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Inventions: Tom Morey

The sheer fertility of the Morey mind has become something of a coat of arms for surf culture.

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Simply put, Tom Morey was surfing’s first legitimate futurist. A short list of ideas he’s brought to the surfing world’s attention includes professional contests, removable fins, down rails, wax replacements and bodyboarding. And let’s not forget himself. Few people in surfing have ever expressed themselves with so much conviction, or challenged us with questions when they could have placated us with answers. Maybe that’s the reason why, in spite of Morey’s ubiquitous name and nature, it’s so easy to lose sight of the impact he’s had on surfing over the past thirty-five years.

“This is a weird deal—Tom Morey is virtually unknown! I don’t think it matters one bit to him…he’s just that way. He was right up there with Phil. He’s still great, smooth…has little tricks going for him like Dora does…beautiful cutbacks…the whole shot. Tom is always trying something new. He was the first guy I ever saw do a spinner on the nose, or ride with the tail block forward. He’s twice as good as the guys who have been rated as top surfers.”—Lance Carson, Surf Guide magazine, November 1964

Given Lance’s own reputation, his praise for Morey’s talent in the water carries considerable weight. Yet, for Tom’s relative lack of humility, he has never staked his professional reputation on his surfing ability. Perhaps, as Lance pointed out, he just doesn’t care about that kind of stuff, or perhaps it was the worldly nature of his USC education. In any case, Morey understood early on that the value of being “a good surfer” was largely personal.

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As a well-educated, world-class waterman, becoming involved in the booming surfing industry of the early sixties would seem like an obvious step for Tom. However, until that point in time, there had only been a sporadic application of technical insight in the manufacturing sector. Aside from the development of polyurethane foam, progress had been limited to hands-on experience. When Morey entered the industry, he didn’t have all the answers or even any of the answers—but he wasn’t afraid to draw from a deeper well of knowledge than the agreed-upon standard. This alone cast him as a misfit from the very beginning.

During the early 60s, he launched a company known as the Tom Morey Skeg Works in Ventura, California. Through the Skeg Works he developed TRAF, the first commercially available fin system. (Others—most notably George Downing—had been fiddling with removable fins for years, but strictly on a one-off, experimental basis.) Morey’s TRAF system allowed builders to either bond or bolt an injection-molded polypropylene fin into a channel that had been routed into the tail of a nearly finished board. TRAF introduced a number of advantages. For manufacturers, it freed them from having to make “skegs” out of wood and/or fiberglass, individually laminate them onto each board, then grind the whole mess down during the sanding process. For surfers, it became easier to have a broken skeg replaced. It also allowed them to utilize a fin that was true to the intentions of the original designer rather than the whims of the sander, who, more often than not, were “free spirits.” Morey wholesaled TRAF to reputable shops like Yater, Weber, Bing, Surfboards Hawaii, Owl and pioneer Ventura builder Tom Hale. While the concept didn’t change the surfing world, it did portend the future of fin design and manufacturing.

Karl Pope entered Tom’s professional life in 1965 when he presented Morey with an idea that he had been developing in his spare time. A fraternity brother of Tom’s at USC, Karl had a background in engineering and a growing interest in surfing. Frustrated by the difficulties posed by traveling with a full-length surfboard—and presuming that other surfers felt the same way—Pope had developed a board that could be broken down into three equal lengths and stowed in a carrying case. Morey jumped on the idea, developing production models and initially promoting them under the “Morey Tri-Sect” label. In the context of 1965, the Tri-Sect was right in step with the world’s fascination with compact technology and multi-use gadgetry. It bore a remarkable resemblance to something James Bond would procure from “Q” as he was about to embark on a mission in the tropics:

“Now listen carefully for a change, 007. Travel about the island as though you were a businessman on holiday. Upon arrival at the shoreline, simply fetch this special suitcase from the trunk of your Aston Martin, extract all three segments of the surf-riding craft, connect them together with the built-in latches, install the guidance rudder, then paddle out to the cresting breakers as if nothing were amiss.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I’m always serious, 007.”

