Friday, February 8, 2008

TCH Surf launches new longboards

TCH Surf Company will launch a new range of longboards this month, according to an exclusive interview granted to SurfWatch. Primarily a custom board range, but also available in standard forms, the boards are based on a shape created by Sebastian Saramago. TCH will release 30 board designs in the first wave of its new marketing campaign and may introduce up to 60 additional retail production boards by the end of 2008. TCH Surf plans also plans to release a range of snowboards in the same style as a winter line.

Established at the beginning of 2007, TCH Surf Company is part of TCH Enterprises, which holds many interests through out Second Life, including scuba diving, surfing, land management, private SIM Development, private dive reef development and dive education. The new line of boards will be launched in conjunction with the launch of 'TCH Extreme Sports', the corporation's new four storey sports store being constructed in the southwest of the TCH Enterprises sim. SurfWatch was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview of the megastore and, well, what can we say: its BIG!

ATown Fall previews a few of TCH Surf's new line of longboards

So why start another surfboard company and launch another brand? SurfWatch asked TCH Surf's ATown Fall. "It's our feeling that TCH Enterprises can fill a nitch in board design that some other companies have either overlooked or decided to not develop into," explains ATown. "We have the upmost respect for the other companies and are already in communication with companies like FAKT, Reaction and Analog Surf about how we can all work together to develop the industry. Our goal is strictly to provide a new style of board designs in an effort to give surfers greater choice."

A team of 10 graphic designers at TCH Surf are involved in product development. Sebastian Saramago's board shapes are being used by a number of other surfboard design companies and so are, to an extent, pretested, however, TCH Surf does test each board before putting it to production. TCH Surf is currently testing three new board shapes that will remain in the testing phase for at least the next two to three months. The firm is also has a short board in the testing phase and plans to make information on this shape public in the near future.

All retail boards will be available with embedded surfboard scripts and feature sets created by Heather Goodliffe to ensure compliance with SLSA competition standards. However, TCH Surf custom boards will include additional animations. "We do have some tricks up our sleeve," says ATown. "And TCH Surf has a very special line of surf boards coming to the market in the near future. This boards will not be SLSA approved and are designed more for the physical aspect of surfing. Watch this space!"

The new range of TCH Surf longboards will be available for sale at all TCH Surf locations, although whether the company makes its boards avialable for purchase at non-TCH locations has yet to be decided. Retail trans-enabled boards are expected to sell at L$555, copy-enabled boards L
$1,200, while custom boards will vary in price based on the client requests. Custom board pricing will start at L$2,500.00 per board. However, surfers seeking 100% custom designs will be billed a RL billing rate of US$35.00 USD per hour. Team discounts will be available.

TCH Surf's new longboards are expected to hit
TCH retail outlets by Valentines Day.

TCH Extreme Sports

Up-dated story 1 March 08

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SURF REPORT -- Chi, unique surf breaks with a touch of Zen

Water ~ Fire ~ Air ~ Earth ~ Surf
Few visitors to Chi these days realise that this tranquil island was one of the very first surfing spots to appear in Second Life. Created and still owned by Sally LaSalle, the island combines a mountainous Zen retreat (complete with active volcano, water features and a plunging waterfall) together with green areas, beaches and, of course, surfable waves. The Island of Chi was the proud host to the first ever SL surfing competition, the Namiko Pro in March 2007, and SL's first windsurfing competition too.

"Chi is special in many ways. It was designed to be a place to relax, express yourself, find yourself and to get a sense of the interconnectedness of everything and everyone," explains Sally. "Chi was one of the first surf sims in SL and the island encourages surfing and embraces the diversity and free spirited nature of the surfing community. Chi also promotes ecological awareness and bio-diversity and so we don't allow jet skis or other motor vehicles. Good for surfers: good for Chi."

Sally LaSalle at the pipeline wave break in Chi's sandy bay

Chi is a unique surfing location with three very different surf breaks. The largest, and most accomodating, is a 25 second pipeline run into a small bay. Both pipeline and ocean foam waves break from about 100 yards offshore and roll in across the whole width of the bay. The shoreline on both sides makes the surf more challenging and also provides a perfect venue for people to watch the action close up sitting on the beach, on the hills or on natural dunes around the water. Which is great if you manage to pull off a few tight pipeline turns and surf right into the shallows, but can be embarrasing sometimes wiping out and ending up stuck up on the dunes face down on your board!

