n 1953, twin brothers Bill and Bob Meistrell co-founded Body Glove when they designed the first practical wetsuit. Almost 60 years later Body Glove is one of very few family owned surf/dive brands in the world. It all began in a pool in Booneville, Missouri.
Bill and Bob were fascinated with the water. When they were 14 years old, they fashioned their own diving helmet out of a vegetable can and a tire pump. They explored the bottom of a pool reading magazines while the other held the air pump on the surface.
In 1953 we invented the first practical wetsuit, which revolutionized surfing and diving. We came up with the phrase “fits like a glove” and Body Glove was born. — Bill & Bob Meistrell
The Meistrell family packed up and moved to Manhattan Beach in 1944. Bill & Bob immediately fell in love with the ocean. They soon began surfing as balsa boards caught on and they were among the first to glass the nose of their foam-filled plywood boards. During their time at El Segundo High School the boys bought a dive helmet for $25 – it was cheap because the previous owner died while using it… Marching all over the break water [while donning the helmet] opened up a whole new world for Bill and Bob.