About Matt Gabriel

Matt is our chief blogger here at Cleanline Surf. He has an extensive knowledge of wetsuits, surfboards, and other surf gear and rides the products he writes about. When he isn't blogging he's answering your questions on the phone, packing up your brand new suit, or out in the water testing new gear.
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Here are my most recent posts

Top 5 Spring Wetsuits of 2013

Let’s get straight to business here. What are the best new spring wetsuits for 2013? Here’s the rundown in no particular order. The main three factors we will be looking for in these wetsuits are warmth, flexibility, and durability. If you have questions about any of these spring suits feel free to call us and speak to one of our wetsuit experts. Click on any of the images below for more details on these spring wetsuits.

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O’Neill PsychoFreak vs Rip Curl Flash Bomb Plus

Flash Bomb Plus vs PsychoFreak

THE BATTLE OF TWO ULTRA HIGH END WETSUITS

We get a lot of questions about the differences between these two wetsuits. Being the top of the line suits from Rip Curl and O’Neill you might want to know what you’re getting when you’re dropping $500 or more. In this review I’ll be comparing the 4/3 Flash Bomb Plus, and the 4.5/3.5 PsychoFreak. I haven’t tried these out in the water, so some of this review is speculation, or based on customer feedback I have recieved, and all of this review is solely my opinion. Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to wetsuits, so if you want to hear more opinions feel free to give us a call and talk to one of the wetsuit experts here at Cleanline Surf.
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New FCS II Fins System – No tools, No Hardware, Just Fins

Scheduled for release mid 2013 the new FCS 2 Fin System is a fully tool less system that will replace current system. Now you’ll be able to pop your fins in and out on the fly in a matter of few seconds. You would think the fins wouldn’t be as locked in, or pop out while your riding them, but FCS and their team riders have been hard at work testing the new system, and they’re all giving it the thumbs up, calling it the best fin system out there. The system will require special tool less fins to work as a tool free setup, but will still be compatible with older FCS Fins. So if you have a set of fins that is no longer made, you can still throw them in with the new FCS II system, but you’ll have to screw them in.

We’ll have the new FCS 2 Fins for sale on our website as soon as they’re available, so keep checking back, or subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to get updates on new arrivals.

Jack O’Neill’s Surf Shop Becomes Historical Point of Interest

First Surf Shop - Historical Point of Interest

Jack O’Neill’s Surf Shop in Santa Cruz becomes historical point of interest.

During the event Jack O’Neill is interviewed about the early beginnings of the O’Neill brand. He couldn’t imagine in the beginning what O’Neill would become, and who could?! If I started a small surf shop in Santa Cruz I surely wouldn’t expect it to become a globally recognized surf brand. It’s a pretty amazing story, and one that still needs to have chapters revealed. How did O’Neill make the jump from a surf shop to what it is today? For now we’ll just have to rely on the Wikipedia Article. Check out the video interview of Jack O’Neill below during the event.

The Plaque reads:

O’Neill’s
Surf Shop

In 1959 Jack O’Neill came with his family to Santa Cruz and opened his 500 square foot “Surf Shop” at his location just above Cowell Beach. The surf shop was O’Neill’s first retail store in Santa Cruz, offering custom built foam surfboards and “thermal barrier” suits, as wetsuits were known at the time.

 

O’Neill’s surf shop became a focal point for a tight-knit surf community. The business grew steadily, earning recognition as a pioneer and leader in the world of surfing. In 1996 O’Neill extended his vision by founding the O’Neill Sea Odyssey, an award-winning ocean education program for kids.

 

On May 31, 2012, the site of Jack O’Neill’s Santa Cruz Surf Shop was designated by the state of California as a point of historical interest. Recognizing the local origins of an innovative global business as well as a place where parents continue to bring children for a day at the beach.

 

“In the beginning the name of the business was just Surf Shop. We were the first to use the name, and later got it registered. Nobody in the world called themselves Surf Shop before us.”

- Jack O’Neill