Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Analog Surf: striking the right balance

Analog Jun with some of his new board designs

Analog Surf has launched 28 new surfboard designs this month, incorporating the latest sculptie prims developed by Sebastian Saramago and has 20 more in the works. SurfWatch caught up with owner and board designer Analog Jun to find out more about his approach to board design and Analog Surf's new SC line of boards (SC standing for sculptie).

"I've been designing boards since September
2007," recounts Analog. "I was very impressed with the board designs of 'Namiko Surf' and they inspired me to start designing myself. At first I was not able to make textures well and I had a lot of difficulty in doing that, but one learns every day."

"I've always been impressed with Namiko," says Analog. "Her works are abstract, artistic and well-balanced. I`ve never seen such highly complete boards - they are so awesome! Obviously, I'm also thankful to Heather Goodliffe and Sebastian Saramago from a technical standpoint."

Today, with at least eight Analog Surf-branded shops and more than 40 retail outlets including franchisees, plus his continual board design and development work , Analog is a busy man. "I spend about thirty hours a week in Second Life. Analog Surf has its main shop in Eastfield sim and more than forty shops in total. I pay attention to the environment so that customers have fun shopping, so I always replace old boards with new in my shops and also periodicaly change the interior and exteriors in my shops. I now spend about 10% of my time designing boards on maintaining my shop."

Does he surf? "Of course, when I have a time, I spend time surfing, but I`m honestly not good at doing it and don't have much spare time to practice. It's fun for me to see highy-skilled people surfing: particularly when they are using my boards." And there are some highly-skilled people using his boards. Team Tsunami surfer Colleen Brennan, currently third in the SLSA 2008 competition standings, has used Analog boards in the both the SLSA competitions this year.

Analog is also an active member of the Japanese Second Life Surfing Association (JSSA) and has seen a marked increase in interest from Japanese surfers. "Japanese residents have been rising rapidly since spring 2007 and the number of Japanese surfers has definitely risen during the past few months. Its obviously very different from the mainstream surfing community: it's still smaller and we have less competitons, but surfing is now becoming popular among Japanese residents and I expect the numbers of people surfing to rise among the Japanese residents in the future."

Analog Surf now has a reputation for cool board designs and Analog takes the design process very seriously. "I think it's most important to make graphics that have a sense of balance. At least three times a day, I go to check the textures on my new board designs to see if they have the right balance. When I feel sure that there are no incongruities, only then I do prepare to release the new line. I make about 5-15 textures for each board, then I choose the best one and apply it. Sometimes the textures don't go so well and then there is nothing left to do but but give up the design and start again."

Balance is a fundamental requirement for Analog, both on and off his surfboards, and much of his inspiration comes from natural sources such as flowers, birds, animals, fire, water, waves and the planet in general. His new SC boards have names like Phoenix, Woody Hibiscus, Wave, Butterfly, Tiger, and Tropics. "You know, human senses change day to day," he explains. "Especially the human sense of sight and sound. Tomorrow, I may sense some incongruity in balance and a color in my design, even though I am satisfied with the design today."

"I had so much difficulty in applying the new sculptie scripts, because sometimes my textures twist them. However, I'm very happy with the new SC range of boards now. They're very similar to 'real boards' and I hope that they are the kind of boards that surfers will be honoured to own. I do hope surfers enjoy the new line!"

Analog Surf's new SC line of surfboards start at L$555.

SURL: Analog Surf Beach Shop

1 comment:

Schrottvogel Wei said...

Congrats Bro, like your desigs. You let the bumped surface of the sculpties look good... thumbs up!

Schrottvogel Wei
SJA Customboards & surfwear