Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letter from the Editor

SurfWatch reports what's going on in the surf community. If readers choose to comment on a story, we ask that they stay within the parameters of identifying themselves and no profanity. SurfWatch has asked commentors to voluntarily modify their statements where there has been blatant and direct name calling without compromising their point, and so far most have done so. We remind those making comments to posts that, while SurfWatch has been a forum for members of the SL surfing community to discuss issues that are important to them and SurfWatch has resisted censoring, we ask that those commenting not use the forum for additional personal attacks. This is an opportunity for discussion, examination, and growth in our community. Consider whether your comments are benefiting the community and what they are reflecting about yourselves. While venting may serve some purpose to clear the air, at some point it becomes counterproductive and clouds the issues in irrelevency. While SurfWatch does not believe in censorship as it relates to our ability to report all aspects of the surf community, SurfWatch is interested in responsible reporting and will not be a tool to damage the surf community. Please consider your comments before requesting that SurfWatch post them.

Tauri Tigerpaw
Editor-in-Chief
SurfWatch

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SL SURFING WORLD CUP

SurfWatch recently caught up with Colleen Brennan, SLSA Advisor and lead organizer of the SL Surfing World Cup competition, to get all the latest information on this multi-league event. The SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) and ABSSL (Associacao Brasileira de Surf no SL) are reportedly making significant progress in negotiating the details of this Surfing World Cup competition first announced approximately two weeks ago. Since making an historic hand-shake agreement to stablish the first “international” interleague surfing competition, representatives from the SLSA and ABSSL continue to meet and iron out the details such as when, where, and how. SurfWatch will be providing team coverage of the entire process right thru the finals of the series.


SurfWatch: Is this competition intended to create a "champion of surf champions"?

Colleen Brennan: No, absolutely not. Despite its lofty title, this competition is not in any way intended to crown the “World Champion of all SL surfing.” Rather, it is an exhibition match bringing together top surfers from each league in a friendly competition designed to promote surfing in Second Life, unity of Second Life surfers in general, and to be a cultural exchange of sorts. Bottom line, it is an excuse - if anyone even needs one - to go out and have fun surfing.

SW: Who is “in charge” of the organization of the SWC?

CB: It is a joint effort of both leagues. I am most familiar with how the SLSA side is organized and can comment on that. Recently I submitted a proposal through the sponsorship of Bonheur Chenaux (current SLSA Director) to the SLSA Board. It basically asked for Board approval to sanction a joint venture establishing an exhibition match for fun between the two leagues. With Board approval, we are able to access and use SLSA resources such as the forums pages for registration, the spectator stands, the judges HUD, and the scoreboard system.

SW: Who is “we”?

CB: I was getting to that. “We” is a secret international conspiracy headquartered in Zurich and made up of international bankers, politicians, and the secret owners of the military-industrial complex .... just joking, of course. For the SLSA component of “we”, the proposal approved by the SLSA Board established a special competition committee composed of SLSA Board members, SLSA Advisors, and SLSA members who actively want to make this happen. It is important to emphasize that this competition is an independent joint venture of both leagues and an owned subsidiary of neither. That way, it is able to draw upon the expertise of each league in running a competition, yet is financially independent and will have to get its own sponsors. The point person for the SLSA Committee is Boneur Chenaux. Her counterpart from the ABSSL is none other than Leogarto Burt. Bon is doing a great job and it is so helpful that she is fluent in Portugese.

SW: What is the format of the actual event and who decides who participates? Is it invitational only, or is it open to all?


CB: Each League will choose its own format for deciding its 15 representatives. The SLSA is all about being open to all whenever possible, so all members can compete for one of the 15 open positions to represent us. The committee will host an open surfing competition similar to the first round currently used in SLSA competitions and the top 15 will move on to represent the SLSA team in the joint World Cup Match. One significant difference is that current SLSA rankings have no bearing on the selection. All members have an equal shot to make the team based solely on their performance in the open.

SW: Wouldn't it be easier to just take the current top 15 surfers and send them?

