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The History of Body Glove | Celebrating 66 Years in 2019 In 1953, California lifeguards Bill and Bob Meistrell, inspired by all things water, constructed the first functional wetsuit, 'the body glove'. That passion has been passed down through generations. With decades of product innovations and the philosophy of 'doing what you love,' Body Glove remains dedicated to supporting people's passions in and out of the water. This is our story... 1953 | Dive N' Surf Opened | Dive N' Surf opened at 223 Hermosa Avenue in Redondo Beach with a 30-day lease. The ocean was so close that the waves would break the windows. It was here that they discovered Rubitex and invented the first wetsuit. Dive N' Surf was the first shop for dive and surf gear in the world. First Custom Wetsuit & Sizing Chart | In 1953 the first commercial custom wetsuit and first sizing chart were created. This sizing chart is still used universally by every wetsuit manufacturer. A Commitment to Safety | Bill & Bob Meistrell contributed to the safety standard for the entire dive industry. Bob was the first to be dive-certified in LA County. 1957 | Custom Wetsuits | Body Glove was the first to customize wetsuits for the Navy, LA Police and LA County Lifeguards, as well as for the medical, dental, and electronic industries. Body Glove is also the first to make custom wetsuits for Yamaha and Kawasaki. 1958 | Sea Hunt | Bill and Bob Meistrell started working with the television industry to provide wetsuits, dive gear, and scuba training for the TV show 'Sea Hunt'. Athletes of the Decade | Bill Meistrell, Founder | Bob Meistrell, Founder | Bev Morgan, Diver | Hap Jacobs, Longboarder 1960 | Wetsuits with Style | Body Glove was the first to add fun design elements to wetsuits, such as the Kossick stripe and even attempts to paint the neoprene. 1963 | Raising the Emerald | Bill and Bob Meistrell, along with Don Severs, Leonard Wibberley and Harry Pecorelli, raised the sunken sailboat Emerald from the bottom of the Redondo Beach Marina using 140 inner tubes. 1968 | Back-Zip Wetsuit | Body Glove introduced the first back-zip wetsuit. The back zipper made it easier to get in and out of the suit. Athletes of the Decade | Mike Purpus, Surfer | Robert August, Surfer | Greg Noll, Surfer | David Nuuhiwa, Surfer 1970 | The Evolution of the Wetsuit | New innovations, such as across-the-back zippers, up-the-back zippers, dual-shoulder zippers, and colored neoprene, were invented. Body Glove Sponsors the Bronzed Aussies | The Bronzed Aussies were the first commercial ambassadors of professional surfing. You could say they were the original influencers of the sport. 1972 | A New Discovery | Bill and Bob discovered Chinese anchors, dating back 4,000 years, off the coast of Redondo Beach. 1978 | Gerry Lopez Joins the Team | Body Glove was stoked when Gerry Lopez joined the team. Known for riding the tube at Pipeline, Lopez was a pioneer of big-wave surfing and part of a generation that moved away from traditional longboards. Athletes of the Decade | Gerry Lopez, Surfer | Allen Sarlo, Surfer | Herbie Fletcher, Surfer | Rick Fignetti, Surfer 1980 | First California Surf Series | Body Glove created the first California Pro Am Grand Prix, which turned into the PSAA and eventually the Bud Surf Tour. The first-place price was the largest price in surfing history. Body Glove Introduces Day Glow to Wetsuits | The neon look that Body Glove is so iconically known for made its first splash on the wetsuit scene. 1981 | Body Glove Designed the First Neoprene Swimsuits 1980s | Body Glove in Fashion | Body Glove was the first surf brand to grace covers of fashion magazines, including Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Harper's Bazaar. Katin Am Pro Winners | The Katin Pro Am took place in Huntington Beach, California, between 1977 and 1998. This competition featured surfers who were the cream of the crop. Body Glove team members Scott Daley, PT, Ian Cairns, Jimmy Hogan, Brian McNulty, Joey Buran, and Matt Warshaw were all winners. Body Glove Patents | Innovative designs, such as the ice-pack wrap, no-zip wetsuit, across-the-shoulder-zip