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Tom Morey (1935–2021), Boogie Board inventor

by Linnea Crowther

Tom Morey was a surfer and surfboard shaper who invented the Boogie Board.

Surfing and music

Morey was a prominent member of the California surfing scene in the 1950s and ‘60s. While working on a new surfboard design in 1971, Morey created the Boogie Board, a short, lightweight board that’s often ridden while lying on the stomach or on one knee. He named his creation the Boogie Board, also known as a bodyboard. It quickly became popular, allowing people to ride the waves even if they weren’t seasoned surfers. Morey sold his invention in 1977, later inventing a longboard called the Swizzle as well as tinkering with other innovations. Also a drummer and ukulele player, Morey founded several bands, including the Laguna Jazz Quartet.

Notable quote

“If you want something to surf, then figure out how to make it yourself. That’s the real kick. Riding what you created.” —from an interview for Surfer Today

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Tributes to Tom Morey

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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