Monday, November 12, 2018

Goodbye to an Old Friend - El Diablo Closes

Submitted by Austin Novaland

Note:  While the El Diablo sim does not officially close until  November 24th, most of the content has already been removed, including the waves. 

Quaint surf shops and information booths lead to a scenic deck, overlooking rocky terrain, a beautiful beach, and a consistent swell rolling into a bay.  The sun glistens on the water, momentarily hiding whales, dolphins, and at times, more dangerous sea life.  Wild goats keep the beach grasses under control as a mother sea turtle leads her offspring into the crashing surf.  Treacherous stairs lead down to a path lined with cacti, succulents, and desert wildlife.  Seagulls and vultures patrol the blue skies, occasionally joined by fearless hang gliders and base jumpers.    In the distance, more stairs invite curious visitors to explore mission ruins and an old graveyard.   Rustic beach shacks, wreckage, and a lone lighthouse complete the scene.  These visions live only in my mind now, but they are as fresh as they were when I first experienced them almost five years ago…a virtual eternity in Second Life (SL) time.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Leung

While it offered many activities and wondrous sights for wanderers, lovers, and adrenaline junkies, El Diablo at Scorpion Bay was first and foremost a surfing sim.  The brain child of Brooke Leung and El Elephas, it was inspired by a real life surf beach, located near San Juanico, Baja, Mexico. 

Opened in early 2014, the sim had a distinct “locals” vibe that was irresistibly alluring.  Those who were lucky enough to live there were made to feel like family, and the same can be said for anyone who visited.  In its heyday, it developed a cult following of regulars, who valued consistently lag-free surfing, beautiful scenery, and the adult-friendly setting.

Time has a way of changing things, and the original creators moved on to other projects and interests in the summer of 2017.  New management kept the sim going for another year and a half.  It was a nice run, but as they say, all good things must end.

Virtual surfers have it pretty good these days, with new sims popping up all the time.  Still, it is always sad when one of the greats closes.  Speaking personally, this one hurts more than most.  It was my home for three wonderful years; the place where I truly fell in love with virtual surfing culture, honed my desire to create, and met the closest thing to SL family that I have.  Gone but never forgotten, El Diablo will live on in the memories of those who loved it.

For a more detailed description of this amazing sim, read this great article by Kanjena Sweetleaf, Jumping the Shark.

A few Kodak moments from my time there:

Ever Wonder What SLSA Directors and Officers Do?

Now that we’ve seen it’s time for the SLSA’s Call for Candidates for filling some upcoming vacant positions, you might be wondering… what the heck does an SLSA Director actually do?

As usual, the SLSA’s Constitution has the answers. It’s mostly all about carrying out the mission of the SLSA in terms of competitions, acting in the interest of the majority of SLSA members, and generally promoting surfing in SL.
Basically, Directors conduct meetings among themselves both inworld and in a Directors only area of the forum. They generally need to work as a team to discuss event planning, scheduling, rules, and finances both for the competitions and the SLSA’s home sim, Solace Dreams. Section 1.4 of the Constitution goes into more detail on some specifics of how all this business takes place. Quite a bit of this business, by necessity, takes place as discussions just between the Directors, but decisions that impact the membership will be made public. Many times, Directors will seek input from members publicly or privately.

There are also Officers for the SLSA. Some of these roles must be filled by a Director, but some may be appointed by Directors. The activity of these Officers is generally more visible to the overall membership due to their roles. Section 1.5 of the Constitution spells them all out. There are seven Officers, all of which are appointed by the Directors, as follows:

Human Resources Officer
The HR Officer must be a standing Director. This job is responsible for recruiting and training appointed officers and maintaining a pool of trained event day staff.

Financial Officer
This one must also be one of the Directors. This job Is responsible to oversee all aspects of financial areas. Duties include: making payments, collecting receipts, and keeping an accurate record of all transactions and the current balance of SLSA funds. A financial Officer must keep other directors apprised of financial payments. Only the Financial officer may make payments on behalf of the SLSA. The Financial Officer also posts monthly forum reports for the financial standing of the accounts used for Competitions and Sim maintenance.

Communications Officer
The CO can be anyone appointed by the Directors. This one is responsible to oversee all aspects of communication to the SLSA membership and surfing community. Duties include: Maintain website (yes, the SLSA has it’s own website); advertise surfing events via group notices, and SL Events postings (this is the Events facility provided by Linden Labs), and via web publications.

Events Officer
This one is specific to competitions, is appointed by the Directors, and more often than not changes with each competition. The EO is a pretty big deal for a competition. They are responsible to oversee all aspects of a single contest or event and ensure the surfing aspect of the event runs on schedule and according to the rules and that the staff is not making any errors. The Events Officer is the only person who can give the exact schedule of events and rules in all protests in collaboration with the Judging and Marshaling officers.

Head Judge
Another Director appointed officer that may change with each competition. There is more detail about the specifics of this one in Section 1.5.4 of the Constitution.

A competition only Officer that is appointed by the Directors and may also change with each competition. Generally, the Marshal is responsible for trying to facilitate a smoothly running competition. There is also more detail about what’s entailed in Constitution Section 1.5.5.

Appointed by the Directors and may change for each competition. As you might guess, this one is responsible for maintaining a secure competition area. More specific details are outlined in Section 1.5.6 of the Constitution.

All competition specific roles are also entitled to a payment as described in the “SLSA schedule of fees”.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Breaking News!!!

VW Sands of the Vibrations Surf Alliance has announced the opening of his new sim, Kia Kaha!  The first surfers ever there are the Surfin' Safari - and is it ever awesome!  Check it out - party on the deck for all you old timers!

Topanga Canyon - song by Michelle D

In honor of our brothers and sisters in the waves who have surfed along the west coast of Ventura and Malibu, our hearts are with you during this time.  Sending you thoughts of safety and strength.  Posted with special permission to share off her profile of fellow west coast surfer, Kimmy Jigsaw who was owner of the Second Life Topanga sim:  

photo courtesy r/earthporn

She's got a patchwork duffle bag and a green pair of sneakers Long stringy hair all braided back.
She's got choices laid before her and a heart to take her there, nothing else can hold her back.

She's a free spirit for Topanga canyon
headed for the western sky
she set her heart upon Topanga canyon
everybody else can say goodbye

He's got dreads passed his shoulders and an old Volzwagon van, and image that a job could never change
He lives to feel the rhythm and the beat of his drum, everyone at home just thinks he's strange.

They hold a lot of conversations, to keep their eyes awake..nothing could stop this drive, she take  the wheel while he takes a break.

They plan to marry at the beach, just them and the preacher
their witness is the wind and the sea.. as far as they can tell, their dreams have come true as long as they are together, they can run free..

VSA Fall Surfin' Safari Today!

Sunday, November 11
1:00 PM SLT
Meeting Point:  Vibes Home Surf Break

For more information, contact VW Sands or Meka Sands (Chaffe)