How To Ride a Mini Simmons
Location: Trail1 just south of SanO.
Time: Early am – it was jumbled peaks – low tide drainers – sets were solid HH-OH.
A little bigger than what i was hoping with the 1st session – but i was so psyched there was no way i wasn’t going. I can tell you it paddles well – wasn’t sure if i was going to even make it out to the lineup but did so with not too much difficulty. First wave – i took backside – initially felt a little squirrelly but managed to get it on rail – then tried to hang on for dear life – (insanely fast) and crashed spectacularly.
The first session – i managed to catch at least 6-7 set waves – making all of the drops except one (the board decided to ride that one without me) – after the drop was for the most part trying to adjust to the speed of it while trying to find the sweet spot on the board – i felt like i was out of control for the most part but managed a few turns. I was amazed at how easy it was catching waves and how well it did dropping in on steep waves – considering it has literally no rocker.
The biggest thing for me was trying to adjust to the speed – i’ve owned 5-6 different “fish” shaped boards and nothing i had previously ridden compared to the speed of this board. Friday night – i re-watched video of Tyler Warren, RK, etc and did a little poking around for mini-simmons forums on the web – and the best tip i found was “stay low with a narrow stance”. The first session i was using a pretty wide stance.
Saturday – was session #2 – again at Trails – the conditions were chest high glassy peaks – low tide. I keep repeating the mantra “stay low stay low” and tried putting the tips to use – got back on the tail – stayed low and kept my feet closer to together and i think i was also a little more prepared for the speed. I think it was about the 2nd or 3rd wave – it just clicked – frontside bottom turn – felt like i was in control and driving it through the turn – instead of just riding it. After that – I had soooo much fun – catching a lot of waves and had a couple of really late takeoffs that had some of the guys in the lineup were trippin on.
What i noticed is that it loves a steeper wave – usually this location gets walled up pretty good on a south swell – which would be perfect for this board – but this weekend it was short jumbled peaks. Sunday – the swell dropped off considerably – waist high – jumbled peaks – but not nearly as much energy behind as Fri/Sat. I caught a lot waves – just trying to get as much board time as i could.
Overall – the first weekend on it was a success – i love the board – definitely a learning curve – but i think i am off to a really good start with it. One thing i noticed today is that my legs are more sore than my arms – with each session it seemed easier to paddle. I think riding it is all about body position and really using your legs (more than just your feet) to put it on the rail. The first session was a little intense having never ridden a mini-simmons – much less in pumping surf – but i have enough of a feel for it now – that i’ll definitely be ready for the next swell.
~Greg, First Time On A Mini Simmons