Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

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Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi,

I previously posted this on learn to surf but thought it might be more suitable as a general topic...

Ok, so I've been reading heaps of stuff on mini simmons boards but I haven't found much on their degree of difficulty concerning intermediate surfers (everyone talking about how they surf seems to have been surfing for ages, and they probably have). So that's my question: are they a reasonable summer board for the intermediate bloke like me? I've been surfing for about two years, do a couple of cutbacks on my 6'4" shortboard and all.

But do they take a ton of expertise or just some "getting used to"? The last thing I want is a board stored away in the garage waiting for me to get better.

A local shaper recommends I get a 5'6" 22" 3". I was thinking of a quad setup too. By the way, I'm 140lb, physically fit, and about as tall as the would-be board.

I'd appreciate your opinions greatly.
L.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:48 am

i've ridden a few from 5'4 up to 6' - it's definitely a case of needing to get used to them and not a ton of expertise - they have great natural drive and speed and don't need to be worked like a thruster - the biggest challenge (alongside trying to duckdive them!!) is keeping it under control as you scrub off ridiculous speed as you shoot out onto the shoulder - mind you i've never ridden a quad setup - mine have always been twins. I have a 5'8 simster (tri fin coming over - that'll be 21" wide and 2 3/4 thick - if i were having a quad i think i'd go same dims (i'm 155lbs). You should take a look at the channelled quad mini sim on hydrodynamica recently - looks amazing! They also do the fourke which looks a pretty performancey moontail quad - there are a couple coming over in the same shipment as my simster.
Finally - has to be eps. Ridden both - i just think the eps is magic - makes the board a completely different beast - it's the only design i have found where i like eps - i'm normally a traditional poly man. Only my opinion but hope it helps.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:42 am

Hi mrkmrk,

Thanks for the input. I think I'll definately go for a minisimmons after all. From your description, I get the feeling it's about more paddling-power for small waves + a bit of difficulty in actually surfing it. Not like a fun board, where you get an easy ride in both aspects.
A local shaper I'm consulting mentioned (or rather actually warned me of) sometimes having to grab the rail for cutbacks + crouching down a bit. That's what made me a bit reluctant to ordering one.
He also recommended dimensions in the range of 5'6" 22.5" 3". Rather floaty? Or about as buoyant as an average fish, say 5'10" 21"? I just can't picture how much volume those small dimensions actually mean... I'd prefer it a bit shorter myself at 5'4" or so but, again, I don't want it to end up in the garage facing the corner.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:42 am

I just thought I might erase my double post.
Last edited by littlefoot on Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:09 pm

at 5'4 i found my casper still a bitch to duckdive - in eps there is a lot of foam - all mine were by joe bauguess and 23" wide - for me its one of the things i like about them - they'll paddle great and surf really well - cutbacks tend to be drawn out or as you say crouched and rail grabbing - its all good fun! i tend to use them in tiny to small stuff - more fun (to me) than a longboard - i found 5'10 was best for the casper (twin) and that will ride in anything - its still surprisingly good as it gets bigger - hoping my simster will be better - we'll see.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:17 pm

meant to say i spent summer of 2008 travelling through devon/cornwall/france with a 5'8 casper as my only board surfing from 1 - 6' -had some hellish paddles out at times but to be honest it did an amazing job - i was obsessed then and thought i needed no other board (i suppose i didnt at the time) - i now still love them but definitely have other boards i'd rather be on when it gets a bit bigger.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby browncurtains » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:21 pm

No and yes......You will have tonnes of speed, so you will have to cut back more than twice. :)
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby finlay » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:01 pm

I found them easy to catch waves on, but everything else was pretty difficult, unreal fun in small sort waves but anything with a bit of grunt I think they are best left on the beach unless you are a fucking ripper. I'm not and I got schooled on the simmons all over the place, but most often when it was hollow+overhead.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:25 pm

finlay wrote:I found them easy to catch waves on, but everything else was pretty difficult, unreal fun in small sort waves but anything with a bit of grunt I think they are best left on the beach unless you are a fucking ripper. I'm not and I got schooled on the simmons all over the place, but most often when it was hollow+overhead.


What I was thinking, albeit from a layman's perspective. Just wanted to be sure.

I've been talking to a local shaper this evening and I've finally decided on a 5'5"x22"3". Quad setup with a diamond tail. In about five weeks time I'll take it out and know for sure if it's too small, though it can't be as radical a change as from my 9'3" log to a funboard and then to a standard thruster. At least I hope not, ha ha.

