The ultimate in surfing was a hang ten: ten little toes hanging loose off the front of your surfboard without care, without fear, totally blissed out. But that image of side-by-side bare feet wasn’t just longboard nirvana, it was also the logo of surf-wear-turned-hot-fashion-label Hang Ten.
Before the days of Old Navy board shorts, surfers made do with cutoff jeans or constrictive trunks for their surfing uniform. In 1960, Duke Boyd, an avid surfer, desperately needed a pair of heavy-duty surfboard shorts for his surfing excursions that would offer both comfort and style. He enlisted the help of seamstress Doris Boeck to construct a pair from his design, and before long all the surfers on the beach were begging for their own baggies.
Hang Ten was the first surf wear company to create a vast line of athletic yet fashionable apparel. The surf wear company expanded into both boys’ and girls’ apparel, becoming the only thing to wear in the 70’s, whether on the beach or off. The two bare feet were stamped on shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits and accessories.
The outrageous colors and radical designs of Hang Ten wear made it a favorite for surfers and hodads (non-wavers) alike. Hang Ten still continues to make surf wear, but the craze for the surf-world has returned to those who actually know how to grace the waves.
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