Simmons / Paul Gross

Paul, Are there any more dims you can give out on the Simmons board (if I missed them in previous posts just let me know please)? Very interesting board. Thanks, Eric J

Paul, Are there any more dims you can give out on the Simmons board (if I > missed them in previous posts just let me know please)? Very interesting > board. Thanks, Eric J Hi Eric, 9’8" long. 19.25" nose, 23" center area (which is dead straight) 19.25" tail. 14" arc, 3" up from the tail. These aren’t true Smmons numbers (his were more like 20 x 23 x 20 x 15.5 square tail block. I just plugged in Greenough’s kneeboard curve at the ends of two parallel lines 23" apart, and it looked right, so I went with it. 4.5" nose lift, 1" tail lift, 1.625" deep hull at the deepest point. 3.25" thick. The tricky part is finding a blank that will hold all that nose and tail width. This board was made form two Walker 10’3" plugs, offset cut 4" and the two wide halves glued together. Walker’s 10’8" will work with 3" of foam added in the center, which is a little bit cheaper to do, but still pricey. 9’8" is about the maximum length you can get out of either of these blanks, and it feels fine. Fin right now is a 8" tall x 5" base Greenough, but I made a more accurate 5" x 9" base Simmons keel out of plywood yesterday, and it is probably going to be ridden this afteroon in Ventura. We’ll know a lot more by dinner time! I made the keel because the taller and narower the fin, the worse the board went, so maybe short and wide, as Simmons used, is the ticket. Spence Kellogg caught a 8-10’ wave on Sunday evening, and said it ran fast and true. No curves to start making it squirrely, I guess. Paul

Thanks very much Paul. I’d like to pester you with a few more questions if I might… Can you explain some about the 14" arc, 3" up from the tail…? that spec looses me. What point(s) is the hull depth measured from? Fin - I assumed - I shouldn’t have - this was a twin (I’ve mostly seen Simmons as twins, set way back, with the deep concave between the fins - then again I’ve only seen pictures of a few of them). Surprising to me that a 8" or 9" would work well on that wide of a tail. I wonder if Simmons built twins to try to help performance of the boards. If I ever get to try a board like that I imagine it would go like hell on the little EC mush that I’m mostly out in. Thanks again. EJ>>> Hi Eric,>>> 9’8" long. 19.25" nose, 23" center area (which is dead > straight) 19.25" tail. 14" arc, 3" up from the tail. These > aren’t true Smmons numbers (his were more like 20 x 23 x 20 x 15.5 square > tail block. I just plugged in Greenough’s kneeboard curve at the ends of > two parallel lines 23" apart, and it looked right, so I went with it.>>> 4.5" nose lift, 1" tail lift, 1.625" deep hull at the > deepest point. 3.25" thick.>>> The tricky part is finding a blank that will hold all that nose and tail > width. This board was made form two Walker 10’3" plugs, offset cut > 4" and the two wide halves glued together. Walker’s 10’8" will > work with 3" of foam added in the center, which is a little bit > cheaper to do, but still pricey. 9’8" is about the maximum length you > can get out of either of these blanks, and it feels fine.>>> Fin right now is a 8" tall x 5" base Greenough, but I made a > more accurate 5" x 9" base Simmons keel out of plywood > yesterday, and it is probably going to be ridden this afteroon in Ventura. > We’ll know a lot more by dinner time! I made the keel because the taller > and narower the fin, the worse the board went, so maybe short and wide, as > Simmons used, is the ticket.>>> Spence Kellogg caught a 8-10’ wave on Sunday evening, and said it ran fast > and true. No curves to start making it squirrely, I guess.>>> Paul

