Above: Mark 1 with unglassed rails and handmade fins (these fins didn't work so changed to future keel fins)
Our own Tom Owens and his brother Freddy recently had a crack at making their own version of the Mini-Simmons, cut down from an old 9'2" O'Donnell:
"This board was totally beat up—the amount of dings were overwhelming— so it was just not worth repairing. It was once a good quality longboard and quite a good noserider. We didn't want it to go to waste.
First we took to it with a hand saw, cutting roughly 3 feet off the tail and trimming the rails to pull the tail in a touch. We rounded the corners and put some shape into the trimmed rails by hand, using sandpaper.
Having no idea how it was going to ride we thought it would be a good idea to put the newly shaped rails to the test. With a lack of resin, cloth and rovings we got into the true spirit of backyard shaping/kiwi ingenuity and thought duct tape would do the trick for a while.
After trying a few temporary fin combinations and many test sessions we settled with keel fins, with future fin boxes. We also fully glassed the rails and tidied up the outline.
The day had come, the waves had picked up. With the resin still curing, we both got some good waves, racing down the line and smashing it off the top, the board held together well and surpassed all expectations.
So if you have an old board lying around have a go a making something new. It's so satisfying and fun turning a redundant piece of foam into a functional surf-craft."