So were Tom and Karl. Two things, however, stood between the Tri-Sect and a revolution in surf-related travel…a lack of durability and its heft. (The latches had a tendency to work loose over time, and even in an era of 28-pound “lightweights” it qualified as an absolute beast.) However, the Tri-Sect remains one of surfing’s definitive curiosities, not only as a creation, but as an early example of the kind of offbeat, leading-edge thinking Morey was eager to groom and promote.

Under-financed and overly ambitious during his early years in the surf industry. Morey eventually went into full partnership with Karl Pope. As a result of that liaison, Tom finally had the leverage he needed to utilize his aggregate talents as a surfer, engineer, businessman, mystic, and marketing virtuoso. In terms of the sheer number of ideas he brought to light, it was his most prolific period in surfing.

For all of Tom Morey and Karl Pope’s financial aspirations—make no mistake about it, these guys were in business to make some dough—Morey-Pope surfboards quickly assumed the most rebellious image of any large manufacturer of the period. Their base of operations in the two-fisted oil town of Ventura played a role in that perception, but their use of John Peck and Bob Cooper as endorser/designers was the key. Peck was the class of surfing’s underground superstars, boasting well-deserved North Shore credentials to go along with his dexterous command of small wave riding. Cooper was a solid craftsman, a savvy waterman, a glib salesman, and the Pied Piper of the burgeoning surfer/hippie movement in California. Both men were dripping with intelligence and credibility, yet they were obscure enough to give Morey the latitude he needed to hone their images. MP print ads that touted the merits of Peck and Cooper are definitive examples of image building in surfing. Morey took a gallon of truth, seasoned it with a dash of fancy, and, voila, two mainstream legends were born.

Peck and Cooper’s signature models of the era—the Penetrator and the Blue Machine, respectively—were based on the MP Snub, Tom’s noserider design with down rails in the nose, rising to high in the tail. The Snub was the first major label board to utilize down rails, albeit in the nose area only.) This highly unorthodox Tail line was intended to create lift in the front third of the board to facilitate tip riding, while giving the rider maximum drag/control in the tail area, where most longboard turns were executed. Another unique aspect of Morey-Pope’s boards were their intended length range. Customers were encouraged to ride boards that were roughly four inches shorter than the norm. While this modest downsizing may not have constituted a full-blown step toward shortboard design, it did represent a prophetic shift in emphasis from paddling ease to pure performance.

Willing to delve into every aspect of surfing’s commercial sphere, Tom got involved with the contest scene in 1966 when he orchestrated “The First United States Professional Surfing Championships.” This event was more commonly known as the Morey Nose Riding Contest, and the premise was simple and objective…the surfer with the longest cumulative time on the nose won. In theory, no one could beef about the result, and $5,000 on the line (a beau coup wad at the time), that was a wise course of action!

The competitive aspect of Morey’s objective format was really waged on two fronts—riding performance and board design—and that duality is at the heart of the long-term influence this event had on surfing. With a specific objective to work toward (and fueled by a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow), it was the first time a cross-section of builders were concurrently motivated to attack a single problem. When the dust cleared, the triumphant concept was the concave nose, which went on to become the all-time standard in noserider design. Even noseriding itself, which had been around for a number of years, was cemented as the pinnacle of small-wave longboard performance as a result of this event.

In conjunction with Morey-Pope surfboards, Tom and Karl began to develop a line of surf-related accessories aimed at serious surfers. This was a quantum leap forward for the industry, not only in the nature of the products, but in the remarkably fundamental idea of creating a surfing after-market in the first place. Aside from T-shirts and wax, there had been little to offer a surfer once he had taken delivery of a new board. When compared to what the average teenager was spending on something like his car, the after-market potential of surfing was a joke.

