Category Archives for "mini simmons shapes"

Bing Mini Simmons with Matt Calvani

Bing Mini Simmons with Matt Calvani

The word on the street for these surfboards is “simmons inspired designs.”

The exciting thing happening in the Mini Simmons world (or in any creative shaping bay) is that the evolution of the original Mini Simmons design concept is manifesting into unique interpretations.

Matt Calvani, currently shaping for Bing,  has done some interesting tweaking on his Mini Simmons designs and we are going to examine his work in the article.

Adopting Simmons’ relatively flat rocker and S-deck design, Matt’s Bing Simmons design has a slight displacement and belly in the nose that goes into a flat and slight concave in the tail—we see a lot of guys doing this.

However, instead of following the traditional short length design, Matt found that by keeping the rails thin he could accomplish two critical design features:

  • Keep the dimensions friendlier and slightly longer to enhance glide and paddle
  • Despite its wide outline, the rider would be able to keep the board on a rail through turns, keeping the board maneuverable

Here are Matt’s dems:

5’2″ 18 3/4″ 21 1/2″ 18 3/4″” 2 1/2″
5’4″ 18 3/4″” 21 3/4″ 18 3/4″” 2 1/2″
5’6″ 18 3/4″” 22″ 18 3/4″” 2 5/8″
5’8″ 18 3/4″ 22 1/8″ 18 3/4″ 2 5/8″
5’10” 18 3/4″” 22 1/4″ 18 3/4″ 2 3/4″
6’0″ 18 3/4″” 22 1/2″ 18 3/4″ 2 7/8″
6’2″ 18 3/4″ 22 9/16″ 18 3/4″ 2 15/16″
6’4″ 18 3/4″” 22 3/4″ 18 3/4″ 3″
6’6″ 18 3/4″” 23″ 18 3/4″ 3″

I would go one step further than just thinner rails as Matt suggests, I’ve been making my rails with hard angles in the rear (traditional shortboard style) for explosive turns and deep carving. I start them just above the forward keel line and find this type of rail excellent for the Mini Simmons.

The other change Matt made is in the tail design. Matt adopted an arc tail making the board looser and more responsive (but most likely slower down the line).

For fins, instead of trying to use more fin surface area like the traditional half-moon templates to turn the board, he discovered that the smaller base and straightness of the Gephart template allowed the board to release a lot more off each turn.

Interesting changes, but not sure if I agree.

The wide square tail gives the Mini such a unique ride and not only allows for greater speed and surface area through turns but it also plays an important structural role in fin placement—that wide ass tail allows the shaper to place those keels far apart and gives the water a nice exit stage as it flies down the face.

More on fins here, but essentially less is better in my opinion. The same desired improvements Matt talks about with the Gephart template can be made with traditional keels by making them lower and wider. But try it and see how you like it.

You want a board that is right for your individual surfing style, not what is right for the shaper. The fun thing about shaping is learning what tweaks lead to a better surfing experience for you and your customers.

Ode To The Shaper: Nocean

Ode To The Shaper: Nocean

Nocean. Agave between two pieces of Paulownia (we love Paulownia at MSS).

  • Cut and template to the right curves.
  • Glue between two foam slabs.
  • Plane the foam and wood together to make one ready-made blank.

I have ridden a few ALL wood Minis and I find them heavy and stiff.

I like the idea more and more of using wood and foam.

I know a lot of guys either lean one way or the other but I think using a combination of these two materials might create the right mixture for an exceptional Mini Simmons.

Next month I’ll be shaping my first chambered Mini via Mark from Crooked Blanks—-we’ll all get some first hand experience (via this blog).

The big question for me is:

Will the chambered Mini approach reduce the weight?

Stay tuned.

Oh yea, Ode to Nocean for this beautiful shape.


Mini Wood in Ozzy Land

Mini Wood in Ozzy Land

Ozzy Land. I have been thinking a lot about wood lately.

Seems to keep coming up.

In the mags, in my mind, with my bros.


I like wood and I like the idea of Minis made from wood.

There is that whole flex argument with wood, but how much flex do you need from a Mini Simmons.

It seems to me the perfect shape for using wood.

