Category Archives for "ode to the shaper"

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!


Ode To Token Surfboards Video (3.36 mins)

Ode To Token Surfboards Video (3.36 mins)


Research & Development from TOKEN SURFBOARDS on Vimeo.

TOKEN Surfboards met up with Chris Leidy in Nicaragua as he was homeward bound after touring the Pacific Islands.

He spent two months in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Kauai surfing and shooting underwater photographs.

TOKEN caught up with him and spent a few days surfing and filming him on his 5′ Token mini Simmons.

You can view his photographs at

Ode To Steamship Surfboards

Ode To Steamship Surfboards

With their progressive shapes and interesting color combinations.

And those prices, dudes!

Mini Simmons Surfboards starting at $450.



















5’2″ x 21 3/4″ x 2 3/4″














































































5’2″ x 21 1/2″ x 2 5/8″

To order a board click Steamship Surfboards.


Ode To Del La Luz

Ode To Del La Luz

Bright, clean, fluid, sensual.

These are the words that describe the Mini Simmons surfboards from De La Luz which means from the light in Spanish.

















Mini Simmons Swallow tail. 5´2″ x 22 3/4″ x 3″
















Mini Simmons rounded square. 5´4″ x 22 1/4″ x 2 7/8″

















Mini Simmons. 5´4″ x 22 1/2 ” x 2 3/4″















Mini Simmons Quad  5´4″ x 22 1/4″ x 2 5/8″











Contact them here

Ode To Mast Surfboards

Ode To Mast Surfboards

Mast Surfboards. The shaper says about this board, “Down the line it feels like a displacement hull but when you step back turns with the ferocity of a fish, without the wiggle.”

The result was 6’7″ with nice hips toward the tail, perfect and a lot curvier that any replica would be and how we love those lines.

  • Massive belly forward;
  • DEEP single concave;
  • Soft chinned rails to edge towards the tail.




















Beautiful tapered nose, not too much width . . . just enough.















Big hips with slight bulge in tail, this tail is very unique and the lines are epic.













Thin light nose with harmonious rail line.











Here is where it gets really good, look at that single concave sculpture—love it.

For more info see Mast Surfboards here.


Ode To Mason Surfboards in UK

Ode To Mason Surfboards in UK

Mason Surfboards…..Really beautiful shapes coming out of UK.

  • rolled entry into a deep single concave
  • the single then becomes a double
  • chined rails which slips to flat aft keels











Big step in front, look at the extended rail lines toward deck.











Big full nose, looks like a nice gradual rocker entry.











Lots of foam in the deck, not sure about the nose to deck foam ratio here (might work better for UK surf though).









Interesting fin placement. I’d have put them a bit further back.

Overall an awesome shape, see here for more info on Mason Surfboard.

Ode To The Shaper: Migration Surfboards

Ode To The Shaper: Migration Surfboards

Ah, yes . . . returning to to the simplicity of riding waves on great and unique surfcraft.

Migration . . .

They write on their site:

“Migration Surfboards are built on the concept of returning your surfing experience to the moment you were hooked on riding waves and experiencing something new in the process.”

This Mini is a migration in itself:

  • quad
  • rolled belly
  • subtle v though tail

Dimensions: 5’5″ x 19 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ x 2 3/4″  (me like)

Let the picture speak . . .

















Migration is a brand that is dedicated to the journey. While crafting beautiful and functional surf craft is at the heart of what we do, it is only the beginning.
Like birds that seasonally wander the skies, we at Migration can be found chasing building swells, scouting new bends in the coastline,
and discovering new ways to enjoy our time in the water. We hope to see you in the water and share our collective adventures. Craft Your Journey.

Get One Yourself at Migration

Chinned Vacuum Rails Mini By Tom Wegener

Chinned Vacuum Rails Mini By Tom Wegener

Fins are way over rated—especially on a Mini Simmons.

My take has always been smaller and lower with fins on the Mini but Tom Wegener has taken the ‘less fin argument’ a few steps forward in his almost fin-less chinned vacuum creation.

Tom Wegener, shaper of the year in Australia, says he got the idea from the rails on a boogie board with “chinned vacuum rails.” He then accentuated the fin set-up with tiny little pegs—forget the keels on this design.













Essentially the idea is that the built-in chinned rail acts as a fin through the length of the board giving some stability through turns and maneuvers.

In fact, this rail replaces the necessity for the traditional keel fin set-up and allows the surfer to pull off radical 360 style maneuvers with ease (see video below).

More on Tom Wegener here.

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.