Champagne Glass: Simon Jones 7'2" twin fin

Stu Nettle
Design Outline

We've had just two installments in the Champagne Glass column over the last year, so you'd call it semi-regular at best.

Yet I, like many others, was enchanted by Torren Martyn's surfing in the recent film, 'Tesoro Enderrato' and once the style references ended - bit o' Nat, bit o' MP, touch of Rasta too - then the talk about equipment began and I saw an opportunity.

Torren was filmed riding a few boards during the twenty-minute movie, but for the majority of it he was on a luscious mid-length. Obviously made by Simon Jones, he's Torren's shaper after all, and it was a twinny of course, we could see that much in the film. But the model?

I had no idea so I called Torren to find out.

"All of Simon's boards are handshaped," explained Torren when I asked the name of the model. That quickly put the kibosh on my article idea, but we'd come this far so I pressed on. Maybe there was something we could learn after all?

The board in question was a 7'2" Simon Jones twin fin, four channels running out a round tail, with a vee bottom throughout. It's the product of something Torren and Simon had been working on for about four years. A project that began with a mix of serendipity and wide-eyed curiousity, as all worthy endeavours should.

"Simon shaped a 7'9" for Glen Casey to take to South Australia," says Torren, "but if was never surfed, didn't even get wet, and it ended up in my hands."

"At the time my boards were getting shorter and shorter and this big thing just came out of nowhere. It was so refreshing, just this feeling that I hadn’t had before."

You may have seen Torren surfing it in his first film for Needs, and if you've paid any attention to his career, you'll know Torren likes to swing between the extremes: "My typical board length at the time was between 5’4" and 5’8", but suddenly I had all this extra length - the drive, the glide. I couldnt get off it!"

Since then, Torren has been filling in the gaps between the two lengths. Thus the two boards he took to Central America for 'Tesoro..' were 6'10" and 7'2" - though the 6'10" broke first surf.

"All the surfing - bar a few waves - is on the 7'2"," says Torren. But like so many great relationships it got off to a rocky start.

"We made that board before the Iceland trip last year, and I don't know if it was the conditions, the wind, or the amount of rubber, but it didn't really work. I didnt click with it."

Yet he had enough fun on it around his North Coast home to take it to California while visiting his girlfriend. Torren thought he'd be riding it at 2' Malibu, yet the trip coincided with an incredible forecast, a long road trip, and an impromptu movie - 'Tesoro Enderrato' of course. You've seen the footage and no doubt marvelled at the surfing, at Torren's effortless grace and shadowland tuberiding.

Arguably, the high point of the film is the last five minutes with Torren surfing a steel-gray, bowling righthander, not a wave that screams 7'2" twinny, and yet there he was, slotted, repeatedly.


"If knew I was going to surf waves like that I would’ve put something else in the quiver, maybe a mid-six, but honestly, now that’s it all done, I’d ride the exact same board again."

"There was so much water moving out there, so to have the paddle power, and to get into them earlier was an advantage. That session gave me a new perspective. Like, I could've dropped into it on a smaller board and pumped through it, but instead I got into it earlier which gave me more time to set my path. I did less minor adjustments but ended up with longer, more drawn out moments."

The board, as you would've seen in the film, didn't survive. However, despite the new perspective and the accolades from peers he's not rushing out to replicate it.

"I never get two boards the same. I just get so excited about the idea of something new. I love the challenge of always progressing."

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 5:03pm

Whilst I appreciate the cross pollination with the movie , if you want to get the good oil from a surfer / shapers perspective give Karl Beadham a call.

That fucker knows his way around a planer , a tube and a dance floor better than most. I’m not sure if he refers to the boards he’s getting heavily tubed on as “ mid-length “ , but they’re voluminous late sixes towards seven plus.

No competition, but I’ve seen him share a lineup with TM and TM was just another face in the pack compared to KB.

