Saturday, March 31, 2012

Up Close and Personal: Revlon "Revy" Benoir

SurfWatch Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) special correspondent, Cierra Theriac, recently met with newly elected SLSA Director, Revlon "Revy" Benoir, to share more about her background and interests with the virtual surfing community.

SurfWatch (SW): Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing?
Revlon Benoir (RB):In RL (real life) I am a solitary surfer, while I do have friends that I occasionally surf with, you will typically find me on the beach at sunrise pulling a dawn patrol.

When I first arrived in SL I began looking around for surfing. I did join the SLSA but much like RL I was a solitary surfer and opted to develop my open space (homesteads used to be called open spaces in 2007.) My open space was called Pacific Coast Hwy.  I was a huge fan of Robin Mapp's RJ products. On PCH Hwy I installed RJ and SSI Pipes waves. I added another open space and purchased Leogarto's (Burt) first Teahupoo Wave. I was one of his first customers. It came in sections and you had to layout each section with a ruler. Oh I miss those days.

SW:  What promopted your decision to run for SLSA Director this term? What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. do you bring as a director?
RB:  I have watched as some dear and long time friends recently left the SLSA. When I asked why; I got a myriad of answers, some I agreed with others I did not.  When asked one person replied "It is just not fun anymore."This one answer in particular that inspired me to run.

Of all the skills, competencies, traits, etc. I bring with me to the SLSA, I think there are 2 that I would like to share.
#1 I really do care about people in the SLSA. I share their passion and concerns.
#2 I really do believe in the people of the SLSA. I know that together we can make the SLSA even better than it already is!

SW: You did not compete in any SLSA competitions last season and the eligibility requirement was waived by the current Board (completely in accordance with the SLSA by-laws). Have you participated in any surfing competitions and do you feel this does or does not impact your ability to be a director?
RB:  Yes I surfed in the Solace Dreams Open and Solace Dreams Pro this season. The by law on eligibility you reference is: An SLSA Member must have competed (and been assigned a score) in at least one of the previous six SLSA sanctioned competitions prior to the election.

As you can see the spirit of this by-law is not defined. My own interpretation is that surfing a competition is actually an effective barometer to establish active participation in the SLSA.  I have always been active in the SLSA in my own way. Building and running SIMs or producing Surf Festivals or just being a friend when you needed one.

SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?
RB:  Both the Board and the Membership could work a little better on communications.  This is my first term as a director. Prior to my appointment, I was a little baffled by some of the decisions handed out by the Board of Directors. For example ;Why do we only use SSI surfboards? I saw a very recent thread on this matter on the SLSA forum.

When I came on the Board I found the Board is actively working with this issue. They had very legitimate concerns about bringing in new boards for competition.  In this example the membership has a concern, yet is unaware that the board is already addressing this concern.  As humans our ability to communicate really sets us apart from mollusks.

SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director?
RB:  I think the biggest issue facing the SLSA is community involvement. As of this writing there are 955 members in the group, yet only 2 members ran for director. In the last election we had 25 people vote!Improving member participation is my #1 priority. I have already approached the board with this as a concern as well as pitched a few ideas.

SW:  The SLSA modified the stipulation that a rider could miss one comp each season and not have it count against their rank in order to allow more people to volunteer to judge comps. Now if a surfer judges a competition they are "given rank points for that event equal to their averaged surfing place for the season." Do you feel this will address the issue of getting more surfers to volunteer to judge and how do your feel about everyone still being able to drop their lowest score for the season?
RB:  I would like to put aside the, "Do you feel this will address the issue of getting more surfers to volunteer to judge" question. Instead I would like to focus on the clever and out of the box thinking that went into the solution to making sure that the sacrifice of volunteering is acknowledged.  Everyone can have a bad day so I do support the ability to drop your lowest score for the season. The SLSA Rules work pretty well to make sure no one is harmed by this action.

SW: There has been discussion and polling of surfers about allowing other board types and wave types other than SSi.  The SLSA is planning one competition this season with LSD boards. What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?
RB:  I alluded to this issue earlier. First we do use other waves and have been for a while so lets focus on boards. I am a proponent of using other boards, however, before we open Pandora's box we need to understand a few possible issues.

Here a just 2 that come to mind, there are actually several more that are being considered
#1 Judging.
Sure in an RL comp you can ride Channel Island or a Webber. The call to "make SL comps like RL comps" sounds so ubber glam. But this is not RL and we must be pragmatic   It is not possible to Judge an HP5 with the same criteria that you judge an SSI. Something as simple as crouching is handled completely different. At minimum we will have to train judges on each board allowed.
#2 Availability.
I don't own an LSD board. If I wanted to compete in an LSD comp I would have to get one. Not a biggie, unless you just don't happen to have the Lindens.  Maybe we could use Rezzers to get around the availability problem. Do we require that everyone use the same board that is loaded in the rezzer?

As you can see, it is not as simple as declaring a board type and we have not even started to talk about using say and LSD, HP, Action, and SSI in the same comp. I am not saying we can not do this, I am just saying lets make sure we understand what we are doing first.

SW: That's it for the tough questions. (Laughs).  What board is your current favorite and why?
RB:  My fav board in RL is a 7'6 fun board by Kennedy. It is blue with a pod of dolphins on the inlay. In Second Life, my fav board is the Surf Crazy Revy Femme Fatale by Mick Lunasea.

SW: What wave is your current favorite and why?
RB:  In RL my fav wave is the LA/VC (Los Angeles/Ventura County) County Line. I love the break and right across PCH is Neptune's Net. Yummm FIsh Tacos and Cornona!  In SL my fav wave is the Joaquina. I love the way it looks, it comes in either RH or LH and is easy to setup. Not real tricky to ride, just kind of a fun afternoon.

SW: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots and why?
RB:  Ok Shameless Plug.. Enchanted Break, I find the Teahupoo2 to be very challenging to ride. I have added the HP Wipe out objects so if you are riding an HP5 (Rezzer on the beach) you can wipe out.  I like Tai CHi for the atmosphere very relaxing.  Love Monkey Cove because there is almost someone there to surf and party with.  I like Braata because they have the Mav pretty well dialed in.

SW:  Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
RB:  Hey I thought you said the hard questions are over!   Ok Revlon or Revy is my RL nick name. When I was a younger I loved the song Black Widow by Lita Ford:

Spider web stocking
At the pearly gates
Ruby lips, Revlon Kiss
Born to seal your fate.

SW: I want to thank for taking the time to talk to us and letting us get to know you a little better.


Marianna Monentes said...

Revy I would love to say congratulations and say I can see why you were chosen as S.L.S.A. Director, your ideas and visions are not only refreshing but needed. Good Luck and much Success :)

Unknown said...

Thank you Marianna for the kind words and to the entire membership of the SLSA for trusting in me. We have already started this directors term with some positive developments.

melissa said...

I like that you are bringing some 'outside the box' thinking to the SLSA board. Like you I think there are people out there in the SLSA--longtime members--who would be great for the board, and yet are not running for positions. I have only been a member for a year and while I would eventually consider running, I think there are others with more experience who should bring that wisdom to the experience first.