David Nuuhiwa, posing for a Slipcheck ad, circa 1965. Photograph courtesy of Stan Fuji/Ventura Surf Shop.

They began by introducing Slipcheck in 1966, a sprayable wax replacement consisting of an epoxy-based paint saturated with bits of solid grit. It was an excellent non-skid for use in areas of the deck that didn’t come into contact with the surfer when he was paddling, and it only needed to be reapplied several times a year. In an era when wax specifically formulated for surfing had barely emerged, Slipcheck was way, way ahead of its time. Function aside, it also became a significant element of style during the final years of the longboard era, and that influence is still being felt today. The color work that’s so prevalent on the nose of modern longboards is straight from the original Slipcheck look.

The story underlying Slipcheck’s development is equally significant. Like much of what Morey has merchandised over the years—and often been credited with—he didn’t formulate Slipcheck, originate its use on surfboards, or even name it. The gritty, epoxy paint was being used to paint road barricades for the City of Ventura in a shop next door to the MP factory. Bill Hlubina, one of Tom’s shapers, was the first to have it applied to the deck of a board as a non-skid, and shop denizen Bill Delaney dubbed it Slipcheck—a baptism worthy of Madison Avenue’s finest marketing minds.

However, as profound as the idea for a “sprayable wax replacement” was, it would have languished without Morey’s participation as a packager and a promoter. He went so far as to market Slipcheck Pattern Kits, which were nothing more than table doilies stuffed into a plastic bag. They allowed surfers to create “mind-bending” color patterns during the Slipcheck application process. After laying down a base color on the nose of your board, you threw down a bunch of Slipcheck patterns, then randomly applied another color or two. (There were a number of fluorescent colors available, and Morey once claimed in a print ad that observing the proper medley of bright shades could give someone the IQ of a genius. Based on my SAT scores, it’s painfully obvious that I never achieved the right color combination during my Slipcheck period!) The results were hip, functional, and you had to buy at least two cans of Slipcheck and the Slipcheck Pattern Kit to pull it off. It was classic Morey…he took something as antiquated as the table doily and successfully repackaged it as surfing’s homage to sixties psychedelia.

After releasing a second-generation molded fin setup in 1966 (the Wonder Bolt), Tom made a major impact on surfing with his third fin system early in 1968, W.A.V.E. SET. (W.A.V.E. being the name of Morey-Pope’s after-market company.) What made the W.A.V.E. SET system a major step forward was the use of an entirely prefabricated fin box…a first for the industry. The box replaced the earlier method of routing a channel into a board, then reinforcing the raw cavity with fiberglass. While slightly heavier than the glass channel, the W.A.V.E. SET box was considerably stronger. It also gave new boards a distinctive look, making anything else seem obsolete.

Backed by an effective print ad campaign, the W.A.V.E. SET fin system quickly became de rigueur on the mainland. With no previous history of standardization in the surfboard industry, this was a significant accomplishment. For the first time, surfers could choose from a number of fin designs cast in an array of colors and two degrees of stiffness, and all the fins were compatible with most of the marquee boards made at the time. Tom paved the way for the mass acceptance of a removable fin system by marketing fins that were already in use by the major manufacturers in California. With the exception of the Greenough Stage III, each W.A.V.E. SET fin was a familiar classic. The Weber Performer, the Bing Noserider, Gordon and Smith’s Hy-Performance and the standard fins used by Yater and Harbour were initially available. The Greenough Stage IV, a Skip Frye mini-fin, and a design from O’Neill were added to the line over the next two years.) Those prominent builders actually had two stakes in the success of W.A.V.E. SET. Their names were associated with each fin they designed, and they received a royalty for each unit sold. What choice did they have but to use and thus promote the system?

