June 13, 2014 – Red Bull

Watch the latest Who is JOB Episode at RedBull.com

 JOB and the Body Glove team pack up the RV and take New England by storm. See the action on the SurfStream® at Surf’s Up NH here. (Surfing starts at 6:30 in the video)

Jamie O'Brien Boosting at Surfs Up NH
JOB Boosting on the SurfStream® at Surf’s Up NH

“About to go get shacked indoors, we’re fired up!” – Jamie O’Brien, Pro Surfer  

 

Check out the video below currently featured on RedBull.com: 

Who is JOB Episode 8

 

Kalani Chapman SurfStream NH
Kalani Chapman – North Shore Power Hack on the SurfStream®

“So sick we got to surf a stationary wave with fins. Thanks for showing the team such a great time @americanwavemachines” – Kalani Chapman — Pro Surfer, Body Glove Team Rider 

 

JOB Party Wave Surfs Up NH
JOB Party Wave

March 25, 2014 – Fortune

Indoor surf parks aim for big money

March 25, 2014: 5:00 AM ET

Indoor surf parks aim for big money

Indoor surf parks aim for big money

The CEO of Body Glove is leading the effort to bring surfing indoors — and maybe to a mall near you.

By Shawn Tully, senior editor-at-large

FORTUNE — In a lifetime of promoting the sport he loves, Robbie Meistrell has long sought the power swell capable of propelling the laid-back world of surfing into a universal, lucrative phenomenon rivaling golf. Now, he swears, he’s found it: wave-machine generated, mainly indoor surfing, driven by fresh technologies that can replicate six-foot barrels and chest-high mushy waves, in every imaginable, computer-sequenced, ocean-imitating combination, at surf parks the size of football fields. A pair of these emporia will soon open in quintessentially non-beachy locales: in the New Jersey Meadowlands at the forthcoming, gigantic new American Dream mall built by Mall of America developers Triple Five originally; and in snowy mountains of Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

 

“This breakthrough in wave machine surfing is what we’ve been waiting for all these years,” says Meistrell. “It could multiply the number of surfers worldwide, and easily multiply the size of the surfing market by a factor 10.” Today’s soccer moms could become tomorrow’s surfing moms, and look for the Olympics in the 2030s to host contests on computer-planned waves, a kind of aquatic, next-gen Super Pipe with surfers in the role of snowboarders.

 

Meistrell is the scion of a surfing business dynasty: In 1953, his father and uncle founded water sports retailer Body Glove, and in the 1960s invented the first practical wetsuit for surfers. Today, Meistrell serves as Body Glove’s CEO, licensing the famous brand name for bathing suits, snorkels, water shoes, and waterproof cell phone cases, as well as those signature, super-stretch form-fitting neoprene huggers that keep surfers toasty in the icy foam. The family’s flagship store, Dive ‘N’ Surf in Redondo Beach, Calif., remains a legendary destination for water sports enthusiasts. Meistrell runs surfing camps for kids, sponsors pro surfing tours and events, and at age 62, still paddles out to catch the curls at L.A.’s Manhattan Beach.

 

Yet Meistrell has faced years of frustration in his campaign to attract hordes of new surfers, and hence build the gigantic market that, he believes, the sport merits. “When you get the feeling of the water moving beneath your feet, there’s nothing on earth like it,” he marvels. “It’s totally addictive.” The rub is that millions of potential surfers live too far from the ocean to experience that magical sensation.
And even on the coasts, kids and neophyte adults shun the sport because once they tote their boards to the beach, the fickle ways of nature furnish waves that are too big, or arrive far too infrequently, for beginners to learn. The weather delays and long waits between rideable waves also soak surfing’s allure as a spectator sport. “You go to Rincon Beach in Santa Barbara,” says Meistrell, “and the surfing is good maybe four or five days a month. In most places, you paddle out and catch two waves in two or three hours. It’s not that surfing is so hard to learn, it isn’t. It’s that it’s so hard to practice.”

 

Another problem is what Meistrell calls a kind of tribal “localism.” “On the good days, hordes of people from all over flood the surfing beaches,” says Meistrell. “The groups of local surfers don’t like it, and don’t want you there.”

 

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Hence, surfing remains a major cultural trendsetter, shaping fashion, music, and lingo. But measured in dollars, it’s a decidedly minor sport. Surfers worldwide spend around $10 billion a year on equipment, camps and lessons — TV revenues and ticket sales are miniscule, by the way — less than one-sixteenth the total sales golfing commands.

