Thursday, September 10, 2009

4'11" X 22 1/2" X 2 5/8"

Hey, here's my new board from Larry Mabile. It came in a couple weeks ago and let me tell you — there's nothing more frustrating than having a brand new surfboard that you can't get out and ride. My work situation has been double overhead since I got back from El Salvador. I gotta ride it out.

Anyway, I'd been hearing so many great things about these little Simfish that I pulled the trigger during one of the summer's agonizing flat spells. Larmo sold me on the "White Pony" when he assured me about the versatility of this shape. An email from the man himself:

"The best thing about the White Pony is you can ride it reaaaallly small. The board is very wide and full which allows it to paddle very well in the smaller sizes. I put a small swallow tail (about 4 inches) on it to make it turn better. I also have been putting a lot of effort into redesigning the fins, as the standard half-moon shaped fins which come on many Simmons-style boards, don't have enough drive. I have also added more curve in the outline, as well as belly towards the nose, making a very fun ride which works in punchy beach breaks as well as funky slop........."

Very small. Larry convinced me that these are the right dims for me: 4'11" X 22 1/2" X 2 5/8"

I got the board a couple weeks ago and took it to Shorties. The waves were a little sloppy, but with more punch than I'd seen in Oregon for awhile. It took me a little while to get used to it, but my first ride was pretty amazing. It rides almost exactly like I'd imagined. Paddles into waves really easy and then just squirts down the line once you stand up. I was flying around broken sections on it and just hauling ass, really. It feels almost disc-like under the feet. I'm definitely stoked on it. Skatey is a perfect description.

One of the things that I can tell will take some getting used to (besides not being able to carry it under my arm at it's wide point) is the shortness causing me to pop up with my back foot off the tail. That happened a couple times during the session, which had me doing the "water-splits" as I blew the drop-in on some decent waves. More than anything, I'm just hoping to get out again on it before the conditions dictate more predictable equipment. Fall's around the corner...

Oh yeah. Larry got the board to Seaside Surfshop quick. I think it took less than a month from when I ordered it. Thanks, guys!


Retro hack said...

Ya got some short arms there Mister...and no, without a hull in the front third, flat tail rocker, an S deck and bladed rails, its not a Simmons influenced board. Its a really short fish.

With this being 4'11", not much rail in the water will leave you bogging when you outrun the wave.
And it will out run the wave.

Though Simmons influenced boards are true planing hulls and not 'bellied', they all have that in common, the speed to run out further onto the flats and then bring it around for the rebound. But very little rail in the water will leave you wishing you had more planing surface so the board maintains the speed you went into the cutback with. I have shaped them as short as 5'6", the board was great in the peak, not so great on the flats, easily over powered.

The fin set up will work but drive is related to the base of the fin, not so much in its outline. Most of the mini Simmons hulls are now using raked fins with 10" bases, the half moons were shown to skip and let loose when surfing steeper waves than Wind and Sea...or Shorties.
The Hydro guys are stuck on them but every one else has moved on.

Nice score and I do hope you enjoy the board, next time though, ask your shaper where he surfs.
4'11" in Oregon?
Good luck.

Slim said...

The ever expanding short and fat quiver. What's really going on here? Reminiscing about some woman from your past?

Chum said...

@ Retro: Mabile (mentored by Frye and an early developer of this shape) says tomato, You (fascinated by Selma Hayek's bellybutton) say potato.

Thanks for the education and for letting me know that Larmo doesn't surf in Oregon.

@ Slim: You know the old adage: "They're fun to ride until your friend catches you on one."

barnacle said...

Larmo does surf Oregon just not in person, his boards work fine. One day at shorties is not an indicator of what the board can or cannot do and to say a board lacking specific details like hull, flat tail rocker, S deck, etcetera means it is not a Simmons influenced design but something else entirely seems silly. Influences affect aspects but don't rule design necessarily, Retro said himself that many Simmons "influenced I presume" hulls have moved on to a different fin base. There are no hard and fast rules only progression anless you live in a sea cave, were raised by sea lions, and finally frustrated by your surrogate parents superior oceans skills carve a surfboard out of driftwood using your teeth. I'd say Mabile's resume and experience allows him some leeway in claiming influences and even some stretching of classical parameters at least as regards surfing.And you don't have to outrun the wave you just have to cut back and that thing will cut back. If you want to go out onto the flats, go out onto the flats but you'll likely want a different board. But that's a yet another new board you will need.

Gaz said...

mabile has a big following in SD
there's no way he'd get away with calling them Sim-inspired where Simmons died and get away with it
if they weren't true to Simmon's designs

but more to the point, let's see that in the water here soon....

Anonymous said...

Have fun with that board that all that matters... I also got in that that order and talked Larry and got a diamond tail...It is a great board I am stoked with it...

Retro hack said...

"And you don't have to outrun the wave you just have to cut back and that thing will cut back."
But therein lies an issue with these faster, smaller boards, they don't like to stall in the pocket (IMO!), to do so will leave the board without steerage and control, IMO, they tend to wash out on the foamball when stalling and will leave you hung up. Straight down drops from the top is one way around the problem of speeding out onto the shoulder.
Mabile is a class act, I stand in his shadow...I am not saying anything negative about his shaping or designs, I am a hack when it comes to shaping...however...
Oregon surf is not San Diego.
We do not have warm water and playful surf, tits on the beach and palm tree's swaying in the wind.
A 4'11" is going to be extremely limited in our surf up here.
My Paipo is only 6 inches shorter than your white pony...and while I love riding it in shorebreak, it would suck ass to paddle the thing out to our peaks.

