Category Archives for "– mini shaping tips"

Video: The Birth of a Mini Simmons – Tore Surfboards

Video: The Birth of a Mini Simmons – Tore Surfboards

Tore Surfboards. I imagine it starts the same way for every shaper, you just want to be able to make yourself a board… and that’s exactly how it all started for me almost 30 years ago. Back then, there were no shaping machines, and there was no internet, well it was there but still in its infancy. It was the era of the “shaper-guru” a time when you got what your shaper told you to get, no questions asked. I had several bad experiences with shapers of this nature and never forgot how unpleasant it felt to be let down when the board I had envisioned ended up looking like the board my shaper had envisioned instead.



Green Light Mini Simmons Workshop

20110617-DSC_26161Green Light Mini Simmons Workshop


When: Saturday, April 27th 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Where: Greenlight Shaping Shack in NJ

They’ll have a hands on demonstration for the design and techniques of shaping a mini simmons surfboard. Just in time for summer surf!

All class members will have the option to participate in the shaping and learn the use of basic surfboard building tools including correct power planing techniques. Other shaping elements such as outline, foil, rail design, and fin placement will be fully expalined and demonstrated.

Registration for this shaping class includes a $15 discount on a future Greenlight Glassing workshop and 15% off any one item purchased at Greenlight on the workshop day.

[button link=”—mini-simmons-shaping.aspx”]Sign Up Here[/button]

Video: 6’1 Asymmetrical Surfboard (4:22 mins)

Video: 6’1 Asymmetrical Surfboard (4:22 mins)

Heal side is more curved with wide point pushed back 4″, flat in the nose to single and a rolled v out the tail. tow side with wide point pushed forward and a super parallel rail line for fast drive. rolled nose on the tow side snout and into a single to deep halve of double out the tail.

Mini Simmons Rail Design

First of all, we got to think about what happens at that edge where your surfboard rail and the wave meet.

There are two options at that edge in a turn, sink or unsink your rail. But we’re not always turning, so that rail also has to be designed for flying down the face and gathering speed—thus your design must accomplish two goals for down-the-line surfing: reduce drag and release energy.

You have to design for turns and speed.

Ok, now we have to think about the different rail types and the functions of each. I like Dave Parmenter’s description of rails, so I’m just going to quote him here:

 “An over-simplified primer on rail shapes would probably contain these main premises: the lower and harder a rail is, the faster and stiffer it will be. The softer and rounder, the slower and more neutral-handling it’ll be. Fuller, boxier rails are harder to sink, so have more potential for leverage. Thinner, tapered rails sink easily, but with less stored energy, are not as likely to leap out of turns.”

Leaping and going fast: these are the characteristics that I want for my Mini Simmons.

Let’s look in more detail at the types of rails:

  •  50/50 Rail: A description of the point where the bottom of the rail meets the top, in a 50/50 they meet in the middle.
  • 60/40 Rail: This is a 50/50 rail but slightly turned down, the meeting point is 10 degrees past center.
  • Round Rail: Rounded rail that looks like a complete semi-circle.
  • Down Rails: A rail coming to an edge at the bottom of the board.
  • Rolled Rails: Down Rails that are rolled under the board.
  • Egg Rails: Similar to Round Rails, but egg shaped and fatter.

You got to consider your surfing style and pick the rail design that best matches how you want the board to perform. The rounder and softer the rail, the slower and more easy handling it will be. Think of a long board, most of these shapes have rounder rails and are for slow turns.

A hard rail provides better traction but can catch an edge easier then a soft rail, think Slater in the pit or Dane throwing a big turn. The lower and harder a rail is, the faster it will be but it won’t be very maneuverable.

Thinner, tapered rails are good for quick turns, they sink easily—but they are not able to carry speed coming out of a turn. Yet, fuller rails are harder to sink, which can translate into more drive coming out of turns as they bounce back from being sunk underwater.

Dude, I know it’s confusing.

I have shaped quite a few Mini Simmons with different rails and what I have found is that the 60/40 rails to 80/20 rails that get harder towards the rear work the best. In fact, these were the same types of rails that Bob Simmons was using on his boards towards the end of his shaping experience after years of testing and refining. I am more than happy to follow Bob’s lead.


Whatever rail you pick, have some fun and please let us know about your shaping experience.

How To Make Mini Simmons Keel Fins

Okay, let’s make some keel fins.

You will need to purchase: wax paper, wood, fin rope, fiberglass cloth and resin.

