Free-thinking inventor of the boogie board and surfing hall-of-famer, Tom Morey, dead at 86: “Hello. I am a spaceman. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Bob Simmons!”
"The world is an old-fashioned place to me. Everything I see can be improved."
One of surfing’s great gifts to the world, the inventor Tom Morey, has died a couple of months after his eighty-sixth birthday.
Ol Tom wasn’t in the best shape. He was blind and broke, pretty much, despite the outrageous success of the boogie board, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this July.
A fundraiser was created a few years ago to help him and his wife Marchia get through the tough times brought on by the usual catastrophic medical bills and so forth; a hundred gees giving a little comfort in his final years on earth.
Morey, whose $1500 Tom Morey Invitational was the first surfing event to throw its competitors a little cash, invented the 4’6”, 23” wide foam boog in 1971; it was more than a toy for kids to hold onto in shorebreaks, he explained, this was a profound shift in waveriding.
“For anybody to become a graduate of this planet,” Morey who would sell out of his Boogie biz four years later thereby missing the rivers of gold said, “it is essential that they learn to enjoy this activity.”
“I am a spaceman. I am the spirits of Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Bob Simmons, taken possession, temporarily, of the innocent body known here on earth as Tom Morey,” he wrote. “I (we, really) am looking at your surfboards of today and thinking they are junk.”
In 1999, Morey changed his name to Y explaining in a press release that it’s “easy to say and hear” and “the symmetric look of ‘Y’ is quite pleasing.”
When I asked Pipe shredder and nine-time bodyboard world champ Mike Stewart if he’d heard Tom had died he wrote,
“Took his last breath today and now paddling into perfection.”
Listen: Extreme sport fans infuriated by august publication The Surfer’s Journal gracing cover with beautiful Nathan Fletcher throw away air!
The unstated codes, silent rules, of extreme sports including skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing are what makes our games so very beautiful. Don’t photo the spot, don’t say where you are going, never feature an un-stuck air on cover of increasingly rare printed magazines.
The Surfer’s Journal, maybe the purest paper and ink out there, just violated the third, featuring a gorgeous shot of Nathan Fletcher soaring so high, out the back, into splashdown on its latest wrapping and camps quickly pitched.
“An iconic moment.”
I love the omertà but am also undecided-adjacent here, though not really.
My wife, Circe Wallace, anyhow, graciously swung into the weekly recording of The Grit! podcast to provide proper insight on the matter at hand. She, an ex-professional snowboarder, has represented some of the best extreme athletes of our generation and has a far more valuable opinion.
Late last evening Hollywood funnyman and heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne Jonah Hill took to Instagram with a heartfelt message, writing, “I know you mean well but ask that you not comment on my body good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”
The response was universally positive with famous actors/actresses, models, chefs all weighing in to praise Hill’s position.
The 63-year-old starlet Sharon Stone added her blessing too, asking, “Can I say you look good cuz u do” adding one fire emoji for emphasis.
Well, the universal positivity directed toward Hill quickly turned to black, bubbling rage when pointed at Stone.
No insult off limits.
The fans went haywire, impolitely screaming at the Sliver star that she was dumb, old, a boomer, illiterate, deaf and in need of help, square amongst other barbs. A relentless stream of severe bullying except, remarkably, not one note from Hill himself asking to maybe tone down the vitriol and forgive Stone for being completely out of line and complimenting.
Standing quietly by, beatific smile on Buddha face, watching Stone get torn limb from limb.
Maybe ultra-sensitivity is a one-way street?
Jonah Hill fans bare fangs, viciously round on Sharon Stone after Fatal Attraction star compliments heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne: “Can i say you look good cuz you do (fire)”
"way to blatantly disregard the boundary he JUST blatantly set."
Yesterday, not even twelve hours ago, fans of Hollywood funnyman Jonah Hill bared their gleaming fangs and viciously rounded on the 63-year-old actress Sharon Stone over a seemingly compliment paid to the heir of Miki Dora’s Malibu throne.
The business got started when Hill uploaded an earnest message to Instagram reading, “I know you mean well buy I kindly ask that you not comment on my body (heart) good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”
The mainstream media speculated the post was in reference to a recent adulatory US Weekly candid spread.
In February, the Superbad actor addressed his newfound freedom, taking off shirt in public, after years of sensitivity. “Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers,” he said. “So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can’t phase me anymore is dope. I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself.”
His latest post was met with much love and respect. The artist SZA commented, “Absolutely love you. Thank you!!!” Saturday Night Live alum Aidy Bryant shared a green check mark. Beanie Feldstein, who appears as Monica Lewinsky in the new program Impeachment: American Crime Story added, “That’s (clap) my (clap) brother (clap).”
The trouble began when Sharon Stone noted, “Can i say you look good cuz you do (fire emoji)”
The fallout was instantaneous and universally damning with Hill fans digging in, tearing out hunks of flesh.
