O'Neill Surf Shop to get Historical Designation

The little shack that Jack built at Cowells Beach will become a California Point of Interest.

Back in 1959 surf pioneer Jack O'Neill built a surf shack to have quick and easy access to the waves.

Now, his funky shed is a historical landmark.

The California State Historical Resources Commission voted to approve the site by the Dream Inn as a "California Point of Interest," meaning it will one day get a sign noting its historic value.

O'Neill created the wet suit, which made cold Pacific waves accessible to everyone.

Said City Councilman David Terrazas, in a press release: "The O'Neill story is uniquely Santa Cruz and representative of California's innovative spirit and culture throughout the world. Jack and his family are integral to our town and have built something really special here."

O'Neill has put California and Santa Cruz on the map, with his suits distributed in 67 countries. He also runs the nonprofit O'Neill Sea Odyssey, which has taught over 65,000 students about ocean ecology.

“My family and I are honored to have our first surf shop/shack in Santa Cruz be acknowledged as a California Point of Historic Interest," O'Neill said. "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. 

"I am grateful to all of you who have supported us along the way from our roots through sixty years.  I am thrilled with the fact that life has given me the opportunity to start the O’Neill Sea Odyssey, a very effective program that brings awareness of the invaluable oceans to the next generation. 

"Follow your bliss!”


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