Forty-some years ago, on Oahu‘s North Shore, a couple of surfer types —world champion Gerry Lopez and legendary shaper Jack Shipley – joined forces to build boards that quickly became the standard bearers of cutting-edge, big-wave design. Soon enough, both locals and the ever-growing crowds drawn to the still-nascent culture were sporting this new company’s name and insignia – Lightning Bolt – on not only boards, but also on t-shirts and a certain distinctive necklace that soon became shorthand for an entire era and ethos.
Like almost every grassroots innovation, of course, Bolt’s accoutrements spread like wildfire, only to be diluted and devalued by counterfeiters before being forgotten almost entirely. Now, Jonathan Paskowitz – maybe the name sounds familiar? – is aiming to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Paskowitz, the son of surfer Doc Paskowitz, is behind a new venture that’s resuscitating the Bolt brand, bringing back the boards, the t-shirts, and, yes, the infamous necklace. He reproduced the sterling silver bolt to its exact original shape in order to bring it “back from its regal history of stardom,” as he told the press recently.
We’re usually not so big on jewelry for men – for the most part, we stick to watches, the occasional bracelet, and, when appropriate, a wedding ring – but if you can’t throw one of these necklaces your head and walk (or even better, ride) tall, there’s something wrong with the world. Here’s to the Bolt being back. [$60; shop.lightningbolt-usa.com]