The O’Neill Coldwater Classic is here! Between November 1 and 11, the world’s top surfers will go up against each other in the chilly waters of Santa Cruz’s most recognized surf break, Steamer Lane. This year, the Coldwater Classic has been upgraded to an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT). The prestige of such an event coincides with the 60th anniversary of the world-famous wetsuit brand founded by local living legend Jack O’Neill.
In March, a global art tour paying tribute to Jack kicked off in Sydney, Australia, making the rounds in Asia, Africa, and Europe before hitting North America, with it’s final stop in Santa Cruz on Friday, November 2. The exhibit will feature art work by six renowned artists, including Santa Cruz graphic artist Jim Phillips, as well as local art submissions and a vast collection of O’Neill memorabilia.
Santa Cruz is a mecca for surfers, ocean lovers, and artists alike, making it the perfect backdrop for both this world-class surfing event and global art tour celebrating 60 years of innovation and the iconic image of Jack himself. You know the one: wind tousled hair, rugged beard, pirate-like patch covering his left eye.
The much-anticipated art exhibit will be shown at The Top of the Ritt in Downtown Santa Cruz. You can catch all the surfing action and, perhaps, the crowning of a world champion from Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive which overlooks Steamer Lane. And to learn more about the legendary garment that has changed the face of surfing history, check out my interview below with John Hunter, Senior Product Designer at O’Neill Wetsuits.