The year was 1978, and like so many great things, it started in the back of a VW bus. The craze of surf and beach lifestyle that began in the 60’s blanketed the continent and stormed the globe. While the world witnessed the first Sundance Film Festival, Space Invaders, and the legendary surfing of Mark Richards and Rabbit Bartholomew, local college student, surfer and lifeguard, Ken Miller, began making and selling boardshorts out the back of his bus. The first customers were Carlsbad local watermen and lifeguards. After a few years of growing the company, Original Watermen soon serviced the California State Parks System and a majority of other lifeguarding agencies on both coasts.
The budding enterprise grew with Ken leading the charge and his girlfriend, Jennifer, now wife of many years, designing, managing production and daily operations. The pair would eventually outfit over 1900 organizations from local and state agency lifeguards and fire fighters to military special forces across the globe. The company born from lifeguard Boardshorts eventually branched out into the retail and mail order company, Thousand Mile.
In April 2005, the Millers sold Thousand Mile to a large well known conglomerate, and were then able to focus all their energies on core Waterman Clothing and the Lifeguard Clothing Business. Original Watermen, as a company, was created with a singular vision: provide the best quality, fit, and performance in every garment. Few industries have the opportunity to test their mettle each time a great set rolls in. We’re fortunate; we do. At Original Watermen we measure our success by the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers. Customer Service 1-800-414-3181