Mini Simmons as a first project?

Hey guys,

I’ve just recently found this site and am amazed at what a great discovery it has been. I’ve been surfing for about a year and a half now and have been loving everything about it. I’ve been riding a 9 foot longboard but have always been curious about fishes and some other shorter boards. I stumbled across the mini simmons and instantly loved its quirky looks and more buoyant design. I just wanted to get some input from people with experience as to whether this would be a good first project. To keep the costs down I’d most likely make a stringerless blank from some sheets of home depot eps. I’m still up in the air as to all of the critical dimensions, but keep in mind I’m transitioning from a longboard. I’ve ridden a few funboards and a 7 foot thruster, but I’m still a bit nervous about building a 6 foot or shorter board. Anyhow if anyone would like to take pity on me and throw some rough dimensions my way I’d love to hear them. Thanks in advance!


Welcome boring.

I think that a mini simmons would be an excellent choice as a first project given what you are currently riding and what you intend to build it out of (sheet EPS).

If you haven't alreadly read the thread entitled "Mini Simmons" here on Swaylocks you should do a search and have a look at that - there are some dimensions kicking around there. Search in the Resources (photo archives) as well.

But of course dimensions to suit you (height and weight of course) may be another matter. If you can provide these details I'm sure that someone will be able to offer you some advice as to what dimensions might be appropriate.



Hey guys,

Thanks for the response Rohan, I’m glad to hear you don’t think I’m barking up the wrong tree! I’m 6’2" and weight about 195 lbs. I’ve been thinking that I’d try to go pretty wide and thick, as I’m already used to getting beaten up on the paddle out (not being able to duckdive my current board). I’ve read as much as I could on the mini simmons threads I’ve dug up here on swaylocks. Based on that info and what I’ve picked up from ,  I’d shoot for a 6’2" x 24" x 3". Having no actual experience with surfboard design, so correct me at any point, I was thinking about 3" of rocker in the nose with a pretty flat bottom. 

As far as the rocker goes, how far back from the nose should I carry it. I guess I need to know if I can just make it look “right to my eye” or is there a rule of thumb I should be following?

Is there a big benefit to putting some concave in the bottom of this particular board, or should I stick to a fairly flat shape for my first try?

Any input on rails would also be great - I don’t even know where to start there.

I’m figuring on cutting out some marine ply keels and glassing them on rather than installing fin boxes. Is there any placement or shape that I should avoid? 

I know I’m asking questions that could have books written on them, but I just need some rough guidance. I’ve had a lot of experience working with fiberglass, but none with shaping a surfboard. Thanks so much for your time!




Hey Torr.

I can only tell you what I did for mine - please bear in mind that I have only shaped 4 boards in my life so I’m far from experienced when it comes to design or shaping. Hopefully someone with more of an idea will wade in and help with a reply as well.

I’m 6’3" and weigh 220 lbs and the “Simmonsish” board I made for myself has the following dimensions:

Length - 6’4"

Width - 23" (Nose 18 1/2" Tail 20")

Nose Rocker - 3 3/4"

Tail Rocker - 1 1/2"

Rocker Apex - 38" from tail

I used a gently rolled bottom from nose to tail to try and control the width. But I think a true “Simmons” has roll in the nose and a fairly heavy concave in the rear part of the board. For simplicity I would copy the rails of the long board you have and just “condense” them down to your shorter board length. For fin size and placement check the other threads for details or try and scale and measure some images you might find.

My fin set up is a bit unusual but is approximately:

3 1/2" up from the tail

2" in from the rail

3 degrees cant angle

Fin base 10"

Fin height 7"

Fin toe in 2’ of the end of the nose

If something looks wrong as you go along, there is a fair chance that it is wrong. I think that if it looks right to your eye then it most probably is right (depends on how good your eye is though).

It would be great if someone who knows about any of this could confirm that the dimensions and advice I’m giving a fellow inexperienced shaper here isn’t complete rubbish.




I thought this one was pretty slick, 6'2 msimmons 62msimmons

nose 3, tail 1

Probably 5’10 x 23 x 3 would be quite a truckload of volume even for your size - even if you want to be conservative. i had a 5’8 x 22.7 x 3 1/8 (in heavily glassed poly) and it was waaayy too much board for 6’/170lbs. couldnt duckdive that thing. just sayin’. 

I’m not so sure. That comes out around 43 - 44 litres, if you foiled out the nose and tail, thinned the rails and domed the deck you could get it down to the high 30’s. I don’t reckon that’s too much for a guy coming down from longboards. I can duckdive my 52 litre 6’06" (but I am 220lb I guess).

How much volume would a 6’2 x 24 x 3 board have? 24 inches is a lot of width.

Well, depends on the outline, rails, and foil. Could be anywhere from low 40’s up to 55 litres or so.
Grab a copy of BoardCAD and have a play.

Hey guys, 

Thanks for all the responses, it’s really helping me wrap my mind around this whole project. I downloaded akushaper and started messing around with it today. I really liked the looks of the board you put up dlock, that’s pretty darn close to what I’m picturing in my head. I think that I’ll most likely keep the deck pretty simply shaped, and not try to get too fancy with an s deck kind of setup, I think I’ll have my work cut out for me as it is. Thanks for the measurements there Rohan, tomorrow I’m going to try to sketch your board out to use as a reference.  

I’m figuring this thing is going to come out pretty impossibly buoyant, and when I get some numbers punched into the computer, I’ll let you know what its displacement is looking like. Since I’m pretty used to bigger floatier boards I figure I can’t really go too wrong with a lot of foam. Should I rethink this a little?

As far as the concave goes, can someone tell me how to go about deciding what is needed? I don’t yet have a good enough understanding of how it works to know what would be a good rough estimate for a board like this. Thanks for bearing with all of my painfully novice questions, it’s really a great help!



great to hear your enthusiasm. Dont overthink it to the point you never get it done. The outline posted above was originally 6’ by 23" and honestly those original dimensions are what I would suggest for you. For the first one you could just keep the bottom flat and rails fat 50s/ or downish, then go from there. I’ve realised knocking out a few unfamiliar designs (quickly) really helps to become a better surfer and shaper and we all know its usually a better wave when we jump in a catch it than judging it from the sand.

If you want fat and wide you probably wont believe me now but I wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually find yourself with 5’8-5’10 for the “mini-simmons” shape at your height. You still don’t believe me huh?

You’ll see. :slight_smile:

Actually I would like to thank Bob Simmons now for his contribution to a passion of mine. Thank you.