 

Today, Meistrell views the innovations in indoor — as well as open-air — surf parks as the game-changer. Surf parks have been around for decades. Their appeal, however, is limited. The big ones typically produce waves at extremely long intervals that severely limit how many surfers they can serve, and hence their revenues. The small ones generate thin swells that move far faster than normal waves, so that denizens need skateboard-sized boards sans fins to ride them.

 

For Meistrell, the breakthrough arrived via the new technologies developed by a surfer-cum-engineer named Bruce McFarland. After receiving a graduate degree in fluid dynamics from the University of California, McFarland worked as an aeronautical engineer at TRW (TRW), then began studying how powerful pumping systems could be used to replicate the process that creates ocean waves in nature. McFarland’s new technology generated its first swells in a tank in his garage at a full three inches in height. In 2000, he founded American Wave Machines, and by the mid-2000s had installed pioneering, outdoor surf parks in Peru and the Caribbean.

 

Intrigued, Meistrell visited the park at the Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos in 2008 with his two young sons. “We all got completely hooked,” he says, “we were surfing until 9 at night. Our legs were like rubber.” He next recruited two pro surfers, Cheyne Magnusson and Anthony Walsh, to try the installation at the giant Boulevard de Asia shopping complex south of Lima. “I found it appealed to the pros as well, because you can practice so much in a concentrated period,” says Meistrell. “Cheyne and Anthony thought it was a great training device for the legs and the core.” Meistrell was so impressed that he persuaded American Wave Machines to appoint him chairman, a position he still holds.

 

American Wave Machines offers two distinctly different technologies, one for small arenas, the other for super-sized parks. The original system, called SurfStream, creates stationary waves in pools between 12 and 24 feet in width. Hydraulic pumps force thousands of gallons of recirculating water over fiberglass modules to create waves that curl continuously in place, so that surfers can move back and forth across the face of the wave, but now forward. McFarland’s innovation consists of designing a system sufficiently powerful to form the type of thick, standstill, white water swells that attract adventurous surfers in rushing rivers. At these smaller surf parks, folks use regular surfboards with fins, so that the experience is far closer to ocean surfing than the experience at the older wave-making facilities.

 

American Wave provides the equipment, installation, and consulting services to owners who manage the parks. The first indoor facility in the U.S. featuring its technology debuted in late 2013, Surfs Up in Nashua, N.H. Expert surfers can program four-foot barrel waves on an iPad, and mothers bring their 5-year-olds for lessons on one-foot curls. The kids can also try skydiving in the same facility. Today, American Wave has six of the smaller parks in operation and two more under construction, one in South Dakota, and another in Montreal.

 

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The second technology — PerfectSwell — replicates real, traveling ocean waves, and, if it proves as lucrative as Meistrell predicts, will power the giant surf parks of the future. These parks can be over an acre in size, and they’re typically around 160 feet in width. The waves can reach a hurricane-scale eight feet, and they advance the full length of the pool, offering ocean-worthy rides of as long as 20 seconds, breaking when they reach the shallow end, just like the real thing.

 

Here’s how the technology operates. At the deep end are 16 vertical chambers placed at 10-foot intervals, each extending from near the pool floor to above the water level. Powerful commercial blowers push air at high velocity into the top of the chambers. The rushing air forces a piston-like flood of water from the chamber into the pool, producing waves.

 

By altering the timing and sequencing of the water blasts from sixteen chambers, the system can generate a wide variety of sizes and types of waves in rapid sequence, leaving just enough time in-between for customers to paddle out for the next ride. It can produce computer-generated barrels and peeling swells that break either left or right, or “pop up” waves that launch acrobatic surfers skyward. For example, a peeling “big closeout” wave that extends the entire 160-foot width of the pool and travels straight toward the shallow end lasts around 20 seconds, and can accommodate 16 surfers at once. In fact, three big closeout waves can run, one behind the other, at the same time, so that 48 surfers can be riding at any one time.

