Who Invented the Bodyboard?

September 20, 2022 4 min read

The first bodyboard was invented by Tom Morey. The problem with Morey's invention was that he suffered from serious vision problems and had no money. This made him an inventor rather than an entrepreneur. He had a lot of ideas and started experimenting with different materials, such as foam, at sea. In 1971, he decided to move to Hawaii and try to develop a new type of surfboard. He began by shaping a foam surfboard and covering it with waterproof newspaper. He called this new board the Boogie Board.

Tom Morey

The bodyboard was invented by Tom Morey in 1971 in Hawaii. It is a versatile craft that combines extreme and accessible wave-riding. Originally called a boogie board, it has become one of the most popular ways to enjoy summer surfing. Its invention opened the door to a new wave-riding world.

Unlike other surfboards, a bodyboard is shorter than a surfboard. Morey carved out a piece of polyethylene foam and shaped the nose and base with a sharp trailing edge. The board was quick and powerful, and it allowed riders to feel the rhythmic tug of the waves.

In the 1970s, Morey began experiments with a soft foam that he carved out for prone surfing. The resulting board resembled a kneeboard but was much lighter and softer than its predecessor. Morey intended to call the board S.N.A.K.E., short for side navel arm knee elbow. His designs became popular, and he was able to sell more than 80,000 boards in 1977. By 1978, his company in Carlsbad, California, had employed 100 people.

Phyllis Dameron

Phyllis Dameron was born in Pasadena, California, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the early 1960s, she first learned to surf on rubber mats and eventually began using a bodyboard. The sport was not yet a popular sport for women, but she took to it, customizing her boards with holes and adding a wrist rope. Unlike other women who have entered bodyboarding competitions, Dameron has never competed in a sponsored bodyboarding competition.

During the 1970s, Phyllis Dameron went to Oahu's Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay to body surf. These beaches had six-meter waves, and she could paddle out in a bikini and paddle her way up the waves. In 1978, she became the first woman to body surf.

Bodyboarding soon exploded as a sport. By the 1980s, bodyboards were sold in thousands of surf shops and stores across coastal America. Eventually, the sport gained its own identity and performance standards. Jack Lindholm, the inventor of the drop-knee stance, helped bodyboards become more mainstream and popular.

Jack Lindholm

Bodyboarding is a popular sport in which a surfer rides waves prone. It is easy to learn and incredibly fun to do. In the 1970s, Hawaiian waterman Jack Lindholm came up with a new stance for bodyboarders, known as the 'Jack stance.' Over the years, this stance has become a distinct division of the sport, with its own world champion.

The 'Jack Stance' was born in Hawaii, where Jack Lindholm honed his boogie-boarding skills at Makapuu and Sandy Beach. He eventually developed a stance that was functional and easy to learn and perfect. The result was the dropknee, which is one of the most popular bodyboarding techniques today. His nine-time world title-winning style pushed the boundaries of bodyboarding.

In the late 1970s, the bodyboard was still an outlier. Some riders rode them at Pipeline, but the bodyboard wasn't widely adopted until Jack Lindholm started riding it. By the 1980s, a bodyboard division was included in the US amateur tour and the first bodyboarding championships were held in California. A decade later, the bodyboarding craze spread to the mainland, where Mike Stewart was a pioneer in the sport and performed some of the first ever-seen maneuvers.

Mike Stewart

In the mid-'70s, Jack Lindholm paddled into the big waves of Hawaii on a bodyboard, riding a wave up to 20 feet high. He became one of bodyboarding's biggest stars. Mike Stewart went on to win the second world championship in Pipeline, California, in 1983. He also became famous for popularizing tricks like the barrel roll and the reverse 360. He was also the first bodyboarder to fly into the air. He also made the first 540-degree cartwheel. He is currently trying to become the first person to turn 720 degrees.

In the 1980s, bodyboarding exploded in Australia and America. When it hit the mainstream, surfers had no idea what to do with the rising tide of bodyboarders who were taking surfing seriously. Some of these newcomers were even featured in traditional surf magazines, and big companies sponsored token bodyboarders to get people to buy their boards. Stewart was the first to develop a bodyboard that had deep tubes and a low center of gravity. This helped him ride even deeper and see inside the limits of the waves he surfed.

Today, Stewart is one of the world's top bodyboarders. He has won nine World Championships and countless other bodysurfing events. While most bodyboarders will only surf once a year, Stewart competes 15 times each summer season, primarily in California. He also competes five times during the winter months.



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