Lean and mean! haha. Really though the key to these is keeping them thick and wide in the right places. With such a full outline, they have a ton of volume. My 4'10 is 22x1/4" wide and 2 3/4" thick. Dont be afraid to go short, thats the best advice i can give about these boards. Everytime i have mine out people are blown away about how good it goes, always get a ton of curious questions.
I really think I needed mine bigger by maybe 2 inches or so. it just felt a bit unstable, but worked best in only chest+ which is the opposite meaning of the board
Mini Simmons means keeping the width to length aspect as close to .5 as possible, parallel rails and wide tail and a relatively full nose (meaning a wider tail than is customary on most boards). Go as short as possible and add thickness to meet your "float" needs. The Simmons design is maximized for speed.
I've seen the theoretical ideal planing hull ratio of 0.5 before as well. I'm thinking about making my next Mini Simmons quite a bit shorter that the 5'8" i currently have. Lets say i decide to lop a foot off and just make it 4'8"
So this would be 56" long, and therefore ideally 28" wide if the 0.5 ratio holds.
I wonder if that 0.5 ratio applies more to ideal planing on flat water. I suspect that widths approaching 28" would create control issues dropping into, or going laterally on waves with curvature on the face, pockets, etc. I also think with low rocker your forward rails and nose (remember a board that wide with somewhat parallel rails would have a nose well over 20" wide measured a foot back) would catch water in some unwanted ways. Belly would help, but i'm thinking it could still be a handful.
Still...foam is cheap i may just try 4'8" x 26" next time!!
I am not really into the super wide boards and have been trending at 20" for my paipos. And my board is 50" long. As noted, .5 aspect is the "ideal" in a theoretical world. Simmons's own boards, which were long, obviously were not 8' x 4'! The object is NOT to go long and narrow if speed is the objective and to also keep the lines parallel. The one area where many boards can strive for the Simmons, or more correctly, the Lindsay Lord ideal, is by widening the tail. One way Simmons compensated for a wider tail was through the use of fins (skegs).
Maybe ask some of the SUP riders (shudder) about width issues since some of their boards are in the 28+ inch range.
Go to a shaper and bring the board you like to ride. Thats is a good starting point. You cant just say a 5'8" 22''w 2 3/4 will work. There are so many othe variables. I could make 2 mini sims that is 5'8 22'' 2 3/4 and totally different boards. talk with a local shaper, you will be stoked.
The key to the whole mini simmons style boards is the volume. In every board the critical point is the volume place under the chest. Although the simmons boards can be ridden really small, the amount of volume place under your chest is more than enough to float. I am 6' 145 and ride a 5'2 but theoretically could be riding a 4'8 or 4'10. Although my legs hang off the back of the board it doesn't matter because there is more than enough float in the board.
The problem occurs when guys make the mistake and order them too big. This results in too much float and doesn't enable the rider to really place the board in the wave like it needs to. Thus it makes turning the board a more difficult task. The whole new trend of shorter boards with more volume has truly changed the thought process when choosing a board for most people. Unfortunately some guys just have a hard time going down in size because they are afraid that it will be too small. The main problem being that they don't want to drop their board budget on a board to find out it doesn't work the way they wanted.
Best bet is to talk with a shaper or surfer that has a good understanding of their equipment. Find a shaper that is into making mini simmons style boards and that has tested them out. I personally don't like to shape anything that I haven't ridden and tested myself because the ultimate goal is to get a person stoked on a board!
I am 5'11" about 180-190 depending on winter weight. That aside I ride a 5'5" X 22" X 2.75" ( a little bit thicker) that i shaped and it rides real nice. Copied a template from offline somewhere and modified it a bit. 3" of rocker in the nose and 0" in the tail. The rails are straight back till about 12" before the nose and before the tail. The tail is about 18.5" wide. Anyway real fun board, very fast down the line, just a lot of foam so its hard to duck dive. Good luck my friend, but get going on getting one they are sweet!
thanks for the feedback. think im gonna go 5'6" with a twinzer set up!