I am brainstorming on my next surfboard and my buddy is strongly suggesting a mini-simmons, specifically a quad mini. I've seen some info on the SI forum and on Swaylocks, but it's mostly related to design which I really don't fully grasp. Can anyone comment on how the mini surfs? What are the best attributes of this shape and what are the limitations? Any suggestion for fin set ups?
It all depends on whether or not it is a true mini simmons or just a short round nose, square tailed quad. I rode a homemade board that I called a mini simmons in 5'5" and it was my favorite board for the summer for several years. But again it wasn't a true simmons in most respects. Interested to hear from someone who has actually ridden a simmons that is true to form
I have ridden 2, both glass on keels, neither of them mine... just borrowed for a session.
The 5'6'' x 20x 2 1/2 caught waves nice and was plenty fast but was too full and long to get the most out of the small peaky 2 ft waves (tough to fit a bulky shape into small pockets or maybe I was just trying to surf it too tight).
The 5'3'' was 2 1/2 but overall more thinned out and more bit more narrow (19'' and ?) making me wonder if it would even float me at 5'10'' 180lbs. Rode in slightly better lined up 2ft surf during a different session and it blew my mind with its ease of catching waves/ making sections and the maneuvers I was able to get out of it compared to my expectations/ previous experience (less coaxing it out of the board as compared to just seeing a section and doing it).
Tough to explain and have it make sense but all I can say is ride 'em small ...really small... smaller than your fish ...to get the most out of the design.
My biggest issue with my own homemade and every wide tailed round nosed board I ride or have ridden is that I didn't surf the board the way the features would dictate. Unfortunately I still rode hard off the tail and harder still if really wide in order to sink it on a bottom or top turn. Kinda became my style and I would have people comment on how unorthodox it looked. It got the job done but I would think these boards would be killer if you can reign yourself in and flo with them like they are meant to be flowed with. This rather than enjoy the wave catching ability and once up trying to ride it like a short board.
I've surfed a 5'11 Vernor mini-simmons for 2 years. Displacement hull, big square tail, not much rocker, quad fin. High volume, large planing surface- it paddles great and catches waves so small that you don't even want to surf em. I mostly use it on chest and smaller waves but I was impressed with how well it holds on steeper waves. The shape won't help you surf vertical or with your sharp snap turns but for swooping and scooting down the line, its a blast.
There's a boatload of high volume, short, fat tail shapes worth checking out, the mini simmons is one.. It seems like alot of shapers (Bing, Lost) are trying to find the sweet spot for performance and paddle efficiency with several similar shapes. After 2 yrs, I've begun thinking about my next small wave shape, so I'm interested to see what shakes out.
They shine in certain situations under the feet of someone who is open minded. They go best in soft face, mushy, slopey waves that are best suited for logs. You can figure them out for bowls and they skim faster than a scalded cat but you have to be standing on the corners to set the rail sometimes. Always end up standing on the leash plug, could not seem to put the plug back far enough. I like mine 5'6" and under with low, thin rails. My fave was a 5'6" x 22.3" x 3" S deck with thin rails (I'm 52 yrs. 165lb and 6'). Surfed the deck off of it. Does what a fish does but better. Straight rails and rocker but you have total access to the last 5" that is off limits on a real fish because of the deep swallow. But my observations might only pertain to my versions of them- .5" tail rocker or less, 3.25" nose bend at the tip, bottom is belly in front and single dish under your feet right through the tail tip. Fins almost parallel 3' from the corners with a 14" tail block. It's a second board at least for soft glassy days with low face angles. One strange thing though, if you ever try to hop to make a section they come to a halt. Just keep S turning the face until it stands up enough to set a rail and the fun really begins. A lot of racier hybrid versions I see popping up here and there look interesting. Usually from the shortboard only shapers (pier phonies, bottom sneezers, mud sharks, soup dragons, rug munchers). But the full tilt wide and square is where I think I like them.
i thought about buying one a couple of years and i'm glad i didn't - i've seen quite a few guys out here in East Coast beach breaks since and they did not look like they were having that much fun. looks they would be a fun on a point break - something with long lines, which we do not see much of here on the EC. just my 2 cents.
Mine is about 5'5 and 22 1/4 wide. Big, wide round nose and big wide square tail. Rocker is 2 3/4" nose and 3/4" tail, with glassed on wood keels... kinda moon shaped, with no real tip. Rails are soft and up in the nose, to medium and round through the middle to down with a tucked hard edge along the fins and around the tailblock.
Less is more with these boards, especially regarding bottom contours... subtle displacement belly forward, fading to slight concave out the back. They're too short to transition from anything more than barely measurable without creating a lot of turbulent drag, so keep everything subtle and smooth.
The only way to describe the way this board feels under your feet is like riding a frisbee... they just seem to skim across the surface like you're hovering. Build them light... mine's EPS/Epoxy... and surf them really light footed, and you get that magic carpet feeling even when you're pumping down the line. They work in super small surf, but I think they peak in slopey, sectiony waist to chest high waves. I only have 6 boards in my quiver, and my mini is one of them. I'm 50 years old, 6'1, and about 190lbs.
Sounds like a great option but I wonder if someone your size could have much fun on one of these. I'd ask the taller / heavier fellas on here what they think. Everybody that has commented so far is under 200lbs. If there is a big guy version of these then go for it. I'm sure there is something for everyone if you have the right shaper, but most people seem to suggest going as small as possible on these.