He thinks outside of the box. Shapes and surfs according to functionality, not fashion.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 4:35pm

Stu, dunno if that's a 7'9" Torren's surfing in his first video for Needs in that link.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 5:08pm

Have I fucked that up? Maybe got wrong link.

Sec...

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 4:48pm

So Stu have you put in an order yet?

simba

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 4:52pm

We know there's channels in the release, necessary to know what the entry and plane sections of the bottom are doing so we can discuss further.

From the still shots of the snapped boards, definitely looks to have down-rails or at least a low-down wide point to the rail. Mid-point of the outline: the tuck is not overly tight -makes sense for a long rail with one fin driving -soften the bumps. Still, the rail rejects the wall at times -fun when expected -especially for young folk who like "getting loose" and taking risks.

Fins -hand-foiled by the rider, no? quite vertical, keels with long base?

There are a mass of Victorian waves that suit such a board -always though though a super thick and wide twin fin would be epic down round those parts -especially where the waves are fat.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 4:55pm

@Simba,

Me, twin fins, you know the rest...

But I will say Torren's surfing in that clip got me wondering, if not for me, then just wondering in a purely theoretical way, and I dug up an old interview we ran with Simon Jones where he said twinnines never reached their potential because the Thruster stopped them dead in their tracks. People converted en masse overnight and the twin fin experiments ended.

Now it feels like the boards Simon is making, plus DVS and Takayama (while he was alive) are filling that void, and their riders, TM, Rasta et al, are doing them justice.

Still, not for me, and don't let Uppy tell you otherwise.

trolleyboy's picture
trolleyboy's picture
trolleyboy commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 5:22pm

I saw footage of Torren riding a tiny board at Deserts and he was cracking some Mason Ho jive way up the board, and think about how hard it can be to ride DP backside anyway, then on a tiny board, then weighting the forward rocker and unweighting the fins. It must've been 5'4".

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 5:34pm

Not only twin fins Stu, it also put the single fin on ice, today they are reborn and are 2+1s in places. The single can take the volume tail to increase performance, as Geoff has proved over the years, even at this size of board.

These dimensions of board are a joy in our waves which are often a long way offshore, lots of wind out there - the paddle really helps. On the fatter waves there is space to full rail carve.

Good post Ape, these shapes do work with more of the down rail, and will hold in hollow waves if you have the thinned down rails in the tail.

If you look for surfboard development today, you see the BWWT riding quads with beef forward and 70's down rails. If you want to see variety in different shape in a contest situation, go to the opens of any good Longboard club and you see so many different takes on the 2+1. Unfortunately, there is a 9 foot limit; if there were not, these midsizes would be taking over. For the everyday surfer on a log, having 1 to 2 feet less board to nurse through a turn opens up carving immensely.

Yeah I'm a fan. Torren is at an otherworldly level on the twins.

wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8 commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 6:24pm

I dont ride mid-lengths but how sick does "longer, more drawn out moments" sound?

hamishbro's picture
hamishbro's picture
hamishbro commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 7:41pm

The fat wide point forward twinnie with properly tapered rails and enough rocker to get into steeper waves is the weekend warrior’s wet dream. Dunno why there isn’t more out there.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 8:16pm

can't ride 'em on my backhand, is why.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 9:01pm

X 2

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 11:02pm

x3

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 3 Aug 2019 at 5:08pm

x4

It's like a foreign language and you forgot to listen to the teacher in class

To the crew who surf them well, much admiration

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 8:53pm

Well as a Victorian I was a bit offended back where Ape called Victorian waves fat when ... they are not fat! O.K.! They are just...thick boned, alright! And they tend to retain fluid...and anyway, they are a bit bloated at the moment and you are fat. So...

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 11:03pm

Just the west coast.

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 9:19pm

"All of Simon's boards are handshaped," explained Torren when I asked the name of the model

Is he just being a bit of a tool with this statement........???? If you check out the website of Mr Jones he lists a mere 18 different models.

https://www.morningoftheearthsurfboards.com/

T.Edds's picture
T.Edds's picture
T.Edds commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 10:31pm

Talking in real terms...