Hi Eric,>>> 9’8" long. 19.25" nose, 23" center area (which is dead > straight) 19.25" tail. 14" arc, 3" up from the tail. These > aren’t true Smmons numbers (his were more like 20 x 23 x 20 x 15.5 square > tail block. I just plugged in Greenough’s kneeboard curve at the ends of > two parallel lines 23" apart, and it looked right, so I went with it.>>> 4.5" nose lift, 1" tail lift, 1.625" deep hull at the > deepest point. 3.25" thick.>>> The tricky part is finding a blank that will hold all that nose and tail > width. This board was made form two Walker 10’3" plugs, offset cut > 4" and the two wide halves glued together. Walker’s 10’8" will > work with 3" of foam added in the center, which is a little bit > cheaper to do, but still pricey. 9’8" is about the maximum length you > can get out of either of these blanks, and it feels fine.>>> Fin right now is a 8" tall x 5" base Greenough, but I made a > more accurate 5" x 9" base Simmons keel out of plywood > yesterday, and it is probably going to be ridden this afteroon in Ventura. > We’ll know a lot more by dinner time! I made the keel because the taller > and narower the fin, the worse the board went, so maybe short and wide, as > Simmons used, is the ticket.>>> Spence Kellogg caught a 8-10’ wave on Sunday evening, and said it ran fast > and true. No curves to start making it squirrely, I guess.>>> Paul Hey Paul, nice looking board. A couple questions; where did you find specific information on what Simmons was doing (dimensions, contours, rails, etc.) Also, can you divulge a little more info on the tri-plane deck? What is it meant to do? I’ve never heard of such a thing, pretty interesting. Thanks- rg

Paul, are you taking orders? What glass type & weight did you use? Did you strive towards getting it true to weight? Without all the wood, I would think it to be quite a bit lighter. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the performance characteristics of each. I had the opportunity to examine a Simmon’s foam sandwich that a friend was restoring a while back. It was really mind blowing to see up close. Thanks for the pictures.>>> Hi Eric,>>> 9’8" long. 19.25" nose, 23" center area (which is dead > straight) 19.25" tail. 14" arc, 3" up from the tail. These > aren’t true Smmons numbers (his were more like 20 x 23 x 20 x 15.5 square > tail block. I just plugged in Greenough’s kneeboard curve at the ends of > two parallel lines 23" apart, and it looked right, so I went with it.>>> 4.5" nose lift, 1" tail lift, 1.625" deep hull at the > deepest point. 3.25" thick.>>> The tricky part is finding a blank that will hold all that nose and tail > width. This board was made form two Walker 10’3" plugs, offset cut > 4" and the two wide halves glued together. Walker’s 10’8" will > work with 3" of foam added in the center, which is a little bit > cheaper to do, but still pricey. 9’8" is about the maximum length you > can get out of either of these blanks, and it feels fine.>>> Fin right now is a 8" tall x 5" base Greenough, but I made a > more accurate 5" x 9" base Simmons keel out of plywood > yesterday, and it is probably going to be ridden this afteroon in Ventura. > We’ll know a lot more by dinner time! I made the keel because the taller > and narower the fin, the worse the board went, so maybe short and wide, as > Simmons used, is the ticket.>>> Spence Kellogg caught a 8-10’ wave on Sunday evening, and said it ran fast > and true. No curves to start making it squirrely, I guess.>>> Paul

What blows me away is the “hourglass” or “coke bottle” deck configuration… those are simply my terms to attempt to describe the rail shoulders along the deck line. Do they really taper in the middle like that or is it the light/shadow effect? Nice job Paul - definitely outside the box!

What blows me away is the “hourglass” or “coke bottle” > deck configuration… those are simply my terms to attempt to describe the > rail shoulders along the deck line. Do they really taper in the middle > like that or is it the light/shadow effect? Nice job Paul - definitely > outside the box! Did any of you ever play with side cut rail outlines??? The late Tanaka was shaping sidecuts into his longboard outline thru the hips from wide point back… The guys that rode them said they turned like a dream. and held a good trim on the nose… Has any of you shaped or surfed any??? I did a dub take but i know why you like it back side over front… It’s all heal power and the straight rail combined with the “Very Cool Deck line”… It has mass where it’s needed under you and thinned where mass isn’t needed. Removing the mass in the center rail area would make sinking a rail thru a turn easy… It makes me think of step decks romoving dead meat… Lighter nose easy swing. I see alot of ideas??? A board design to surf not market if you know what i mean… I give it two thumbs… Cool craftsmen Paul… I just wish i could ride it… Just to have a feel… http://surfnwsc.com

