O’neill started as a small shop in a garage selling Surf boards and accessories related to it. The first shop was near the great highway in San Francisco which opened in 1952. Jack O’Neill the founder made some balsa surfboards which he sold to local surfers, he also made some vests by using neoprene which were sold fast and they helped the surfers to be in the cold waters for long time. That helped them to ride more waves then before and got better with the use of new surfboards also. O’neill is one the pioneers in surf wear by introducing new and better products with the aim to help the surfers achieve their ultimate goals. Soon they were expanding into different states within the U.S and with time started to expand to other countries also. Jack put all six of his kid to work in the company in different positions like, Kathy worked to make the whole operation computerized, Tim was in the product testing and promotions, Mike was helping in designing suits, Bridget started a sportswear division, Pat organized and promoted Team O’Neill which had starts and young kids performing in different watersports and Shawne had all the above job by multi-tasking many things.
O’neill is a big sponsor in different sports event worldwide, they also sponsor promising young kids to get to the top level. They have many high profile sports men as their ambassador from different sports like surfing, skate boarding and skiing.