Stab Magazine | Tom Morey Needs You

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Tom Morey Needs You

Mike Stewart launches campaign to help inventor of the “Boogie Board.”

news // Nov 12, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jazz man. Engineer. Writer. Mad scientist. Surfer. Lord of the Boogie. Over the course of his diverse life Tom Morey has been a lot of things, but he’ll forever be tied to a whim he had on a quiet July day in 1971

After quitting his job and becoming somewhat disenchanted with the surf scene, Morey moved to the Big Island to shape surfboards and get away from it all. As legend has it, on July 9, he started tinkering with some closed-cell polyethylene packing foam he had laying around. He whittled out a crude 4’6” long, 23” wide, craft.

“There was no turning back at that point. Plus, I found that I could shape the foam using an iron if I put a sheet of the Honolulu Advertiser down on it first. Later that night, I drew a few curves on the foam with a red marker pen and went to bed,” Morey would later say.

A few test drives at Honels on the west side of the island and he was sold on his new fangled design.

“I could actually feel the wave through the board,” he reveled. “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.”


And so it was born.

Within six months he inked a licensing deal with Larry Smith of G&S Surfboards notoriety. The boards were originally called S.N.A.K.E., which oddly stood for Side, Naval, Arm Knee, Elbow. In one of those weird little twists of fate, after seeing the first order of boards come in, Morey immediately went out and trademarked the name Morey Boogie. The rest, as they say, is history.

Who knows how many millions of people have been fortunate enough to “boogie safely over guys in your way” since ’71, but it’s fair to say that Morey’s given more people the gift of wave-riding than anyone…ever. Now it’s time to pay it forward. Ol’ Morey’s getting a bit gray in the tooth these days and could benefit from a little love. With Morey blind and struggling to make ends meet, bodyboard legend Mike Stewart, along with other friends and family members of Tom, have taken it upon themselves to construct a fundraising campaign to help ease the burden. 

“Rather than seeking financial wealth, Tom’s mission for gain is the spread of stoke and unity,” reads the fundraising description. “In his mind, the world can always be a better place. This selfless path has given Tom some internal fulfillment, but created financial hardship in these final years of his life.”

Now, we’re not telling you where to put your pennies, but if you’ve ever put your body on a Boogie, some spare change in the tip jar would certainly go a long way.

Click here to help Tom Morey. 



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