I came across the work of Mr. Grey, a furniture maker and hollow wood surfboard shaper. He uses a mix of Western Red Cedar, Balsa and Paulownia. He also glasses with epoxy resin which he states “has less volatile organic compounds (VOC) than polyester and is 30% stronger.”

Here is a beautiful example of a 5’6″ Mini Simmons by Mr Grey in Ozzy land.

  • Paulownia and red cedar
  • Hull entry blending to rolled V
  • Blending into channels

For more info see Nataniel Grey.

6′ Redwood Deck Simster + Twinzer

6′ Redwood Deck Simster + Twinzer

Deck Simster + Twinzer. Why aren’t twinzers more popular?

They have the skate of a twin and they are a bit of a quad, without too much of either.

The distinction of the Twinzer fin pod is that they have two sets of rail fins regardless of the size. It is more free rail to rail than a quad and will surf vertically quite well.

The main driving rail fins are usually set back a couple of inches AFT from Thruster or Twin rail fin placement and the tail rocker on Twinzers is more relaxed.

The lead fin on a Twinzer is smaller than the trailer and acts very much like a canard cleaning up and channelling the water flow for the trailer so it won’t ventilate as much, thus making fin drive more positive.

I love them.

This one by Jake at JNS Boards in Nor Cal:

  • low nose rocker
  • very little tail rocker
  • single concave entry to vee out the tail
  • 6′ x 20″ x 3″ with an 18″ nose
  • this board should be fast and floaty

Mini Mini

Mini Mini

Mini Mini. 5.4 x 22 x 2.25
hips way forward
step down tail

5’4″ Mini Simmons Surfboard

my last one i got all fancy
big front + rear rocker
scooped the bottom

i had it out in 6-8 foot surf the other day
and i can tell you man
that thing performed so well
SUPER fast
and i can get it vertical

a kid paddled out and was like, hey, you’re the ‘mini guy’
ha, i do surf other boards, but I am starting to wonder WHY?
so this one
i took VERY little off the bottom
the least i have ever taken off any blank bottom
i read this article about blanks
about not changing the blank too much
so on this one i tried that
it’s really straight—like an erection

my thinking is
surface area, harmony, SPEED
this one
no rocker
no channels
just speed
and 5’4
i can’t wait

a little smaller on the keels?
you need to make up for the lack of a rail-line
and fins do the trick nicely
my bro Jamie
foiled some mini-simmons keels
with a whopping 8.75″ base, and a 4″ height
long and low
lots of freedom
put the drive down low below the water
that is lacking on a board so short

8.75′ x 4.0′ (fins now available at wave tribe)

i am ALL about glass-on these days
fuck any other kind of fin on these mini’s
it’s like a snap-on dick versus an attached unit
not that i would know by the way
i am just saying, it’s something like that
it’s got to be, right?

Peace Out.

~ Derek

5’9″ Mini Simmons Blank

5’9″ Mini Simmons Blank

5’9″ Mini Simmons Blank. I finished the bottom on the simmon’s today, I am feeling my boards more now, shaping more from feel.

I am spending more time looking at the lines, thinking about how the water will move through the shape, understanding more about how the front rocker relates to the rear rocker, how the bottom mid section translates the dance of each rocker into a symphony of movement.

Ode to the rail . . .

How the rails will envelop the transposed energy from foam surface to wave surface, skipping along the emerald landscape . . . shaping!

put in channel in bottom
rails came out sick
so much love into this one
21.5 x 2.75 x 5’9
tried lots of new stuff
less mechanical, more sensual

Mini Progresive

Mini Progresive

This one is interesting, the nose doesn’t quite fit the traditional mini approach but I like the result. 5’6 x 20″

I like the tail and nose, interesting combination of function and performance.

Seems to be a ‘fashion’ these days, mini quads.

Almond Surfboards & Designs

Mitsven Mini Simmons Quad

Mitsven Mini Simmons Quad

I was at Hansens in Encinitas, California this week and I came across several shapes from Mitsven in San Diego. His website doesn’t do justice to the beauty of his boards.

The boards I saw were mainly retro fish style and one mini simmons quad that made my mouth water—really one of the most beautiful boards I have seen.

This one was $750 and worth every cent—go grab it at Hansen Surfshop—hurry before I get there first!

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