Like Tom, the W.A.V.E. SET fin system posed more questions than it answered. A new board ceased to be a finished product that a surfer could simply like or dislike once he waxed it up and rode a few waves. It had evolved into an instrument that could be tuned. This potential gave a new set of responsibilities to surfers, and we found ourselves with consequential design choices to make after the purchase of a board. Faith is an important aspect of board satisfaction for most people, and a measurable degree of that faith was lost when the fin became a variable element. (One of the many reasons for the success of the thruster design over the past twenty years is that it employs glass-on fins, freeing younger surfers from the enigma of fin choices.)

Ultimately, Morey’s design premises of the mid 60s—that longboards didn’t need to be ten feet long to work, that there was a place for low rails on a big board, that the nose and tail of the deck were better suited to a non-skid other than wax, and that fin boxes could radically expand a board’s performance potential—turned out to be prophetic, as they foretold the exact design paradigm of today’s longboard, over thirty years later.

When the shortboard revolution washed over American shores in ’68, the concept was nothing new to Tom. He’d been using George Greenough as a fin designer for years and was well aware of what shortboards were capable of. But he was equally cognizant that the wonder of small-board surfing carried a stiff price tag for average surfers. The new shapes paddled poorly, they were fragile, and they only reached their potential in overhead waves. All of these factors challenged the almost evangelistic beliefs he held regarding the needs of the general surfing public…a board that was durable, floated reasonably well and worked in everyday waves.

It wasn’t long before shortboards became the irrefutable standard (i.e., the only thing that was selling) and Morey-Pope launched its first salvo with the Bob McTavish Tracker, a convoluted rendering of the V-bottom, which had sparked the shortboard revolution in Australia a year or so earlier. When the Tracker faded from the scene, Tom took hold of the MP design reigns and developed a line of shortboards he called the Camel. His design approach was dictated—some would say hampered—by his belief that the priority of shortboard design should be maximum buoyancy. As a result, Camels sported extremely full outlines and a pronounced hump in the thickness flow just behind center…thus the name. (Morey parlayed the “Camel“ concept one step further, promoting the boards with thinly disguised Camel cigarette imagery…an unpardonable sin by today’s standards. Because of the design’s extreme shape, custom blanks were blown by Walker Foam to expedite the shaping process. Like Dave Sweet’s adjustable mold blanks in the early 60s, Camel’s form-fitted plugs could be considered a forerunner of today’s close-tolerance blank.

Tom was so committed to the idea of a buoyant shortboard that he submerged each length of each Camel model into a calibrated displacement tank to determine the designs total volume in cubic feet, then multiplied that figure by the pounds of buoyant lift per cubic foot of the core foam. After factoring out the weight of the glass, he was left with an accurate estimate of the amount of weight each board could float comfortably. (I’m not making any of this up.) This “buoyancy rating” was then noted on every new board along with the more traditional length measurement. As eccentric as this approach may have seemed, Morey’s intent was both earnest and admirable. He wanted to elevate surfing from its capricious sizing methodology and give surfers a more objective way to judge the suitability of a new board.

Unlike the Morey-Pope signature models of the previous era, neither Tom nor the MP team riders spent time test riding the Camel concept. As a result, the radical elements of the design were never brought into tune. This lack of practical testing was overly confident on Morey’s part—to say the least—but it was also reflective of his dwindling interest in contemporary board design. The shortboard revolution, for all of its do-your-own-thing rhetoric, was sustained by a rigid social structure. Nobody would be caught dead riding anything over eight feet long, and as a result, the needs of the recreational surfer were being relegated to the back burner…something Morey was opposed to for both economic and esthetic reasons.

By 1970, the sports priorities had shifted so far outside of Tom’s own value structure that he lost interest in playing the commercial game. Morey eventually sold out to Karl Pope and moved to Hawaii. His period in Ventura, however, represents an unequaled chapter in surfing’s commercial history. From start to finish, it was an attempt to push the industry out of the coastal back alleys and into the realm of design, materials, manufacture and marketing that was commonplace in almost every other field.