 

Serving large numbers of surfers, says Meistrell, is what’s needed to make the parks highly profitable. That’s what American Wave provides. These systems are expensive: The SurfStream costs between $4 and $6 million, and the PerfectSwell far more. Meistrell thinks that the smaller SurfStream parks can greatly augment the profitability of struggling retail sporting goods stores. “Brick-and -mortar stores are under pressure from the Internet,” he explains. “Adding a surf park brings in more shoppers. The park should also be highly profitable on its own.” Meistrell reckons that these small parks can attract 50 people at a time who pay $30 each, and catch 25 to 40 waves in an hour session. That formula would generate over $4 million a year in revenue after personnel and power costs, he estimates, allowing owners to pay off the cost of equipment in around 18 months. The numbers could work — it all depends on whether customers find these parks as enticing as Meistrell expects, something we won’t know until potential owners get to review the experience of today’s pioneers.

 

Meistrell views the giant PerfectSwell parks as the perfect complement to the array of attractions at the new generation of mega-parks. “People want the total experience, they want skydiving, indoor skiing, zip lines, mountain wall climbing — and surfing,” he says. “It all works as a package.” The mammoth parks could also make surfing a major spectator sport. Promoters could organize pro events in surfing arenas around the country without worrying about the weather, with contestants matching their skills in similarly challenging runs of cascading surf. The surfing community has been trying to get on the Olympic calendar for years, without success. “In the ocean, the guy who’s lucky enough to catch the biggest wave often wins, even if he’s not the best,” says Meistrell. For the Olympics, he says, all the contestants would face waves or series of waves of similar difficulty. The vagaries of nature that are blocking surfing’s Olympic hopes would vanish. “You would score people on how they handle six-foot barrels or four-foot mushy waves, like the long and short programs in figure skating,” he says.

 

The future of super-sized surf parks will depend heavily on the success of the first two ventures in New Jersey and Russia. The not-yet-opened $3.5 billion American Dream will rank among America’s biggest shopping extravaganzas and offer the kind of total adventure Meistrell advocates. Visitors can experience indoor skiing, indoor skydiving, spin on a giant Ferris wheel offering views of the New York skyline, and catch the curls on their surfboards, all in the same gargantuan complex opposite MetLife Stadium. That’s fast company. If indoor surfing proves a sensation in New Jersey and Sochi, it’s reached the big time. And for surfing everywhere — the stores, the events, the TV sales, and the new parks — that means big money.

 

A Man to Be Remembered: RIP Bob Meistrell

Bob Meistrell dies at 84; co-founder of surfwear firm Body Glove

Meistrell and his twin, Bill, made wetsuits that enabled surfers to stay in the water longer and more comfortably than ever before. The firm does more than $200 million in business each year.

By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times

June 17, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

For Bob Meistrell, there was always something about the water.

After he and his brother, Bill, taught themselves to swim in a Missouri pond, one would man a bicycle pump on shore and the other would throw on a diving helmet fashioned from a 5-gallon vegetable can, a pane of glass, a scoop of tar and — connecting to the pump — a garden hose.

Bob Meistrell, right, and his twin brother, Bill, founded Body Glove International, which has grown into a $200-million business, selling wetsuits, surfwear, swimsuits, snorkels and cellphone covers.

Bob Meistrell, right, and his twin brother, Bill, founded Body Glove International, which has grown into a $200-million business, selling wetsuits, surfwear, swimsuits, snorkels and cellphone covers.

A few decades later, the identical twins, who moved to Southern California as teens, started a company whose wetsuits enabled surfers to stay in the water longer and more comfortably than ever before. Their accomplishments at Redondo Beach-based Body Glove International helped draw millions to a relaxed lifestyle that was once the province of macho young men who warded off the chill with oil-drenched sweaters.

At 84, Bob Meistrell died Sunday aboard his 72-foot yacht Disappearance off Catalina Island, where he was planning to help run a paddleboard race. The cause was a heart attack, family members said.

Bill Meistrell died of Parkinson’s disease in 2006.

The two were “always down-to-earth water guys,” said Steve Pezman, publisher of The Surfer’s Journal, “but they became iconic personalities in the midst of a beach culture that emerged from California and rippled around the world.”

Bob Meistrell was also an accomplished diver and diving teacher. He taught diving to celebrities, including Lloyd Bridges of TV’s “Sea Hunt.” In 1975, Meistrell was poking around the sea floor off Palos Verdes and discovered a 280-pound doughnut-shaped stone that, according to some scientists, resembled the kind of anchor used by Chinese sea vessels 2,000 years ago.

He also was avid about one-man submarines. Over the years, he and a partner built several subs named “Snooper,” using them to search for crashed airplanes, shipwrecks and, when hired by local agencies, sewer pipe leaks. He was on a team that discovered a cache of gold coins from the Brother Jonathan, a paddle wheel steamer that sunk off Crescent City, Calif., in 1865.

