August 27, 2022 4 min read

Bodyboarding is a relatively new sport, having only been around since the early 1970s. It is believed to have been invented by a man named Tom Morey, who was living in Honolulu, Hawaii at the time. Morey was a surfboard shaper and is credited with creating the first bodyboard, which was made out of polyurethane foam. He called it the Morey Boogie Board and it quickly became popular with surfers and bodyboarders alike.

The Early History of Bodyboarding

In the early 1970s, Hawaiian surfer Tom Morey was experimenting with different ways to ride waves. He created a small surfboard that he called the “Boogie Board” and it quickly became popular with other surfers. Morey continued to experiment with the design of his boards and in 1975, he created the first bodyboard. The early bodyboards were made of polyurethane and had a handgrip on the deck. Morey’s design was inspired by the boogie boards that he had seen in Australia. He named his new invention the “Morey Boogie Board” and it quickly became popular with Hawaiian surfers.

The Growth of Bodyboarding

The sport of bodyboarding has experienced exponential growth since its humble beginnings in the early 1970s. While the exact origins of bodyboarding are disputed, most agree that the sport was invented on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Australian surfer Tom Morey is credited with inventing the modern bodyboard in 1971, and he continues to be an influential figure in the sport to this day.

Since its inception, bodyboarding has continued to grow in popularity around the world. The sport is now practiced in nearly every country with a coastline, and there are professional bodyboarding competitions held all over the globe. The sport has also been featured in mainstream films and television shows, further increasing its visibility.

Bodyboarding today

In the 1970s, bodyboarding became popular in California, and by the 1980s, it had spread to Australia, Europe, and South America. Nowadays, bodyboarding is a global sport with competitions held all over the world. The sport has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Hawaii, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

In the early 1980s, the first bodyboarding competitions were held. These competitions helped to promote the sport and attract new participants. Today, bodyboarding is still growing in popularity.

There are two main types of bodyboarding: prone and drop-knee.

  • Prone bodyboarding is the most common, and it is the style that is most often seen in competitions.
  • Drop-knee bodyboarding is less common, but it is gaining popularity.

Bodyboarding competitions are held all over the world, and the sport has even been included in the X Games.

The Impact of Technology on Bodyboarding

The history of bodyboarding is fascinating. The sport has its roots in ancient Polynesia, where it was used as a means of transportation. In the early 1900s, bodyboarding gained popularity in Hawaii, where it was used as a surfing aid. In the 1970s, bodyboarding began to evolve into the sport we know today. The biggest impact on bodyboarding has been the development of technology. The invention of the foam board in the 1970s revolutionized the sport, making it more accessible to a wider audience. In the 1980s, the development of the bodyboard leash made it possible to ride waves of all sizes. Today, bodyboarding is one of the most popular surfing disciplines in the world.

bodyboarding sport


Bodyboarding is a popular water sport in which the rider lies on their board and paddles to catch a wave.

Bodyboarding was invented in the early 1970s by Tom Morey. Morey was a surfer who was looking for a way to surf when the waves were poor.

He experimented with different materials and designs before settling on the bodyboard we know today.

Morey's invention quickly caught on, and bodyboarding is now a popular sport all over the world.


Who invented the bodyboard?

The modern body board was invented in 1971 by Tom Morey. Morey was a former surfing champion and lifeguard who was looking for a new way to catch waves. He experimented with different materials and shapes until he found the perfect combination. The body board quickly became popular among surfers and lifeguards. Today, it is one of the most popular water sports in the world.

Who invented boogie boarding?

Boogie boarding, also commonly referred to as bodyboarding, is a water sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard on the crest, face, and curl of a wave. Bodyboarding is thought to have originated in ancient Hawaii, where it was known as he'e nalu, which means "wave sliding." The modern-day boogie board was invented in 1971 by Tom Morey.

body boarding

How did bodyboarding come about?

Bodyboarding was first developed in Hawaii in the early 1970s. A group of surfers who were looking for a way to catch waves when the surf was flat came up with the idea of using a small bodyboard. They shaped the boards out of foam and added handles for stability.

The sport quickly caught on and soon became popular with both surfers and non-surfers alike. Today, bodyboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world.

Is Tom Morey still alive?

Tom Morey, the inventor of the boogie board, is still alive and well. He currently resides in Hawaii, where he spends his days surfing, swimming, and spending time with his family. Morey is a true pioneer in the world of surfing, and his invention has changed the sport forever.

When was the first body board invented?

In 1971, Hawaiian surfer Tom Morey was riding the waves on his belly when he had a Eureka moment – what if he could ride the waves standing up? And just like that, the first body board was born. Morey carved out a piece of polyurethane foam and attached it to a piece of plywood, creating a rudimentary board that he called the “Morey Boogie Board.”

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

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