Tom Morey

Tom Morey (born Detroit, Michigan, August 15, 1935) also known by the moniker "Y" is a musician, engineer, and surfer responsible for several technological innovations that have heavily influenced modern developments in surfing equipment design.


Morey was living in Laguna Beach, California, by 1944 and was avidely developing his talent for drumming in his youth and became a professional musician in the 1950s. While surfing as a hobby he attended the University of Southern California and graduated with a B.A. in mathematics in 1957. He married in 1957 and worked for Douglas Aircraft, as a process engineer in composites. After Douglas, he worked a series of jobs involving composite materials and processes, which he applied to his surf-related inventions. He left the corporate world for good in 1964, moved to Ventura and started a series of companies that served the surfing market, currently "Morey Surfboards" and sponsored surfing competitions such as the The Tom Morey Invitational. He divorced in the late 1960s.

Morey is an adherent of the Bahá'í Faith since about 1970 after he came across a picnic at a Kauai beach, a 'unity feast', where "whites, blacks and Hawaiians, mixed, getting along fine" and in couple of months of attending informal meetings on Bahá'í teachings - "...this was really something important not to toy with, but to become immersed in." [ [ Sultan of surf, baron of boogie (Apr 06)] ] "I withdrew immediately from alcohol, drugs and sexual promiscuity," he says. "I began saying Baha'i prayers such as 'convey upon me, oh, my God, a thought, which will turn this planet into a rose garden.'" [ Surfline bio - Tom Morey, aka Y] ] And he married Marchia Nichols, now Marchia Ann Morey, "mother of bodyboarding" and has four sons.

He sold his surfboarding company in 1975 and lived in Hawaii for a decade, then moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington, and joined Boeing in 1985. In 1992 he moved back to southern California and reentering the surf scene and consulted with his former company as it became owned eventually by Wham-O. He ended consulting in January 1999 founding his own company again - Starwaves - and changed his name to Y.


He had honed his talent as a drummer from his youth, working professionally by the age of 12, that he subsequently performed professionally with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stew Williamson, Bud Shank and Conti Condolli. He was an original member of the Sons of the Beach ukulele band (on ukelele) in 1950 and formed the Tom Morey Jazz Quartet in 1954. He made music a side hooby until Brotherhood at a Mauna Kea Hotel in the later 1970s and 1980s and plays intermittently since the 1990s back in southern California (including the Tom Muray Trio). [ [ This Week's Jazz Calendar - Tom Morey Trio Schedule in Dec. 2006] ]


At the age of 11 he came in second in the Green Valley Lake Paddleboard Championships and began surfing in 1952 and wake-surfed behind an ocean-going yacht (no towrope) in April 1955.

After working for the corporate world he became a member, and then sponsored surfer, of the Velzy and Jacobs Surf team, then Jacobs, then Dewey Weber surf teams and began setting up businesses providing surf boards and inventing technologies for surf boards -
* In the late 1950s he created his first "concave nose pocket"
* Also in the 1950s he invented something he called the "Wing Tip," a turned-down nose using his aerospace engineering expertese, and is used in all surfboards today. [ [ comments by Mike Doyle] ]
* In 1964, he created the first polypropylene fin as the first commercial interchangeable fin system.
* In 1965 he used resin impregnated cardboard to make a "paper" surfboard which became a Television Commercial and an August 1966, a full color, two page advertisement in Reader's Digest. [ [ Paper Surfboard - Tom Morey tells the story of how the paper surfboard began] ]
* In 1965 he established the Tom Morey Invitational Nose Riding Championships, at Ventura Point. [ [ The Tom Morey Invitational, July 4, 1965, Ventura Point] ]
* In 1971, he designed the first practical bodyboard [ [,1,431401.story?coll=la-editions-orange Stoking the masses Once upon a time, folks rode waves on surfboards or air mattresses. Then Tom Morey put an iron to a hunk of foam.] ] , called in those days a Boogie Board after his love of music.
* In 1975 these boards became flexible with twin fiberglass rods for stability.

He left commercial surfboarding interests in the late 1970s and returned to it in the 1990s.


*"When a guy removes smoking, drinking, gambling and chasing women from his life, there's a whole lot of time to do other neat stuff."


External links

* []
* [ Tom Morey IMDb article]
* [ Tom Morey bio on]
* [ Comments of Mike Doyle 1]
* [ HI Surf Advisory Tom Morey]
* [,21214,706542,00.html Industry News The Birth Of The Bodyboard Industry: The Tom Morey Story]
* [ Response to the "What is killing Bodyboarding?" series by Tom Morey]
* [ A Malibu Surf Dog Barks]
* [,1,431401.story?coll=la-editions-orange Stoking the masses Once upon a time, folks rode waves on surfboards or air mattresses. Then Tom Morey put an iron to a hunk of foam.]
* [ Tom Morey = The Mad Scientist of Wave Riding]
* [ The Hey Sultan of surf, baron of boogie]

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