Thanks to everyone for your opinions. I'll post some pics of it when it's ready to go.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby Kirk3 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:46 am

Hey littlefoot,
honestly that sounds like a great sized board for you, at your weight you could even go a tad smaller but often the size becomes a bit distracting for a lot of people. (My friend Patrick doesn't like them at all- 'I get vertigo on a board that small') It sort of has to be eps, that's what Al Nelson used on the first one in the 50's! Finlay & mrk pretty much nail the experience perfectly. It is all about the float, the board is a planing hull and fast as hell, then you put it on a rail to turn and get the airfoil effect Simmons was all about, it feels like it's lifting and gaining speed through a turn. On bigger days they are a bit hectic as they are still a twin fin and you wind up having to make big arcing bottom turns (unless of course you're RK or Tyler Warren or the like) but on smaller days they are skatey and super fun. This is the channeled quad mentioned- it's sitting in my kid's room waiting to be boxed and shipped which is a horrible temptation....

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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby kayu » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:59 am

mrkmrk2842 wrote:meant to say i spent summer of 2008 travelling through devon/cornwall/france with a 5'8 casper as my only board surfing from 1 - 6' -had some hellish paddles out at times but to be honest it did an amazing job - i was obsessed then and thought i needed no other board (i suppose i didnt at the time) - i now still love them but definitely have other boards i'd rather be on when it gets a bit bigger.

hey MRK , given any thought to a longer Simmons with similar volume ?
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby seasofcheese » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:28 am

Image
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby seasofcheese » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:29 am

I made this 8'4 (above) for Mrk a couple of years ago.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby seasofcheese » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:32 am

Then Giles and I started making these copies of JB Mini Simmons with input from Mrk.

Image
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby kayu » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:08 am

Neat Cheese !......how'd the 8'4" go in some juice?.....the balsa one isn't glassed yet(soon)...a bit experimental - made for overhead point surf with speed... 8)
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:58 pm

Kirk3 wrote:Hey littlefoot,
honestly that sounds like a great sized board for you, at your weight you could even go a tad smaller but often the size becomes a bit distracting for a lot of people. (My friend Patrick doesn't like them at all- 'I get vertigo on a board that small') It sort of has to be eps, that's what Al Nelson used on the first one in the 50's! Finlay & mrk pretty much nail the experience perfectly. It is all about the float, the board is a planing hull and fast as hell, then you put it on a rail to turn and get the airfoil effect Simmons was all about, it feels like it's lifting and gaining speed through a turn. On bigger days they are a bit hectic as they are still a twin fin and you wind up having to make big arcing bottom turns (unless of course you're RK or Tyler Warren or the like) but on smaller days they are skatey and super fun. This is the channeled quad mentioned- it's sitting in my kid's room waiting to be boxed and shipped which is a horrible temptation....

Stan_02.jpg


That is one fabulous board! Mine'll be plain white too cause I dont't like colours a lot. I was mulling over the idea of getting it a bit thinner at 2.75" perhaps. Anyway, I might still be in time to give him a call though as he probably hasn't started yet. As for shorter, I don't think I'd have any trouble with heights myself (despite being a "lower-intermediate") but perhaps feeling a bit less foam under my feet will provide a much better feel on the wave. Rather than asking him to make it shorter... Dunno.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby Surf Fuerteventura » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:05 am

Some real beautiful board work on this thread.

As far as the original question, "are they too hard to ride?"... it's never the arrow, it's always the indian.

Sometimes it takes getting used to a board to make it work the way it's suppossed to, especially if you're used to surfing with more emphasis on one particular foot (front or back) and the new board you're trying to adapt to requires the opposite foot you're used to using most. But not because of that fact is the reward for putting in the time and learning to make that harder board work any less worth chasing.

I've found that the harder it is to learn to surf a board, the more reward you get out of it once you do learn to make it work. It also helps when you return to your normal boards in that you discover you can do new things on them thanks to what you've learned on the "harder to surf" board.

The reward is well worth the effort to learn. Try surfing with an old school fish after you've learned to surf a mini-simmons for example... you'll be amazed at the increased speed you are able to generate. I learned all kinds of new things about trimming with a longboard thanks to learning to surf hulls.

The constant learning curve is what makes surfing a life long challenge. I for one wouldn't have it any other way.

Cheers,
:occasion5:
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:55 pm

Surf Fuerteventura wrote:Some real beautiful board work on this thread.

The reward is well worth the effort to learn. Try surfing with an old school fish after you've learned to surf a mini-simmons for example... you'll be amazed at the increased speed you are able to generate. I learned all kinds of new things about trimming with a longboard thanks to learning to surf hulls.

The constant learning curve is what makes surfing a life long challenge. I for one wouldn't have it any other way.

Cheers,
:occasion5:
Surf Fuerteventura


I totally agree with that. And a challenge a day certainly keeps boredom away. As for back/front foot surfing, I think I'm more inclined to pressing down on the back foot, and perhaps a little too much, come to think of it. I understand minisimmons require a more balanced leverage...

