Felix Dickson from Otago Penisula, grew up surfing the amazing variety of cold waves at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island and completed internationally collecting 1st under 18 New Zealand National Scholastic 2000: 9th Open Mens ISA World Surfing Games, Equador, 2004.
Felix Dickson started shaping in 2005 on the Gold Coast shaping at D’arcy’s factory in Currumbin and moved back to New Zealand at the end of 2005 and worked for hismain sponsor Billabong, as Team Manager and events co-ordinator, and started Feestix Surfboards in 2009.
Felix Dickson collaborated with Quiver Surfboards in 2011 and now working out of the UK, based at the Seabase/Quiver factory in Newquay, Cornwall.
Contact Felix at firstname.lastname@example.org for a board.
Thanks to reader Rob for the pictures and stoke.
Ode to Malwitz Surfboards
Malwitz Custom Surfboards began in 2004, from a dusty basement in landlocked Philadelphia. Shaping quickly became a way to feel more connected to surfing, even if I was sixty miles from the ocean. I learned to shape through countless hours of research, indispensable resources like Swaylocks, great advice from other shapers, and just plain practice. MCS was then Brooklyn-based for 4 years, where I acquired my steady NYC base of support. I worked out of a small commercial space in Gowanus where I gained plenty of press throughout NYC. In 2009, I left the city and settled in South Jersey offering easy board pickups to NYC customers at Patagonia Surf Bowery and NJ customers at Cafe Volan in Absury Park. I also ship boards all over the Continental US and boards hop planes as far as Australia. Every board is designed individually with no templates, and colors are mixed by hand. This takes time but makes for a truly custom and unique board. I like to focus on clean lines and overall flow, and many of my boards have a bit more foam and overall width, catered specifically to NY/NJ breaks. I can shape boards for beginners and experts, for all seasons, conditions, and locations.
See Malwitz Surfboards for more stoke!
Ode to Shaper Barry Snyder. Sometime I find a shaper that is not content with the way things are done. Barry is one of those shapers and he has taken the Mini Simmons design and put his own twist on the shape.
If you read his about me page on his website he says, “I believe a lobotomized circus monkey can sand out the grooves on a CNC’d surfboard blank.” The shaping industry is changing fast and shapers are moving more and more toward machining their designs, the OG hand-shapers are fading into the shadows of the craft—but Berry is holding strong.
Now, let’s see what he has to say about the Mini Simmons.
After building and riding a ‘traditional’ Mini Simmons Berry was discontent with it’s non-turnability.
How does he change the Mini Simmons shape?
In his words, these are the things he changed in his 2.0 version of the shape:
The new shape turns on a dime and he reminds us that constant refinement = progression.
Here is his result:
[ilink url=”http://www.barrysnyderdesigns.com/” target=”_blank”]For more on Berry click this link.[/ilink]
Mandala Shaping Timelapse Mini Simmons
Ode to Charlie Wong Loaf of Bread
For more info see Geoff at Island Glassworks, LLC
Surf Prescriptions Mini Simmons
Jeff “DOC” Lausch is a shaper like no other. His creative flare and style, combined with his open minded approach to new ideas, materials and designs has had him at the forefront of surfboard innovation for years. His latest endeavor with Varial Foam and helping bringing it to the masses, is having a huge impact on the materials revolution. We recently picked his brain about his brand, where he came from and the future of materials.
Behind the Brand: Jeff “Doc” Lausch founded Surf Prescriptions in 1982 in Huntington Beach, CA. A shaper for more than 30 years, Lausch says his early influences go back beyond the thruster, a factor that still emanates from his body of work today. “My first shaping influences were Mike Diffenderfer and Dick Brewer when boards had one fin,” he says. “Then, when boards had two fins, it was Shaun Stussy.”
Ode to Tore Surfboards. Tore shows Bob Simmons some respect on his page, I like that:
“This is my homage to a fallen pioneer of surfboard design… Mr. Bob Simmons left us in Sept. of 1954 but he has not been forgotten.”
He goes on to remind us about the surf boards characteristics and show us a thing or two about his shaping chops:
“Bobs’ original design featured a few firsts, one being concave and the other being a hard down rail on the back third of the board. Bob’s design also featured an S-deck. For those of you who don’t know, this is when the deck sweeps downward on the tail of the board. Bob’s intention was to thin the tail allowing it to sink more easily when turning.”