“wtf that’s literally the point of the post.”
“Be better, Sharon.”
“he said NO!!!”
“Read the post again (eye roll).”
“u don’t seem to understand the assignment.”
“way to blatantly disregard the boundary he JUST blatantly set.”
On and on and on it cascaded with universal disdain for the Basic Instinct lead.
Difficult to see how Stone survives the hold down.
A heavy heavy wave.
Sunny Garcia at full extension, Burleigh Heads.
New existential crisis: Is jiujitsu actually gonna work in a surf fight?
No one gets into martial arts for community, discipline or the camaraderie. You walked into that gym to create an ultra-violent, fighting machine.
Around here, we’ve been around the world enough to not be shy.We know the booby traps.
Let’s be real.
No one gets into martial arts for community, discipline or the camaraderie, although this ideal is often expressed to friends, family.
You walked into that gym cause you wanted to beat hell out of another man.
You wanted to create a dynamite fighting machine with an ultra-violent capability.
You bite a hunk of trouble off in the water and it’s more than you can chew, what do you do, tough guy? You want skills.
Girl gets slapped in some bucket-of-blood bar and she’s counting on you to wrap that fool up in your sails. Skills.
Kid gets belted by a coach or wanna-be baby gangsters. Skills.
You want to walk tall. Fear no man.
I threw in with what used to be called Brazilian jiujitsu, as referenced here, here and here, but what is now rapidly evolving into all-discipline grappling, snatching the best of wrestling, sambo and judo.
Does it work in the surf?
Le me sketch a recent surf fight.
Smallish but lushly rounded waves, crowd not so bad.
I’m in a pack with two pals and another man whom I’ve already noted pauses on takeoffs and whose back foot operates from a position three inches in front of his tail pad, a mirror image of me.
He rides a squared-off Tomo, a one-thousand dollar surfboard handled only by the very best and the very worst.
Tomo man on inside, pal on outside. Whistle for pal to go despite the superficial shattering of surf etiquette.
Tomo man yells with full doomsday vibes; pal ignores.
I take next wave into impact zone to enjoy the melee first hand.
Tomo man insults pal’s prematurely aged appearance.
Pal lifts Tomo man by the collar of his wetsuit and…pop…pop…pop… three shots to the head. Practised jabs. Tomo man’s eyes are phosphorescent. He rolls to his side to avoid more blows.
A set separates ‘em, they paddle back out.
Tomo man tells another couple of surfers he’s just been belted although the only injury, interestingly, is a dislocated finger on my pal’s hand, and adds something to the effect my pal is lucky it didn’t go to the beach ‘cause he would’ve unleashed his jiujitsu.
Existential crisis. Did I just spent a year, six days a week, learning to operate a vehicle that is obsolete?
And now an aside, a message from our sponsor, whatever you want to call it: the training benefits of jiujisu have been superb, although not as sharp as surfing. Here, let’s pause, all of us, to examine a recent day of surfing by the two-time world surfing champion John John Florence, whose wrist is bejewelled in WHOOP.
John John, who turns twenty-nine in five days, went to bed at 7.43 pm, a Saturday, woke up a little after five am, surfed from 7:45 until 10:25, ate, maybe, whatever, then shredded from 12:40 to 4:03, a total of nearly seven hours in the drink.
“I really like surfing,” writes John John, who burned 4309 calories and whose heart rate variability, a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat, fitter you are, higher the number, is a relatively impressive 77 although well short of my 101, as seen below.
Anyway, the deeper you get into grappling game, the more you realise its inherent flaws, although as a jiujitsu man, who surfs told me, the guy getting punched should’ve dived down, grabbed my pal’s heel, hooked it and wrenched out his knee. No more surfing for you, buddy.
As the philosopher, author etc Sammy Harris advised,
When you are standing at arm’s length from your opponent, you want to be able to punch like a Western-style boxer and kick like a Thai boxer.
Moving closer, you want to remain a Thai boxer in your ability to strike with your knees and elbows.
Once your opponent grabs hold of you, or you him (the clinch), you want to have the skills of a Greco-Roman/freestyle wrestler—controlling his posture and throwing him to the ground at will.
In the presence of sufficient clothing (jackets, coats, or traditional martial arts uniforms), this vertical grappling can take the form of judo. The general picture at this range is of two people being too close to strike one another effectively: You want to be the one who can move the fight to the ground on his own terms—by executing takedowns or throws—and who can resist being taken there.
And if the fight goes to the ground, the surest path to the safety of home remains Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The original revelation of the UFC still stands.
He added an important caveat,
Because BJJ is geared toward fighting on the ground, and is so decisive there, you can easily acquire a bias toward going to the ground on principle. When rolling on the mat, perfecting arm locks and chokes, it is easy to forget that in a real fight, your opponent is very likely to be punching you, or armed with a weapon, or in the company of friends who might be eager to kick you in the head (facts that are given cursory treatment in most BJJ training).