Mini Simmons: What's the verdict?

Discussion in 'USA Mainland Surf Forum' started by Kahuna Kai, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Kahuna Kai

    Kahuna Kai Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    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?
  2. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    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

  3. Exit98

    Exit98 Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2008
  4. Stranded in Smithfield

    Stranded in Smithfield Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    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 get the most out of the design.
  5. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    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.
  6. sharknado

    sharknado Active Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    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.
  7. garbanzobean

    garbanzobean Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2010
    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.
  8. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    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.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  9. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    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.
  10. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Lbcrew and I are exactly the same size and close in age, I'm 48. When I was riding the 5'5" I was over 200 lbs and I was riding it in knee high surf and took it out in Hurricane Bill clean up during the morning high tide. I remember some of regulars laughing when I paddled out saying ok we gotta see this. They backed off on a set wave just to see me eat it. I made the takeoff on a well over head wave, nailed the bottom turn and rode it too the beach. Got at least 5 big turns on that wave. When I paddled back out they said ok we believe.
  11. viajerodevida

    viajerodevida Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2012
    It's basically a Mafia commissioned surfboard so if you have any biases against certain surfboard shapes, fuhgeddaboudit.

    They're fast and loose but not in an unbalanced sense. They're easy to paddle and I feel as though I can paddle my 5'4 twin faster than my LB but I can't imagine that's actually true, but it has that sort of feeling. There's a great flow in how they ride... (my favorite attribute) and they turn very easily but twins can slide if you push too hard and don't have enough rail in the water. Feels like a LB at times but turns on a dime and makes summer closeouts worth entering.

    I've ridden two Bauguess Simmonzezes. A 5'3 twin and a 5'8 quad. I'm not sure of the dims but the 5'3 was a stock board. The 5'8 was thinner throughout and for some reason didn't paddle or turn as well. It's a shape you can't fully appreciate in only a few sessions and I think my dislike of the quad was because I rode and fell in love with the 5'3 a few days earlier. The 5'8 was nice board but felt a little clunky... could have been the length, the fins, or me. Dunno. I need more experience on the quads but with these boards I say the shorter the better.

    The Bauguess boards had none of the slide and rail issues (corky, tough to dig) that I've seen on others, including my own creation, and I think that boils down to the time, effort and experience he has with getting all the proportions correct. This is after all a shape that has very rigid design constraints. That being said I think it's a great shape to experiment with.


    Call or email Joe Bauguess. Ask questions.

    What other shapes are you considering?
  12. Kahuna Kai

    Kahuna Kai Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Man, outstanding feedback! Lb crew, zippy, thanks for the details on rail shape, tails and lengths. I'm 35 and 6-6 240 lbs. I surf a 6-6 x 20 1/2 x 3 fish/shortboard hybrid mostly now. I was thinking for the mini going 6-2 to 6-6 and letting my shaper make the call I. The other dimensions. Maybe 22-23 wide and 3 thick?

    Dpsup, appreciate the concern but I just hear too much good about these minis not to be intrigued. My buddy got one in cot and his surfing has really progressed.

    I'll let you guys know what I end up getting.
  13. beachbreak

    beachbreak Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    novelty board. try a fish
  14. beerndwata

    beerndwata Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    The kcuf are yall talking about? a "simmons" has to be a twin.
    people get a square/squash tail round nose shorty, put quads on it, and call it something that isn't anything like what simmons was about.
    For your advice on the new board. get a little fish. get whatever you want, but don't call anything a simmons anything. cause it's not. . .

    He was about MINIMAL FRICTION and wing foiled keel fins. near convex bottom contours, and full rails

    Surfing does not need to be overanalyzed like this. just get on a board and ride.

    doesn't feel right? try surfing more. and more. and more.

    twinnies are titties. wana know a secret?
    FAT WHALE TAIL x TWIN KEELS x NO LEASH = touristapocalypse101

    Canadians beware
  15. rvb

    rvb Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    find a local shaper and try before you buy. thats what i did when i was intrigued with mini simmons shape. i borrowed one for 2 weeks, got a few sessions in knee high, and a few in waist to chest. SOLD! i'm a fan, have had mine for 2+ yrs and its a go to board in my quiver of 4.
  16. Tlokein

    Tlokein Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Bingo. The fine crew here at SI gave me some great advice and I met some local shapers in the Wilimington area. Next time I go down I'm demo'ing a mini-simmons and a fish or two. They can tell who's serious and who's a kook and will let you take something out.

    Was going to try some out this weekend but so far those plans got smoked. But that's a sob story already played out in another thread.
  17. SJerzSrfr

    SJerzSrfr Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    i bought a 5'8" christenson ocean racer (his take on a minisimmons) two years ago. im 6' around 185-190. have only used it in NJ. i love it. it truly makes those small days surfable and fun, without having to go for a longboard. i like longboarding here and there but i like doing turns a lot more, and the minisimmons allows for this.

    from june through august, this is pretty much all i ride. ridden it in onshore slop as well as small knee to waist high clean surf. it doesnt replace a longboard but it definitely fills a gap between a longboard and waist high and up all around board. i find it really useful when the surf is a little bit weak but still knee to waist high, and you just cant get seem to get going with you all around go to board.

    it definitely rides a lot different than a shortboard so it might take a little time to get used to. but it is extremely fun to ride.
  18. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2012
    Bought this from my buddy (pictured) it was way too big for him. He had it ordered up new. I haven't used it yet, or seen it in person for that matter, but it's a JB 7.0. I'm 6'6" and 250lbs and I had to. IMG_8602.jpg Hope to use it on points and reefs. He said it's stupid fast and would outrun sections very quickly and turned VERY well.
  19. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    All good dude, met your buddy and his board was sick. I was more referring to the size board these guys were recommending, I know you've got the chops to surf whatever you put your mind to, but when I see guys suggesting you get something way under 6' when you're 6'6 240 I wonder, but hey it might be doable with the right shaper, IDK. I guess you could always resell it if you don't click with it. Good luck in your search!
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2012
    I agree, you don't want to go too far from your height when considering the board length. I'll chime in again once I've had a go out or two.