The Morey Pope label folded several years after Tom’s departure, and an evaluation of W.A.V.E. Corporation’s post-Morey history sheds further light on his ability to market ideas to a culture dubious of change. The molded hollow boards that Karl Pope developed during the seventies were infinitely more sophisticated than anything Morey—or anyone else—had ever created, yet they failed to impact surfing. Without Tom’s advertising panache to grease the wheels of such a fundamental development, even a skillfully engineered offering like Pope’s hollow boards had little chance of success.

After Moreys return from Hawaii in the early 70s, he hooked up with Gordon and Smith and began what would be his last campaign as a conventional surfboard designer. Tom formulated a concept board called the Waterskate, which maximized the benefits of the recently adopted low-rail/flat-bottom design trend. Longer, wider, thicker, and blockier than most boards of the era, the Waterskate was a pure planing hull with a semi-full pointed nose, a parallel outline, a broad diamond tail and a low-slung, concave deck. Like the Camel before it, the Waterskate was Morey’s attempt to create an “everyman” shortboard—one that floated well and rode common waves. Even in the seven-foot range an average-sized adult could knee paddle it, and the thing flew across small waves like it was on ball bearings. In terms of the Waterskate’s appearance, Tom wanted to buck the neo-hippie airbrush trend of the early 70s, so he glassed them all a single, solid color. This visual “anti-sleight-of-hand” was promoted by G&S as a way to reveal the true shape and volume of the board, but it had more to do with Morey’s penchant for creating an entire package, a specific design wedded to a unique look.

In its era, the Waterskate was so atypical that even the combined efforts of Tom Morey and Larry Gordon—two of surfing’s most gifted marketing talents—were unable to sell the concept in great numbers. In retrospect, we can plainly see why. While the values embodied by the Waterskate seemed hopelessly out of date, they were, in fact, over a decade ahead of their time. (Surfing’s return to longboarding by the late 80s confirms that point.) After the Waterskate’s demise, Morey seemed to lose whatever motivation he had to design conventional surfboards. He would have preferred to continue refining longboards, because that was what he believed in when it came to performance, comfort and durability. However, as a pragmatist he was left with no choice but to look beyond the constipated surf culture of the early 70s and turn his attention toward a larger, more open-minded market—the rest of mankind.

Tom Morey wasn’t the first person to make flexible belly boards out of ethafoam. He was exposed to the idea in Hawaii during the early seventies. What he did do was bring it to fruition in a manner no one else could have even imagined. Historically, surfers who construct fringe wave-riding vehicles are having too much fun in the water to bother grooming their creations for mass consumption. On the flip side, businessmen who come along and try to market “recreational” surfing equipment don’t understand the importance of grass roots credibility to the soft-core market. When Morey sold bodyboarding to the world, he navigated a course between those extremes that was so esoteric it defies analysis, even today, 25 years after the fact.

Anyone who thinks that this was child’s play—that anybody with a working knowledge of marketing could have put together the Boogie and sold it to the beach-going public—is dead wrong. There was a timbre to the entire process that struck a chord within surfing without upsetting its delicate, ego-driven apple cart. As revolutionary as the Boogie was, it didn’t threaten. As recreational as the Boogie was, surfers weren’t embarrassed to be seen with one. As simple as the Boogie was, it had an aura of authenticity for the casual beach goer. Every road taken by the beach culture somehow intersected at the Boogie. And, without exaggeration, Tom Morey was the only person on earth who could have synthesized that convergence

It was unsettling for me to watch the Boogie project come together in Tom’s breezeway in Carlsbad. He had a young family, he was broke, and he was convinced that he would make a fortune selling this thing he called a Boogie to everybody who went to the beach. He took it a step further, presuming that the entire world would change once the Boogie brought enough people into surfing. (All this from a guy who was three months behind on his rent.) It was a level of crisis thinking I had never been subjected to, and I’m not sure that I’ve fully recovered from the experience!

