Pierre-Louis Costes: the new Morey Bodyboards team rider | Photo: Qaptur

Pierre-Louis Costes and Morey Bodyboards signed a partnership and sponsorship deal. The French will ride for the American boogie board company.

Everything happened fast and unexpectedly, and the details were not disclosed.

On February 24, 2024, the two-time world bodyboarding champion announced he was parting ways with Pride, his longtime sponsor.

"After an incredible 13 years riding for Pride Bodyboards, the time has come to start a new chapter in my life," Costes wrote.

"With Pride, I achieved everything I could only dream of."

"We won my first world title the first year of our collaboration, we lifted all the trophies I wanted to lift, we broke records, we made the best bodyboarding movies, and I had the chance to be part of the best team in the world all those years."

"I will never forget when I joined Pride."

"At the time, I was leaving the best team in the world to start a new challenge. Some people didn't understand, but I can proudly say I was right to make that move."

"The feeling of taking a leap of faith into the unknown is special, and I am currently feeling that way again."

Few would have imagined that the you-only-live-once decision would mean making a move to a brand that has been under heavy fire in the last years.

Despite carrying the legendary surname of the father of modern bodyboarding, Tom Morey, the company has nothing to do with the original founder or its family.

Morey Bodyboards is owned by Wham-O, a firm of the Intersport Corp sporting goods retailer group.

Actually, the original company founded by Tom Morey had already changed hands. In 1978, he sold his business to Kransco.

Pierre-Louis Costes: riding from Morey Bodyboards since 2024 | Photo: António Saraiva

The Mach 7 Controversy

In late 2021, soon after the passing of Tom Morey, InterSport Corp took pre-orders for a limited edition re-release of the classic Morey Mach 7, one of the most popular bodyboard models of all time.

Morey's family reacted, saying there was "no contractual agreement for this type of corporate financial gain in the midst of our loss."

The owner of Morey Bodyboards was forced to release a statement noting that "with permission from Tom Morey prior to his untimely passing, was to be announced for pre-order with an estimated delivery in March 2022."

"We apologize for any misperception that our communications may have caused, as it was not our intent."

Anthony Arturo Leone, one of the members of the team that ran an online and offline celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Morey Boogie board, later revealed that "Tom did not talk to Morey about this."

"In fact, Tom did a commemorative board with Superior Foam, owned by original Morey Boogie employee Debbie Coldwell, that was shaped by PMA and Jimmy Linville."

"That board was auctioned off at the official 50th-anniversary party we threw that summer."

"The same party Wham-O/Intersport said they were going to support and then backed out of at the last minute."

"Aside from that, Tom was working with Bobby Szabad (BZ Bodyboards) on a new venture after that event anyway."

"Tom was not attempting to work with the Morey brand; if he was, we would have all known about it."

Mach 7: the controversial limited edition re-release of the classic Morey Boogie model

Reviving the Morey Brand

Throughout 2023, Morey Bodyboards put in considerable effort to rebuild the brand's reputation.

Fans demanded that the company put more money into the sport by backing up bodyboarding events and sponsoring athletes.

Morey Bodyboards was more open to criticism and suggestions, and a brand manager's online work put some water on the fire.

Around October 2023, the bodyboard company announced a rider sponsorship and ambassador program.

The goal was to find riders, "especially from the United States, who are active on social media with a following ranging from 4,000-50,000 followers."

The brand has two websites - moreybodyboards.com and moreyboogie.eu - but it's not clear who's part of the Morey riding team.

Also, there's no information about who's running the show, except for the European website.

It mentions Jeremy Arnoux, Mathieu Desaphie, and Nico Padois, three riders who "set out to create a line of boards inspired by the classic models of that era, incorporating modern construction and enhancements."

These boards specifically designed for Europe are "crafted in limited quantities at Broady in Indonesia."

Costes and Morey

The announcement of the partnership between Morey and Pierre-Louis Costes is undoubtedly a relevant milestone in the company's history.

"It's an honor for me to be riding for Morey Boogie," expressed PLC.

"The legacy of Tom Morey shall never be forgotten, and the biggest act of gratitude I could do in my life towards the man who made all of us bodyboarders who we are today is to carry his name as I continue to bodyboard at the highest level."

"This is a new era coming, and I am very honored to have the opportunity to represent bodyboarding's most iconic and prestigious brand."

Will Costes provide inputs for the upcoming bodyboards? Will he design a signature model? Will new riders join the Morey insignia?

Can the Morey family be brought into the business in any fruitful way?

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