A lot of people seem to have opinions about the functionality of any board aside from a conventional thruster. I would be surprised to know how many of these staunch opinion holders have preserved to understand the capacity of these designs.

Nothing comes easily.

Twin fins work exceptionally well on the backhand.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 11:09pm

No they don't and I go back to the originals. They were never good on your backhand and even the vids of Asher these days are always on his forehand. You can't bury your back foot at the bottom and snap into the lip with control on a twinny it is way too fast and loose. I love em but they can bite.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 3 Aug 2019 at 5:19pm

T.Edds, I grew up surfing an absolute variety of classic shapes and can recall pitching after pitching on the twinnie down south. Disliked the 90's potato chips a lot, loved the singlefin bottom turns and highline drives. I did do a twinnie with my eldest about 10 years back, basically modern shape, wider nose, concave, modern rails and swallow - that thing surfed backhand very well, he flew on it, I had moments where you just went "whoa..." but I found it sporadic, sometimes it would be fully vert, other times I couldn't access it. Surfing it back to back with a short late 70's single, the single kept up speed in a line with the newer twinny trimming side to side, was more pivotable, and appealed to how my formative surfing was, so I left the twin design at that.

FWIW, the one design that smokes every shortboard I've tried (old classics, and also the modern fuller volume cutting edge brand label models of today) is an orignal Simon 1981 thruster. They are incredible. You can place yourself under lips, take off late, you will still make it, they are so forgiving. Tight arc turns like a Zap, but you can pump trim fluidly for speed backhand (huge improvement), go vert or do single-like high line speed runs. Thick fins and soft down rails, wide tail, single to doubles through vee - there is a lot going on in that design and it works so well, even today. It wasn't just about the 3 fins.

That one is the winner.

T.Edds's picture
T.Edds's picture
T.Edds commented Friday, 2 Aug 2019 at 11:18pm

You cannot surf them the same as a thruster. The different design demands a different approach. I don’t understand why the thruster is constantly used a a relative point of reference. So many surfers carry on about how a particular board restricts their surfing. I would be native it is their actual ability that is the restriction. The thruster has deluded the everyday surfer.

Hamishnic's picture
Hamishnic's picture
Hamishnic commented Saturday, 3 Aug 2019 at 11:34am

Roger that!

mezkal's picture
mezkal's picture
mezkal commented Saturday, 3 Aug 2019 at 3:44am

Haha yeh give Beachbum Beadham a call that guys on another level for sure, amazing talent, he may actually be an alien...especially on the dance floor. Enjoying the whole TM thing though, cheers.

roryshannon's picture
roryshannon's picture
roryshannon commented Saturday, 3 Aug 2019 at 4:56pm

I had been emailing Simon recently about the board Torren rides in the film (the 7'2 twin), as i couldn't see it on Simons website.
Simon stated the model is called the Massive, but once again, cannot find any further details on it.

Aft3rd4rk's picture
Aft3rd4rk's picture
Aft3rd4rk commented Friday, 9 Aug 2019 at 12:43pm

Love a good twinnie,
Started my surfing in WA on a twinnie about 40 years ago and have swapped ever since between thrusters and twinnies.
I mainly surf a thruster in anything over 3ft and the twinnie in anything under. For summer sessions its a wet dream come true, saying that tho ive surfed the twinnie in some serious big waves and it handles well, just need to be a bit more mindful on the bottom turns that it doesn't slide out.

markxxx's picture
markxxx's picture
markxxx commented Sunday, 11 Aug 2019 at 8:01am

Midlength twins are definitely fun and versatile. I approached Gary McNeill about getting a “stretched out twinny” earlier this year. My brief was “paddle, early entry and glide of a mid BUT still be able to jam hard turns and throw it around like a shortboard”. No problem he said and man did he nail it. Had some of my most memorable sessions on this thing. Goes great backhand too!

6’10 x 21 x 2 5/8.

