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: