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beavertail


Front-zip wetsuit jacket, usually long sleeve; originally developed for divers, appropriated by surfers in the late 1950s, and popular until the mid-'70s. The "beavertail" referred to a vertical flap of neoprene, about 16 inches long and six inches wide, that hung down from the back of the suit and was designed to loop over the crotch and snap to the front hem, at waist level. Fastened, the beavertail looked like a rubber codpiece, and surfers, for reasons never entirely clear, chose to leave...