New Body Glove Statue and Dive N’ Surf Retail Space Unveiled
In a special memorial celebration Thursday, June 4, Body Glove opened the doors to its new Dive N’ Surf retail space and invited industry guests to help commemorate a commissioned life-size bronze statue of founders Bob and Bill Meistrell. The statue, which depicts the twin brothers as young Los Angeles County lifeguards, was funded by the local community and created by former Hermosa Beach pro surfer and artist Chris Barela. Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel unveiled the sculpture of the South Bay icons in front of hundreds of friends and family. Amongst those present, cousins and sons of Bill and Bob, Robbie and Billy Meistrell placed lei's around the bronze necks of their fathers.
The new retail space, located across the street from the former store and housing Body Glove corporate headquarters on the second floor, is holding its official public grand opening today and through the rest of the weekend. We talked with Body Glove’s VP of Marketing Scott Daley, who said Thursday’s VIP grand opening and ribbon cutting was a success. Several weeks ago, we got the behind the scenes tour of the store and International headquarters from Daley and Robbie Meistrell, as the Body Glove crew diligently put the final touches on the space.
"After the event I drove down to the statue at about 9:30pm and found Dinah Lary and two others looking at the statue all lit up,” said Billy Meistrell, Vice President of Body Glove International. “I got out of the car and sat there and it is an overwhelming feeling having them immortalized in their favorite place looking out at the ocean. It makes you realize how special those two were and how much they meant to so many people."
Thursday evening’s event at the new shop was punctuated with music by Kevin Sousa, a live painting of Bill and Bob by artist Gregory Adamson, and food and drinks sponsored by Budweiser and Watermans.
"The event was humbling and I felt very honored to be there and see all of the love that still goes out to Bill and Bob,” says Robbie Meistrell, CEO of Body Glove International. “I am really proud of the renovated store and our new international headquarters. I am very happy that we were able to accomplish all of this in the original city that this company was founded in— Redondo Beach, California."
"Having Dive N’ Surf and Body Glove under the same roof again is so special,” says Billy Meistrell. “I think we are seeing what Bill and Bob experienced 60 years ago when they were running both businesses under one roof. The event yesterday was a true testament to our history, loyalty of customers and partnerships that we have formed over the years."
Two of the most influential men in the history of surfing and diving, the Meistrell brothers have been credited with some of the very first patents for the modern day wetsuit, revolutionizing the way surfers and divers viewed the sport and making it possible for people to surf year round. Bill died in 2006 at age 77, and Bob died last year at age 84.