. . . 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.

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

Derek, Mini Simmons Shaper

Shaper | Lover of the Sea

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  • Just saw this post – i don’t have the tail/nose dims off the top of my head – but the length is 6’6″ and width is 23″. It is a custom shaped “Fourke” model from Hydrodynamica. Yeah – i know – 6’6″ is long for a mini-simmons – but i’m also 53 yrs old – so the extra length makes it a little easier to get to the right spot on days like yesterday here in SoCal where you have shifty peaks etc. So just to add to the original post – feel like i am getting the board wired – front side is sooo much fun just burying the rail and carving – the board is also really easy to ride in the pocket … only thing i’m still kinda figuring out is that i am occasionally stalling it a little too much. Seems like the balance of the board is real sensitive to the front foot placement and there is a small line between stepping on the gas and stalling. Backside is also fun – i think i have the backside bottom turn figured out – but still working on getting it to release off the top for the cut-back without losing too much momentum – i think i am probably a little slow in initiating the turn back down the face – but i also think the quad setup has a little to do with it as well. I absolutely love the board – i get stopped nearly every time i go out – with someone wanting to take a look at it. I have a trip coming up beginning of next year to Nicaragua – definitely plan on bringing it!

  • I’m digging in the grave of this great old post. Riding with a narrow stance … that’s ok for carving a big bottom turn isn’t it ? But for quick turns, your back foot have to be right on the fin, isn’t it ? What about feet position riding rail to rail ? Still narrow stance ? I guess for front foot position, it must be after the belly of the bottom, and before it starts to concave. Right on the small flat part.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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