A while back I was reading about how alaias and/or finless boards teach you to make more use of the rails when going back to your regular board, rather than just relying on your fins. Though I've made several alaias and never actually managed any stand-up surfing, I'm currently finishing a 6'3" Plywood Mini Tuna so hopefully I'll be able to get up on that, experience some new stuff or at least have a laugh at my local secret "test-spot".
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby zboy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:31 pm

ive a 4.12 mini (home made) they are not hard to ride( wide, stable) but to get what i wanted out of it well thats a different matter.whole different approach to the way and style of how i surf in as much as it is front foot rather than back foot, more crouching grabbing the rail for cut backs, for me any ways you may find the speed all a bit to much at first i didnt realy prepare my self for it especialy on goood solid clean wave. its not so much as you need to generate the speed the board will do that even on ankle high wave believe it or not its reeling it in or bleeding it off (this is on good solid) days. ive had mine 3 or so months riding regular along with my single fin.highly recommended for any one fun fun fun :-D :-D
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby Kirk3 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:22 pm

A couple of mini Sims being ridden.
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As Z-Boy says, stay low, don't be afraid to grab that rail and you'll be fine. This thread is making me want to go and surf mine!
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby zboy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:26 pm

love the pics kirk3 but love that simmons quad even more sweet im not a covetous person by nature but i am now!!! :lol: :-)
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby Goat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 am

Yeah cool pics, some pretty solid waves youre using it in there.
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby elhornet » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:02 pm

I rode one today for the first time. Fairly choppy half onshore Fistral today. It's a 6'2 and very very thick...perhaps bordering on 3.5" in parts. I know you're supposed to ride them smaller, but I'm never going to be able to make a sub 6 foot board work as I'm farly large.
First impressions - incredible. Takes off like a mal, possible the fastest thing I've ever been on. Flew down the line on a couple, right past sections I would have normally loved to take a whack at :lol:
Can't wait to take it out again at somewhere like Saunton or Croyde, preferably somewhere you don't need to duckdive a lot as even at 16 stone I had to really work to submerge it. Super stoked :mrgreen:
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby elhornet » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:05 pm

Actually it looks identical in every way to the picture seasofcheese posted earlier. Bought it from a Londoner after putting a wanted post up on this forum..
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby ears » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:52 pm

hello mate... yes, that is the board in the pic above. It was shaped by the very talented Tim Mason and I sold it to you as it was too big for me.. (We chatted drum n bass in my kitchen) I'm gonna try another one around 5'9/10 but i've used up my new board allowance for the forseeable.. however once my missus has forgotten what i've got stashed in the shed i will be getting another - pukka board, real laugh and very lovingly made by Tim! Stoked your enjoying it as much as i did.. try it in some good waves - its a real eye opener! Cheers - Ears :D
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:32 am

elhornet wrote:Actually it looks identical in every way to the picture seasofcheese posted earlier. Bought it from a Londoner after putting a wanted post up on this forum..


you have the closest thing to a genuine Bauguess that you can get without buying one direct from him - Giles created a file which took every aspect of the casper design into consideration and these boards were then made by a perfectionist - i've surfed a 6' identical to this quite a lot and it flies (despite it being way to big for me) - the only problem for me is a personal one that i prefer them in eps - they just seem to accelerate quicker and bounce over the white stuff easier - particularly noticeable in a crappy wave - just a bit more fun but as i said that's a personal opinion. They are awesome whatever!
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby Kirk3 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:20 pm

NIce ElHornet, that's the perfect description of how they ride and I suppose how they are meant to ride. Totally quick and skatey in waves you'd think are going to be a waste of effort. I got my 5'5" back from the guy who'd borrowed it months ago and have surfed it couple of times in really marginal beachie and had a blast. It's one of the first few Bauguess shaped so it's well and truly thrashed, scuffed up and yellowed, but still rides brilliantly. Personally I agree with mrk, they really should be EPS- that's what the one they are based off was, that's what gives them the float for the planing hull part of the story and that's what makes them a total nightmare to duckdive! Mabile has been doing some pretty amazing twinzer ones too, this and one of those channeled twins would be a nice replacement for the old faithful when the time comes....
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Of course paying for them is another story. Suppose instead of fooling about on surf forums I should go to work to help that along really!
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby elhornet » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:12 pm

makes me wonder if I could ride a smaller one. love the look of that little quad!
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby littlefoot » Mon May 02, 2011 3:32 pm

Hey kirk3,

How does your quad simmons turn with the large fins at the back instead in front of the stabilisers?
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Re: Mini Simmons: are they too hard to ride?

Postby seasofcheese » Tue May 03, 2011 3:58 pm

Really nice to see boards you've made getting passed around and enjoyed. Large at 6'2 but fun - try going smaller one day or borrow someones 5'8, you'll be surprised at the amount of foam you have under foot. Giles and I took all the elements from Joe so most of the credit for the shape must go to him......its a very interesting design when broken down. Its also fun to play with the shape and introduce new angles.....flex tails are fun to make/ride with this outline and some tail tweaks.
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