In a 2007 interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, he expressed surprise that plunging thousands of murky feet in a cramped submersible didn’t have wider appeal.

“I can’t believe anybody doesn’t want to do it,” he said.

Born in Boonville, Mo., on July 31, 1928, Robert Fischer Meistrell was hours younger than his brother.

When they were 4, their investment banker father was murdered by a former business partner, Meistrell told The Times in 2006. The family moved west in the 1940s, landing in Manhattan Beach when the twins were 16.

The boys took to the ocean immediately. This time, they had a real diving helmet — purchased from a neighbor for $25 after a previous owner had drowned in it.

After graduating from El Segundo High School, Meistrell served in the Army at Ft. Ord on the Monterey Peninsula during the Korean War.

Meanwhile, the brothers’ tiny surfing world was set to explode.

In 1951, Hugh Bradner, a UC Berkeley physicist, was testing wetsuit materials for Navy divers. He came up with a two-piece suit made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber patented by DuPont, and tested it himself in icy Lake Tahoe. When the Navy rejected the idea, it became declassified and Bev Morgan, a surfing buddy of Bill’s, found Bradner’s full report in a library at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

In 1953, the brothers rounded up $1,800 and bought into Morgan’s Dive N’ Surf shop in Redondo Beach, where wetsuits — however cumbersome and irritating — were slowly starting to sell.

“‘Fifties surfers in general rejected the rubber suits as both uncomfortable and unmanly,” wrote Matt Warshaw in the 2003 “Encyclopedia of Surfing,” but the Meistrells persisted. They bought out Morgan and, like others along the beachfront, saw their sales rocket after the surfing movie “Gidget” was released in 1959.

“Surf movies, surf magazines, surf music — it all turned into a cultural expression that never calmed down,” Pezman told The Times. With development of wetsuits and lighter-weight surfboards, the sport’s popularity catapulted. In 1965, the Meistrells founded Body Glove.

It succeeded beyond “the wilder of our wilder dreams” Bob Meistrell once said.

The company, owned almost entirely by family members, does more than $200 million in business annually, marketing not just wetsuits but swimsuits, snorkels, sportswear and niche items like cellphone cases and icepack wraps. Its chief competitor over the years has been O’Neill, the Santa Cruz-based surfwear empire started in the 1950s by Jack O’Neill.

Meistrell was active in water sports even at the end of his life.

In 2009, he dived 81 feet for his 81st birthday. Because it was also his late brother’s birthday, he doubled it — and added 10 feet for good measure.

When he died, Meistrell was trying to fix the engine on the Disappearance, which was to be the lead boat in the Rock 2 Rock paddleboard race from Two Harbors on Catalina to Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. Other family members were also moored off Catalina for the event — one of many such races that Meistrell volunteered to lead over the years.

“It was an absolute blessing being able to spend his last weekend with him at Catalina,” his son Robbie Meistrell, Body Glove’s chief executive, told The Times.

Body Glove sponsors numerous surf events as well as surf camps for children. On Monday, Robbie Meistrell said he took a break and drove to Redondo Beach, where instructors wearing Body Glove T-shirts were showing beach basics to 50 or 60 children.

“It was a real moment,” he said. “There were a whole bunch of little Bobs and Bills down there learning the lifestyle.”

Meistrell, who lived in Redondo Beach, is survived by Patty, his wife of 62 years; sons Robbie, Ronnie and Randy; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Body Glove Signs Contract to be Distributor in Peru

PRESS RELEASE

Body Glove Signs Contract with Wave Pool SAC to be Distributor at La Ola Movistar Wave Machine in Peru

Redondo Beach, CA [April 24, 2013] –  Body Glove International is excited to announce they have signed a contract with Wave Pool SAC, to be an authorized distributor of Body Glove products.

Wave Pool SAC began operations in October of 2010 as the operator of “La Ola Movistar” surf arena in the Boulevard de Asia Outdoor Mall. Under the direction of Guillermo Gonzales it features the largest standing wave machine in the world designed and built by American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM). The venue puts Peru at the forefront offering a perfect place for athletes, fans and the general public to practice the sport of surfing in a family setting with restaurant, bar, and entertainment facilities.

