Body Glove co-founder dies while boating near Catalina


Bob Meistrell, who co-founded the pioneering surf and water sport supply company Body Glove, has died at the age of 84, family members said.

Meistrell reportedly died from a heart attack Sunday while on his boat near Catalina Island.

Meistrell was on his boat, Disappearance, helping mark the path for competitors in the “Rock 2 Rock” paddleboard race near Catalina when his boat engines malfunctioned, said Bill Meistrell, his nephew.


When Bob Meistrell went to change the fuel filters behind the motors, he collapsed, his nephew said.

“You know Bob never gave up on anything,” he said.

Bob Meistrell’s motto was “Do what you love, love what you do,” Body Glove International President Russ Lesser said in an email to friends and business associates Sunday.

Body Glove, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary this fall, was co-founded by Meistrell with his twin brother, who died in 2006 at the age of 77.

Bill Meistrell recalled being awake with his uncle Sunday morning at 4:30 a.m., wishing him a happy Father’s Day as he ran around preparing for the day in a T-shirt and underwear.

The race began at 6:30 a.m., and Bill Meistrell estimated his uncle’s heart attack occurred around 7 a.m.

Reflecting on the incident, he said he believed that Meistrell was not simply trying to fix his boat, which was covered with Body Glove logos, and return to shore. Instead, he believed his uncle was aiming to get the boat running in order to return to help with the paddleboard race.


Family members administered CPR until medics arrived, Bill Meistrell said. Bob Meistrell was taken to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina island, where he was pronounced dead around 9 a.m., family members said.

The family said that Meistrell is survived by his wife, Patty, and three sons: Robbie, Ronnie and Randy.


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