wetsuit, and slant-zip wetsuit were all patented. Catalina Island Conservancy of Divers | Bill and Bob cofounded the Catalina Island Conservancy of Divers in order to help clean up the waters surrounding Catalina and preserve its natural ecosystem. Athletes of the Decade | Joey Buran, Surfer | Scott Daley, Surfer | Peter Townend, Surfer | Ben Severson, Bodyboarder 1990 | Body Glove Technology | Body Glove released its Titanium fabric, an innovation in technology that made the wetsuits warmer and dry quicker. The 100% neoprene fabric was used for the first time for wetsuits and boardshorts. Bill and Bob Meistrell were respectively inducted into the Pioneers of Surfing and Hall of Fame of Diving. This same year they were awarded the Reaching Out Award, which recognized those who had made a significant contribution to diving. Body Glove Surfabout Lower Trestles | Kelly Slater won the Body Glove Surfabout Lower Trestlefor his first pro win. Slater would go on to be an 11x World Champion in surfing. 1993 | Body Glove Dominates Jet Ski Competition | Fro 1993 to 1997, Body Glove dominated the personal watercraft industry with the most innovative products and successful team members winning the most championships in both men's and women's classes. Athletes of the Decade | Pat O'Connell, Surfer | Rob Machado, Surfer | Jeff Booth, Surfer | Richie Collins, Surfer 2000 | The Vapor Wetsuit | Body Glove was the first to release the Vapor wetsuit, a water-resistant wetsuit. The Vapor boardshort and bikini would soon follow in 2002. Awards and Recognitions in the Industry | 2000: Bill and Bob were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from SIMA | 2000: Body Glove was recognized in the Top 50 SGI Brands | 2003: Bill and Bob were inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame | 2004: Bill and Bob were inducted into the South Bay Surfing Walk of Fame 2006 | Remembering a Legend | On July 26th, 2006, at age 77, Bill Meistrell died of Parkinson's disease in his home. The community paddled out to honor the pioneer of surf and dive with a traditional waterman memorial ceremony. 2008 | Body Glove Eco Wetsuit | Body Glove launched the first environmentally friendly wetsuit designed with Body Glove's signature BIO-Stretch rubber and ECO-flex exterior. These two materials created the purest known form of non-toxic stretch material on the planet at the time. Athletes of the Decade | CJ Hobgood, Surfer | Bruce Irons, Surfer | Holly Beck, Surfer | Rusty Malinoski, Wakeboarder 2011 | Bob Dives Twice His Age | Bob Meistrell and three generations of the Meistrell family dove twice his age in depth for his 82nd birthday. 2012 | Harley Clifford Dominates | Body Glove team rider Harley Clifford dominated the wakeboard pro-competition scene in 2012, winning Nationals, Worlds, the 5-Stop Pro Wakeboard Tour Season Title and the coveted 8-Stop King of Wake title. 2013 | Together Again | On June 16th, 2013, Bob Meistrell passed away of a heart attack on his boat, The Disappearance. Before his brother Bill's passing, the twins had never spent a day apart, except for the two years they served in the Army. On this day, Bill and Bob were finally together again. 2013 | Body Glove Mavericks Invitational | In 2013 Body Glove announced its sponsorship of the Mavericks Invitational. Only the best big-wave surfers were invited to participate in the competition. 2014 | Bill and Bob Memorialized | In 2014 Redondo Beach honored Bill and Bob by erecting a statue of the twin lifeguards at King Harbor's entrance to the Seaside Lagoon. The placement seemed fitting: The two would drive by this spot multiple times a day while running between their Dive N' Surf shop and boat. 2016 | Body Glove & Marquee Brands | In 2016 Marquee Brands acquired majority share of Body Glove. 2019 | Tatiana Weston-Webb's Eco Collection Launches | In 2019 Body Glove teamed up with World Champion Surfer and Body Glove team rider Tatiana Weston-Webb to launch her own eco-friendly collection of activewear. Athletes of the Decade | Jamie O'Brien, Surfer | Slater Trout, Waterman | Tatiana Weston-Webb, Surfer | Harley Clifford, Wakeboarder
