SAN DIEGO — Tom Morey, the inventor of the boogie board and surfing legend, died Thursday, according to his family. He was 86.
“A time to CELEBRATE his life and not be sorry please,” his son Sol Morey wrote in a Facebook post. “THIS IS A MOMENT OF Spreading the stoke of the ocean and love of music.”
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1935, Morey made his mark in California by first graduating from the University of California.
The San Diego surfboard shop Gordon & Smith Surfboards, who Morey signed a deal with to help produce the boogie board, said in a Facebook post the boogie board idea surfaced in 1972.
“Tom came up with the ‘Waterskate’ a futuristic looking board with a concave deck and steep thick rails turned out to be a best seller for years,” G&S Surfboards wrote. “(Tom’s) ‘Watersnake’ would go on to be called the ‘boogie board’ where he sold over 20 million of them making him a fortune.”
California Surf Museum remembered Morey as the “Ben Franklin of the surfing world,” a “jack of all trades.”
“A board designer, scientist, musician, philosopher, entrepreneur, and not least an excellent surfer, Morey was an influence in a nearly every aspect of surfing,” the museum stated in a memoriam on their website.
Morey’s résumé also included creating the Invitational Nose Riding Championships, the first professional surfing contest, held at Ventura Point, according to California Surf Museum.
“A prominent surfboard designer and innovator, he invented the ‘Wing Tip,’ a Coaund Lift nose, and created the first polypropylene fin and first commercial interchangeable fin system,” the museum said. “His Morey-Pope shapes are sought after boards to this day.”