There are few brands more associated with the bodyboard than Morey. Which makes sense, when you consider that the founder of the company, Tom Morey, invented the very first boogie board.
The Mach 7 came along a little later, but the incredible performance and classic design has made it a favorite in the years since.
Using a Mach 7 to catch your first wave is a memory that many bodyboarders share. A fantastic beginner’s bodyboard, and one you’ll struggle to say goodbye to, the Mach 7 is designed for everybody.
With a crisp shape and bold coloring, the Mach 7 has to be the most iconic bodyboard around.
The Mach 7 was applauded at release for being an innovative way to explore the waves. But time has continued moving forward, and advances in bodyboarding have just kept on coming. So how does the Mach 7, once the very top of it’s class, perform today?
Mach 7 — Is It Still The Best?
For many who grew up on the Mach 7, it can be hard to look at it objectively. There’s just something about this board that brings back memories of summers spent in the surf, bruises half the size of your body, and that thrilling thump of adrenaline.
But there are some design features of the Mach 7 that mean even now, 40 years after the original release, it’s still one of the best bodyboards around.
The Mach 7 Specs
The Mach 7 comes in a few different sizes: 41”, 42”, and 43”. This makes it a decent size for a lot of people, from taller children to average-sized adults. The Mach 7 isn’t great for a larger adult, but almost anyone else can enjoy it.
The Mach 7 weighs roughly 5.5 pounds, so it’s fairly lightweight.
But these basics can’t exactly capture the magic of the Mach 7, so it’s time to dive a little deeper.
The PE Core
The first thing to get excited over with the Mach 7 is the PE core. PE, which stands for polyethylene, is a popular core for many reasons.
A PE core is adaptable, and it works well in both cold and warm waters. In cold water, a PE core becomes dense and firm. This makes the board slower, but it also provides a rigidity that helps with power and control.
In warm waters, a PE core is slightly more flexible, but still dense. This provides some buoyancy, and a stable base. This is part of the reason why the Mach 7 is such a good board to learn on.
The lack of flex can be an issue, but the Mach 7 also includes a power rod stringer. With this, the board becomes more flexible, more durable, and just better overall.
The insides of the Mach 7 feel different to boards with better flex, but it’s a great style to learn on.
Conversely, the Mach 7 is fantastic for experienced riders. With a dense core, it can be powered into larger breaks.
The Mach 7 Design
We’ve covered the inside, so now it’s worth thinking about the outside.
The Mach 7 has retained the iconic orange and yellow coloring the board adopted early on, and for good reason. Some things just don’t go out of style, and the bold simplicity of the Mach 7 always looks amazing. It’s bright without being busy, eye-catching without being distracting, and casually cool. We hope it never changes.
The Mach 7 has a crescent tail design, which is a solid choice on any board. The advantage of the crescent tail is that it turns quickly, and can be used in all kinds of conditions. Because of the curve, there’s less contact between the board and the water. This makes the board stable, so you can ride better.
Fun fact about the crescent tail: it was actually invented by Morey in the 1980s. So, no wonder it’s found on so many of the best boards!
The Perfect Rails
Okay, perfect might be a bit of an exaggeration. But the 50/50 rails of the Mach 7 are hard not to love. They sacrifice some maneuverability in favor of speed, but the crescent tail makes up for it.
With 50/50 rails, you can really pick up speed on the waves. They feel great to ride, and with the PE core and crescent tail, the speed never becomes too much. 50/50 rails are part of what makes the Mach 7 so fun.
Materials And Durability
The Mach 7 uses a HDPE slick, and a TC8 deck.
HDPE is one of the best slicks around, even if it isn’t the absolute best option available (that would be the Surlyn slick, which we’ll get to later). HDPE is durable, even if it wears down slightly faster than Surlyn. Still, it should last for a while, and it comes cheaper. And don’t get it wrong — HDPE is a quality slick.
TC8 is a polythene skin, and it’s one of the best you can get for a bodyboard. It gives good grip, but has a smooth underside that will slide through the water. It’s also very durable.
With HDPE slick, a TC8 deck, and all the other features above, this is a board that can last for a while. Useful, because you’ll want to keep on using it.
What’s It Like In The Water?
The Mach 7 feels good to ride. The combination of materials and design has led to a bodyboard that feels well-balanced. There’s plenty of speed, but control and stability as well. The dense materials provide power, while the single rod stringer brings some security and flexibility.