Like anything that’s really new, the Boogie took a while to sink in. It could best be described as a “slow-leak” revolution. Tom projected his own belief in the Boogie with the determination of an unlicensed backhoe operator. Anyone who stumbled into his orbit got the “Boogies are bitchin!” spiel. Lifeguards, quickee-mart clerks, the UPS guy, families walking past his house on their way to the beach…you name it, they heard about it. Tiny black-and-white ads began to appear in surf magazines urging people to “Enjoy Morey Boogie.” It sounded like something a Tokyo ad agency would generate the day their English language interpreter was out with the flu. It was also light years beyond the overtly phallic references Morey had utilized in the past with such gems as The Blue Machine, The Wonder Bolt, and his magnum opus to adolescent male sexuality, The Peck Penetrator.

Tom with “Ol’ Number One,” the first Boogie board. Photograph by Craig Stecyk.

I produced a Boogie promotional film (G-rated) that featured Tom riding the Seaside Reef shore break on a clear, ice-cold winter morning. In deference to the warm-and-fuzzy spirit of the Boogie, he declined to wear a wetsuit for the shoot. My cinematic effort also included footage of Tom and his wife Marchia using a Boogie as a toboggan up at Big Bear, careening down a hillside of ice and snow with no semblance of control whatsoever. While riding a Boogie on the slopes represented one of the earliest crossover attempts between surfing and skiing, the mountaineering potential of the Boogie was never realized, although judging from the pileups at the bottom of the hill that day, Boogie snowboarding would definitely qualify as an extreme sport.

The first Boogies were sold through mail order, and they were construction kits consisting of a shaped core, two skins, a razor blade, a sheet of sandpaper and an absolutely classic “instruction manual” that was hand-lettered and illustrated by Tom. I was given the task of shaping the cores, gathering together the elements of the kits, wrapping the entire melange in brown paper, then sending them off to Boogie-hopefuls around the world. Keep in mind, when these gentle souls posted their order, they didn’t know what they were getting, how to make it or even how to ride it. In those first months, every purchase was based solely on the faith that Morey had generated through his print ads. As the Boogie mail-order business grew, Tom would get letters from single moms that included a snapshot of the worst execution of a Boogie kit imaginable (they weren’t all that easy to put together), and a note saying how much she and her kids loved it. “And by the way,” they would continue, “here’s some more money. Send us two additional kits.” My firmly-held conviction that commerce and the human soul were mortal enemies began to crumble.

Tom eventually had to move the swelling business out of his home, renting industrial space in nearby Oceanside. Local surfies were hired on, more efficient production techniques were conceived, and the first fully finished production boards began to reach the public. Mike Doyle started building prototypes of full-sized soft surfboards, and even Merv Larson, California’s preeminent gypsy/craftsman, parked his big brown panel van out back and began to explore the use of ethafoam for his own surf-ski projects.

Tom’s initial premise of the scope of Boogie Boarding—no blood thirsty competition, no leashes, no skegs, no standing up—underwent major bypass surgery as everyone from hardcore hotties to recreational kooks fashioned the musing to their own liking. (Feedback ran the gamut from one experienced surfer who claimed that the most effective way to ride a Boogie was upside down and backward to a guy who successfully refuted Morey’s claim that the Boogie was “unbreakable” by mounting one in a large bench vise and ripping it in two with the help of a friend.) The frequently touted “flexible nature of the Boogie” evolved from a description of its ability to bend to an expression of the many ways it could be ridden. Like a bicycle, the Boogie was a great equalizer when it came to style. If you could ride one at all, you were riding it correctly. And, like a bicycle, it had a way of transporting the rider both physically and emotionally—a quality not lost on the millions who have been introduced to surfing through the unassuming conveyance known as the Morey Boogie.

