HPH (Simmons)

Hydrodynamic Planing Hull is what Bob Simmons called his boards. This design, based on Lindsay Lord’s design experiments for the most efficient planing hull, is a mind blower. I first saw a modern short version shaped by Joe Bauguess at the first Sacred Craft show.

I then vibed on a photo of an incredible Simmons twin keel balsa with deep concaves and generous belly and shaped my first one. I took my oldest template (a 7’6″ egg) and sawed the tail off to 16″. The result was 6’7″ with nice hips toward the tail, perfect and a lot curvier that any replica would be. It has become one of my all time favorites and it seems everyone that tries it wants one.

This board has to be experienced to be believed. It really picks up waves a board it’s length has no right to. It is nearly impossible to pearl. Down the line it feels like a displacement hull but when you step back turns with the ferocity of a fish, without the wiggle.

Massive belly forward to DEEP single concave . Soft chiney rails to edge towards the tail.

15 thoughts on “HPH (Simmons)”

    1. 100% hand shaped and hand built at Channin’s Precision Fiberglassing in Encinitas, Ca.

      Price depends on size and options. My standard 6′ to 7′ with wooden keels and volan run about $850. If you go clear E-glass you could knock about $50 off. Color, add about $50 per side.

  1. Hey Steve,

    I bought the 6’4 HPH you recently had at Surf Indian. I took out in 1-3 foot San Elijo . The board perormed great! So much fun! I just wanted to give you my thanks. It’s a great board.

    1. Thanks for the note. I really appreciate any feedback I can get. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any observations or criticisms of the board. Hope you enjoy it for a long time.

  2. Hi Steve. I was in Surfindian on Sunday 3/13/11 and saw an HPH of yours in there, mostly white, might have had some kind of yellow? graphics, if that helps. As I recall, it was under 7′ long. I wanted to see a pic of it again but there’s no mention of it in Surfindian’s site. Do you know of a link to pics of it anywhere?

  3. Steve,

    Just bought your 6’2″ HPH from surf indian. Beautiful board and amazing ride. Super fast and not too loose. My girlfriend is jealous cuz I spend more time with mellow yellow than I do with her.

    1. I have a friend your weight on a 6’10” and he loves it. Of course he ‘s a very accomplished surfer. I’m about 170 and over fifty and I do a 6’7″ speedster which is more foiled (less foam) and am very happy with it. I’d say anywhere in there depending on if you are coming down in size from a long board or up on size from a short board. These boards have a LOT of tail and foam for their length and so you can usually go shorter than you think. My single fins that feel similar in wave catching ability are between 7’3″ and 7’6″. Thanks

  4. Steve, My wife gave me the green light to pick up one of your 5’5.5″ HPH Simmons at Bird’s Surf Shed a few weeks ago. First off, it was almost too beautiful to surf and my wife wanted to hang it on our wall at home. After appreciating the style and craftsmanship you put into it, I waxed it up and took out to the cliffs. Most fun board I’ve owned! Thanks for sharing your gift and talents with the world. It’s a board I’ll keep and enjoy for many years to come. A true work of art and incredibly fun to ride! -Joe

    1. Thanks very much Joe. It’s always gratifying to hear that people are enjoying my shapes. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. I really enjoy me 6’7″ and feel very fortunate to be able to share the stoke. Take care.

  5. Hi Steve – I’m wondering what size HPH you think would be appropriate for me at 6′ 178lbs. Looking to use it for smaller waves in the summer primarily. I know you have a 6’1 at Mitch’s, but not sure if that is the right size. Thanks!

    1. Hello Pete,

      Thanks for the interest.

      Size is such a subjective issue. All I can speak on is my own experience. I’m 56, 5’11”, 165 lbs. and am a competent but far from competitive surfer. My personal HPH is a pretty foiled out 6’7″. It catches wave like an 8′ egg, as in easily. I can just duck dive it. I spend much of my time away from the coast these days, so it’s really nice to have an easy, fun board to come back to. I could get away with a shorter one, but I’m old, spoiled, and often not in as good of shape as if I were on the coast full time. I actually prefer it to my 9’1″ because I don’t have to worry about pearling, and with the HPH, have the option of surfing it like a hull, or tail turning it like a fish.

      If you are truly intermediate or better and just being modest, the 6’1″ would work very well for you. I’ve been to Ocean Beach, and I imagine duck diving is absolutely necessary to having a good time of it. On the heavier beach break, this board will definitely become a handful once things go much overhead. The very thing that makes the HPH a great summer board, i.e. the wide tail, make it feel like a skipping rock on bigger days. On the other hand, that very trait is what makes it shine on small to medium days. There is so much planing surface that you just don’t bog down in the flats if you have any speed at all. I had as friend, intermediate ability, mid 50’s, 200 plus lbs., exclusively longboarder, who tried a 6’7″ HPH and caught waves on his first outing.

      If you are not truly intermediate, and overestimating your abilities, (nothing personal, but you will ultimately be happier with your board if you are honest with yourself) a bit more length wouldn’t hurt at all. If you surf exclusively longboards, 6’1″, even with this much width and foam, would be a challenge. If you have surfed and enjoyed shorter boards, even 7′-8′ eggs, 6’1″ would be a relatively easy transition.

      I hope this helps.

      As I said before, I don’t spend as much time as I used to on the coast. I do have a trip planned for September/October, and have some shaping times still available if you are interested in ordering a custom shape.



  6. Hello Steven,

    Coming out to the coast anytime soon for a shaping session? Hoping to meet up and have a board shaped if the timing works out.


    1. Hey Jeramy, thanks for the interest. I am in fact going to be in San Diego the beginning of March. I have a shaping slot or two still open. I’m moving down to G&S if that makes a difference to you. Hit me up at knsmast@gmail.com and we can discuss what you are wanting. I would need a commitment and deposit before about the 21st of January so I can get the correct blank(s) ordered. Thanks again and I’ll look forward to working with you.

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