Friday, February 29, 2008

SURF REPORT -- Majini Island: surf, party, surf!

Sunrise on Majini Island

Majini Island (part of the Bishara Resorts System) is blessed with an Epic II wave that has a great long run. However, it's the lively surfing crowd, as much as it is the big wave, that seems to make this beach one of the most popular with Second Life surfers. Home break of the Vibrations Surf Alliance (VSA), or more affectionately 'Vibes' (members are known as 'Vibers'), Majini combines socialising, partying and an almost continous line-up of surfing action. One could say that its a 'happening' beach!

With more than 200 VSA members including a hard core group of surfers that take their sport very seriously, there's always something going on on Majini beach and it has become a meeting point for surfers regardless of their home base or surfing club affiliation.

The Majini beach crowd favours the big Epic II waves. Despite having a frequency of one wave at a time, the beach boasts a loyal and friendly crowd that are as enthusiastic spectators as they are surfers (not to mention talkers!). A row of sunbeds lined up along the shoreline and knee-deep shallows in front of the break, help to make Majini surfing an entertaining spectator sport. A temporary aerial wood platform provides the perfect vantage point during competition events.

Majini's EPIC is quite a long run, breaking at the far south edge of the sim and rolling in spitting foam for 250 yards into the beach before folding thirty or fourty feet from the shore. Its a real rush! However, the Majini surf changes to pipes and fluffies every Sunday and on some other occasions, such as prior to SLSA competitions to allow members to practice.

Majini plays host to the first Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) event of the annual competition series (2008's competition took place on 19 January), whilst the VSA organises a monthly Surf Jam competition for Vibers only. The beach has both the open space and facilities to organise other social and surfing events. Majini beach is also home to Bishara Surf School, headed up by surfing veteran and Bishara Resorts Estate Manager VW Sands.

There is a public 'rezz area' directly in front of the Surf School shack at the east end of the beach, which allows non-members to rezz their boards. The rezz area supports a limited number of prims as a measure to prevent griefers from rezzing boats, helicopters and other undesirable motor vehicles that disturb the peace.

Boards are usually available on the beach for those that want to try and haven't brought their own (look for the ones owned by VW Sands). For those that prefer to use their own boards, 'copy' versions are recommended. Although the sim returns visitors' boards to their lost and found folders fairly reliably, the sim has been known to 'eat' them from time to time. A number of surfboard outlets on Majini sell a variety of boards such as Fakt Surfboards, Namiko, SJA Customboards and TCH Surf.

A great place to start if you want to get on board with the Second Life surfing scene, meet other surfers and find out how its done! And, have a lot of apres-surf fun too! Surf, party, surf! Or was it party, surf, party? I forget. Must have been a good party...

SurfWatch: Two new surf spots at Bishara (9 May 08)
SurfWatch: Surfing Calendar - February-March 2008

ONeill Crowned VSA Surf Jam champ! (2 Feb 2008)
SLURL: Majini Island

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

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monkeh win catapults Pova to top of 2008 standings

New standings' leader Pova Rustamova at Monkeh Barrel

Updated story -- Pova Rustamova tops the new 2008 SLSA competition rankings, following his win at the Monkeh Barrel event on 23 February.

Pova came fourth at the SLSA Majini Island Competition on 19 January and this, combined with Saturday's win, gives him 1,625 points and a clear lead in this year's standings.
Colleen Brennan has moved down to third place in the overall rankings with 1,235 points, after being knocked out in the semi-finals at Monkeh Barrrel, leaving DeVinna Toll with second place in the standings and 1,400 points overall. Milo Voss and Timbo Flanagan, joint-third at Monkeh Barrel, are now listed by SLSA as fourth and fifth place in the standings with 1,080 and 930 points respectively.

This story was up-to-dated at 22.10 hrs SLT 25 February to include news SLSA information on the 2008 season standings.

SurfWatch: Surfing Calendar - February-March 2008
URL: SLSA Season Standings
SLURL: Monkeh Barrel
SLURL: Majini Island

Pova wins big at a Monkeh Barrel full of surprises!