CB: Perhaps, but that is not what this is all about. We want to offer the maximum opportunity for members of both leagues to participate. Additionally, earlier I mentioned the cultural exchange component of this event. As you know, the SLSA and ABSSL use different wave systems and boards during the course of their respective seasons. By coin ,the first SWC will be held on the ABSSL waves at Crab Island using ABSSL HP Boards. Because of that “cultural exchange” , SLSA surfers will have to operate on a wave that will be new to them and a board they perhaps have not seen before. Current standings therefore have very little bearing. We will need to choose the top 15 based on performance on the wave and boards that will be used in the Cup.

SW: Won't that put the SLSA surfers at a disadvantage?

CB: Well, of course, it presents a challenge for the SLSA team to have to learn a new system and compete at a high level on it. I have never seen an SLSA surfer run away from a challenge, though. Many will embrace the challenge as a fun thing and the ones who do the best with adapting will be in the main event. We did lose the coin toss when it came to picking location and board system, but our surfers can still win this competition despite that. In fact, I am guessing many members will like the fact that even our most seasoned surfers will have virtually no greater amount of experience of the boards used in the open and main event. This may be the most competitive open we have ever had.

SW: What “cultural exchange” will the ABSSL surfers have to deal with?

CB: While the competition will be at the ABSSL home sim and using ABSSL boards, it will be run under the SLSA heat format and will have SLSA judges scoring system. This will be new to most ABSSL surfers. They are used to a format in which each surfer gets 4 minutes alone on the water to surf as many waves as they can and score as many points as they can in that time.

SW: How can you use SLSA judging if the board is scripted differently?

CB: The SLSA judging standards are, for the most part, independent of any particular script. They are “universal” in that the things that count are style, control, use of wave, and length of ride. They have survived several script changes and will be applicable for the ABSSL board and waves as well. The judges, as always, will have to have knowledge of the waves and boards in use, their capabilities, their limitations, and the degree of difficulty of various surfing moves. The details of unifying the SLSA standards with the ABSSL ones and training of judges is one of the things currently being worked out by the Committee. It is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one by any means. By the time the event occurs, the judges, as well as our surfers , will have had sufficient time to come fully prepared.

SW: It sounds like a lot has been done already. When will the full details be available? What is still holding things up?

CB: A lot certainly has been accomplished, but there is still much to do. A lot of people are working very hard to make sure it does get done. The committee has to get sponsors, the event still has to be scheduled, and both leagues must come to formal agreement on even some of the things I have discussed here. One of the very big challenges also arises in the area of having very good translation. We need to be certain that all surfers fully understand all the rules, how the judging works, etc. Additionally, not to put Socks (Clawtooth) on the spot, but he and others have already, at least tentatively, agreed to help with the all important tutorials so that our surfers can learn from each other how to quickly adapt to competing on a different board for one event. Also, there are always a million other details that need doing to have a successful surfing event. They run the gamut from getting rashies made and distributed prior to a competition to having pose balls in place for the winners on the podium at the end. We are on top of it though, and I feel very certain that everything will be officially announced in the near future.

SW: Do you have any other major concerns at this time?

CB: Right now, my main one is that people understand exactly what thiswill be. It will be a fun competition and reason to surf. It will be a challenge for all involved. It is also an opportunity to share a mutual love of surfing with another surf group, as well as an opportunity to restore the team spirit and feeling of good will and community in our ownSLSA group. This is an exhibition event for fun. Though anyone would love to win and certainly winning this event against such competition is a major accomplishment, the intent is not to say the winner is the definitive champion of all surfing.

Some people have even taken me to task over the proposed name of the event. This is still subject to change. Admittedly it is “promotional” and draws attention. But I have also personally already received a cultural lesson. As an average American who barely follows American football, I did not quite grasp the connotations involved with the title “World Cup” and soccer. If viewed only in comparison to the soccer World Cup, obviously this comp pales in comparison and is not for determining a world champion.

