Morey Boogie Land: the wave pool concept developed by Tom Morey in the 1980s | Illustration: Craig Libuse

Tom Morey is one of the last visionaries of the surfing world. The surfer engineer not only invented the boogie board but also developed a surf pool project that was ahead of his time.

Morey wanted to build his first 1.5-square-mile inland "surfatorium/surforium" water park in Hawaii.

In a time when there were no smartphones, the internet, and modern technologies, he imagined the wave pool of our dreams - a sophisticated yet entertaining structure capable of bringing the joy of wave riding to landlocked territories.

But let us not forget one small detail in Morey's prolific career. In 1955, Tom had an unusual experience in Disneyland as the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ride operator.

So, he knew how to add an entertainment factor to his artificial surfing vision. The idea matured for roughly 25 years.

In the early 1980s, the Detroit-born engineer designed a grandiose business project named Morey Boogie Land, a "wave and watersports family park concept."

Standing Waves for All Skills and Ages

The goal was to develop a standing wave by blowing water out of a pump and up a padded slope.

"Tom immediately thought big and had me draw up a couple of concepts for a small and a larger family water park using this technique," explains Craig Libuse, former Morey Boogie art director.

"The park could also be placed at the bottom of a dam, and pressure from the released water could be used without a pump. As far as I know, no one has yet tried that."

Morey Boogie Land: the large water park proposal used a cascade effect to produce three types of waves | Illustration: Craig Libuse

Today, you'll find this type of technology in theme parks and cruise liners, but Tom's mind truly inspired those who worked with him.

"He took it one step further in the large park proposal, using overflow water from the first wave flowing down another slope to provide a second, smaller wave and even possibly a third tiny wave before emptying into a pool to be pumped back and re-used," notes Libuse.

The Morey Boogie Land never saw the light of day.

However, recently, with the advent of modern wave pools such as Wavegarden and Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch, Tom Morey did try to make his artificial wave concept a reality.

"I met with Tom and his business partner several times and reviewed his concepts. Then, about four years ago, I presented his design to the mayor of West Monroe, in Louisiana," reveals friend and Tom's admirer, Jennifer Schmeer.

"I ended up running for mayor myself and presented this wave pool design to the city as part of my platform. I didn't win, but they now know about it. However, some residents are now requesting it."

The Morey Boogie Land had everything a surfer needed to be happy - advanced, intermediate, and beginner waves breaking in front of a grandstand area.

The imaginary surf park also featured food, shopping, and rental spaces, as well as a water slide and family zone.

Will the Morey Boogie Land ever see the light of day? Who knows? Discover the complete list of wave pool concepts available in the world right now.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of

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