*I like it better with upright twins than the keels pictured.*

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Sunday, 11 Aug 2019 at 7:20pm

hey markxxx. beautiful board. if you don’t mind me asking, what weight and height are you?

markxxx's picture
markxxx's picture
markxxx commented Sunday, 11 Aug 2019 at 8:05pm

Hey mate,
About 6-6’1 85kg.
Gary originally suggested 2 3/4 at my weight but I wanted to make sure I could duck dive the thing.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Sunday, 11 Aug 2019 at 9:24pm

sweet thanks mate. the board looks great

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 at 3:10pm

hey markxxx. ordered me one. loving twinnies in all conditions and really like the look of these boards. very curious about the torus channel. also want to try out some non-fish twins. i had a tomo evo that i was going to try as a twin (just take the thruster fin out - i do that on some of my boards) but i snapped it soon after getting it so didn't get the chance. it was probably the only thruster i've ridden that had the speed of a twin. i know the planing hull thing is important with that design but i suspect the big channel down the middle was relevant too. thanks for the input mate. will post pics when i get it

markxxx's picture
markxxx's picture
markxxx commented Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 at 3:41pm

Nice mate!
What dims?
Yeah I have a Tomo Nano that actually goes great with the AMT twin + trailer.
Torus channel is definitely interesting, very fast but I also feel as if I’m turning off the edge of it as well as the rail when I’m forward on the board. Hard to explain but a nice smooth, engaged feeling. I think you’ll be stoked.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 at 4:39pm

nice. I'm 5'8 and about 56kg (skinny little old bastard) - getting a 5'10 as a mid-step up. I've got a short fishy twin (5'2) that I really like in anything up to 6 foot but when there's any bump it gets hard real quick on something that short, and also if you can't get in early making the drop can be challenging. i'm thinking this board might be a quiver killer for me (not that I'm looking for one) since once it gets over 6 foot it gets beyond my pay grade pretty quickly. "quiver killer" for me probably means no news boards for 12 months or so :)

markxxx's picture
markxxx's picture
markxxx commented Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 at 6:10pm

I think it will serve you well as an alternative step up, mine has so far (despite the extra width).

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 at 6:50pm

I also like the look of the entity twin pin as a proper step up.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz2S33EldFP/
not unlike the simon jones 7'2
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2017/03/13/lifting-lid-b...
in that its a larger twin with rear channels, but I personally like the look of the outline of the entity twin better

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 11 Aug 2019 at 7:53am

nice

simba

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Monday, 2 Sep 2019 at 2:59pm

7'1 21 2 1/2

After watching Torren I thought I'd better try one.

I'm 178cm, 80kg, 50yrs old fit and healthy and ride all manner of boards but almost exclusively under 6'5, upper intermediate at best. I get the twins on the backhand thing too, I love my 5'6 Lis style fish but yep it's a whole different ball game on the backside. This thing though... It grips, and it doesn't matter if my foot isn't right over the tail either it'll still hold in and draw a line to the point I had the nose out the top of the wave this morning and still brought it back down.
The early in is a boon. I found I can fade the bottom turn because I've got that much more time. This leads to much better positioning in the pocket (not out-racing) and again, the extra length and weight creates a kind of 'turbo-lag' which means I've found myself in the barrel so much more (and out!). Better surfers will have a better stall/turn for the barrel I'm sure but this board only emphasises to me where I need to improve on my shortys.
In summary, if you feel like you're on a bit of plateau and need an injection of stoke I can't recommend it highly enough. Oh, I can duck dive it too, the aerated water before a broken wave causes a bit of drama but in the clean water it goes under no trouble.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Monday, 2 Sep 2019 at 3:54pm

Sounds great. What's the logo on it?

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Monday, 2 Sep 2019 at 5:08pm

It's mug ring/stains Derra like get left on your table.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Tuesday, 3 Sep 2019 at 11:26am

It took me a while to twig to what you were saying! Great board mate. Looks well made.