The History of Body Glove | Celebrating 67 Years in 2020 Inspired by all things water, California lifeguards and watermen Bill and Bob Meistrell constructed the first functional wetsuit, the 'body glove.' Now, with decades of product innovations and the philosophy of doing what you love, Body Glove remains dedicated to supporting people's passions in and out of the water. This is our story. 1953 | Dive N' Surf Opens | Dive N' Surf opened at 223 Hermosa Ave., Redondo Beach with a 30-day lease. The ocean was so close that the waves would break the windows. Here was where they discovered Rubitex and invented the first wetsuit. Dive N' Surf was the first dive-and-surf shop in the world. First Custom Wetsuit & Sizing Chart | In 1953, the first commercial custom wetsuit and first sizing chart were created. This sizing chart is still used universally by every wetsuit manufacturer. 1955 | A Commitment to Safety | Bill and Bob contributed to the safety standard for the entire diving industry. Bob was the first person to be dive-certified in LA County. 1957 | Custom Wetsuits | They were the first to customize wetsuits for the military, as well as for the LA Police, LA lifeguards, and the medical, dental, and electronics industries. They were the first to make custom wetsuits for Yamaha and Kawasaki. 1958 | Sea Hunt | Bill and Bob started working with the television industry to provide wetsuits, dive gear and scuba training for the TV show Sea Hunt. Athletes of the Decade | Bill Meistrell, Founder | Bob Meistrell, Founder | Bev Morgan, Diver | Hap Jacobs, Longboarder 1960 | Wetsuits with Style | Body Glove was the first to add fun design elements to their wetsuits, such as the Kossick stripe, and even attempted to paint the neoprene. 1963 | Raising the Emerald | Bill and Bob, along with Don Siverts, Leonard Wibberly and Harry Pecorelli, raised the sunken sailboat, The Emerald, from the bottom of Redondo Beach Marina using 140 inner tubes. The Glass Bead Suit | Body Glove designed a wetsuit made of glass beads that was compression-proof and tested at 900 feet. 1968 | Back-Zip Wetsuit | Body Glove introduced the first back-zip wetsuit. The back zipper made getting into and out of the suit easier. Athletes of the Decade | Mike Purpus, Surfer | Robert August, Surfer | Greg Noll, Surfer | David Nuuhiwa, Surfer 1970 | Evolution of the Wetsuit | New features, such as across-the-back zippers, up-the-back zippers, up-the-front zippers, dual-shoulder zippers and colored neoprene, were invented. Body Glove Sponsors the Bronzed Aussies | The Bronzed Aussies were the first commercial ambassadors of professional surfing, in its pre-dawn era. You could say they were the original influencers of the sport. 1972 | A New Discovery | Bill and Bob discovered Chinese anchors, dating back 4,000 years, off the coast of Redondo Beach. 1978 | Gerry Lopez Joins the Team | Body Glove was stoked when Gerry Lopez joined the team. Known for riding the tube at Pipeline, Lopez was a pioneer of big-wave surfing and part of a generation that moved away from traditional longboards. Athletes of the Decade | Gerry Lopez, Surfer | Allen Sarlo, Surfer | Herbie Fletcher, Surfer | Rick Fignetti, Surfer 1980 | First California Surf Series | Body Glove created the first California Surf Series, which led to the PSAA and eventually the Bud Surf Tour. The first-place prize was the largest in surfing history. Body Glove Introduces Day-Glo to Wetsuits | The neon look that Body Glove is so iconically known for made its first splash on the wetsuit scene. 1981 | Body Glove designs the first neoprene swimsuits 1980s | Body Glove in Fashion | Body Glove was the first surf brand to grace the covers of fashion magazines, including Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Harper's Bazaar. Katin Pro Am Winners | The Katin Pro Am took place in Huntington Beach, California between 1977 and 1998. This competition was for the best of the best of pro surfing, and Body Glove team members Scott Daley, Peter Townend, Ian Cairns, Jimmy Hogan, Brian McNulty, Joey Buran and Matt Warshaw were all winners. Body Glove Patents | Innovative designs, such as the ice-pack wrap, no-zip wetsuit, across-the-shoulder-zip