John Elwell

The Hydrodynamica Project really began over 30 years ago when Simmons’ friend and historian John Elwell launched a quest to honor the memory of his friend.

Elwell met Simmons at the Tijuana Sloughs in 1949 and was surfing with Simmons at Windansea when he died in 1954. John spent years researching Simmons’ life and work, an effort that lead to the publication of his groundbreaking 1994 article in the Surfer’s Journal titled The Enigma of Simmons.

In 1950 Simmons built John a planing hull board, and this board has served the project as a means to explore Simmons design through replicas of various shapes and sizes.

In 2002 Richard Kenvin met Elwell while looking into the roots of the Mirandon Twin Pin and Steve Lis fish.

Since that time Kenvin and other project collaborators including Ryan Field, Scott Sullivan, Andrew Kidman, and Cher Pendarvis have documented relevant boards, surfers, and places that relate to the story.

The result is a comprehensive body of work that continually expands and evolves as the project content emerges from the past to influence and inspire the present, often in totally unexpected ways.