Y Boogers Are Best
“The ocean speaks to you.”
Legendary creator of the Morey Boogie Board, Tom Morey (later to be known as simply “Y,”) said in a 1982 interview with Sports Illustrated, “The board conforms to the rhythm of the waves. Waves are living creatures.”
It may be 37 years later but bodyboarding, or as Morey preferred the term, Boogie Boarding is as popular as ever. Over the passing decades, bodyboarders have taken Morey’s ingenious design and imagined more new and exciting maneuvers than the inventor had ever dreamt of. Morey Bodyboards have brought massive air to hundreds of thousands of prone riders.
It was 1964 when legendary surfer Tom Morey, made the cover of Surfer Magazine. Only a few years later in 1971, Morey would find himself becoming the unintentional inventor of a device, which would invite droves of would be Barney’s into the most epic waves.
Not only did the Morey Boogie Board provide a more affordable alternative to the traditional surfboard, it revolutionized wave- riding. Ringing in at only $37 (in honor of the inventor’s age at the time,) the board was widely accessible. The board was also designed to be easier to transport (toss it in the trunk as opposed to a rack) and in some ways, safer. Weighing in at only 3.75 pounds and being made from polyethylene foam, the boards provided young and old an easier paddle out. The Morey Bodyboard opened up a new world to a wider range of riders.
It all began one afternoon at Morey’s home on The Big Island in Hawaii. Morey, who was strapped for cash at the time and working as a freelance writer for Surfer Magazine, found himself dreaming up yet another invention of many. After several inventions that couldn’t quite hold water, the “wild dreamer” as some could have called him, was about to outdo himself.
Morey ran across a 9 foot piece of polyethylene packing foam in his garage. Little did the tinkerer know, this discovery would change his life. He decided to cut the 9 foot piece of packing foam in two. Then he went on to shape the foam into a 23” wide and 4’ 6” long contraption, using his wife’s iron. The next day, he tried it out.
“I could actually feel the wave through the board. On a surfboard, you're not feeling the nuance of the wave, but with my creation, I could feel everything. I was thinking 'it turns, it's durable, it can be made cheaply, it's lightweight, it's sage. God, this could be a really big thing," Morey said in a later interview. After that fateful day Morey went on to sell 80,000 boards in 1977.
Modern boogers would agree with Morey’s statement about his first time on the board. Bodyboarders can all relate to the rush they receive from pushing the limits of deep tube travel. When conditions get gnarly, bodyboarders are the ones enjoying the chaotic beat down they so crave. Waves purposely left behind by standing surfers can be navigated by bodyboarders in the most savage ways.
Morey went on to say in later interviews that he invented the board to ‘promote universal brotherhood.’ Brotherhood it has achieved. The sport, which has become a professional undertaking for many, has won respect from all corners of the aquatic sporting community.
There has been a long held debate as to whether surfing is superior to bodyboarding. While many pro bodyboarders have received the nod of approval from their surfing counterparts, some spongers and a surfers still share an unspoken rivalry. However, catch each other washing down the day with some foamy beverages, still frothing from an amazing day in the water, and you may just strike up a friendship based purely on awesome vibes.
Many bodyboarders hold tight to their love of prone riding and rightfully so. Crazy, intense maneuvers have become somewhat of an art in the community. Some riders jump the line between bodyboarding and surfing, depending on what mood the ocean is in that day. Still some bodyboarders remain die hard to their sport.
When bodyboarding began, it was widely seen as a beginners sport. Bodyboarders were not welcome in many popular surf spots. However, after witnessing some of the acrobatic and thrillingly radical moves that can be achieved on a boogie board, spongers became more of a spectacle to most surfers, than a nuisance. A sight to behold, bodyboarding is a highly technical sport; a far cry from a beginners activity.
Mike Stewart, a 9 time world champion bodyboarder would agree. Stewart has been hailed the greatest bodyboarder of all time. ‘Mister Pipeline,’ as he is adoringly called, has invented new maneuvers and inspired traditional surfers to push the limits. Stewart received his very first Morey Boogie Board at age ten. Ironically, the bodyboarder grew up to be sponsored by Morey himself.
Whether you are a daily surfer or you are looking for a vacation adventure, Morey Bodyboards can be purchased easily from an online bodyboarding shop. If you think you’re brave enough to pull off an El Rollo, do it. You won’t regret not standing up when your face first with a massive swell. The highest form of badassery.