Thanks very much Paul. I’d like to pester you with a few more questions if > I might…>>> Can you explain some about the 14" arc, 3" up from the tail…? > that spec looses me.>>> What point(s) is the hull depth measured from?>>> Fin - I assumed - I shouldn’t have - this was a twin (I’ve mostly seen > Simmons as twins, set way back, with the deep concave between the fins - > then again I’ve only seen pictures of a few of them). Surprising to me > that a 8" or 9" would work well on that wide of a tail. I wonder > if Simmons built twins to try to help performance of the boards.>>> If I ever get to try a board like that I imagine it would go like hell on > the little EC mush that I’m mostly out in.>>> Thanks again. EJ The “arc tail measuement” refers to the width of the corners of the tail where the arc meets them. In this case, the corners are 14" wide, and those corners are 3" up from the tail. The tail is an even arc…like a yacht design. I’ve posted some Greenough spoon kneeboard pictures which should be up some time in the next day or so. They show what I mean more clearly. The hull depth measurement depends on the rocker line. A board with a straight tail rocker, then a sharp break about 1/3 back from the nose (like a Simmons or Greenough board) would have the deep point about 1/3 back. An even rockered board would have the deep point near the middle. Go to Surfer’s Journal Vol 3, #1 for some good pictures of Simmons and Greenough hulls from the side. Yes, I was surprised that the smaller fins worked the best, but the fin is more to combat the curve in the back of the board, and there is very little curve in the Simmons design, so not much fin is needed. Sounds fishy, but it’s true. Actually, the Simmons board I made isn’t particularly good in small mushy waves. It goes well because of its volume, but it’s impossible to turn until it’s shoulder high or better. Not enough curve in the back. I drew up a modified template with a bit more curve in the tail and a narrower nose. It looks pretty interesting. I’ll build it when I can get around to it!

Hey Paul, nice looking board. A couple questions; where did you find > specific information on what Simmons was doing (dimensions, contours, > rails, etc.) Also, can you divulge a little more info on the tri-plane > deck? What is it meant to do? I’ve never heard of such a thing, pretty > interesting. Thanks- rg My Simmons information came from studying various Simmmons boards that have been around, and the fact that they are so similar to Greenough and Liddle hulls, which I’ve been involved in building since the late 60’s. It was a natural step for me to build a Simmons-type board. The tri-plane deck is a way to get two different deck rocker curves into a board. An S deck shape, (thin to thick to thin, as opposed to an even curved “hammock deck” of today’s designs) and yet maintain an even-curved rail rocker line. Simmons used this, as does Greenough and Liddle. As Rob says in his post, it also puts volume where you need it, less where you don’t. And, more effective deck rocker lines too boot. It’s win-win. The problem these days is that there are very flew blanks with enough thickness in the center to make S deck boards, so the idea has not only died out, it’s not even an option. I use way oversized blanks to get this shape deck…then you have to glue in different rocker curves…it’s a pain the ass!

Paul, are you taking orders? What glass type & weight did you use? Did > you strive towards getting it true to weight? Without all the wood, I > would think it to be quite a bit lighter. It would be interesting to > compare and contrast the performance characteristics of each. I had the > opportunity to examine a Simmon’s foam sandwich that a friend was > restoring a while back. It was really mind blowing to see up close. Thanks > for the pictures. I build boards whenever someone wants one, but I’m no longer involved with a shop, per se. So, yes I would build one. Write me at The Simmons-type board I made is double 7.5 oz. cloth Volan, and 3.25" thick, which is about how thick Simmons’ boards were. But, being made out of foam and glass, it is a quite a bit lighter and more bouyant. (I don’t know how much it weighs, but it “feels light” under your arm relative to the volume. I would agree that it would be great to compare the old and new. My instinct after riding the new one is that it could be a lot heavier and work as well or better. There’s so little manueverability as we know it, I don’t think light weight has any benefit. You just pick up the swell (out by Catalina…it’s hard to see your linup markers when you sit more that a mile offshore) And just start roaring toward the beach. Spencer Kellogg, who I made the board for, says it feels like motoring through open ocean swells on a big Radon hull. What’s weird is that it goes like an 11 footer, but it feels like a 9 footer. And yeah, to see a true Simmons board is mind boggling, even by today’s standards. I rode a real one at San Onofre back in the mid-70’s, and it was so incredible, I really couldn’t digest it. With so much speed and so little manueverability, you really have to re-assess why you are out there in the ocean. It was really sensual. I can’t believe it took this long to finally act on it, but glad I did.

