Bodyboarding celebrates 40 years

July 7, 2011 | Bodyboarding
Tom Morey: thank you, mate

Tom Morey, engineer, surfer and musician, invented bodyboarding on the 7th July, 1971. Boogieboarding is now 40 years old and much has been changed since Morey came up with his idea.

Born in Detroit, USA, August 15, 1935, Tom Morey has always been a passionate inventor and beta tester. In that July summer day, he cut a rectangular shape of polyethylene foam and covered it with newspaper. The first bodyboard was born and history was made.

"I looked at the foam and then at the surf and began fooling around with a hot iron and an electric knife. I found that I could shape the foam using the iron if I put a sheet of newspaper down on the foam first. Later that night, I drew a few curves on the foam with a red marking pen and went to bed", he explains.

Two days later, he left his board as wide as possible and left the nose square. It was time to test it. Morey soon realized it was great invention.

"I could actually feel the wave through the board. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. On a surfboard you're not feeling every nuance of the wave; you're feeling how this seven-foot piece of fiberglass is chattering against the wave. But with my creation I could feel everything. I was thinking to myself, 'This thing turns, it's durable, it can be made cheaply, it's lightweight, and it’s impenetrable... God, this could be a really big thing!'"

The sport is also known as "boogieboard", because of Tom's passion for music (the boogie rhythm). The new wave riding formula was inspired by the Bahá'í Faith, a religion that focus on the spiritual unity of all humankind.

In 1975, Tom Morey sold his Morey Boogie company and only returned to the surfing business in 1999 to create the Starwaves and brands. By the late 70's, more than 80.000 bodyboards were produced and sold in the USA.

He now calls himself "Y". The living legend is a happy man, today. Several generations of bodyboarders have learned from him and have been taking the sport to a higher level. uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.