Friday, July 28, 2006

In memory of a pioneer

As someone who grew up playing in the cool waters of the Pacific and later south Atlantic (way south, tip o' Africa south), I'll toss a figurative lei in the waves for Bill Meistrell, the founder of Body Glove.

Meistrell's synthetic wetsuits transformed surfing and deep sea diving. He died Tuesday, from Parkinson's at home. He was 77.

Meistrell sold his neoprene suits under the name Thermocline until his friend Duke Boyd, founder of the Hang Ten surf brand, urged him to pick a catchier name. It's said the name came from Meistrell's claim his suits "fit like a glove."

Mr. Meistrell, there have been many a morn I thanked you - and thousands of others did, too.

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