It's about life - not "lifestyle"
Surfboards have been around since before history existed to record them. Basically, all surfboard design and construction work has been "refinement", rather than "invention".  There have really only been two true surfing inventions in the past hundred years: the swim fin by Owen Churchill, and the Boogie (or bodyboard) by Tom Morey. Rare air, indeed. So when Tom Morey, or Y as he's now known, checked in with some thoughts on our recent series on bodyboarding, and bodyboarding in general, we thought it would be worth sharing.
Via e-mail - Friday, July 26, 2002.

I read (some of) the article on the decline of bodyboarding and wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

The reason for whatever is the supposed decline, is the same as perceptions of this and other so called "industries"...

Surfing and bodyboarding magazines are mostly photos, and some writing.Youth doesn't really respond too well to writing because it takes more time than youth must hold the interest and to take a picture of a person actually enjoying the activity of bodyboarding, again, ACTIVITY, would be to display what could probably be a pretty broing looking picture. So instead, action shots are shown. Up in the sir, twisting about, or buried in some dangerous or semi impossible position. But as a result, the activity is portrayed (and this has also been the downfall of sail boarding and many other pleasureable activities) as a form of gymnastics.

But surfing, in what ever form, usually is like eating. You don't really toss your fork around, make weird faces and lots of noise when you eat, do you? You just eat quietly and enjoy it. A personal thing.

What if an eating contest was held...conducted like a surfing contest?...What is an eating magazine was designed like a surf magazine? People would be portrayed wolfing down food, flashing their teeth, belching and farting...persons who preformed the most of these gross attention getters would be photographed the most and win contests.

However, millions more boogie boarders (sorry, the name bodyboarder has never done it for me...sounds like what the dead body of some war casualty might have been slid down on its was into a body bag) this year entered the surf for the first time on mostly cheapo rice sack covered EPS foam boards painted by Chinese. "Loser" boards, so cheap that if the family's kid loses the board he's not in deep trouble. These often squealing ...juniors count equally with each of us old timers who have perhaps forgotten how much fun it is just to have the wave wash up against your feet. Who knows what ultimately will be the resulting contribution to the progress of mankind by these new kids on our block?

Meanwhile, surfing's spread has still only scratched the surface. Twenty million, maybe thirty million surfers of a total six billion people on the planet is only 1/2 of 1%. Hardly anyone.

Thanks for listening.

- Y  (formerly Tom Morey)

See some of what Y is up to here:
1/2 of 1% of the world population riding waves in some manner? Sometimes it seems like they all go to the beach at the same time, and same place. This can be discouraging, but there are poeple out there working on alternatives, and Y is hooked up with some of them. For more on the future, click the link below.
Coming Soon
Surf Media
Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved. Letter from Tom Morey (C) Tom Morey.