Jack O'Neill: father of a true surfing spirit

In honor of founder Jack O'Neill and his numerous contributions to the world of surfing and action sports, O'Neill will release a biographical coffee table book," Jack O'Neill: It's Always Summer on the Inside."

The book will be available in stores in Spring 2011, with a percentage of the book's sales donated to the O'Neill Sea Odyssey, a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental education program.

Coinciding with the announcement, O'Neill will host an exclusive press conference at Jack O'Neill's private home on the coast at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, California.

Jack O'Neill, Pat O'Neill, and author Drew Kampion will host the conference. The media in attendance at the event will have the opportunity to have a rare personal interview with Jack O'Neill.

"Jack O'Neill: It's Always Summer on the Inside" features 256 pages filled with stories and anecdotes of Jack O'Neill's legendary adventures over the past 60 years. Each chapter is a compilation of short narratives and impactful historical imagery, recounting Jack's life and times.

From his early years in Southern California and Oregon to San Francisco, where he invented the surfing wetsuit, to Santa Cruz, where he built an international business by effectively defying the seasons, the story is told in Jack's own words as well as dozens of contributors.

"Jack O'Neill: It's Always Summer on the Inside" is an oral biography documenting the O'Neill story: the man, the family, the team, the wetsuit, the brand, and the surfing lifestyle.

A renowned entrepreneur, adventurer, and innovator, Jack O'Neill has always defied barriers and obstacles to exploring new frontiers, from pioneering the wetsuit because he "just wanted to surf longer" to opening the doors of the world's first Surf Shop in 1952 to fostering a revolutionary "Team" consciousness in surfing in the 1970s and '80s.

Through it all, Jack's relentless push for innovation and excellence emerged in a definitive range of products that allowed athletes and consumers around the world to push their personal limits.

"My motivation has always been fueled by the waves and the ocean," said Jack O'Neill

"In fact, I've been working for most of my life to find ways that we can all better appreciate and enjoy this fantastic planet. To have a book telling the story of my life and my journey is a true honor," he added, "but, more importantly, I hope my story will inspire others to look past their limitations and to think toward the future with greater respect for Mother Nature."

Author Drew Kampion is a close friend of the O'Neill family and author of several books on surfers and waves, including "The Book of Waves" and "Stoked! A History of Surf Culture."

A former editor of Surfer and Surfing magazines and a past advertising director with O'Neill in Santa Cruz, Kampion has had first-hand experience with the expansion and growth of the O'Neill brand over the past 40 years.

"The story of Jack O'Neill is one of the most iconic biographies of the surfing world, and I am privileged to be the one who gets to tell it," said Kampion.

"Without Jack, this would be a very different world – and not just for surfers, but for ocean-lovers and adventurers of all stripes. Jack's is a quintessential American story of creative energy and uncompromising passion; it's about a guy who started with virtually nothing and has been flying by the seat of his pants ever since.

"As an innovator, inventor, and visionary, Jack O'Neill (individually and with his family, team athletes, and signature products) has expanded the range and depth of the human experience. As a man, Jack has demonstrated the fluidity of a Zen master in bringing soul to the marketplace and wit to a world that would have been way more boring without him. This has been an exciting tale to tell!"

The contributors to "Jack O'Neill: It's Always Summer on the Inside" include some of the most respected surfers and ocean-oriented icons, including Bruce Brown, Shaun Tomson, Robby Naish, Tom Curren, Phil Edwards, Fred Van Dyke, Mike Doyle, Martin Potter, Ken "Skindog" Collins, Dane Kealoha, Joey Buran, Jim Philips, Jim Foley, Jack, LaLanne, and Jordy Smith … to name just a few!

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