Category Archives for "inspiration"

Mini Simmons eBook Keel Nation

Newly updated and expanded in 2017.

Keel Nation is a Mini Simmons eBook written from my past 15 years of passion, study and shaping of the Mini Simmons Surfboard. 

Read about this fascinating shape and learn why and how to shape and ride a Mini Simmons from a shaper and lifelong surfer.

You'll also get access into a private Facebook group of Mini Simmons shapers and surfers.

The book includes:

  • Historical Boards Roots
  • Design & Shaping Tips
  • Blanks & Hull Design
  • Rail Advice
  • Fin Talk
  • Twinzer Mini Simmons
  • Tail Shaping Advice
  • Resin Talk Bio Resin Options
  • Links To Mini Shapers
  • Actual Keel Cut-out
  • Template Links
  • AKU Shaping Downloads
  • 138 Page eBook

Download your copy today!

Eddie 2016

Eddie 2016

John John Florence brings the Eddie back to the North Shore. “I was riding my bike down here this morning in the dark and just the energy of how many people were parked all the way down the street,” he said. “I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never seen

Eddie 2016


“I’ve only seen it run a couple of times in my life so to be a part of it, to be surfing in it, and to actually win it is such a dream come true,” said Florence. “Against all these legends. These guys are my heroes since I’ve been growing up.”

Eddie 2016

Mini Simmons Mandala

Mini Simmons Surfboard

Mini Simmons Mandala

“Inspired by the performance of the Mini Simmons design resurrected by Joe Bauguess and further developed by Richard Kenvin, I combined the classic dimensions of the Greenough Velo Spoon template with the proven single concave to spiral vee bottom contour and the AK4 quad set-up.

These shorter boards with fuller outlines are incredibly fast and maneuverable, and can negotiate the terms without any compromise in speed.

The curve from the wide point to the tail is very close to the outline curve of a fish, which gives the board the similar drive and acceleration off the bottom.

While this classic fish curve gives the board plenty of drive, the rail-line rocker breaks before the center-line rocker, loosening up an outline which would otherwise want to draw a longer drawn-out line.

The round arctail feels at home in the pocket and responsive in hollower waves, providing the best of both worlds—the drive of a fish with the elliptical turning radius of a round tail.”

-Manuel Caro


Ode to Shaper Peru Izeta

Ode to Shaper Peru Izeta

Peru lives in the basque country (San Sebastian, North Spain). He has been surfing longboards since about 10 years ago, when he returned to the surf (abandoned for several years). And he has always found the Mini Simmons interesting, but hasen’t gotten a chance to test one.

There is also another circumstance: He had some fiber glass and polyester surplus from another past project, so this summer he decided to build his own Simmons.

The idea was to do something fast, with surplus or waste materials: a kind of ‘trashy simmons’ (board decorated in the same idea, attempt to seem a Koi Carp in five minutes).

As he didn’t have a blank foam, he used cheap 5mm wood. So he took the board template, and simplified it, leaving only the top and bottom lids and three longitudinal dividing walls.

To form the edges, he used wasted surf foam that had to plaster to close the holes. Now he is finally glassing it, and -you know- can’t wait to try it. It was born to be his favorite, for all its faults 🙂

Ode to Shaper Peru Izeta IMG_8260 IMG_8266 IMG_8289 IMG_8314 IMG_8320 IMG_8322 IMG_8330 IMG_8382 IMG_8391 IMG_8401



Confessions Of A Mini Simmons Addict

2011_9_30_23_0At this point I feel good about saying that I have educated myself about Mini Simmons Surfboards.

I started this blog when I first recognized that these surfboards were special.

At first I just posted pics but then I realized that this board was part of something revolutionary.

It doesn’t happen often, you know, in this thruster world.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always ride a Mini—I ride the board that is right for the wave, you dig?

Look, we all want the maximum experience from our surf session and at some point you realize that your thruster just won’t cut it.

Longboards you say, nah.

Ahhhh . . . the Mini gets you through those sections where the thruster would die without the 5 extra feet.

Longer waves equates to longer love.

BUT, and this is a big BUT for me, you still need enough design in the board to make it fly down the magic carpet.

And in my case damn it, I want to hit that lip and snap an off the top where appropriate . . . just because I am riding a Mini doesn’t mean I don’t want those things.


So, I am just saying, the right Mini Simmons surfboard can do these things . . . I know, because I shape them.

What doesn’t work for me . . .

  • too much nose
  • too much rocker
  • not enough rocker
  • too long
  • too short
  • too thick
  • too wide

Yea, I know you are saying, WTF.

But look, each board is right for the right reasons.

That is why I love this site, because who an I to say that the no-glass plywood Mini Simmons wouldn’t work?

In fact, I love it that this guy shaped it.

Or the Twinzer Mini—I fucking love twinzers.

But on a Mini, I don’t know?

So there it is, we all got our preferences.

Fuck the mags . . . the right board is the right board.

Go shape it.

Go ride it.


Derek, MSS

David Carson on Design

David Carson on Design

David Carson is perhaps the most influential graphic designer of the 1990’s. He has done work for the likes of Levi’s, Quicksilver, Nike, Yale University and more recently Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. However Carson did not set out in life wanting to be a graphic designer.

More on David
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In his early twenties, Carson was very in tune with the surfing sub-culture of southern california and throughout his life has remained an avid surfer, ranking 9th best in the world some years later in 1989. As well as surfing, he studied sociology at San Diego State University where he graduated ‘with honours and distinction’ in 1977. It wasn’t until 1980 that he had his first taste of graphic design, when he took part in a two week graphic design workshop which led him to re-enrol at San Diego State University to study graphic design. This was just the beginning of what would be an amazing career.


Ode to Ted Heople

Ode to Ted Heople

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.”

The Surf Boards Mini Simmons

The Surf Boards Mini Simmons Art

The Surf Boards Mini Simmons Fins

Le Gueux by Shaper Ted Heople of The Surf Boards.

Le Gueux by Shaper Ted Heople of The Surf Boards.

More info on Ted Heople & The Surf Boards here.

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