Sunday, April 15, 2018

SLSA Competition Registration Opens!

Submitted by Solsty Kismet
Photos by Andin Kismet and Solsty Kismet
It's that time again SLurfers! Registration opens today for this month's SLSA surf competition.

The SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) holds competitions for 10 months in a year. A year is divided into two seasons or five competitions each: February-June (Season 1) and August-December (Season 2).

Competitions are open to ALL SLSA members no matter what your level of skill or experience, (you don't have to be a Pro surfer to enter) :)

How to compete in the SLSA competitions
To compete you need to:
1. Belong to the SL Surfing Association group secondlife:///app/group/6555ac32-baa6-85ad-48c3-93c5a84d740a/about

2. Be registered as a member of the SLSA forum ( After you register, wait for activation of your account, which due to a number of bots registered before, is done manually by one of the SLSA Directors or forum moderators, after they check if you're a real avatar and belong to the SL Surfing Association group in SL. The activation should not take more than 24 hours. (if so ask one of the directors listed below in IM)

3. Watch for group notices and check the SLSA forum ( for news and
updates. Every significant announcement is done via group notice in-world, so don't worry you'll miss something.

4. After the registration is open (it's always the Sunday 13 days before the competition, on Sunday at 12 noon SLT) register at the SLSA forum by following the link posted in the group notice.
the competition Registration forum is at
... (( what you do is press the [Post Reply] button for the comp registration topic, and give your Name, Team (if any, teams are optional, and any preference for an early or late heat))

5. Before the competition the heat draws will be announced, and you will receive a competition pack with rashguard (rashie)and important notecards to read (must read about rules n stuff!) in it.

6. At the competition you need to use the type of surfboard that was announced as required for the competition in the registration topic.

At all times the SLSA directors are at your service. Currently (until June 1st, 2018) the directors are: Cierra Theriac, Gia Villano, Kris Marley, Richie Di Vaio and Solsty Kismet. IM us anytime if you have any doubts or questions.

See you on the waves!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

SurfWatch Surfer Series: Richie Marley Di Vaio

Photos courtesy special guest photographer Wolf Torii

SurfWatch recently spent some time with Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) Director and avid surfer, Richie Marley Di Vaio, practicing for the upcomig SLSA LSD surfing competition at Fairhaven. 

SurfWatch (SW): What brought you into Second Life (SL), Richie?
Richie Marley Di Vaio (RMDV):  Well, one good Real Life (RL) friend of mine played SL for years and talked to me about it and how fun it was.  So I came, took a look, and here I am (smiles).
SW:  (Laughs) It is addicting!
RMDV:  Very!  Especially after you discover surfing in SL, lol.

SW:  Rofl, I was just gonna ask that!  You could do this interview without me (laughs)! So tell me how you discovered it.
RMDV: Well, with time I started to explore SL to see what I could do.  I tried sailing, flying airplanes, did Coast Guard RP, until I found the surfing.

SW:  How long did it take you to hit on surfing?
RMDV:  Not much time.  Actually it was one of the first activities I did in SL.  I surfed for a couple of months, and I got away from it.  Then last year, 2017, I came back, and I don't want to go away from it anymore (smiles).

SW:  So you stepped away for awhile?  What were you doing in that time?
RMDV:  Yes, I did.  I guess in 2013 I stepped away a bit.  At that time I was more busy with my RL so couldn't spend much time online.  And the time I did have, I was with my two best friends in clubs.  We also ran a club as well, so I was more into the clubbing and DJing, etc.

SW:  Did you find surfing difficult to figure out or was someone there to show you, or are you just a natural?
RMDV:  The first time I was into surfing in SL, I had to figure it all out by myself.  But I found the SLSA and started to understand how SL surfing was organized.  However, in 2012/2013, I never entered in SLSA or comps.  I was just surfing as a hobby.

SW:  How did you discover competition surfing?
RMDV:  I discovered competition surfing when I found out SL had a surfing association but never was into it.  Then last year, 2017, when I got back to surfing, I started to learn and get to know more about competition surfing.