There are two other breaks on Chi. Firstly a small patch of whitewater surf that comes in for about 50 yards onto the beach in front of the Chi Shopping Mall. Its a very small beach and so the waves are only about 40 yards across here (a good 15-20 yards narrower than in the bay). The more interesting break runs down the entire Eastern shoreline of the island or about 250 yards, but - and here's the catch - the fluffies are only a maximum of 20 yards across. This break is a real test of surfing skills and agility.

Chi's small ocean foam surf beach (left) and the long Eastern shore break (right)

Zen Surfing is the motto at Chi and the island is the home base of Soul Surfers, founded by SLSA Hall of Fame inductee Kimmy Fitzgerald. Chi is also a VSA (Vibrations Surf Alliance) friendly sim and organises joint events with VSA on occasion (such as a weekly Friday surf night). The beach is completely free and open to anyone (as is the rest of the island) and surfers can rez their own boards. There are usually a few free boards around for public use. Board shops include SJA Custom Boards and Namiko in the island's shopping mall and a beach outlet selling a variety of boards and windsurfers.

Chi has a steady stream of surfing regulars and is a place where people come to surf, chill-out and spend some one-on-one time with a special someone. Many relationships and marriages have developed on Chi. Chi is also home to Bubbles the llama, Grace the turtle, plus eagles, giraffes and other free spirits of the land, sea and air.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Surfing Calendar - February-March 2008

SLSA "Monkeh Barrel"
Saturday 23 February 2008, 1100 hrs SLT (1900 hrs GMT)

The Second Life Surfing Association's longboard event at Monkeh Barrel in the Heliopolis Estates is a big wave competition on the bay's EPIC II. 40 surfers are expected to take part in 8 heats starting at 1100 hrs Second Life time (SLT) on Saturday 23 February. Registrations for SLSA events fill up fast and all 40 competition places for February's event are now taken and SLSA is building a waiting list.

Devinna Toll currently leads the SLSA standings this year after the Association's inaugural event of 2008 on Majini Island on January 19th, with Colleen Brennan and Ritch Goalpost trailing her in second and third place respectively.

Monkeh Barrel is expected to be a busy event, so please check out the requirements for attending on the SLSA website before you teleport to Monkeh Barrel.

Surfers contact: Sierra Sugar, Craig Stallion, Rani Decosta or Portia Roelofs

Useful links

URL: SLSA competition calendar
URL: Judging Criteria
URL: Competition Day Requirements (for Surfers and Spectators)
SLURL: Monkeh Barrel

VSA Surf Jam
Saturday 8 March 2008, 1200 hrs SLT (2000 hrs GMT)

The Vibrations Surf Alliance's second outing of the year, the VSA Surf Jam takes place on Saturday 8 March at 1200hrs SLT on Majini Island, part of the Bishara Resorts sim, promising some more big EPIC II wave action. The monthly Surf Jam's are members only events, limited to 20 competitors. Surfers will face off in four preliminary heats, narrowing down to 12 surfers in the semis and 6 for the finals' heats.

Will ONeill Auer be able to defend his first Surf Jam victory of the year? Come down to Majini beach on 8 March to find out!

Surfers contact: VW Sands

Useful Links

SurfWatch: VSA Surf Jam report, 2 February
SLURL: Majini Island

SLSA Surfline Competition

Saturday 22 March 2008, 1100 hrs SLT (1900 hrs GMT)

The Second Life Surfing Association event at Surfline on pipeline waves.

Surfers contact: Sierra Sugar, Craig Stallion, Rani Decosta or Portia Roelofs

Useful links

URL: SLSA competition calendar
SLURL: Surfline

Other events

Friday Surf Night at Chi, 22 February 2008, 1700 hrs SLT (0100 hrs GMT)
Centre yourself, get in touch with your life force, find your happy thought and get over to Chi on Friday night for the island's weekly surf session! Plenty of pipes and fluffies to shred-up out in Chi's unique surfing breaks, a great chance to chill with some old friends or make some new ones, plus advanced level SL surf lessons and competition coaching. See you there! Peace.

SurfWatch: Surf report on Chi

Updated as of 16 February 2008