There’s a reason the Mach 7 became such an iconic board — it’s fun. It can easily maneuver smaller swells, and won’t fail when you move onto thicker waves. After all this time, the Mach 7 is still one of the best around.
Mach 7SS — Can It Beat The Original?
The Mach 7SS is the Mach 7 made better. Which, yes, is possible. This is a board designed to give you the best performance, using advanced materials while retaining the heart of what makes the Mach 7 so great.
How Is The Mach 7SS Different?
The Mach 7SS isn’t hugely different, but it’s tweaked a few areas to deliver a higher performance. Stringers, slick, and core are all upgraded for the 7SS.
Of course, with these updates there comes a higher price tag. But the 7SS is for slightly more serious riders, those who are ready to work on their performance, and try catching some iconic waves.
The Mach 7SS Specs
The Mach 7SS is available in only two sizes: 41.5”, and 43”. Despite the slight lack of range, this is fairly similar to what you can expect from the original Mach 7. Most riders will find the Mach 7SS is a good size to ride.
The Mach 7SS Design
What immediately sets the 7SS apart is that it gets rid of the sunny yellow and orange of the original, and uses black and green instead. This gives the board a distinctly different image.
It isn’t just the colors that have changed on the 7SS.
The 7SS has added knee contours, allowing the drop knee rider to lock into position. There’s also raised thumb ridges, improving grip across the board.
Although the Mach 7SS has retained much of the classic design, from the outset there are some obvious differences, The Mach 7SS has altered the design to transform the easy-riding board into something a little more serious.
What About The Core?
The Mach 7SS uses Morey’s very own X-Flex Polypro for the core. This is a type of polypropylene, or PP, core. PP is a popular core among advanced riders. It’s dense but remains lightweight, proving a decent buoyancy, plenty of speed, and good flex.
By using a PP core, the Mach 7SS becomes an incredibly versatile board. PP stands up well in both warm and cold waters, and can react to variable conditions.
There’s also an X-Flex Mesh layer between the core and the stringer. Mesh adds to the durability, without increasing weight or sacrificing flex. It’s really useful in creating a strong board, but mesh layers can be expensive.
Okay, we spent some time above describing how the HDPE was an excellent slick, and you probably wouldn’t need any better. So, this might seem like a bit of a change of heart. But, the Mach 7SS uses a Surlyn slick, and it really is a step-up.
Surlyn slick improves both performance and durability. For most casual riders, it won’t make much of a difference. But if you’re looking to advance, a board like the Mach 7SS with a Surlyn slick might have a real impact.
The Mach 7 features a single rod power stringer, and so the Mach 7SS builds on that. With the Mach 7SS, there’s dual power rod stringers, giving a better durability to the board.
Stringers are also good for providing stability and flex. Dual rod stringers mean the Mach 7SS is adaptable in rough waters. Yet another way the Mach 7SS helps when you want to advance your skills.
How Is The Mach 7SS The Same?
There are some areas where Morey has kept the Mach 7SS the same as its predecessor. For a start, the classic crescent tail is still in place. The Mach 7SS is an all around board, and the crescent tail is good for this.
The Mach 7SS also features the same durable TC8 deck as the more basic Mach 7 — this shows what a good material it is. But with the Mach 7SS, the TC8 deck is accompanied by better slick, more stringers, and that layer of mesh.
What’s It Like In The Water?
Like the Mach 7, the 7SS feels fun to us. With the molded knee contours and raised thumb ridges, it becomes stable for drop knee riders, and ready to tackle something bigger.
The dual power rod stringers provide a flexible and stable base, which glides on the water thanks to an advanced slick.
The Mach 7SS does also work as a starter board, but it’s perfect for someone with experience. It feels like the next step up, and with this beneath you, you get the confidence to be better.
Mach 10 — How Does It Compare?
Now we’ve moved away from the 7, to a slightly different take on the Mach board.
The Mach 10 is more than just an update — it’s a design with a purpose. While other Mach boards are all-rounders, aimed at any wave that will take them, the 10 has something else up its unusually shaped sleeve.
How Is The Mach 10 Different?
The most obvious thing you’ll notice with the Mach 10 is that it’s a whole new shape. Okay, it isn’t wildly new (it’s still a bodyboard after all), but it does have some unusual shaping.
