01 September 2008

Dear Mr. O'Neill

Hi, Jack. I stopped by the Labor Day parking lot sale at your store in Santa Cruz yesterday, and picked up a pair of 6/5/4 booties for half price. There's this great quote by you on the inside of the box: "I just wanted to surf longer." See, I just want to surf longer too. But I'm a girl, and your company doesn't make gear to keep women warm in the winter in NorCal. So the booties are for men and don't fit terribly well, though I'm hoping to make them work with some thermal socks. But why doesn't O'Neill sell the good thick stuff for women? Do you think we only go out in the summertime when it's warm and sunny? Or are you trying to keep our water time down in the winter, to leave more room out there for the guys? Because right now, my January dawn patrols are limited to just over an hour because that's when I can't feel my frozen feet anymore in my 3mm O'Neill women's booties. Maybe these men's 6/5/4s will let me extend that, but it sure would be nice if you'd sell me some that actually fit. And I'll pay full price for those.


  1. What type of thermal socks are you using? Do you have split toe booties? I'm using injinji tetra socks with splits for every toe. http://www.injinji.com/tetratsok/outdoor.htm

    Are you wearing normal polyolefin dive socks and scrunching the big toe place together?

  2. The socks are Mysterioso. My booties are split-toe but the socks aren't, so yeah, I just have to sort of mash a space in the sock. It works OK.

  3. love the letter, I wish O'neill's site had an email to contact them with cause I'd have alot to say myself.
    Did you ever find a wetsuit that fits? Any suits you would recommend? I found your blog about looking for a suit in December and I could relate. At least I am a size 4 but I am afraid of looking for a wetsuit! And what is with not making women's suits to the same thickness, standard etc as mens? Most of the wet suit companies are guilty of this.

  4. Since I moved to NorCal a couple years ago, I've been getting my wetsuits at Hotline. They make quality cold-water suits for women down to size 2, some with color panels instead of solid sea-lion black. You can order online or go to the small storefront on their warehouse in westside Santa Cruz.

    Sadly their accessory line is designed solely for men.

  5. BTW, Hotline has some good deals on clearance. I picked up a 4/3 Firefly GT last weekend at the warehouse for $139, online price $159, marked down from $329. It replaces the same model wetsuit I wore last fall/spring (I have a 5/4 Firefly GT Hooded for winter). The Firefly fits me pretty well but the old one was getting worn out.