It all started back in 1973 with Bob Nealy who was a life long waterman.
He surfed, swam, was an All-American waterpolo player at University of California at Irvine, and a lifeguard. Bob's military service was para-rescue---and there is a tie-in. Back in '73 Bob was surfing and was unhappy with the leather cinch strap on his leash. He went home and was looking at the Velcro on his old military rescue vest when a light bulb went off in his head. He thought "I can make this leash so much better with Velcro". So he went out and bought an old industrial sewing machine and the rest of the materials to make a leash (which pretty much consisted of webbing and Bungee cord). He made a few samples, took them over to Hobie's Surf shop to see what they thought and they immediately ordered 50.
This invention was revolutionary and enabled more people to enjoy surfing – even weak swimmers. If they fell, they no longer would lose their board and have to swim in after it. Any surfer, regardless of ability, could comfortably retrieve the board, paddle back out and catch more waves – “SURF MORE.”