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Paddleout to honor life, legacy of surf legend Jack O’Neill

Watch how Santa Cruz is paying tribute to surfing icon Jack O'Neill

Jack O’Neill, the Northern California surfing world icon often credited with inventing the wetsuit, died at this home in Santa Cruz. He was 94.
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Jack O’Neill, the Northern California surfing world icon often credited with inventing the wetsuit, died at this home in Santa Cruz. He was 94.

A paddleout and day-long celebration of surfing icon Jack O’Neill has been scheduled for Sunday at his favorite beach in Santa Cruz, Pleasure Point.

The family of Jack O'Neill, O'Neill Wetsuits, and O'Neill Surf Shop invited the public to the event, starting at 11 a.m.

The eye patch-wearing surfing legend died June 2 at age 94 in his Santa Cruz oceanfront home of more than 50 years, waves lapping at his deck. He began wearing a black eye patch after his surfboard hit his left eye while riding a wave.

The bigger-than-life surfing legend pioneered the development of the wetsuit. Looking to surf longer in the frigid Northern California ocean, he began experimenting with various materials until he invented the first neoprene wetsuit.

David Caraccio: 916-321-1125, @DavidCaraccio

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