Surfing Heritage & Culture Center

SHACC Photo Archive Prints:

SHACC Photo Archive Prints

Legendary Surfers Updates:

Legendary Surfers Updates

Gem Of The Week:

Subscribe to our mailing list

Powered by Robly

Follow us on:

Follow us on Twitter



Subscribe to our feeds...

Subscribe to the Surfing Heritage Main Exhibits RSS Feed Surfing Heritage

Subscribe to the Legendary Surfers RSS Feed Legendary Surfers


The Surfing Heritage Foundation is Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

A Swizzle!

In honor of our upcoming exhibit, "What Box? Thinking Outside traditional Lines of Surfboard Design", featuring work by Tom Morey, Carl Ekstrom, Donald Brink and Ryan Burch, we decided to feature this recently donated Morey "Swizzle" from Don Bishop. 
Below is an article on the Swizzle that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, back nearly a decade ago:

A whole new wave
Tom Morey wants surfers to try the Swizzle Stick, a soft board that's designed to shred
By Rachel Laing
April 24, 2005
OCEANSIDE – People who spent their youth in coastal Southern California since the 1970s probably had their summer memories touched by Tom Morey.
Morey, who whiled away his own youth on local beaches, invented the Boogie board, the spongy bodyboard that has become a fixture on garage-wall hooks throughout the region.
Now, nearly 35 years after the Boogie's debut, Morey is ready to launch another innovation in wave-riding: the soft-performance surfboard.
To hard-core surfers, it might seem Morey is dreaming the impossible dream."Soft" and "performance" are mutually exclusive, they'll tell you. Soft boards are for beginners and vacationers from the corn-producing states. If you want to shred, you shell out the bucks for a board with a fiberglass shell.
But Morey, who's been surfing since the days of wooden boards, sees plenty of room for improvement to today's hard surfboard. He's spent the past decade working on a board he believes does a better job of preserving the fun of surfing while removing some of the peril hard boards pose to surfers' heads and faces.
"In my view, surfing isn't about constantly being in jeopardy," he said.
Dubbed the Swizzle Stick, Morey's board is shaped of polypropylene foam, the same lightweight, shock-absorbent material that's inside modern car bumpers. The foam core is covered with a vibrantly colored skin of polyethylene, an inexpensive, waxy plastic, that is heat-seared onto the shape. The only hard surface on the board is the wooden spine, called a stringer, that runs up the middle of all surfboards to give them stability.
While it's hardly pillow-soft, the board's slight give makes the threat of being nailed in the head less menacing.
"You need to get bumped a little to get the idea," Morey said. "But you won't get maimed."
Morey has spent about a decade designing the Swizzle, trying out various materials, shapes and manufacturing processes. He was assisted by Chuck Herpick, an old surfing buddy he's known since the 1940s, with input from Jimmy Linville of J.L. Designs, a well-known local custom bodyboard maker thatshares workshop space in Oceanside with Morey's Y Surfboards.
The Swizzle Stick went through hundreds of iterations before the fine-tuning process started a few years ago. For this phase, Morey relied on a small network of serious surfers who bought early versions of the board to help work out the final kinks. Anyone who had a problem could exchange the board for a newer version, so Morey was always aware of design flaws.
One early user was Richard Ruiz, who works from his beachfront condo in Oceanside and surfs daily. Ruiz has witnessed the evolution of the Swizzle Stick through experimentation with various materials, problems with leaks and stringers that break.
Recently, he said, he wrote to Morey and Herpick to tell them they'd done it at last: They made a soft board that performed as well as a hard board while offering several advantages hard boards can't match.
Ruiz said the board is extremely buoyant without being bouncy. Its softness makes it comfortable to lie on and to kneel on for paddling. Best of all, he said, the board inspires a confidence hard boards don't.
"I take off on waves on the Swizzle that I otherwise wouldn't take off on because I'd be measuring the consequences," Ruiz said. "If I know I'm going to hit something, with fiberglass, I just pass on it."
Paul Mears, who discovered the Swizzle Stick at an Encinitas surf shop, said another advantage of the board is its resistance to "dings," nicks in the shell of hard boards that will cause them to leak.
"It's completely ding-resistant," Mears said. "It doesn't absorb water, no matter what happens to it."
That quality makes it a good traveling board, Mears said. He has taken his to Hawaii and surfed in contests with it.
The Swizzle is sold over the Internet and from Y Surfboard's production facility on South Cleveland Avenue in Oceanside, as well as a few surf shops in California and Hawaii.
Now that the board is ready for consumer sales, the company is anticipating a swell in demand and plans to license the board out to a manufacturer for an upfront fee and royalties.
With all that the Swizzle has going for it, the biggest challenge for Y Surfboards might be overcoming surfers' dismissive attitude toward soft boards.
Mears recalls a story of a fellow surfer's initial disdain upon paddling over to him in the water to check out his Swizzle Stick.
"He grabs it and says, 'Aw, a sponger,'" Mears said. "Then I took off and did really well on the wave, and the guy couldn't believe how I could surf."
The Swizzle Stick, while less expensive than hard boards, is an investment. A 9-foot board retails for about $600.



Post a Comment

Mucho Mahalo's for your comment!

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Digital Watermarking of our images – Public Notice

As part of our commitment to protecting our image donors, the Surfing Heritage Foundation has begun using digital watermarking on ALL of our images, including those images seen on our website. This watermark is not visible to the eye, but is easily seen by many computer programs such at Photoshop and other image editing programs. In addition, we have also purchased a “watermark spider” that crawls the Internet specifically looking for any images that contain our SHF watermark. The Surfing Heritage Foundation is prepared to take the appropriate action should we find any illegal or unlicensed usage of images from our files.