Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surfing 101 - SL Locals

submitted by Mick Lunasea

Being a Second Life (SL) surfer means YOU ARE A LOCAL on any beach you want to hang out at. Join the sim group, kick your feet up and meet and enjoy the company of new friends.  Real Life (RL) surf locals have an entirely different meaning. A local means you hang out with the same group of surfers at the same beach most of the time. As seasons change or swell angles move, your local surf break might not be working as well as one sand bar over. In some surf towns, each street leading down to the water has its own local crew like 22nd St. locals, etc.

The nature of the surf break defines the attitude of the locals. Wide open beach breaks with many peaks or places to ride, the locals can be friendly. Surf breaks that are smaller like single reefs or a single take-off spot, locals can get testy. Long point breakes can handle quite a few people, however, with 200+ surfers out on a good day at Malibu, locals that are there daily have heavy influence on what goes on.

When I was about 13, I was surfing north of Malibu at a point break at the foot of Latigo Canyon with 2 of my friends and another guy. A buff older guy paddles out, announces to us the 'locals' are gonna have a surf contest and to get out of the water. The guy surfing along side us begins to protest saying, the ocean's free, etc. The buff local paddles up to the guy and proceeds to start beating the shit out of him right there in the water. Freaked, me and my buddies immediately speed paddled to the beach.

As the surfing population increased, so did confrontations. Many ugly incidents ended up in courts and on the news. My buddy, a kneeboarder, got punched out at Malibu by a longboard pro's father and a Hawaiian longboard pro surfer because he didn't exit the water as quickly as they had liked before a contest! (Unlike SL where waves are available 24-7, Malibu only gets really good a few times a year.  Locals hate contests during these times after hanging around for months for the swell)

Yep, my buddy ended up on TV and the clowns that punched him ended up in court. Tracy Austin, the pro
tennis player, watched in horror as her then boyfriend, Shawn Tompson, got punched out by a local at Rincon. Mr. Thompson had been arrogantly taking off in front of the same local repeatedly until the local had enough. Yep, they ended up in court.

It's not all peace and love in the RL surf world. Fortunately, the aloha is huge in SL with no stink eye from Hawaians protecting their island. Some of the same rules do apply in SL surfing, though, as RL surfing. Common courtesy. Respect your fellow surfers, don't shoulder hop or take off on waves being ridden by others unless asked to join in a party wave. Be kind. Most are willing to guide and help, just ask. Paddle around the waves, not thru them. Take turns catching waves.  Chatting in the line up, you meet cool people. Being a surfer in SL is special.  Be kind to one another and remember here, WE ARE ALL LOCALS!

Hug your surf buddy, GO SURFING!

Mick Lunasea is a long time surf instructor (editors note: See High on a Wave, SurfWatch March 17, 2009), former SLSA Director, competative surfer, owner of SurfCrazy surf shops, organizer of Surf Fest and new inductee for the 2010 Season 1 SLSA Hall of Fame.


Syx Toshi said...

Right on Mick I totally agree!

Desne said...

Well said Mick.. goodonya!!!