The Simster Swoops

So I've ridden the Simster a couple of times now - in small waves. Easy paddling, very buoyant, the thing swoops into waves with a fantastic swoopy-smoothness because of it's hulled nose and width. All I can say so far is it glides beautifully, fast in trim and will be fun in small waves as well as larger (hopefully). It's a curious board. One could quite reasonably describe it (as Richard Kenvin does to cement the Simmons lineage) as a "hydrodynamic planing hull" but also, I think, as a "Super-Mal"...or..."Hyper-Paipo"...or..."Grandad-Thruster"...or..."Beast-Fish"...

Initially Mr Skelton (thanks for the grounding) was right and not Kenvin: my inexperienced feet weren't right in the pop-up and the sections I hoped to effortlessly make didn't happen. Later as I got more used to it and weighted correctly I outran some foamballs & back to the face that I wouldn't have done before. The ease of paddling could make this a lazy board. My "luxury surf". I'm enjoying it tremendously but will be interested to see where this goes. When I swapped boards with a friend (riding a thruster) I immediately enjoyed the feel of a small tail in the pocket again - I just like surfboards I guess. There's a lot of foam in this board and I do wonder if I could've gone for smaller, 5'8 or something, but only time, experience and use will tell. This board will certainly be great fun in small summer waves and mushy bigger waves when it'll keep moving in the flatter sections but it's supposed to be more than that. It's supposed to be a flyer in large clean surf too. My initial reaction is that I'd still have no hesitation in taking out my 5'10 fish in preference on the nice clean 5-6' days but I won't really know until I've tried it.

The Simster has character - you can feel the 'Simmons-iness' in the speed, glide and the turn. It's certainly about pure function in the sense of glide but in the turn it's character over function - like a friendly dog with a mangy ear or something - you warm to it but it's not necessarily the way nature intended! I may have been drawn to this board by the myth and stories spun around it by Richard Kenvin, John Elwell and Joe Baugess etc, it may not be the best board for me to progress my surfing on as quickly as possible (thanks again Skelly - ooof!), but at my age I feel like I'm in a countdown: that's the trouble with taking up surfing late and wanting to try out lots of boards and experience different slides. This 'luxury surf' will definitely be a fun board as I get older and too tired to paddle something smaller. Maybe in about twenty years I'll be posting "The Simster at Sixty"...


  1. Hi mate. Just came across your blog and this post while trawling the web for simster info. I've made one! Hollow wooden construction to be precise. Did one of those Tree to Sea courses in Feb which was excellent. Another coming up in August which I intend to drop in on to hopefully get my board glassed. I'm trying to decide on fins at the moment and want to foil some up out of ply. I like the futures Rasta design for the outside fins. It's a semi keel but with cut away bases. Drivey but loose apparently. Would you mind letting me know the dimensions of yours? Height and base length. Trailer too? Email me if you'd like to help.

  2. Hi Mitch,

    The 'keel' fins are 17cm base by 10cm deep (the glassing adds about a cm more to that on the base). The 'little buddy in the back' is 10cm base 9cm deep.

    I'd like to see a photo of your board when it's done. Good luck with it.


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