The rediscovery of Over Winter

What is real surf?

For someone like Ryan Mathews, it always meant a mindset. Growing up in the oceanside town of Vallejo, California in the 80’s, he felt strongly connected to the surfing culture that came through by way of surfers at legendary beaches like Stinson, Pacifica, Ocean Beach and Santa Cruz. Whether you were a surfer or just a citizen, everyone in those small communities was bound by the surf philosophy they breathed in the air as they walked in the streets. Surfing was about that feeling of freedom tempered by connectedness.

Later in life Ryan went searching for the perfect beach and that same small town mentality in other parts of California, but found that Vallejo mindset was missing. So many bigger brands portrayed surf as a privilege – a members-only club denoted by pastel colors, sunsets and stylish beach bum stereotypes.

But that’s not real surf.

No matter where he went, Mathews found himself longing for the pure essence of surf he grew up with. In Vallejo, you see the surf mindset in people’s eyes, not their clothes.

Surf is in the soul

In 2017, he founded Over Winter – a brand that creates clothing for people who want to live the surf mindset the way he did growing up. Freedom of expression, determination and self-discipline that lives under the aesthetic.

Mathews felt the real story of surf was never properly told.

It’s time to remember what it’s truly about. Surfing isn’t a privilege you earn from others. It’s a right you earn for yourself.

It’s a culture of one. It’s hard work, grit, and determination in the face of wiping out. It’s coming to love the salty taste of a challenge and time and again, pushing against the constant waves of life.

You don’t have to be a surfer to understand what Over Winter is about, but you do have to embody the soul of surf to understand the Over Winter way of life. At some point, we all have to choose between staying on the shore or pushing off into the ocean.

Find your ocean

For Mathews, the water is in his blood. Whether it was remote fly fishing with his father, waterskiing in America’s greatest lakes, or growing up in an oceanside town, it was part of his DNA and still is today.

Reclaim the things that drive you. Have the presence of mind to leave the shore and jump into the ocean when the time calls for it. Over Winter was born the day Mathews decided to stop searching for the perfect beach, and create one himself.

What you’re looking for is just over the horizon.

Vallejo, California

Bill, an avid pilot, courted Marie with a ride in his open cockpit airplane (pictured above). Bill and Marie Mathews, Ryan’s paternal Grandparents, settled in Vallejo in the late 1940’s to start a family with Bill working at Mare Island until later starting a business that still operates to this day.

U.S. Navy officer, Carroll Tatum, met his future wife Oriel in Australia (pictured above) while stationed in Sydney during a World War II submarine operation. Carroll worked at Mare Island after relocating to Vallejo with Oriel, later becoming Ryan’s maternal Grandparents through one of the three children they raised.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard (1854-1996)

In 1854 the first west coast U.S. Naval Shipyard was established on Mare Island in Vallejo, California. Pictured above at its height around 1918, Mare Island was the premiere shipbuilding facility in the world, employing more than 50,000 people that could produce an entire ship in just 18 days – a speed record that stands unbeaten.

While the people that made up the original Mare Island are long gone, the energy remains. Much like the California Gold Rush mentality that is still palpable in San Francisco’s technology boom, Vallejo’s rich history represents the grit, determination and perseverance mindset that is still lingers among the community today.

Power Layer Denim

Surfing first landed in Santa Cruz, California when three teenage Hawaiian princes decided to take a break from their boarding school studies at St. Matthew’s Hall in San Mateo, and rode their custom redwood boards in the ocean.

That was 1885 – a time when the world was just starting to change and California was already the land of opposites. A state where you could surf or ski, settle down or set out, and restart your life to be anyone you wanted.

Those three princes inspired us in part to create Over Winter Power Layer Denim – a pairing of formal daywear aesthetic thoughtfully detailed with incredibly comfortable boardshort material.

It’s an homage to them, and to you – the guy that lives like a surfer no matter what challenge he’s conquering in daily life.

Power Layer Denim

We made these jeans for people who know the difference between surf style and surf mindset.

Premium lightweight comfort stretch denim paired with boardshort waistbands in strong deep pigment prints.