What blows me away is the “hourglass” or “coke bottle” > deck configuration… those are simply my terms to attempt to describe the > rail shoulders along the deck line. Do they really taper in the middle > like that or is it the light/shadow effect? Nice job Paul - definitely > outside the box! Yes, the taper is as pronounced as it looks. Thanks!

Did any of you ever play with side cut rail outlines??? The late Tanaka > was shaping sidecuts into his longboard outline thru the hips from wide > point back… The guys that rode them said they turned like a dream. and > held a good trim on the nose…>>> Has any of you shaped or surfed any???>>> I did a dub take but i know why you like it back side over front… It’s > all heal power and the straight rail combined with the “Very Cool > Deck line”…>>> It has mass where it’s needed under you and thinned where mass isn’t > needed. Removing the mass in the center rail area would make sinking a > rail thru a turn easy… It makes me think of step decks romoving dead > meat… Lighter nose easy swing.>>> I see alot of ideas???>>> A board design to surf not market if you know what i mean…>>> I give it two thumbs… Cool craftsmen Paul…>>> I just wish i could ride it… Just to have a feel… Thanks, Rob. That’s why I made it for Spencer Kellogg, just so we could have a feel. Now we’re both hooked. But remember, we’re surfing in fairly refined So Cal point surf, so that is a big plus. I have another wide blank, waiting for me make another one. I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I would change. It seems like there is at least a couple years of building and surfing we could go through to try all the variations, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up right where Simmons was FIFTY F-ING YEARS AGO!!! You’re assessment of mass where you need it is is exactly correct. IN MY OPINION, thrusters have sacrificed all of this for a predominately flat deck, flat bottom, and a lot as been lost. Go to Surfer’s Journal Vol. 3, #1 for some nice shots of Simmons and Greenough boards. Speaking Of Ernie Tanaka, have any of you guys heard his story about the 1971 Northridge earthquake? He had been up all night shaping, and was just finishing up his last board when it hit. All the shaped blanks came flying off the racks and crashed all over him! Anyone who lived through that quake knows it was a monster.

Thanks, Rob.>>> That’s why I made it for Spencer Kellogg, just so we could have a feel. > Now we’re both hooked. But remember, we’re surfing in fairly refined So > Cal point surf, so that is a big plus. I have another wide blank, waiting > for me make another one. I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I > would change. It seems like there is at least a couple years of building > and surfing we could go through to try all the variations, but I wouldn’t > be surprised if we ended up right where Simmons was FIFTY F-ING YEARS > AGO!!!>>> You’re assessment of mass where you need it is is exactly correct. IN MY > OPINION, thrusters have sacrificed all of this for a predominately flat > deck, flat bottom, and a lot as been lost.>>> Go to Surfer’s Journal Vol. 3, #1 for some nice shots of Simmons and > Greenough boards.>>> Speaking Of Ernie Tanaka, have any of you guys heard his story about the > 1971 Northridge earthquake? He had been up all night shaping, and was just > finishing up his last board when it hit. All the shaped blanks came flying > off the racks and crashed all over him! Anyone who lived through that > quake knows it was a monster. I was there in Temple City that morning in bed i woke to world war 3 i thought. I remember running out side and watching earth swells run down the street??? It was a “Big” one… Ernie was a great shaper that never got the press like he should have… I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I would change. >>> Side cuts with the same deck??? Removing even more mass??? it should work ask Morey??? http://surfnwsc.com

