Lightning Bolt shirts are the bi-product of a Hawaiian brand of surfboards that began to take shape in the late 1960s. By the latter part of the 1970s the surf board was being ridden by the top names in the sport and the company extended their brand to apparel. Their shirts usually featured a beautifully detailed surf inspired landscape across the chest or back (above left) or refined details for prints on terry cloth material (above right). These shirts can also be easily identified by an embroidered outline of a lightning bolt on the fabric at the base of the buttons (which were made of wood). The popularity of the brand was mainly indigenous to California where it became the brand of choice for surfers and skateboarders and then became trendy leisure wear for the masses. In recent years their vintage shirts have made waves as one of the most sought after polo style t-shirts around.
Vintage Ocean Pacific shirts featuring similar landscape chest designs are fast becoming popular vintage polos. Waves (left) and Pipeline are two of the more obscure vintage polo brands that share the same design inspiration. The generic tourist Hawaiian polo (right) also utilizes the cross chest design.