ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — Tom Morey, a surfing legend who created the Boogie Board, has died at the age of 86.
The California Surf Museum confirmed Morey’s death on its website, saying he passed away surrounded by loved ones Wednesday evening at the Saddleback Medical Center in Orange County, California.
Morey’s family told The Washington Post and CNN that he died due to complications from a stroke.
In a tribute to Morey, the museum described him as “one of the early pioneers in the modern surfing era” and said he could be considered the “Ben Franklin of the surfing world.”
The Detroit native became a seminal figure in the culture, becoming an influence in nearly every aspect of surfing, according to the museum.
The surfer may be best known for creating the Boogie Board, which has helped introduce kids to the joy of riding waves.
Morey’s son, Sol, acknowledged his father’s death in a Facebook post and asked that the public allow family members to have time to collect their thoughts following the death.
“This happened all too fast but with much-shared rejoicing in remembering his amazing strength of both body mind and spirit,” wrote Sol. “Please keep him in your thoughts and beat a rhythm on a place that gives you joy that it’s tune may be intoned forever in your hearts.”