A modern piece of surfing history

There is no doubt that Bob Simmons was a gifted genius. His greatest contribution to surfboard design was the application of aero- and hydrodynamic theory to surfboards, which he called hydrodynamic planing hulls. Simmons designed the planing hull with two things in mind: speed and directional stability. He was obsessed with eliminating drag and maximising lift, but his quest to create the perfect planing hull ended too soon. In September 1954 Simmons slipped off his board while dropping into a large set wave and was never seen alive again.

The contemporary relevance of Simmons designs have been documented in Hydrodynamica, a film project (currently in progress) about the legacy and influence of Bob Simmons. 

Stories of Bob building and riding a six foot Stryofoam planing hull in 1950, inspired Simmons’ old buddy John Elswell, surfer and Hydrodynamica project director Richard Kenvin and shaper Joe Bauguess to recreate the ‘Mini-Simmons’ in the summer of 2006. The template was taken directly from John Elwell’s original 1949 dual keeled Simmons planing hull, keeping Simmons’ signature touches intact and blending modern design elements in. The result was a blast to ride. The reborn souped-up Mini-Simmons was short, wide, buoyant and it packed supernatural speed. 

Many shapers have ever since agreed that the general concept is superior. It has brought Bob Simmons to life for an entire generation of surfers more than 50 years after his death and these hydrodynamic, superlative performing surfboards are now again speeding though waters around the world.   

Larry Mabile joined the Hydrodynamica shapers team a few years later with his own modernized and more refined version of the Simmons planing hull called the Ghostbuster. The Ghostbuster is an extremely versatile design that can be ridden 6 to 8 inches shorter than a contemporary shortboard. It has far more planing and paddling speed than a typical shortboard. 

The Ghostbuster features a Simmons inspired step deck to reduce weight by taking foam out of the nose. The double bump pulled-in squash tail is narrow enough for tight snaps in the pocket and still meets Simmons planing hull requirements. The bottom concave is displacement hull in the front third, leading to concave through the tail. The quad fin set-up gives drive and intense bursts of speed off the bottom and off the top.

Riding the Ghostbuster is a unique experience. The buoyancy combined with the Ghostbuster’s extremely efficient ability to lift and plane gives it incredible speed. Surfers have been raving about how it feels part paipo, part bodyboard, part surf mat, part fish, part longboard and yet somehow greater than all the above. Absurdly long, full-rail projections off the bottom followed by equally long and weightless speed banks off the top are the essence of the ride.

Or as Larry would say “a scary good time!” 

Available size: 5'4 x 21 x 2 1/2 

Price: € 750,00 includes FCS quad fin set.

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