Actually, the Simmons board I made isn’t particularly good in small mushy waves. It goes well because of its volume, but it’s impossible to turn until it’s shoulder high or better. Not enough curve in the back.???>>> it needs curve but i do think a little side cut inward would put the curve in the tail you need to brak it off the stright rail line??? That stright rail other then in a Point wave would make it hard to turn in small waves i’m sure it rides long?? for it size…>>> The “arc tail measuement” refers to the width of the corners of > the tail where the arc meets them. In this case, the corners are 14" > wide, and those corners are 3" up from the tail. The tail is an even > arc…like a yacht design. I’ve posted some Greenough spoon kneeboard > pictures which should be up some time in the next day or so. They show > what I mean more clearly.>>> The hull depth measurement depends on the rocker line. A board with a > straight tail rocker, then a sharp break about 1/3 back from the nose > (like a Simmons or Greenough board) would have the deep point about 1/3 > back. An even rockered board would have the deep point near the middle. Go > to Surfer’s Journal Vol 3, #1 for some good pictures of Simmons and > Greenough hulls from the side.>>> Yes, I was surprised that the smaller fins worked the best, but the fin is > more to combat the curve in the back of the board, and there is very > little curve in the Simmons design, so not much fin is needed. Sounds > fishy, but it’s true.>>> Actually, the Simmons board I made isn’t particularly good in small mushy > waves. It goes well because of its volume, but it’s impossible to turn > until it’s shoulder high or better. Not enough curve in the back. I drew > up a modified template with a bit more curve in the tail and a narrower > nose. It looks pretty interesting. I’ll build it when I can get around to > it! http://surfnwsc.com

I was there in Temple City that morning in bed i woke to world war 3 i > thought. I remember running out side and watching earth swells run down > the street??? It was a “Big” one…>>> Ernie was a great shaper that never got the press like he should have…>>> I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I would change. >>> > Side cuts with the same deck??? Removing even more mass??? it should work > ask Morey??? Steve Krajewski’s theory of hull design shaping – and he knows what he’s talking about, believe me – is that every bit of unnecassary foam should come off. This doesn’t mean that there is no foam…but when you look at a shaped hull and then analyze it with that in mind, you realize how much useless foam there is, just there to connect curves smoothly. I shaped Steve a board about 7 years ago that took, like, 12 hours of picking away, and it really did have a “no wasted foam” feel to it when it wsa done. There’s so much more that can be done even with conventional materials it’s a joke.

I shaped > Steve a board about 7 years ago that took, like, 12 hours of picking away, > and it really did have a “no wasted foam” feel to it when it wsa > done. There’s so much more that can be done even with conventional > materials it’s a joke. Paul, I realize with this board/at this stage you guys are really in experimentation so this question probably doesn’t matter, but given the blanks available today - my limited experience reinforces comments here that the further you get from the crust, the weaker the blank gets - how durable a board do you think you could wind up with under the above described circumstances? Are there any “even-density” blanks available for “whittling Fantasia” on? Nels

Are there any “even-density” blanks > available for “whittling Fantasia” on?>>> Nels Try Walker Foam.

Are there any “even-density” blanks>>> Try Walker Foam. The shift in density is pretty minimal once you get past the first 1/4" or so. And it isn’t that weak, especially since s-deck hulls can handle double six oz. decks. They don’t need to be superlight even if they are only 6 feet long. The ultra-light trend has as much to do with compensating for poor design (IN MY OPINION) than the need to be light for its own sake. My issues with using the big blanks needed for s-decks are the waste of material and the added work involved. But, the wasted foam has to be balanced with the reality that a good board with double 6 deck (or more) will work better and last longer, so in the end it’s more efficiant, material-wise, than continuing to build board after board that either don’t work, or are destroyed after a month or two. And yes, Walker foam is superior FOR THIS PARTICULAR APPLICATION.

And yes, Walker foam is superior FOR THIS PARTICULAR APPLICATION. A side note…Walker blew the blanks for the Morey-Pope Camel line of boards in the late 60’s. They were super thick (4") with very thin noses and tails. A radical S in the deck and a hull bottom. All the shapers had to do was cut the outline, skin the nose and tail, and turn the rail. Viola, a perfect S deck hull. I still dream about being able to do that today!!!

A side note…Walker blew the blanks for the Morey-Pope Camel line of > boards in the late 60’s. They were super thick (4") with very thin > noses and tails. A radical S in the deck and a hull bottom.>>> All the shapers had to do was cut the outline, skin the nose and tail, and > turn the rail. Viola, a perfect S deck hull. I still dream about being > able to do that today!!! Even a blank with a constant density is prone to shinking if over shaped. Just something to remember, but doesn’t happen often. Happened a couple of years ago to a large batch of Donald Takayama’s sent to Japan overshaped with Midget’s foam. All the blanks were overshaped by a shaping machine. Always safer to use a higher density foam. http://www.fiberglasssupply.com/Product_Catalog/Epoxy/epoxy.html