All of this brings up a bigger question, how loose is too loose?
Does a board need to shrink to sub 5' to be able to turn it?

The first thing I noted when I rode my first Simmons influenced board was that it was like "skating a pool", I stand by that, they (short, thick and wide) are good designs for that type of surfing.
Carving, burying rails and such.
But you have to catch waves first so do we need to go so short while limiting the amount of waves we can catch?
Not in the history of surfing so far.

Pottz carved 360's on a 6'8" in HH surf, way back when Day-Glo was cool.

I did not comment to pass judgment or sour grape the thing, its your 575.00 not mine.
My wonder at such a short, low volume board begins when I try to imagine myself riding it, I am a guy who surfs daily and I am in excellent condition, I gotz skills, I just can't see spending so much time and energy trying to get that board not only to the line up but positioning for waves in our cold, fickle and sharky surf.

Like I said, its another way of doing it, I just hope surfers up here don't pass judgment on these designs when they see a board like this struggling to get waves.
My own mini hulls and twinzer hulls
get waves, paddle well in transit without giving up so much float as to make surfing work rather than fun.
Peace, its all surfing and Sissy knows what he wants.

leisuretime said...

RH not RK,

This board is not low volume.

slight hull entry

Can be surfed high and tight in the pocket
(or wherever your ability allows)

Can be ridden in a variety of sizes, in a variety of different waves

You are typing but not saying anything,
Become more educated, rant less.

~Peace, eightball, yin yang~

Side note:

Did you ever get your nat??

Retro hack said...

Gosh, Leisure, thanks for the Haiku or whatever.
Here is one...
Your cred, it fails.

Chum said...

Hey dude! I did get my Nat. Thanks for asking! It's on the wall behind me.

As for the whole size/shape/semantics discussion, it looks like I'm going to have to ride the Pony more (which indeed does have a lot more volume than my other boards, except maybe my 6'7) and let you know how it goes. Believe me, it's super easy to get into waves, so that won't be a reason why the masses who see me surfing it will be turned off. More likely, my mediocre surf-skills will be the thing that kills Simmon-inspired fish explosion in the Pac Northwest.

But, revisiting my initial post, my first ride on it was fast and fun...

And other people seem to be enjoying it as well:

And it's all about fun, isn't it?

leisure time said...

Glad it found you well, Serena is sending you the piece you gave us for the dear and yonder show via mollusk sf so look out for it in the next week or so...
I have hope for the pacific northwest, but some folks just cant realize how incredibly lucky they are to live in a place with such beautiful natural resources at a super low cost of living with a high quality of life. Just be happy and have fun and be quiet if you are not sure what you're talking about. No need to be upset or passive aggressive, even if its just on a blog comment page.

ps. this board DOES have an s-deck

coldy said...

looks like a good time. ride everything

Totor said...

4'11 is incredibly short!!!
Enjoy this new board anyway and tell us how you feel surfing it!!!

srfnff said...

Vive los mini-sims! Check this blog, it's fat with minis from all over the planet. (

I worked with Freeline's John Mel (the shaper) on a collaborative effort to create my 5'11" mini-sim which John calls the "Ghost Buster" in homage to the Baugess/Kenvin/Elwell creation they dubbed Casper. That board was based on Bob Simmons design circa late 40'/50's ( Of course my board wasn't an exact copy of theirs, it wasn't meant to be. It was more like an adventure.

All shapers must loathe the straight rail line (it won't turn they say) but in fact the mini-sims turns quite well. Not like a thruster, but you didn't want a thruster did you?

If you enjoy your mini-sim inspired fish half as much as I dig my mini, you'll be 150% stoked! Nice board!

Check out mine here:

Tommy Moore said...

RETRO WACK- Wish I had your innate ability to know exactly how a board goes by just looking at a few pictures on the internet...

I'm a big guy (6'1"/185lbs) and ride a 5'2" White Pony. I could probably ride a 5ft version if I wanted to.

They catch waves incredibly easily and get up on a plane nice and early owing to the ROLL UP FRONT (which, if you look hard enough, you can see in the pics above-look at the upturned rails FFS)

It skates into the flats and connects sections incredibly well, as long as you can surf at least half-competently...

Here's Pickle on his own version:

Looks like he's hating life, eh? ;-)

BTW-I mostly surf in a 5/4mm in surf that generally speaking bears no resemblance to San Diego.

Why don't you try something first before you write it off?

ras said...

hey Sis you still riding this thing? haven't seen post about it for a while. I've been thnking about a board like this for our many mellow point breaks.

JJ Powell said...

"We do not have warm water and playful surf, tits on the beach and palm tree's swaying in the wind."

Since when do tits on the beach affect hydrodynamics?
Tell me again, specifically, why a hull, simmons-inspired stub, or a fish can't work here? I think you're not using any logic or just not breathing the same air as the rest of us....