Tore doesn’t like the S-deck so he has eliminated this ‘feature on his version of the Mini Simmons.
He has also redesigned the leash plug, which I personally love as those retro loops should be lost in the retro-land dump, I have seriously injured my foot on those things.
Order one today for $600 in Hawaii.
My first Simmons (way too big and way too much foam on the nose Dims: 5’6″ 22″ 2 3/4 – fun otherwise) and my first fish (simmons inspired set as a quad; dims are 5’6″ 22″ 2 1/2).
Need to get my footprints on a D.Dodds Simmons!
Been studying the Simmons Booklet that you sent non-stop; so inspired by it shaping wise, it makes all things hydrodynamic make perfect sense.. very well done.
Charlie Wong. His boards are called Bubbaboards, he’s from Kailua, HI and has been underground shaping for years.
He used to run the Naish factory when they still hand-shaped windsurfers and makes an amazing longboard and fish.
A couple years ago he and Geoff Lee started talking about Mini Simmons and here is the result.
More on Geoff at www.islandglassworks.com
From Thomas on Blanks:
“Its a challenge to find the right blank for these shapes.
The obvious choice, fish blanks, have too much nose rocker. Modifying NR would require thicker (heavier) stringer to prevent springback.
I finally settled on the 81EA, cutting 18″ off the nose and 13″ off the tail.
Resulting rocker was almost exactly what I wanted.
Those are True Ames Tyler Warren Quads in Bamboo. Very light and aesthetically pleasing on this board.”
Now lets check this board . . .
Swami’s Mini Simmons….
Focusing on the iconic board shapes that defined the modern era of surfing through 50s – 70s. Hand made in England with a back-to-basics celebration of classic board building technicians; double wrapped patched decks, tail blocks, split gloss/wet n’ dry finishes all in deep resin colored tints shaped with premium modern materials and processes.
Harking back to surfing’s Golden Ages.
More info here
Welcome to our Mini Simmons shaper’s interview with Oscar.
He has some great resources on his blog that show his complete shaping experience, see link below.
I love the fact that this was his first board and that the youth of today are saying and thinking things like, ” it defies those companies who bring out new shapes year after year.”
Thinking differently is so important—being original in thought and design is an essential part of surfing, shaping and living.
Big ups to Oscar for shaping his first board and for breaking out of the box of ‘conditioned’ shaping.
I was inspired to go shorter than the minimal I was riding and thought the Simmons would enable that.
Loved the retro design.
It has a really pure hull feel to it and doesn’t follow the trends that we are supposed to conform to in the surfing world.
Along side this it defies those companies who bring out new shapes year after year that do not change at all.
I am the only person who has ridden my board so far….my friends think it looks like a body board.
MSS: What is your opinion on rails, deck, bottom and fin design?
I rode mine as a quad with a single to double concave, my rails were a bit too boxy but I love the quad setup.
MSS: Do you have any shaping tips?
Don’t rush and keep to your design.
See Oscar’s blog.
Welcome to our Mini Simmons shaper’s interview with James Samaha from South Carolina.
He has some great resources on his blog, see link below.
We also like the fact that he made his Mini Simmons from a broken longboard and he calls it, “reclaiming the stoke.”
Their ability to perform well in small waves, which I have plenty of here in Cherry Grove, SC.
So far I have only had one friend try it out briefly (I am new at this) but he likes ii.
MSS: What is your opinion on rails, deck, bottom and fin design?
I like the single concave idea that the Wegener brothers seem to have perfected, and a more flat rocker with a spooned out nose.
As far as fins go, I like a quad with a little “nubster” fin added in the middle.
Works good for me
MSS: Do you have any shaping tips?
Still learning myself, maybe one day I will be able to impart some wisdom. =D
L- 5′ 4′, W- 21.5″, Thickness – 2.25″
See James blog check that out here.
Almond Surfboard in Newport Beach, California is pumping out some beautiful boards.
Almond is a collaborative effort of friends who enjoy making things the old fashioned way.
Each surfboard is hand shaped, start-to-finish.
So are the custom, hand-foiled wooden ﬁns they glass onto nearly every board they build.
Griffin Neumann-Kyle is the master shaper.
