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:
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.
Nocean. Agave between two pieces of Paulownia (we love Paulownia at MSS).
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:
Oh yea, Ode to Nocean for this beautiful shape.
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.
For more info see Nataniel Grey.
Reading poetry and shredding on a Mini.
What else could you ask for from Rasta?
Foward to Minute 5:09 for the Mini Action (though the entire clip is worth watching).
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:
This is one of the first Mini Simmons Twinzers I ever saw.
It is a very interesting fin setup, not traditional at all and I wonder how those small forward fins work.
I’d love to hear more about this board and how it works (or doesn’t).
See our full article on the Mini Simmons twinzer please click here.
Mini Mini. 5.4 x 22 x 2.25
hips way forward
step down tail
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
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
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
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?
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!
Well, it’s really not a simmons but I loved the design so much I had to post it. A fish is really a high performance mini simmon isn’t it?
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
Mini from Richard Harvey.
Short? 4′ x 24″
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!