Other than that, the Mach 10 has more in common with the 7SS than the 7. Advanced materials are combined with the bulging outline of the 10, to give a board that will deliver speed.
The Mach 10 Specs
The Mach 10 comes in three sizes: 40”, 41”, and 42”. Slightly shorter than the Mach 7 and the 7SS, this is to help with the relentless pursuit of speed. Despite the slight stature, the Mach 10 isn’t exactly a board for children.
The Mach 10 Design
The Mach 7 and 7SS are designed for versatility. They provide a stable base for a range of conditions, with a balance between maneuverability and speed.
Things are different with the Mach 10. The narrow frame is designed exclusively with speed in mind.
The narrow template combines with a wider wide point, for controlled spins and pocket riding. The dimensions increase speed, add some control, and work together to create a bodyboard for the serious rider.
There’s also a change in color. The Mach 7 range sticks to simplicity, but the 10 has a few quirks of color.
Choose red, blue, and white, for a board with a retro feel. Gray, black, and orange maintains that classic Mach 7 brightness, tempered by the gray. Or go for black, black, blue, which is somehow both vibrant and sophisticated.
What About The Core?
Like the Mach 7SS, the Mach 10 uses Morey’s own X-Flex Polypro core. The lightweight material adds to the speed of the design, so there’s no dense material to slow you down. With this core, the Mach 10 makes itself useful in both warm and cold waters. Although, if you want to see it at its best, head to warmer seas.
The X-Flex Polypro core is again combined with the X-Flex mesh. As a lightweight board designed for tough conditions, this gives strength without being heavy.
As you’d expect, the Mach 10 uses the superior Surlyn slick. An experienced rider will be able to feel the way it glides here, and the Surlyn works perfectly alongside the shaping to give an enhanced speed.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Mach 10 only has a single power rod stringer. But with the PP core, X-Flex mesh, and Surlyn slick, you won’t feel the loss of the second stringer. Like the Mach 7, a single stringer can give durability and stability.
How Is The Mach 10 The Same?
As you might have guessed, the Mach 10 has the crescent tail that’s iconic to the Mach range.
Although the board is designed primarily for control spins and pocket riding, having a crescent tail allows the opportunistic rider to take the Mach 7 out in many conditions.
The Mach 10 also has the TC8 deck. With grip and glide, it’s the perfect choice for this incredible board.
What’s It Like In The Water?
The Mach 10 delivers a thrill, particularly when you ride it in the pocket of the wave. With the bulging design providing both control and speed, there’s a real rush every time you take the Mach 10 out.
If you used to be a Mach 7 user, but you’re finding it doesn’t deliver in quite the same way, the Mach 10 could be just right.
The History Of The Mach 7
The First Bodyboard
Okay, to actually cover the history of the first bodyboard we’d have to go a long way back.
Bodyboarding has its roots in Polynesian alaia, and pre-contact Hawaii. Suffice to say, bodyboarding has a rich history that began long before it reached the coasts of California.
The Start Of The Morey Brand
Legend has it that the Morey brand came about when Tom Morey saw a wave he had no way of riding.
Unwilling to miss out, he carved a block of polyethylene, covered it in newspaper, and invented the boogie board. By the time the company was founded in 1971, the boards had become slightly more sophisticated.
The Release Of The Mach 7
The first Mach 7 was released in 1982. It bought a huge change with it — the introduction of an ion slick base. The speed was incredible, and the design changed the world of bodyboarding.
The Iconic Redesign
With the 1984 redesign, we begin to see the Mach 7 we love today. The iconic yellow and orange design replaced the older black and yellow, the crescent tail was adopted, and the rails became 60/40. It was also affordable, bringing a quality design to the masses.
Changes Throughout The Decades
Over the years, the basic design was improved, and we see the release of the Mach 7SS and the Mach 7X. The board retains much of its fantastic features, with steady improvements adapting to suit the market.
Jay Reale And Mike Stewart Designs
Pro bodyboarders Jay Reale and Mike Stewart released their takes on the Mach 7 in 1991, and again in 1994. It’s also at this point that Morey dropped the name “boogie boards”, and transitioned to “bodyboards”.
The Mach 7 today
Today, the Mach 7 is just as desirable as ever, and still leads the way in innovations. It may not be the most exciting board around, but it’s still a pleasure to ride.