Body Glove Signs La Ola Movistar SurfStream in Peru as DistributorBody Glove CEO and Chairman of the Board of AWM, Robbie Meistrell, first met Guillermo along with professional surfers Cheyne Magnusson and Anthony Walsh on a trip to the surf arena. “I was so impressed with Guillermo as a businessman and as a professional surfer, I wanted to find a way to bring him into the Body Glove family,” states Meistrell, “I think this arrangement will be beneficial to both companies and can really increase our brand presence in South America.”

For more information on Body Glove athletes and products go to www.bodyglove.com and for daily updates visit  www.facebook.com/bodyglove

About Body Glove:

Founded in 1953, Body Glove is a leading, worldwide water sports brand specializing in wetsuits, swimwear, clothing, footwear, accessories, and technology accessories. The company sponsors one of the most respected surf and wakeboard teams in the industry with such powerhouse names as pro surfers Jamie O’Brien, Cheyne Magnusson, Anthony Walsh, Alex Gray and Holly Beck and wake boarders Rusty Malinoski, Harley Clifford, Bob Soven and Jeff McKee. Body Glove and Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society have formed a legendary alliance to help preserve and protect the ocean while providing ocean and diving geared equipment to water enthusiasts around the globe. Some of the proceeds from the sale of those products go directly to Ocean Futures Society. Through Reef Check, SIMA’s environmental fund, and the Surfrider Foundation, Body Glove also works to preserve the purity of the waters it loves. Body Glove products are sold in the U.S. by a network of independent retailers. Body Glove is also sold in approximately 50 countries internationally.

About American Wave Machines, Inc.

Cheyne Magnusson at SurfStream Peru

American Wave Machines, Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures and sells world class wave pools, wave systems and surf centers. Founded in 2001 by California surfer Bruce McFarland, the company is committed to delivering authentic surfing experiences in a safe and controlled environment that values sustainability, integrity, and sportsmanship. SurfStream® is the world’s first standing wave machine that delivers a stationary surfing experience (on real surfboards) scalable to various spaces. PerfectSwell™ is the first air-powered system to create an authentic surfing experience through natural-like ocean waves. From the Caribbean to Sweden, American Wave Machines has developed more than 15 small and large-scale installations exclusively for surf parks, waterparks, resorts, malls and research institutions.

For daily updates visit www.facebook.com/americanwavemachines

 

 

 

FIRE & ICE: SurfStream in Two Hemispheres

FIRE…

Body Glove sends surf pros Anthony Walsh and Cheyne Magnusson to Peru’s ‘Ola Movistar’. Check out the video!



& ICE

Swedish Surfing Association hosts Hang Loose SurfStream Open indoor championships with blizzard outside. See the short film.


AWM appoints Body Glove CEO, Robbie Meistrell, to its Board of Directors

Solana Beach, Calif. – August 25, 2011– American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), the leading wave technology innovation company, announced the appointment of Body Glove International CEO, Robbie Meistrell, to the Board of Directors. The appointment of a surf industry leader affirms AWM’s commitment to delivering an authentic surfing experience in AWM surf machine and surf pool installations.

Bruce McFarland and Robbie Meistrell

AWM Founder Bruce McFarland (left) and Body Glove CEO Robbie Meistrell making waves

Body Glove is a heritage rich business and brand originating in 1953 when twin brothers Bill and Bob (Robbie’s father) Meistrell developed the first functional wetsuit with a dream of a life in the water. Robbie, who became president of BGI in 1983, has led the company from a small domestic market dealing in wetsuits, to the wilder shores of international trade and licensing of watersports products. Under Robbie’s leadership, Body Glove has become one of the world’s most well known surf brands.

In 1986 BGI acquired the US Pro Surfing Tour from Pipeline Masters Champion Joey Buran. The next year Robbie went on to secure sponsorship from Budweiser. The Bud Pro Surf Tour launched a hugely successful era of pro surfing in the 90’s. Robbie understands how sponsors, events, surfers, and spectators all contribute to success. With more SurfStream® installations coming online, Robbie’s experience in this domain will bring a unique perspective to the board.

“We’re fortunate to have Robbie working with us and are looking forward to building new partnerships and relationships with brands, clients, and surfers worldwide. He brings a keen understanding of the international action sports industry and how surfing fits in that space.” said Bruce McFarland, President of AWM, “Robbie, his cousin Billy and I all grew up in the South Bay surfing and diving. Working with Robbie brings everything full circle.”