Because of this amazing little board, millions have ridden their first wave. Today on any shoreline, you will see kids and adults of all ages riding these fun little boards. Although there are many different sizes, the original size was 42 ½”. Tom Morey said that he came up with this size because the Post Office had size limits and did not charge extra for boxes up to this size.
I should explain here that a bodyboard is not really a board. They are often referred to as a “sponge” because they are made from foam. The most common material used to make a bodyboard is polyethylene foam as the core, deck and side rails, with the bottom made from a serlyn hard and slick foam skin.
The boogieboard was the start of something new in surfing. Everyone could ride this little board. The people did not need to be experienced in the water. All they had to do was get in waist deep water and wait for the wave to come and let the water push them into shore. Young and old alike would ride up onto the beach with a big smile on their faces considering themselves surfers. Go to any shoreline in the summer and watch all of these happy new surfers.
It wasn’t long until Morey was selling the boogieboard in all of the surf shops, department stores, and also as a kit. Kids loved the kits because they could add their own individual decorative personal taste to their new boogieboard. Pretty soon they started getting real good at riding waves using swimfins as a way to pick up speed before catching the wave so that they could catch the wave before it crested and broke. Surfing all summer in their trunks and then into the winter with their wetsuits developed a new class of surfers. A professional Bodyboard Tour developed over the years and is still active today. The prestige event is held every year at the Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Mike Stewart the world renowned bodyboarder has won this contest 10 times.
At first, the beginners were riding the waves straight in, but as they got better they started riding the shoulder of the wave and going across the wave as it broke behind them. This is how the boardsurfers rode waves and this became the norm for the boogieboard riders with experience. By going across the wave, the bodyboarder develops great speed and gets the feeling that he or she is flying. The next step was doing rolls, spins, flips and aerials and other radical maneuvers that are beyond description.
It didn’t take long before the boogieboarders started interfering with the surfers and invading their territory, which were the best spots to catch waves. This created a lot of animosity in the beginning, but in most cases this problem has been worked out by the surfers and bodyboarders themselves showing mutual respect for each other. However, to make sure there was no trouble and to keep the soft “sponges” away from the hard surfboards for safety reasons, many beaches changes the rules and flew what they called a “blackball” flag to designate separate areas for surfboards and bodyboards.
But, I am digressing. What happens after the “new” surfer rides his or her first wave? The first thing they do is to go out and ride another wave and then another and another. It is like getting an infection and not having antibiotics to stop it. It just keeps getting worse and worse or better and better as in the case of surfing, because these new surfers are having so much fun. They become addicted to surfing. Once you catch your first wave, there is no turning back. You are hooked forever!
Many of these new bodyboarders are satisfied to never leave the shoreline and ride the white water or the small little shore break for the rest of their surfing lives, but many take the next step and go out into the lineup and learn to catch waves like the more experienced bodyboarders and the boardsurfers. Modern day bodyboards ride the board using a style called the drop-knee. This is where they are up on one knee riding in a semi upright position.
Many of the bodyboarders cross over to surfboards and ride both surfboards and bodyboards. Some switch permanently to surfboards. Surfing is like life, you have a lot of choices most of which are good.
The little bodyboard has added so much fun to so many millions of people’s lives. Have you ever seen a young kid on his knees or standup riding his boogieboard? How about a dad or mom riding theirs together with their youngster on the front of the board?
Tom Morey had a real vision when he designed and made the first boogieboard. He wanted a board that was soft, friendly, safe and without fins. The Morey Boogie was an offshoot of the canvas air mattresses called a Surfrider that he surfed back in the ’40s and ’50s as a young kid. Thank you Mr. Morey!
One big advantage for many people for surfing a bodyboard is the price you pay for them. They are affordable. Beginners can buy one for as little as $30, but as you get more experienced you will want one that is professionally made and designed for more advanced surfing. You will want one that is more durable, made with better foam cores and supported with internal rods to keep them from bending and breaking in the bigger surf. These more advanced bodyboards will sell for as much as $200 up to $300.
So my friends, you can see how this little board called a boogieboard or bodyboard, whichever you prefer, has changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world. There was a movie made called “Step Into Liquid” where they filmmakers took bodyboards to Ireland and put the Protestant and Catholic kids in the water surfing them together. There was no fighting as you would expect, only laughter and fun. This little board changed a hatred for each other that had been taught to them since childhood.
Tom Morey wrote the song “Buy Yourself a Boogie” with the wording “it will bring you a lot of fun”. It has brought fun and excitement to millions of people.
So my friends, if you haven’t already done so, go buy yourself a boogie and have some fun. You will be hooked for life! You will understand what it means to Surf Life and you will be able to apply this feeling to your everyday life!
Oak Street Surf, [http://www.oakstreetsurf.com], is an online surf shop representing the latest surfboard products. You can get a good review of top of the line surfboard types and designs including bodyboards, skimboards, SUPs and custom longboards and shortboards.
You can talk with Chuck to discuss in detail the various options for you to ensure that you select the proper surfboard type and design that will bring you surfing fun and success.
Chuck believes that surfing, whether it is bodysurfing, boogie boarding, board surfing, skimboarding or riding a Standup Paddleboard (SUP) will change your life forever. You will be able to apply the love you will obtain from surfing to everything you do and will learn how to Surf Life! What a joy!!