Wear a mask or get eco resin.

Now, find a nice flat place to create your fin art.

Here is a fin template if you need one.

Cut out your fins.

Now follow these directions.

  1. Make fins from wood of choice
  2. Place on wax paper
  3. Add fiberglass fin rope (around fins dude)
  4. Drape with 8oz cut cloth
  5. Add resin to fins, rope, & cloth (just pour it on)
  6. When hard-ish, peel UP from underside



MSS Shaper’s Interview Dhiya Md

MSS Shaper’s Interview Dhiya Md


MSS Shaper’s Interview Dhiya Md, Welcome to our Mini Simmons shaper’s interview with Dhiya.


MSS: Who inspires you? Shapers? Riders? Mom?

Dave Rastovich, Dane Reynolds, Alex Knost, and Tyler Warren.

MSS: What interests you about the Mini Simmons shape?


Fast, fast, and fast.

MSS: Who rides your boards and why do they like the Mini Simmons?

Just me.

I like it because it’s small, it’s fast, it’s loose, catches waves easily and tons of fun.

MSS: What is your opinion on rails, deck, bottom and fin design?


Nice foiled out rails would be good, if you can afford it go thinner on them rails.

Step deck is nice other than that a scoop nose is also good, i call it the magic nose, pops out of the water when you think you’re about to pearl.

Single throughout or a slight double on the back.

Classic keels!

MSS: Do you have any shaping tips?


Take your time and have fun doing it.

For more on Dhiya see his blog

Wow, love the result.





Jon Wegener grew up, began surfing and shaping in Southern California. He has been shaping since 1987 and has dreamed of doing nothing else except surfing and shaping ever since. After his college years in San Diego, he returned to Hermosa Beach, CA and began to work on his passion full-time.

In addition to starting Wegener Surfboards he has also shaped for a number of other veteran shapers including Hap Jacobs, and Bing Surfboards. In 2010 Jon moved to Encinitas, CA. As a board maker Jon has always tried to find the right board for the right conditions. Jon loves to make and ride a huge variety of surfboards.  Depending on the surf conditions he rides anything from a finless wooden alaia, to a “traditional” fiberglass noserider, or a progressive shortboard.



In 2005, Jon’s brother Tom Wegener introduced Jon to the Alaia after a trip he had taken to the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. The two brothers have been making Alaias, and Paipos, and trying to get the word out ever since. Along with the boards they make they have been spreading information about Paulownia wood, a special wood perfect for making surfboards. Since Jon began working with wood, he has not only looked for ways to combine his two passions, he has strived to make his regular surfboards “ASAP” (as sustainable as possible).

Jon is more excited about where the surfing world is going now, than at any other time in his surfing/shaping career. At Wegener Surfboards we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this new path that surfing has taken, and we can’t wait to see what new developments are waiting up ahead.


Study Hull: Essex @ Korduroy

Study Hull: Essex @ Korduroy

Study Hull: Essex @ Korduroy. I’ve known Josh Oldenburg for just over two years and during that time he’s been generous enough to demo out a handful of boards to our shop. I’ve ridden a number of his eggs, short boards and quads and can attest to the fact that he truly is a dedicated craftsman; intentional about every board he builds.

Earlier this summer we got together to chat about the potential of creating a new shape. I was looking for something that would get me through a summer in South San Diego. I put the ball in Josh’s court to create whatever he wanted. I requested a short, light and weird board and he came up with the Essex.

Read the complete article.


What About a Twinzer Mini Simmons?

Fins Twinzer Samples

Small Fins Forward

What About a Twinzer Mini Simmons?

Twinzer, I know it seems like we are talking a lot about fins these days but your fin setup can make a huge difference in how your board rides. The other day we talked about installing a small trailer fin on a Mini Simmons but today I wanted to explore the possibility of using the twinzer fin system on a MSS.

First of all you’ll have to forget using keel fins if you want to use the twinzer system on your MSS—it just won’t work. The twinzer setup is for a more performance oriented Mini Simmons and should go on a board with a bit smaller tail and less volume throughout. The twinzer is essentially as early quad and performs much like a quad—more drive, more speed, and you can hold longer lines. I like what user lawless said about the twinzer on the swaylock shaping forums when he described the twinzer, “more like a twin with superchargers in front.”