That was never the intent, though. The intent was so that all surfers could see that there is a bigger surfing “world” than just the one they have immediate involvement with. Also, if the event is a success, it is hoped we will have another in about 6 months alternating waves, boards and sims to the SSi ones currently in use by the SLSA. Also, if the Japanese league were to be resuscitated, they would be more than welcome to send a contingent to compete, as would any other viable SL surfing association

Finally, as most of us already realize how truly international the SLSA itself is. It is my hope that no one thinks the SLSA is the “American Surfing League.” We already are a worldwide league, and I have always loved that about SLSA. How else would I have gotten to be friends with the Big Kahuna of all Poland?



Stay tuned to SurfWatch for more information on the SL Surfing World Cup event.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mori





Fine, white sand...warm sun..salty waves rolling onto a powdery beach. While Mori Pwani and Tuli have not been with us long, they have filled a void in SL surf sims left when Bishara closed down.


Mori runs a 4 panel epic for about 200 meters. According to VW Sands, estate manager of Mori/Tuli, "the shoreline was designed to make the wave break at a realistic distance from the shore, and it washes up into the really wide shallows area." Tuli runs "old school" pipes and fluffies at a 20 degree angle to follow the natural peninsula break on the eastern edge.

Mori is home base for the Vibrations Surf Alliance, and home to the SurfJam series, surf classes, live music, contests, and a host of other activities. They also have a thriving rental community with cliffside homes and a "surfers village" of surf shacks.

Mori/Tuli is currently facing the same fate as some of our other favorite surf sims in this challenging financial climate. Mori's owner, Dawnevea Destiny, is currently searching for a buyer for these two beautiful joined surf sims. And she's interested in selling to an individual or group that would be committed to maintaining it as is. According to VW Sands, current rentals are covering 90% of the monthly tiers, and he would be willing to stay on as estate manager if the current situation can be maintained. Dawnevea believes the sims can be profit generating with very little effort.
Both sims are full prim, standard 15,000 prim sims. She is looking for a price of $1400 USD for both, or $750 each, altho she prefers the sims stay as they are, with joined themes. If you are interested in more information, contact Dawnevea Destiny in-world.









TOPANGA ROUND 2 RESULTS RELEASED

Scores courtesy Abel Halderman

Following the SLSA Disciplinary Action and recalculation of competition results, below are the final scores of the final competition of the SLSA 2009 Round 2 Season 1 held at Topanga and released by the SLSA:

FINALS:

Wilfrid DeCuir: 17.133
Desirae Beaumont: 17.000
Abel Halderman: 16.000
Cipriano Grut: 14.667

SEMI FINALS (includes prelims and semi scores added together):

Monq Pinklady: 30.167
Jac Mornington: 30.167
Bobbi Laval: 30.000
Yendor Destiny: 29.500
Sunrize Mornington: 28.000
Cymindra Deschenal: 24.833

PRELIMINARIES:

Buffy Munro: 15.666
MarkFoo Waverider: 15.333
Robin Mapp: 15.167
Colleen Brennan: 14.833
Harbor Piers: 14.833
Bodhi Lowtide: 14.666
Bonheur Chenaux: 14.500
Kim Henig: 14.333
Triston Mayo: 14.167
Bo Ohmai: 14.000
Basalia Flow: 13.666
Giavannamarie Melody: 13.500
Dixson Martian: 13.167
Mateus Rieko: 13.000
Mick Lunasea: 12.833
Quench Spotter: 11.666
Kohana Schimmer: 8.833
Mojo Manamiko: 8.000
Selina Otsuka: 7.833

Round 1 Results (Round 1 surfers also accumulate SLSA ranking points):