Tom once posted a large sign in the street-front window of this Boogie shop in Oceanside proclaiming “INVENTIONS” as the true nature of his business. Even as his pet project, the Boogie, was finally taking off, his practical ambitions were being overshadowed by his need to continue looking forward…a dilemma that has typified his entire career. Ironically, surfing’s principal failing—its laid-back attitude toward meaningful change—provided the ideal atmosphere for him to flourish. Morey’s work over the past four decades represents more than his personal growth. It represents the growth of an entire culture. His imagination has reached so far into our future, we may never evolve beyond his influence.

Epilogue

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 14:11:07-0800
From: Y & Marchia <starwaves@fea.net>
Reply-To: starwaves@fea.net
Organization: STAR WAVES MIMI-Version: 1.0
To: Pezman <srfrsjrnl@earthlink.net>
Subject: Y

Baha 1, 156 (March 21. 1999)

To those of you who have enjoyed Morey® products made originally by myself (1955-1965), with Karl Pope (1965-1969) or since by WAVE, Kransco, Mattel and/or Wham-O Corporations, my family and I wish to express our deep-felt thanks for 34 years of your support.

However, now for numerous reasons,* I am discarding the name ‘Morey®’ and will hereafter go by just plain ‘Y;’ that is, no first, middle or last monikers, just the single capital letter, ‘Y.’

Thanks for listening.

Enjoy,

Y

* In case you’re interested in why the change:

• Sometimes a guy turns a corner and instead of what was hoped for, encounters a dead end. Then, the only real choice is to just head back to where the options are once again attractive. In 1978, I sold limited manufacturing and sales rights for use of the name ‘Morey®’ on certain surfing devices. Having for the past twenty-one years attempted to serve to the best of my capacity the three corporations*** who have produced Morey® brand bodyboards, I feel it’s best to now move along totally independent of every association with that former name.

• Thus, creating under my own name, Y, confusion can be eliminated between what I offer as my life’s work and merchandise sold by Wham-0 Corporation bearing the trade name Morey®. Let each brand now be judged on its own merit.

• Graphically. I find the strikingly symmetric look of Y quite pleasing.

• I also like how ‘Y’ sounds; easy to both say and hear…even against a noisy background.

• There are thousands of Thomases and Toms in the world, hundreds of Moreys and dozens of Tom Moreys. However, now there is only one person on the planet Earth named Y, me.

• Y is short and simple: easy to remember: unlike the words Thomas Hugh Morey, given by my loving, well-meaning parents back in 1935. Short and simple as well in comparison to so many of today’s trendy and foreign names having even more spelling and pronunciation complexity, names composed of words proclaiming one’s racial background and/or patterned after some religious saint, president or movie hero.

• Y is a spelling no-brainer.

• True, “Y” also sounds identical to “why.” yet again is simpler. Figuring out Y has been of great importance throughout my life.

• The design Y depicts the prime number three, yet also encompasses the prime numbers one and two.

• Yttrium, whose symbol is ‘Y’ is used to strengthen; even chromium.

• Y represents two of nature’s great activities: branching. whereby the one becomes two, and mating…the two becoming one.

** 1955-1965 unbranded. Australian Surf Shop. Tom Morey Skeg Works. and MOREY Surfboards produced by Tom Morey and associates.

1965-1966, Morey Trisect and MOREY-POPE Surfboards, produced with Karl Pope and associates.

1967-1969. Slipcheck Traction Spray, W.A.V.E. Set Fin System, and MOREY-POPE Surfboards, produced by WAVE Corporation.

1971-1975. Morey S.N.A.K.E. Machine and Morey Boogie produced by Tom Morey and associates. 

1975-1977. Morey Boogie®, Morey ULTRA, and Morey DOYLE produced by Tom Morey and Company Incorporated. 

*** 1977-1998. Morey Boogie® and Morey® brand bodyboards and accessories, produced by Kransco, Mattel and/or Wham-0 Corporations.

Happy new year!