I was watching the Quicksilver Pro in France this week (watch the final heat with Slater & Dan online here) and was impressed to see Kelly Slater paddle out into thumping barrelling beachbreak on a 5’10 quad—the idea being that he wanted more stability and bite in the barrell as he was moving through critical sections. So a Mini Simmons twinzer is going to be your board for more vertical waves where you need to draw a line and it will also give you more bite on the face as you move through turns or in and out of barrells—getting barrelled on a MSS is so fun.

The inventor of the twinzer, Will Jobson, did his original twinzer designs with a deep single concave when he first made them in 1988. The concave was actually curved so that it was deepest close to the fins on the side and more shallow in the center. Jobson was looking for a way to get ride of what Surfing Encyclopedia calls the ‘terminally skittish’ syndrome and with the twinzer Jobson made design improvements that allowed a ‘fix’ for many for the twin-fin problems. Surfing Encyclopedia goes on to talk about Jodson’s twinzer design:

The board’s tail area was narrower than that found on the twin-fins, while the fins were pushed back a few inches and moved closer to the center of the board, behind a second set of smaller fins that were positioned closer to the rail. A shallow six-inch-wide channel was cut into the back few inches of the tail area.”

The more fins you put on a board, the harder it is to get it dialed in—less is more with fins on a Mini Simmons and if you read this blog often enough you know that is my opinion. But opinions are like farts, they come and go and sometimes they stink. I’ll be shaping a Mini Simmons this winter with a twinzer setup, I look forward to reporting back to the MSS community and letting everyone know how it rides.

Ode to Tomo Surfboards & Dan Thomson

Ode to Tomo Surfboards & Dan Thomson

Tomo Shaper Dan Thomson splits his time between San Diego, California, and Lennox Head, Australia (nice mixture of venues bro). His mission is to create the most advanced high performance surf crafts ever built.

18 months of rigorous development and testing since his first MPH concept in April 2009, Dan has achieved a harmonious balance in hull craft following design properties that decrease drag and increase thrust (that’s what we all look for, right?)

Some of the design principles he uses include:

  • A parallel (straighter) foiled outline with forward widepoint
  • Fluid amplification curves, outlines and rocker.
  • Hydrofoil / Aerofoil curves } provides significant drag reduction and higher levels of Dynamic surface planing lift.
  • Balance of volume in relation to surface planing lift. {L = CL P2 SV2}

*SIMMONS FORMULA: Efficient planing surface provide effective lift to counteract the riders weight. Therefore a reduction of physical length, area and volume is necessary.

He goes on to say about his designs:

Naturally, the lower drag and higher degrees of dynamic surface planing lift result in increased speed. Both acceleration and top-end. With an increase of the potential speed of a surfboard design requires equal degrees of control. The balance of these two aspects is crucial to a successful surfboard design.

This guy is a freaking scientist and goes on to reveal more of his formula here:

  • Lengthening of the hard edge (further lift and drag reduction) combined with modern, low volume, medium/ boxy rail profile for sensitive and forgiving rail transitions.
  • A parallel fin placement ( 0 degrees tow) will provide excellent control with negligible drag.
  • Complex Channel and Concave bottom contours and calculated angular and vector tail profiles have also achieved positive results with low drag control through radical directional changes.
  • Custom Designed Power-Drive Fins and Keels (Thomson designed): flex engineered hatchet fins provide increase drive and acceleration through turns with the low drag properties of smaller overall surface area and ability of the fin tips to instantaneously adjust (flex and load) to changing laminar pressures engaged by the rider and environment of the wave, providing constant forward thrust.

Ok, here is the visual of this mini artist extraordinaire:

Dan Thomson Mini Designs

Dan Thomson Mini Designs Hull

Dan Thomson Mini Designs Tail

Dan Thomson Mini Designs Chanels



More info on Tomo Surfboards—order one today!

Q & A With Tom Wegener About Mini Simmons Fins

Michael recently purchased a Tom Wegener Mini Simmons, pictures below. The previous owner had the original Wagner fins made from wood and a set of FCS FK-1 fins. Michael says the board goes well with the FCS FK-1’s but it just slides out even at take off with the smaller wooden fins.

Michael asks: “Would it be best to persevere or work down in size..i.e I can shape some in between out of old FCS fins and then work down to the smaller ones or should I just persist. I have only had one surf with the small fins in 1-2′ slop) whereas the larger ones were in 4′ waves and I really enjoyed it but would like to get into the loose feeling that I have seen in some of the Mini Simmons clips.”