SW: Are you a competitive person in RL?
RMDV:  Yeah, I am (laughs).  However, I think I can be competitive in a healthy way.  I like competition and feeling the pressure of it when it's healthy.
SW:  Like more of an "I can make myself better" kind of competitive?  My drive in surfing was always to surf better than I had before.
RMDV:  Yeah, exactly.  I always push myself to do it better and better and work on my weaknesses.  However, I also like the feeling of competing with someone else, too.  But the focus is personal always.  Do it better then I did last time, for sure.

SW:  How long have you been competing in SL surfing now?
RMDV:  Since December 2017.  It was my first SL surf comp.  It was the last one from 2017, season 2.  And then 2018 season 1, I'm fully 100% focused.  Already did the first comp, HP5, and the second, LSD.  Practicing now for the SSI competition (smiles).

SW:  Do you have any idea of your current ranking?  Or how have you been placing in the comps so far?
RMDV:  So far I was in 8th position in ranking, but I haven't checked it yet after the LSD comp. We (the SLSA) are still working to update the rankings.  But in my first comp ever, 2017 LSD, I was in 6th or 7th.  Don't exactly remember (laughs).  2018 season 1, HP5, first comp I finished in 8th and LSD second comp finished in 3rd.

SW: Nice jump!  It's so dependent on the board and waves and where your skill lies.  What would you say is your favorite board to date?
RMDV:  Well, I would say LSD. I also like C3 and HP5. Actually it's funny.  I hated HP5 in the beginning with all my heart but now I kinda enjoy it (laughs).

SW: Do you have a fave wave?
RMDV:  To be honest, I'm still learning the different waves.  Maybe soon I can answer that (laughs).

SW:  Is there someone currently surfing you try to emulate?  Or maybe someone that has had a big impact on your surfing style?
RMDV:  Hard question (laughs).  Well, I would say so many names now.  There are so many good and pro surfers in SL.  Especially the veterans, the legends.  They rock those waves surfing. It's so good and satisfying to see pros surfing.  It makes me really wanna learn a lot with them and surf like them. Since I got into surfing, there are sooo many people that already helped me with by giving good hints and teaching me, but I would like to say that Kris Marley, Sol (Solsty Kismet), Bodhi (Lowtide), Frankie (Edon), Gia (GiavannaMarie Melody), Tyler (Peace), those names mean a lot to me because they are the one always supporting me and helping me with my surfing.  So I can say they have a huge impact on my surfing since the beginning. There is also much more people who certainly do it and if I forgot their names now, I'm, sorry guys, you are amazing! Moonie (Kismet) as well, Shi (Shilow Carter), damn, and so many people (smiles).

SW:  It's impressive you got into a leadership role as SLSA Director being so new to competitive surfing.  How did that come about?
RMDV:  Well, since I started surfing in SL, I always felt like I wanted to help and get involved with it, so I have been trying to be more and more involved in surfing and with the surfing community.  But if I became director, I have to thank you to Solsty and Kris.  They always supported me and they are the one of the reasons I applied for it. Plus I want to help surfing in SL develop and make it fun for everyone who wants to try this activity in SL.

SW: I was a director back in 2008/2009 somewhere, and I remember the challenges even though it was a different time.  Any particular challenges you are facing now as director?
RMDV:  Well, it's only been one month since I became one of the five directors, but so far I guess the big challenge is really the people.  We all have different tastes, opinions, ways to think and act and sometimes that can be hard to manage.  But we are here to make things run quite well for everyone and so far I think SLSA is doing an amazing job.  We should be proud, everyone from SLSA staff, directors to surfers and the community.

SW:  I like to ask where people would like to see themselves in two years because it's fun if you stay in surfing and I interview you again in two years, to compare what you said then to where you actually go.  I don't know if you followed The Legends series in SurfWatch where we've been able to follow some of the early SL surfing pioneers over a longer period of time.  So where do you see yourself in relation to SL surfing in two or three years?
RMDV:  Well, in two or three years, I hope I still see myself into surfing, having fun, enjoying with this amazing community people that I hope are still here in two or three years as well.  I see better conditions for everyone, more development.  We will keep working to make it happen, So these are my hopes and vision for the next years

SW:   When you're not surfing, what do you like to do in SL?
RMDV:  Well, I'm laughing at that question because surf has been my SL lately - 100%.  I love this surfing, the people, so I have been very much into it (laughs).  Okay, I sneak sometimes to see a good DJ set in some club.

