Tom Morey, iconic surfer and inventor of the Boogie Board, has died

Tom Morey, in front of the first Boogie Board, 2017. Photo: Screenshot //


Tom Morey was not born near the ocean – it was actually Detroit – but during his lifetime he arguably would have had more influence in ocean sports than any other living person after his parents moved him to Laguna Beach as a child. Morey, the inventor of the Boogie Board, passed away this week at 86 in Laguna Woods, California. near his longtime San Clemente home. But his influence will live on for decades.

Morey first thought of the Boogie Board (which he named after his love of jazz) while living in Hawaii in the early 1970s. There was a big wave near where he lived. , he wanted to surf but didn’t think he could get in standing up because of the wind, which was common. So the math major who worked for Douglas Aircrafts before returning to the surf industry, cut a piece of foam in half, put on swim fins, and rowed. It worked like clockwork.

“The first thing that happens, I smell the ocean” Morey said in an older interview. “You can’t feel the outline of the ocean until you step on a Boogie Board. “

He sold his first in Hawaii for ten dollars before returning to Southern California to begin production of the all-new wave surfing tool, a tool that would eventually draw thousands of people into the waves, even people who would never get up on a board. and actually devote themselves completely to surfing while lying on your stomach.

The Boogie Board was far from the only invention Morey’s curious mind had conceived. He also thought of a sticky substance that could be vaporized in place of wax (which never really took off), and developed the first foam surfboards with Mike Doyle. But one of his most important contributions to surfing was the removable fin system.

Morey, according to inertia Sam George, introduced his WAVE (Water Apparatus Vehicular Engineering) system in 1967. Morey’s twin screw WAVE gearbox accommodated a wide variety of fins, including George Greenough’s revolutionary speed skeg and the system was soon used. by most major manufacturers.

Morey will be remembered as someone who greatly influenced the technical side of surfing. But most of all, he just loved riding the waves and wanted others to really like him too. “For anyone to become a graduate of this planet,” he once said, “it is essential that they learn to enjoy this activity.”

Rest in peace Tom Morey.

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