Our Story


Our founder, Dave Rochlen, grew up at the beach in Santa Monica, California. He was a lifeguard, surfer, dirt bike rider and paddle board racer who enjoyed the carefree Southern California Lifestyle. He had a degree from UCLA in Industrial Psychology. Like many others in his generation, his involvement in World War II changed his outlook on life forever. He visited Hawaii and met native Hawaiian surfer girl Keanuenue Ka'eo, whom he married in 1953. After the war, he returned to California to work for the Rand Corporation as a Systems Analyst. He appeared on the cover of LIFE Magazine in 1949 as an icon for this new beach lifestyle, and again in 1954 in underwater scuba gear as the stuntman for Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In 1962, Dave was transferred to Hawaii for work and "uncomfortable with the government industrial complex" left his job and opened a surfboard shop called Surf Line Hawaii on Kona Street in Honolulu. This is where our Company's story begins...


It all started in 1964 in our surfboard shop when our founder, Dave Rochlen, couldn't find the right shorts to surf in. Inspired by a LIFE Magazine article featuring Russian tourists bathing in the Black Sea wearing pajamas, he asked his wife, Keanuenue, to hem some at the knee and sew up the fly. Jams were born. The first bright, baggy pairs were sewn at the kitchen table and sold at his Surf Line Hawaii shop and out of the trunk of the car at Makaha Beach. Beaches everywhere would never be the same. In the mid 1980's we began to see a new demand for Jams of the original 60's style, but this time the art was funky, abstract, and bold. These iconic shorts took the nation by storm. By the 1990's the business had shifted from Surf to Resort, and our audience kept expanding. Today, Dave Rochlen's son, continues to carry on his father's legacy creating Great Clothes for Real People, and as always Made in Hawaii since 1964.


The Jams World of today celebrates 50 YEARS of COLOR, FREEDOM, DIFFERENCE & LOVE.

Great clothes that transcend markets and seasons. We search the world for hand painted art that inspires. The art is screened in long lasting, stay true color on our exclusive 100% Spun Crushed Rayon. The fabric keeps you cool and just feels good. Our limited edition collections are cut and sewn in our Honolulu factory. Each print has coordinating hand-painted buttons created just for us by a California artist. Some of our Jams World team have worked with us for 20, 30, even 40+ years. Happy employees making customers happy is a cornerstone of this multi-generational family business. The collection must be seen and felt to truly appreciate our commitment to quality, individuality and style.