Winners (left to right): Milo Voss, Timbo Flanagan, Pova Rustamova and Lanelle Saunders

Pova Rustamova took home the trophy after a day of challenging conditions at the SLSA Monkeh Barrel surfing competition on Saturday, where the event and wave conditions delivered a barrel-load of surprises! After more than an hour of waiting, competitors saw the Monkeh's EPIC II wave change to pipeline waves for the competition, after organisers had spent hours trying to adust the sim's big wave to create competition conditions.

Second Life surfers responded to the changes with good humour and commitment to the competition, which is just as well, because Monkeh Barrel continued to monkey around and even the pipeline waves were barely surfable at some points during the first round of heats. "The waves at Monkeh Barrel were the hardest I've seen in any competition," Milo Voss of the Tsunami Surfing Team told SurfWatch after about some six hours of competition. "The gaps between the three wave faces would be out of sync and you would literally fall through the crack as you surfed over it. However, kudos to the SLSA for keeping it all together and the surfers for being flexible."

"Conditions were tough today and the waves were a big challenge," said Monkeh Barrel winner Pova. "They were moving slow and you had to really work to stay in them. Wave conditions improved for the semi finals and the waves started behaving themselves. The pipes were running just fast enough to pull some nice tricks off and keep from bellying."

The tense Monkeh Barrel semi-final match-ups provided some striking competition upsets. Winner of January's SLSA event Devinna Toll was eliminated in the first heat of the semi-finals letting Milo Voss and Reaction Pro's Timbo Flanagan through to the finals, where they both were awarded 11.33 points putting them in third place overall.

Meanwhile, newcomer Lanelle Saunders outsurfed her competitors in heat two and went through to the finals together with veteran surfer Kimmy Fitzgerald, where she continued to beat off the competition ending up with the number two spot on the winners podium!

"Lanelle Saunders was amazing in the semis and then in the finals she pushed very hard, made her tricks look so easy," said Pova. "I was lucky to beat her on points, but I had some good waves in the final and tried to make the best out of them."

"It was a tough day, for everyone, I think," said Reef Rider Lanelle following her first experience on the winner's podium. "I got lucky and didn't fall through any waves or get stuck between sections. The finals had such an incredible class of surfers. I really didn't think I had a chance, so I just kind of threw caution to the wind and surfed hard on my first wave. I didn't think that it was that great, so I surfed even harder the second wave. The third wave was a bit of a disaster. At the end, everyone took a party wave in except me. I waited for another wave and had the best wave of the day! Pure fun! Honestly though, I can only attribute my second place podium position to everyone that has been there for me and helped me out, most importantly, Bobbi Laval."

The next SLSA competition event is on Saturday 22 March at Surfline.


1. Pova Rustamova (14.33 points)
2. Lanelle Saunders (13.50 points)
3. (tie) Milo Voss/Timbo Flanagan (11.33 points)
5. Vic Bonetto (11.16 points)
6. Bailey Dazy (10.83 points)
7. Kimmy Fitzgerald (NA)

Note: Semi-finalist scores are an addition of 1st Heat score plus Semi-final scores

8. Christine Daffodil (25.16)
9. Selina Otsuka (25.13)
10. Devinna Toll (24.83)
11. Colleen Brennan (23.49)
Abel Halderman (23.49)
13. Ashleigh Dickins (22.99
VW Sands (22.99)
15. Charlotte Fearne (22.16)
16. Jesse Compton (19.99)
17. Carlos MacAlpine (18.99)
18. Buffy Munro (18.16)


19. Jaqueline Infinity (12.66)
20. Jhuriel Hax (12.5)
21. Carolin Gausman (11.83)
Desirae Beaumont (11.83)
23. Desne Aabye (11.66)
24. QUENCH Spotter (11.5)
25. Paeida Allen (11.16)
26. Bobbi Laval (11)
27. Payten Harrop (10.5)
28. Mateus Rieko (10.16)
29. Lollypop Congrejo (10.11)
30. LeahJane Cazalet (10)
Malcolm Sydney (10)
32. Mick Lunasea (9.66)
33. Whamdamnit Merryman (9.33)
34. Coz Okelly (9.16)
35. Cipriano Grut (8.66)

Competition results updated from latest SLSA information 25 February 2008

Photo credit: Sierra Sugar

SurfWatch: Surfing Calendar - February-March 2008
SLURL: Monkeh Barrel