“Retro Style meets Modern Day Construction”
Can we just talk about our wetsuits for a moment? Of all our products, I believe it’s the wetsuits that we are most proud of. But first off, our pride for our wetsuits wouldn’t make much sense without discussing Jeff, who does most of our designs at OCN Culture. Jeff has a passion for surfing - particularly long board surfing, Hawaiian culture, and esthetics. The culmination of that passion-combo shows well in our wetsuits OCN CULTURE WETSUIT COLLECTION.
Jeff is half Swedish (father’s side) and a quarter Chinese and a quarter Hawaiian (mother’s side). Jeff’s mother did not know she was part Chinese until Jeff was in high school (that’s a whole other story – perhaps you’ll read about that in a later post). Nevertheless, Jeff was raised with a deep respect, love, and understanding of Hawaiian culture. His roots go all the way back to Hawaiian royalty. Jeff’s upbringing was filled with stories of how his grandmother danced hula for guests under the banyan trees at the Moana Surfrider hotel in Waikiki in the 1930’s, and how she trained Shirley Temple to dance for one of her movies, and how she was good friends with and swam with Duke Kahanamoku, the “Ambassador of Aloha.” She also hung with the "Waikiki Beach Boys," a group of men at the time who were highly skilled in the water and knowledgeable about the ocean; they surfed, steered canoes, went fishing, dove and swam at Waikiki beach. They made their living by sharing it all with the first visitors to the Islands.
When we first started OCN Culture in 2017, making our own wetsuits seemed like a far-fetched dream. Being a “jack of all trades,” Jeff started by creating designs on his iPad and adding them to his wetsuits that he already had - just for fun. But mechanically, he always wished that the wetsuits he owned had “this thing” different, or “that thing” added. He had a dream to build a wetsuit from scratch with all his own specifications. We are proud to say that he has done just that with our “retro-styled wetsuit, built with modern construction and functionality.” And did I mention, Jeff is also super type A? Every single detail (and there are so many!) has been thought of, hashed out, discussed, researched. Some of the details can be read here OCN CULTURE RETRO WETSUIT .
Being an avid surfer of now 40 years, Jeff’s favorite places to surf are in the warm waters of Hawaii (Waikiki is his favorite place because of his roots), and in the chilly waters of the bay area in Norcal.
Feedback on our wetsuits:
“It’s difficult to marry style and functionality, you did just that… Beautiful wetsuit!” - Mike Wallace, Iconoclast Surfboards
“Wore the suit at Kelly’s and D******’s today. The Gradus suit is spot on. Super stoked on it. Well done!” - Kevin Mirsky, Single Fin Theory
“Can’t get enough of this wetsuit!” - Emily F.
“Seriously my favorite wetsuit I’ve owned... I love how light it is but yet keeps me super warm and feels so good on my body." - JP
A Waikiki beach boy offers ukulele lessons to a trio of mid-1930s visitors.
Photo: N. R. Farbman, Bishop Museum
Beach boys Pua Kealoha, William “Chick” Daniels and Joe Minor (left to right) with Bing Crosby, on Waikiki Beach, 1936.
Photo: N. R. Farbman, Bishop Museum
March 18 2022
When will the smoothie front zip jackets be released? Thanks
March 09 2021
Great site, I love & wear often, every piece of your cozy cotton clothing & the beanies rock too. Congratulations to you & your family on the new store venture!!! Best always
March 02 2021
Always ready to support a local hapa Hawaiian Chinese
January 21 2021
This is so cool! What a great venture for you all. We loved the story, the history of Jeff and his family and the very Waikiki photos.
January 19 2021
I really like this intro to the blog and website. It is well written with an eye on history and culture.