SW:  Tell me about that!  What kind of music do you like?
RMDV:  I listen to everything.  I love reggae, rap, hip hop, R&B.  I also love clubbing musical genres -  house music, deep house, progressive house, techno, tech house, etc. (laughs).

SW:  Nice!  Okay so is there anyone else you want to mention?  Or something I forgot to ask you about that you'd like to add?
RMDV:  Also a big support are my best friends, Liam (Damas) and Sina (Sinakichi).  They are not into surfing but they make every competition I am in to support me.  They been amazing.  Also thank you my colleagues and friends, the other four SLSA Directors, Solsty, Kris, Gia and Cierra (Theriac).  They been amazing with everything and helping me so much with the director role. I have learned so much this last month with them so a huge thank you to them for everything they are doing to help me!  Also congratulations with SurfWatch.  You guys do an amazing job to our surf community.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Learning to Surf in SL

submitted by Frankie Edon

For those of you out there aimlessly wandering Second Life (SL), stop what you're doing and head to The North Shore at Fairhaven, or HummingBird Point. It's time for you to discover surfing. You'll not only ride just about every board out there on these two sims but also meet some of the most friendly surfers around.

I've only been hanging around the surf community since January 2018, and in the last 4 months, I've gone from being thrown on a board with a crash course in the basics, to competing, teaching and now writing about surfing. It's become my biggest passion in SL, and I love nothing more than introducing people, especially longtime friends, to the sport.

Checking out the waves and getting a lesson as the lesson begins
Recently a friend of mine, Nina (Nina Nightshade), came back to SL from a long hiatus and was getting the lay of land, seeing who was where and what people were doing. Seizing the opportunity to share the waves with another person, we made a plan to meet up and surf.

When the day came, Nina decided to leave the Swimmies on the beach and trust in my passion and guidance. She had only ever seen surfing, taken photos of people doing it but never tried to surf herself. We've known each other for years now, and I know what she can handle so I threw her on the HP5 straight away, similar to but not exactly the way the owner of HummingBird Point, Shi (Shilow Carter), did to me.

Paddling into the first wave of the day
Riding smooth on her first wave
When teaching new people how to surf, I will try to break it down as simply as possible. Ask what controls/keys they use, then get them first moving and turning on a board before breaking into advanced maneuvers and tricks. Nina did say that it was, "sort of overwhelming at first, but it made me even more curious, and I couldn't wait to try it myself."   I kept rattling on different instructions in chat but then also would take the time to demonstrate everything I am talking about and a bit more. As Nina said, "watching a demonstration helps to get an idea what you can do, but doing it yourself is different." I think that right there is the key.  Give the student some guidance and show them what they can do. You want to inspire a love and give them a challenge so they keep at it.

Learning the handstand on the surfboard
As the morning progressed, it was obvious Nina was a natural. Turns, tricks, airs and control of the HP5 were all coming through. She was motivated and excited to keep at it, "it's a nice change from what you usually do.  More active and something you can practice while having a good time with friends."

Isn't that what it is all about? Spending time with an awesome community? Being part of a team? That's truly when everything is awesome.

At the end of the day, I asked Nina about what she would tell the person who is new to Second Life, spends their time wandering aimlessly through terrible clubs, nude beaches and asking people for lindens, about surfing. "Well... there's more to Second Life than terrible clubs and for surfing you don't need a single linden. So, beach and surf more, worry less. I wish somebody would have kidnapped me to a beach and shown me surfing earlier."

I, too, wish that someone would have taken me surfing earlier on in my Second Life but I am glad I finally found it and have not been happier since. The community, the sport, the fun, and just everything about it is what I have been searching for in my 11 years on the Grid, and now that I've found it, I'm not going anywhere.

See you on the water!