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In the late 1950s, Nancy and Walter Katin were in the business of making canvas boat covers in a small shop in Surfside, California. One day a young man came into the Katins shop complaining of the difficulty in finding a pair of swim shorts durable enough to stand up to the then-quirky pastime of surfboard riding. Walter went to his sewing machine and with of the sturdy boat canvas and whipped up the first pair of Kanvas by Katin surf trunks. The surfer was stoked.

Word of Nancy and Walter's creation quickly spread up and down the coast, and the Katins were suddenly in the surf trunk business. The American surf wear industry was born. By the time the sport of surfing boomed in popularity in the mid-1960s with the Gidget/Beach Boys-era, Katins were firmly entrenched as best surf trunk around.

And so they remained, even as other companies came and went. The Katins kept making their high quality surf trunks, selling them from the surfside store and through a network of surf shop dealers all over the western hemisphere. From the sixties to the seventies, virtually every top surfer wore Katins and all were proud to appear in surf magazine ads for their favorite trunks. Walter Katin passed on in 1967, and Nancy continued to run the shop and the business in the same manner as before.

By the early 1980s, Nancy's health began to decline and expansion of the company was the last thing on anyone's mind. In 1986, Nancy left the business to her loyal friend and seamstress, Sato Hughes, who had begun sewing trunks for the Katins back in 1961.

Today, the Katin quality remains better than ever.