wetsuit and slant-zip wetsuit, were patented. Catalina Island Conservancy of Divers | Bill and Bob co-founded the Catalina Island Conservancy of Divers to help clean up the waters surrounding Catalina and to preserve its natural eco-system. Athletes of the Decade | Joey Buran, Surfer | Scott Daley, Surfer | Peter Townend, Surfer | Ben Severson, Bodyboarder 1990 | Body Glove Technology | Body Glove released titanium fabric, an innovation that made the wetsuits warmer. They were also the first to introduce 100% neoprene and water-repellent fabric for wetsuits and boardshorts. Bill and Bob, respectively, were inducted into the Pioneers of Surfing and the Hall of Fame of Diving. This same year they were awarded the Reaching Out Award, which recognized those who had made a significant contribution to diving. Body Glove Surfabout Lower Trestles | Kelly Slater won the Body Glove Surfabout Lower Trestles for his first pro win.  Kelly would go on to be an 11x World Champion of Surfing. 1993 | Body Glove Dominates Jetski Competition | From 1993 to 1997, Body Glove dominated the personal-watercraft industry with the most innovative products and with successful team members who won the most championships in both men's and women's classes. Athletes of the Decade | Pat O'Connel, Surfer | Rob Machado, Surfer | Peter Townend, Surfer | Ben Severson, Bodyboarder 2000 | The Vapor Wetsuit | Body Glove was the first to release a water-resistant wetsuit, called the Vapor. The Vapor boardshort and bikini would soon follow in 2002. Awards & Recognitions in the Industry | 2000: Bill and Bob were awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from SIMA | 2000: Body Glove is recognized in the Top 50 SGI Brands | 2003: Bill and Bob were inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame | 2004: Bill and Bob were inducted into the South Bay Surfing Walk of Fame Athletes of the Decade | CJ Hobgood, Surfer | Bruce Irons, Surfer | Holly Beck, Surfer | Rusty Malinoski, Wakeboarder 2006 | Remembering a Legend | On July 26th, 2006, at age 77, Bill died of Parkinson's disease at his home. The community paddled out to honor the pioneer of surf and dive with a traditional waterman memorial ceremony. 2008 | Body Glove Eco Wetsuit | Body Glove launched the first environmentally friendly wetsuit, designed with Body Glove's signature BIO-Stretch rubber and ECO-Flex exterior. These two materials created the purest known form of non-toxic stretch material at the time. 2011 | Bob Dives Twice His Age | Bob, with three generations of the Meistrell family, dove twice his age in depth for his 82nd birthday. 2012 | Team Rider Harley Clifford Dominates | Body Glove team rider Harley Clifford dominated the wakeboard pro-competition scene in 2012, winning Nationals, Worlds, the 5-Stop Pro Wakeboard Tour Season title, and the coveted 8-Stop King of Wake Series title. 2013 | Together Again | On June 16th, 2013, Bob died of a heart attack on his boat, The Disappearance. Before Bill's death, the twins had never spent a day apart, except for two years in the army in the 1950s. On this day, Bill and Bob were finally together again. 2013 | Body Glove Mavericks Invitational | In 2013, Body Glove announced its sponsorship of the Mavericks Invitational. Mavericks is considered one of the most dangerous waves in the world, and only the best big-wave surfers were invited to participate in the competition. 2014 | Bill and Bob Memorialized | In 2014, Redondo Beach honored Bill and Bob by erecting a statue of the twin lifeguards at King Harbor's entrance to the Seaside Lagoon. The placement seemed fitting: The two would drive by this spot multiple times a day while running between their Dive N' Surf shop and their boat. Athletes of the Decade | Jamie O'Brien, Surfer | Slater Trout, Waterman | Tatiana Weston-Webb, Surfer | Harley Clifford, Wakeboarder 2016 | Body Glove & Marquee Brands | In 2016, Marquee Brands acquired a majority share of Body Glove. 2019 | Tatiana Weston-Webb's Eco Collection | In 2019, Body Glove partnered with team rider and surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb to launch her own eco-friendly collection of activewear.