Mini Simmons Project.

Hi All.

I’ve been reading quite a lot about the Mini Simmons style design and am thinking of using this design for my first shaping project. I know I’m going to sound like a complete idiot here but is it rude to ask if anyone has a decient template they could share with me? Is that the done thing or am I breaking some shapers code? As a first project I could use the confidence of having a good outline to begin with!

What do other back yard shapers use if they dont own an electric plane? What’s the obvious tools of choice?


Any advice appreciated.



Just look at dimensions in previous posts then play around with a strip of flexible timber or strip of plastic etc and bend so curves fit around on large sheets of carboard first and just make a half template - along length of stringer. Flip the template over and draw out both sides on card to see what it looks like and make adjustments acordingly...won't take many attempts if you have a picture of one in front of you. I would suggest buying a surform to start with - lot cheaper to start with and a lot easier as it isnt too hard to get the hang of and not as easy to make mistakes as a with a planer. Down side is it takes a lot longer but thats no bad thing at the start.




Do a bit of searching on here regarding mini simmons.  There are quite a few threads.  I just made one so that I could try my hand at shaping and reuse an old broken longboard that I found in the trash.   As a side note it would be much easier to go with a new and fresh blank but I like recycling stuff.

For a template I did a bunch of reading here and then downloaded boardcad.  One of the mini sims threads had a link to a couple of board outline images that I saved.  With boardcad you can input a reference image as a background and then tweak the outline to something similar.  If I remember correctly I printed that to a pdf file at full size and then printed out on multiple sheets that were then taped together for the template.  Paper template transferred to wood and then board (lots of reading here on template making).

As far as shaping went.  I picked up the cheap harbor freight planer just to give it a go.  For a $30 tool it sure seemed to do a good job (at least I think so since it was my first time using one on foam).  Big plus was the vac attachment which definately cut down the mess in the garage.  I already had three different surforms, wood planes and spoke shaves that were needed.  Coarse sandpaper on a good size sanding block was also a great tool for the shaping process.

I probably spent 2-3 times more time reading, researching, learning what I could here before I started than actually doing the shaping.

I hope thats some help.



Like yoyo said, go with Boardcad.  It is a fun tool to mess with because you can come up with different variations and get quick measurements. 

Blank selection is another issue.  I went with a 8’ OH usblank, cut the back 2’ off, and started there.  I’m sure there is something better.

I laid up a fin template and made two half moons and two others with some rake.  I ended up using the half moons and haven’t made up my mind yet as to whether or not I like the feel. Plan to make another mini and see if I like the other fins better.

Here is a link with lots of mini pics.

Have fun


Thanks for your replies! I was worried about being slated as a loser, or worse, completely ignored, so it's really great to get your advice.


Rich, that was my first idea but then I got nervous and thought that a proven outline would save me on some stress. Right on about the surform too. I'd rather take it slowly and avoid a tragic slip of a planer. Do you suggest a particular one? Maybe you could suggest some tools which are available in the UK?


Yoyo, on top of 27 years of surfing(!) I've also done a LOT of reading over the last few months about the Simmons design. (The more you read the more you realise what a mystery surfboard design is! Lot's of contradictory stuff out there so I think I'll keep it as simple as possible first time found. Try reading what people think "concave" achieves, on this forum, and you'll see what I mean!) Boardcad sounds interesting, I'll definitely give it a go. I assume you can design in 3 dimensions, so rocker and volume can be calculated? I too love to recycle and have been racking my brains for alternatives to blown foam. I guess if I cracked that one I'd be a rich man!


Yaar43, I've been thinking about blanks (as I just said above) and I think the ideal blank would be USBlanks 6'8"RP (Rich Pavel no less!).


Overall Bottom Length: 6' 9 7/8" (207.96cm)

Tip-to-tip Deck Length: 9" (205.74cm)

Maximum Width: 251/8" (63.82 cm)

Maximum Thickness: 3" (7.62 cm)


I know it's a bit overkill as I'm thinking of making a 5'6 but it gives me the rocker I need. There is a similar 5'10"RP but it doesn't give me much to play with and I really want a flat tail rocker with maximum width.

I've read that the half moon profile fins lack a bit of drive and the keel style fins seem to be the most popular. I cant help feeling that a more contemporary fin profile might be better but for the sake of simplicity I think I'll stick with the keels.


I’ve been watching the mini simmons religion blog for quite a while now but unfortunately it's not updated much. It's got some great stuff on it though. It blows me away how much interest the simmons derived stuff has generated and how many people are building them.


Thanks again.






How do these things duckdive? They must float like a cork! I'm looking forward to the ease of paddling and catching waves on a thick, wide and very short board, but getting under the foam must be a problem!

Nice history board however not a dreamy ride. After you surf it hang it on the wall.

Well, I’ll give it a go and let you know. I want it for small mushy surf. Some people don’t like them but most others seem to love them. That could be down to surfers skill, expectation, or design.