How it all started…

Born in Southern California in the early 60’s, I grew up surfing Ventura to San Diego in the 70’s, Mexico in the 80’s, and Oregon from the 90’s until now. I’ve also taken many trips to Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand over the past 30 years. On most of my surf trips around the world, I’ve found it hard to surf for multiple days (many times in perfect barreling conditions), especially with two 3-5 hours sessions a day. I thought I was the only one who experienced sore ribs and a protruding sternum, until I spoke with other surfers that had the same problem. Being involved in plastics manufacturing and recycling since 1978, I found the right foam pad that wouldn’t absorb water, and stuffed the foam into my wetsuit. This worked, but only when it was held in place by my wetsuit. I began looking for a method to recreate the added comfort for use in warm, tropical climates where a wetsuit wasn’t appropriate.


Jack has been surfing for over 30 years and has surfed all over the world.
Late in 2010 I found the right pad technology and designed a torso rash shirt with the highest Lycra content available that was suitable to keep the pad where it was needed. The results were amazing. The new padded vest eliminated most pain on my 1-2 week surf trips. It also served to protect my vitals from boards, fins, reefs, and rocks. The shirt also added a small layer of insulation, a bonus I hadn’t intended, but nice for cooler waters.

On the next few surf trips, I began to optimize the design, shifting fold points ever-so-slightly and ensuring the pads did not bind in any position. Finally, after ‘research and development’ with a group of Ribguard adorned surfers for ten days straight in Mexico, we had our product. The result was a comfortable rash shirt which provided the ultimate protection from those long days on the waves and didn’t interfere with your surfing. Ribguard is now sold in ten countries. The response from our customers has been awesome – we’re hearing that a large number of surfers suffer from bruised ribs. Even open heart surgery patients are using Ribguard to get back in the water again.

For quality control purposes, all of our products are handmade in the United States. We want the ability to ensure every shirt is of high quality and lives up to our standards. We’re proud to support our country and the workers who work diligently to create our high quality products.