill surfer Jordy Smith at the Lower Point Car Park in Jeffreys Bay on Monday 10 July at 8.30am, for the paddle out at 9am. For further information please visit the SA Facebook Page

Most recognizable for his eye patch and his beard, Jack’s desire to surf longer drove him to create an innovative suit that allowed surfers to be the first in the icy waters of the San Francisco Bay and the last out.

Playing around with materials to create a barrier between the body and the ocean, Jack’s first suits were built of unicellular foam material that he bought from a local surplus store. jack-o-neill2

TEAM SAIL: Jack O'Neill sails on Sea Odyssey in Monterey Bay. Photo Supplied

jack-o-neillThe invention was monumental - it made it possible for surfing to be a year-round activity in cold water areas and welcomed a new group of people who previously didn’t surf. Those first suits led to more surfers, more fans and the eventual acceptance of surfing in popular culture.

A series of memorial paddle outs will take place across the globe to celebrate his legacy - a man who, through sheer passion, changed the face of surfing forever. Honouree paddle outs are also scheduled in the United States, Canada, the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Australia and Japan.

By the 1950s Jack had invented the first surfing and bodysurfing wetsuits and opened his first surf shop near Ocean Beach. He also coined “Surf Shop,” a term for which he later received a Registered US Trademark.  At that time Jack famously remarked, “All my friends said, ‘O’Neill: you will sell to five friends on the beach and then you will be out of business’”.

He passed away in Santa Cruz, California, of natural causes at the age of 94 on 2 June 2017.

The Jack O'Neill paddle out at Lower Point will be happen in the lead up to the JBay Winterfest. The JBay Winterfest is a multi-sports and cultural festival that takes place in Jeffreys Bay from 12 - 23 July. It is anchored by the Corona Open JBay. Other happenings at the JBay Winterfest 2017 include the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster, the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic, the Cold Water Swim Classic, the Endurade JBay X Trail Run, the JBay Loggers Classic, a Kite Festival, a Skins Fishing comp, a Funduro and more.

More details at www.jbaywinterfest.com   #jbaywinterfest

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