Some surfers say a little prayer before paddling out, some cross themselves, and some do a wave happy dance to summon Neptune to bring them wave prosperity. In the 1960s, surfers wore a St. Christopher surf medal.
If you’re unfamiliar with the St. Christopher medal, this iconic surfer necklace was an integral part of the surfer uniform of the 60s. The uniform included shaggy bleached blonde hair, a bitchin’ tan, rebel-infused ‘tude, Pendleton shirt, and a St. Christopher surf medal worn both in and out of the water.
St. Christopher is the patron saint of travel and travelers, and the reach of his patronage is wide—from mariners and sailors to mountaineers and drivers. St. Christopher medals were originally worn by seafaring folk for safe passage, and in the 1960s the medals were lovingly adopted by the surfing community.
The trend caught on like wildfire in California and the St. Christopher surf necklace became a staple of classic surfer style. Surfers wore the necklace for protection in the ocean and even gave the medallion to their Betties as a symbol of going steady. Oh, the sweet dating rituals of the pre-Tinder past!
The St. Christopher surf medal is characterized by the text “Saint Christopher Protect Us” surrounding an image of St. Christopher in the middle. The original design worn by surfers in the 60s and 70s features an image of the saint watching over a surfer riding a wave.
After the 70s, the surf medals mysteriously dropped off the surf scene, leaving behind a generation of surfers with nostalgic memories connected to these medallions of their youth.
Like many things worthy of a revival, St. Christopher surf necklaces are back. And we really dig them.
Get Back Necklaces is a family-owned company reviving the tradition of the original St. Christopher surf medals. Based in San Diego, California, Get Back was started by Scott Gousha, a local surfer and outdoorsman who loved the nostalgia of the surf medal and saw an opportunity to bring the tradition back to life.
When Scott passed away several years ago, his son Nick and wife Brenda took over Get Back Necklaces to continue the legacy of the surf medal and introduce the next generation of surfers to this iconic surf symbol.
Get Back is all about promoting the good life, whether it be on the beach, in the waves, or on the road. Get Back’s necklaces come in three different sizes, over 60 color combinations, and are available metal-plated, in sterling silver, and as a choker.
The medium and large sizes are great for guys, and the small size is really popular with the ladies. If necklaces aren’t your thing, Get Back also has bracelets and rings with the medal.
These little bundles of surf culture are the perfect companion for surfers and travelers alike, and also make an awesome gift. There’s something about St. Christopher surf medals that feel connected to the ocean, so you can take their beachy vibes with you when you’re near the coast or afar.
Whether you’re new to surf medals or remember them from the 60s, may they continue to bless you with safe travels, plentiful waves, and happy coastal memories that last a lifetime.
Check out Get Back Necklaces at getbacksupplyco.com, and follow their sunny beach vibes on Instagram at @getbacknecklaces.
* This post was created in partnership with Get Back Necklaces. All opinions are our own.