Lynda Mimulus: 14.330
Sweetcajan Voom: 14.160
Kristoffer Juneau: 13.330
Melora Loring: 10.830
Rick Galli: 10.500
Kait Seetan: 10.166
Leilani Siamendes: 10.000
Kathy Heberle: 9.666
Sean Azambuja: 9.166
Pilze Braveheart: 8.833
Tanya Sideways: 8.833
Driftwood Miles: 8.660
Mateus Rieko: 8.160
Kantbe Thursday: 8.160
Sienna Velinov: 7.830
Aurora Jacks: 7.660
Aeryn Kidd: 7.160
Marianna Monentes: 7.160
Aldo Courtois: 6.330
Maldrul Morris: 5.830
Rachelle Seetan: 5.660
Mas Sohl: 5.000
Followingwaves Sirbu: 4.500
Lacy Rossini: 0.000
Seyna Teodosio: 0.000
Velvetori Twine: 0.000
Countess Decosta: 0.000
Tilly Theas: 0.000

DQ scores :
SexyBoy Oh: 17.333
Kimmy Jigsaw: 15.833






For more information, see www.surfslsa.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Going Wet...

SurfWatch is proud to introduce our newest member to the staff as Business Columnist and Special Reporter, Rhett "Maddawg" McMahn. This is an exerpt from the longer posting on the SLSA Forum, surfSLSA.com.







Our next door neighbors were a retired couple named Walter and Teresa Bent. He was a retired Aerospace Engineer, and she was a beautiful older Spanish lady who I remember cooked really well. I used to go from the time I was allowed to walk next door with my mom to the Bent's and would bug Mr. Bent like Dennis the Mennis. Mr. Bent had this thing up in the rafters of his garage that I would bug him about. "Wasss that?" He'd reply "a surfboard." I'd, without pause, ask, "Can I play?" He'd say, "Nope not old enough, but when you are, I will teach you."

After much discussion with my parents, during summer vacation after my year of kiindergarten, it was decided I could learn to surf. Mr. Bent would teach me as my Father couldn't with his knee (injury)
. My mother was not too happy, but my father assured her that he learned to ski that young. It was "good for the boy's development!" Ha! Little did he know.

Mr. Bent had gotten this monster of wood with a single shark fin down from the rafters and had done his best to fix it up. I didn't care that the varnish had yellowed and cracked. It was huge! It was amazing! And... Mr. Bent's, trying to lecture me while I stood in awe of this thing on two sawhorses I had only seen in a distance watching the surfers on the beach, only words that rang through to my head were "If you can learn to ride it... it is yours!"

Now I don't know if y'all have seen a 7 foot Hennon from 1960. Not a longboard by any means, but a thick monster of a board for a 60 pound first grader standing all of three foot five inches. Mr. Bent started me on a built up mound of sand teaching me how to lay on the board, paddle, pop a jump to my feet, boogie and crouch. Over and over all morning until I could do it on command, he worked me like a Drill Sergent. We all had a picnic lunch and then after the proper wait time not to get cramps, we went wet!

Well, I took to it in grand style. I'm telling you, I was a natural. Now I was surfing about a foot to eighteen inch fluffies, but I was spotting my waves and paddling as hard as I could and riding to the shore. Every now and then, a roller would curl just a bit, and I was the next grand champion surfer shooting that curl. Then it happened... a little bit bigger wave came and even though Mr. Bent had told me to pick my waves carefully, I didn't listen, and I experienced my first headlong off the board official kawabunga style face plant! Ouch! Cry! No wait! Don't cry! I couldn't cry because Mr. Bent would not give me the board. I found the board and grabbed it and headed back out to the waves. It was then I realised... I had lost my swim trunks.

So picture the scene: this small boy paddling like crazy on a board twice his height in length, bare butt proudly pointed to the sky. I wasn't stopping. If I stopped, I just knew Mr. Bent would be mad I lost my trunks and wouldn't give me the board. As Mr. Bent would try to catch me, I would shift my wait, get low in my crouch and shred that wave heading back out for the next one, my Mother with my trunks in her hand shouting for me to come in. There I am over and over, wiener in the breeze, shooting my first waves and showing total disregard for authority. I bring those same qualities now to SL.

