NZ SURFING MAGAZINE
Theshapeshifter Roger Hall Image Credit: NZ SURFING MAGAZINE
Theshapeshifter Roger Hall Image Credit: NZ SURFING MAGAZINE

Theshapeshifter - Roger Hall

Ever heard of a Mini Simmons?

Well by now you should have, even though thirteen years ago there may have been just one man on the entire planet that had. The name seems straight forward enough: two words, ‘Mini’ usually means a small/compact version of something. The other word though… what’s a ‘Simmons’? The story of Bob Simmons is one of the greatest tales in surfing, even though up until fairly recently it was a tale that had never been told. Back in the 1940s/1950s and before the surfboard industry had really found its feet, there were a small number of enthusiastic surfboard builders up and down the California coast. The modern surfboard was starting to take shape, transitioning from crude flat planks into much sleeker, foiled forms. Give or take, all involved were following down a similar path design-wise. As is so often the case in surfboard design, there just had to be an exception; in this case the exception came in the form of a man by the name of Bob. By now the name Bob is well and truly associated with ground-breaking surfboard design with Australian Bob McTavish heading the bill.

For this story, however, we have another Bob. Bob Simmons came into surfing later in life, coming from a background in mathematics and aerospace. Bob Simmons injected a completely new line of thinking into the burgeoning surfboard design movement. Where others were going narrower, Simmons was going wider, where others were adding rocker, Simmons was going flatter, where


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