To Wegener replies: “With the small fins, you mostly have to use your rails. There is a knack to getting the rails to stick in and get traction. It is actually a lot easier to get the board to hold in on a steep face. In mushy waves they don’t get the speed to suck into the wave and the board just drifts sideways. I know your frustration.

Fin-less surfing did not come as easily to me as it did to most of my friends which was really maddening. I suggest trying the small fins again when you get to Crescent and there is a long wall to work with. Belly board a few waves to get a feel for the rails and then stand up. You will not believe the speed you will get and as the board goes faster it will be easier to control. Then you may try making slightly bigger fins.”

Thanks to Michael for sharing his question and to Tom (read more about this extraordinary shaper)  for providing such valuable insight.



Shapers Workshop in Nicaragua

Shapers Workshop in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has some of the best waves in all of Central America.

April is FIRING in Nica!

This is a sample of the waves you’ll be surfing . . .

Asuchillo. Beach break, A-Frames all day.

WHAT: Stu and D’s Surf & Shaping Extravaganza

WHERE: Nicaragua

WHEN: April 6th – 13th, 2013

more of the waves . . .
Hemmies. Left Point.

Ranchos. Steps from your bed.

Chiggas. Right reef, long fast rights.

Would you like to join two rad surf dudes on a private eco surf trip?

Have you ever thought about shaping a bolsa board with your friends?

We are going to do it.
You’ll fly home with a new board (you’ll need to get it glassed back at home).
You could shape something like this:
We are staying at the raddest eco lodge in the WHOLE of Nicaragua.


Join Derek from Wave Tribe and Stu from Shell Beach Surfshop.
HURRY . . . cause we only got room for 12 people (4 people already signed up).

1. Bronze Option Surfing (No Shaping)

All inclusive Lodging at Los Cardones: $799 per person
  • 7 nights shared lodging at Los Cardones Surf Ecolodge (your own room or shared with your gal).
  • Meals and drinks (except wine and rum . . . all the beer you can drink)
  • All the waves you can get and barrels you want.
  • Stu’s special evening with the poacher.
  • Taxes (15%) included

Gratuities and transportation are not included (please stoke out the locals).

2. Silver Option Shaping & Surfing

Shaping & All inclusive Lodging at Los Cardones: $1655 per person
  • 7 nights shared lodging at Los Cardones Surf Ecolodge (your own room or room with your gal).
  • Meals and drinks (except wine and rum . . . all the beer you can drink)
  • All the waves you can get and barrels you want.
  • Shaping workshop 6 days
  • design
  • selecting your blank
  • rough shaping
  • fine tuning
  • finish shaping
  • Shaping materials: shaping bay, balsa blank, tools, protective equipment.
  • Stu’s special evening with the poacher.
  • Taxes (15%) included
Gratuities and transportation are not included (please stoke out the locals).

3. Gold Option Shaping & Surfing

Shaping & All inclusive Lodging at Los Cardones: $1950 per person
  • 7 Nights Shared
    lodging in a Finca Del Mar house (shared house on beach, first come first serve luxury beach villa. Look at this beautiful place )
  • Meals and Drinks
    (except wine and rum) at Los Cardones Restaurant
  • Shaping workshop 6 days
  • design
  • selecting your blank
  • rough shaping
  • fine tuning
  • finish shaping
  • Shaping materials: shaping bay, balsa blank, tools, protective equipment
  • Stu’s special evening with the poacher
  • Taxes (15%)

Options Available in GOLD Option:

  • Room #1 = 1 King (BOOKED)
  • Room #2 = 1 Queen
  • Room #3 = 1 Full & 2 Twins (BOOKED)
  • Room #4 = Twin Bunkbeds.
Gratuities and transportation are not included (please stoke out the locals).

Additional services are available on site:

  • Surfboard rental $150/week
  • Massage $15 (1hr full body),
  • Horseback riding $12 (1.5hr),
  • Guided nature hikes $5 per group of 1-4 (1hr),
  • Sea turtle nursery volunteering,
  • Library and learning center volunteering in the local community.

We require $500 non refundable deposit to save your place. Balance is due on January 6th, 2013.

If your dog dies and you just can’t make it and we can resell your spot we’ll give you 80% of your deposit back. If we can’t sell your spot then you forfeit the deposit.

The only other expenses are your plane ticket to Managua ($350-$550) and transport to and from the surf lodge. It’s about a 1.5 hour taxi ride to Los Cardones from the airport. We’ll help you arrange transport.

Any Questions? Email Stu surfing14 (at) or Derek at derek (at)


Sign Up Now!