Diving, surfing innovator dies

July 28, 2006 at 1:51 PM

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif., July 28 (UPI) -- Bill Meistrell, who helped revolutionize diving and surfing with a light, flexible wet suit, has died at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Meistrell was 77. The cause of death was Parkinson's disease, The Los Angeles Times reported..

Wet suits, introduced in the early 1950s, were uncomfortable and generally flopped among surfers until Meistrell came along with the Body Glove.

He used a synthetic called neoprene to create a lighter, more flexible suit and with his twin brother turned it into a business that earns $200 million a year, the Times said.

Body Glove now includes sportswear, swimsuits, orthopedic braces and such non-water products as cell phone sleeves.

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Topics: Palos Verdes
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