You’ll typically find griffin in his shaping bay 7 days a week, with regular afternoon breaks for surfing, orange chicken and electric guitar.
He’s a guy who knows what he loves, and he sticks to it.
Go check them at 2429 West Coast Hwy #101 Newport Beach, CA 92663.
Double stringer beauty with full lines and rightly sized keels.
A quad to make your mouth water.
More on Almond Surfboards.
Welcome to our Mini Simmons shaper’s interview with Brian Hill from Hawaii. (Yes, they even surf the Mini Simmons on the north shore of Hawaii now).
Mini Simmons boards are not seen on the north shore of Oahu much, but Brain Hill sure likes his Mini and we interviewed him about his ride and slide.
He say the question he get most is “can you turn it?”
He has been riding the one posted here at Chuns and Jockos and all reports are super positive.
When asked if he could go off the top Brain says,
“I don’t know why people are saying you can’t go off the top well, cause it does fine. You just have to put it up there.”
The waves on the north shore of Oahu.
Short length and width.
Also glide on small waves.
I just wanted to try a board with fins so far back and on the rail, just to see if it worked.
Curiosity got the best of me.
I only shape for my self.
Because I have my own ideas that I incorporate into my boards and my regular job pays way more.
I like domed deck.
Low volume rails so they don’t fight back when turning.
Single concave from the tail all the way up past the 1′ mark at the nose.
Fins should match the board and the rider.
Cut always at the base of the fin for looseness, no epoxy, I used plastic chair spray paint.
Get her done.
L- 5′ 4′, W- 22.5″, Thickness – 2.875″
Thanks to Brain for taking the time to share his photos and stoke.
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.
Attention to detail, that’s what I got to say about these boards . . . an artistic touch of balance and color.
Whenever I get out a blank it always feels like a mixture of both canvas and clay.
I love the aboriginal design on this board made for in Hawaii—the outlines echo a hybrid style Mini Simmons that allows for more performance oriented surfing with hints of the Simmons dynamics build in.
Ted Heople was said to be born on a boat in the middle of the Ocean. It is also said he was born with a beard and he chewed his own umbilical cord off . . . I’ll let him tell the rest of the story here cause it’s one of the most well written bios I have read on a shaper.
“Ted Heople was born on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He says he could swim before he could walk. (Most would say he still doesn’t walk all that well.) It is also said he was born with a beard and he chewed his own umbilical cord off. His father, Stigandr Heople was a one-legged Scandanavian fisherman with a overt whittling fetish. His mother was a Tahitian pearl diver with huge lungs.
While his father was jailed in Oahu for giving a house cat a lit cigar, Ted had the good fortune of mingling with some of surfing’s earliest heroes. Which was great until the Duke gave him the first “Hawaiian Donut” in history. After that, Ted kept to himself and expended a lot of effort to get away from surfers, whom he referred to as, “Codswallops, all of ‘em.”
Ted had always made his own surfboards. In his constant travel he was both on the cutting edge of design and off-target. Because of his exposure to vastly different cultures he was able to absorb design theory from many places as well as many diseases that kept him hallucinating and designing really stupid surfboards.
After decades of travel, surfing and STDs, Ted returned to his adopted home of Hawaii. He took a job as a sander at Dick Brewer’s original Hanapepe Surfboards. Oddly enough, the fumes from sanding and the LSD actually straightened out Ted’s twisted psyche. He went back to school to study nursing, but as the first male nurse in history, Ted couldn’t handle the constant ridicule. Plus the morphine made him forgetful.
Eventually he was making enough money by simply shaping boards and running an international drug smuggling ring. He was offered a partnership in Lightening Bolt but fell asleep under a coconut tree and was knocked unconscious by a falling nut. He was then approached to partner in a new license for Quiksilver Board Shorts. He told Hackman he was a “fag” and Hackman ran him over with his car.
When Ted got out of the hospital, fate had played a fantastic trick on him. He was getting free morphine in the hospital the whole year and a half, and all of his friends were now dead or in jail. “Ha ha. Serves them right. Dicks,” he was quoted in Tracks magazine as saying.
Now Ted drinks all day and yells at the guys who make money for him. He still surfs really well for a fat smelly old douchebag. And he can shape, glass and sand like nobody’s business. Just don’t try to photograph him. He will kick you right in the nuts.”
More info on Ted Heople & The Surf Boards here.