In the summer of 1954, Nancy and Walter Katin opened a small boat cover business in the quaint beach town of Surfside, California. Withstanding rigorous testing and utilising waxed-nylon thread and nickel grommets, the Katin’s canvas boat covers were considered bulletproof. Taking note of the sturdy canvas covers, locals soon sought alternate uses for the Katin’s products.
CALIFORNIA’S FIRST SURF TRUNK
After receiving requests from a select few friends, Walter constructed some custom boat shorts using the same canvas he constructed his boat covers from. While impressed with the short’s design, Walter chose to continue his focus on the canvas boat covers. When one day, a local teen walked into the shop requesting a new kind of short made specifically for surfing. The young surfer explained his struggles with surfing in cut-off jeans, and how the denim threads would quickly break, leaving him nearly nude when exiting the water. This determined teenager’s name was Corky Carroll, who unbeknownst to Walter, would go on to be one of the world’s first professional surfers.
The custom surf trunks Walter made for Corky would become one of California’s first pair of surf trunks. Word soon spread of the trunks durability and the shop was soon flooded with young surfers wanting a pair.