"I am on fire. I am dangerous, I am absolutely out of control.”
You’ll remember, of course, the death of surfing’s great gift to the world, the inventor Tom Morey, who died a couple of months after his eighty-sixth birthday, last October.
Ol Tom exited blind and broke despite the outrageous success of the boogie board which had just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.
Morey 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.”
Now, an Australian surfboard shaper from the sweet little country town of Nambucca Heads, a few hours south of Byron, has put his tweak on the iconic lid and says miracles are afoot.
Keith Robinson, who is seventy-four, says he made his fibreglass“gut slider” so his sixty-seven-year-old buddy, Toni Jovancay, who was so tortured with hip pain he’d holstered his sticks, could get back into surfing.
“As soon as I paddled out in North Valla, I immediately knew this was fantastic,” Jovancay told ABC. “If I didn’t have other things in life, I’d say it has changed my whole life.”
Two weeks on the GS and he says, “I am on fire. I am dangerous, I am absolutely out of control.”
Robinson says he’s been making a couple of ‘em a week for surfers who’ve been hobbled by uncooperative ankles, knees, hips or for riding post-op.
Nambucca Heads photographer Chris Hewgill said, “I’ve seen a guy who hasn’t been able to [stand-up ride] for years. He got on one of these things and was like 15 again.”
I’m about three years away from one of these things, although better to be in the water than not at all, no?
Or better to quit and never return?