Mr. Bent gave me the board. (I don't have a picture of mine as it is long gone but I've included one from the Malibu Online Surfboard Museum
http://www.malibulongboards.com/hannon.jpg) Mom took in my trunks and instructed me in the morality or lack of nudity.

So... late at night... when you find me trespassing in your private surf sim, riding your curls butt naked? You have got two options: stand on the shore and shout in the immortal words of my mother, "Get you ass back here and put your swim suit on!" Or... you can strip off your clothes, thank God for the waves, and ride free with me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aries Ashton and Sebastian Saramago: Are they the same person?

by Ashleigh Dickins, reporting editor

It was recently brought up to SurfWatch that surf legends Aries Ashton and Sebastian Saramago may infact have the same person controlling the keyboard! They do both have alliteration in their names, and their prowess on the beaches can't be denied. SurfWatch dug into this issue a bit further to uncover if there was any truth to these rumors.

Sebastian Saramago (L); Aries Ashton (R)

"Aries and I the same? That's a new one," Sebastian Saramago said when asked about the rumors. "Perhaps people got that idea by the way Aries wrote the article in his surf mag. He took the 'questions and answer' transcript of our interview and morphed it into more of a narrative coming from him." Sebastian refers to inworld magazine Kahuna, run by Aries Ashton. And though that could have lended some to the confusion of people, Sebastian assures SurfWatch there's no truth to the rumors. "But for the record, that is ridiculous."

We caught up with Aries as well, who found humor in the situation and also squashed the rumors. "I thought I resembled Brad Pitt more," he joked. Of course, if they were the same person this is exactly how they would respond. So SurfWatch brought the rumor to a member of the surf community who has known both men for quite some time, as they had been friends with the late Thor Bishop. "No, absolutely not," Sierra Sugar laughed when we asked for her opinion on the matter. Sierra confirms she has heard both on voice and can confirm they are not the same person. "Someone is pulling everyone's leg or severely misinformed themself," she stated.

So there you have it folks! Sebastian Saramago and Aries Ashton are not the same person. Maybe next time we'll be investigating if Mori Pwani and Majini Island were managed by the same person! (Spoiler alert: They were!)

SexyBoy Oh speaks out illegally in SLSA Public Forum

by Rhett McMahn, Business Columnist and Special Reporter

Sexyboy Oh
is making news again less then twenty-four hours after a decision was handed down disqualifying him from the SLSA's Topanga 2009 Season 1 season ending competition. Oh, who recently won said competition on points, was made aware of the SLSA's Disciplinary Board's findings yesterday afternoon.

In a 10:05PM (SLSA Forum Time) post entitled "So everyone know by them self" (complete post can be viewed publicly at http://surfslsa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=622), Oh posts the entire history of the actions of the Board, including the initial letter and a detailed defense of his actions. In addition, Oh makes commentary as to his opinion of the validity of various things such as which group is to be joined in the term SLSA, a notice in the official rules about being in current edit, a missing rule 2, and his interpretation of whether being a member of the SLSA organization requires membership in both the In-World SL Group or just the Internet based SLSA Forum (http://surfslsa.com/forums/index.php).

Responses have been mixed at the time of this post with SLSA Advisor Ashleigh Dickins taking time to address each one of Oh's points in a clearly laid out point by point post, with quotes. One point Dickins made and was clear about Oh violating SLSA rules by posting in the SLSA Forum while not a member of the SL Surfing Association SL Group. "At the time of posting Mr. Oh was not a member of the group and therefore should not have even been allowed to post this. However he had not yet been deactivated by the board. As can be seen here:"

SLSA Director Robin Mapp assured his members that the SLSA Board is reviewing the recent events and actions. Mapp also calls for it's members not to air these issues in their public forum, but come directly and privately to the Board. "While I believe there are issues related to this ruling that need to be examined, and very much want to hear all opinions around this, I also feel that public scrutiny does nothing but cause disharmony and division among us all. I assure you all this is not a Witch hunt, and it will be addressed as such." Mapp reassured his group of his confidence in their administrators, officials, and members to come to a fair and correct outcome in this matter.