Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meeting the SLSA Directors - Bobbi Laval

I finally cornered Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) director Bobbi Laval and grilled, er talked to her about all things surfing and SLSA. She was kind enough to put up with my intrusive questioning.

SurfWatch:  Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing?
Bobbi Laval: I have been involved with SL surfing since 2007, since just before the first SLSA season.

SW:  What prompted your decision to run for SLSA Director this term?  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. do you bring as a director?
Bobbi: Honestly, I wasn't looking to run for SLSA Director this term. I just saw that nobody else was stepping up to the plate, so felt an obligation to do so.  I'm broadly skilled in many areas, but not specially skilled in any one area. I have been playing SL for some time and have  developed some building skills, I have some experience with land and running events, and some experience with my art.  And of course I have surfed a little bit.

SW: How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Bobbi: I have been competing in SLSA competitions since the very first comp in 2007. Other than surfing I competed in some of the old VSN halfpipe simboard competitions. In surfing I have competed in a few fun comps, some of the SurfJam comps, and a few of the ABSSL seasons on HP boards.

SW:  What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization and what do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director?
Bobbi: There are always things that can be improved, though overall things are not so bad.  There will always be small improvements made over time.  I think the first priority is to run the best events and competitions for the membership as we can.

SW:  What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general?
Bobbi: The top issue facing SL surfing is the same thing that other non surfing ventures in SL are facing, and that is the economy in general, and the SL economy.  This affects surf related businesses and especially those wishing to run surf sims.  Running a surf sim in SL is expensive, trying to break even is difficult at best.

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. So 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? 
Bobbi: I had mixed feelings when this rule first came out. I surfed for several seasons and never missed a competition, so I was skeptical that it would do much good.  Now there are more judges and seemingly more wanting to help out, so this new rule allows them to help out without adversely affecting their standings so much.  I feel surfers should still be able to drop their lowest score of the season. Though maybe it did not serve it's intended goal of getting more judges, I think we have to keep in mind that SL is a hobby or pasttime for most of us, and that we each still have a real life. I think dropping the lowest score serves the membership well.   

SW: We now have had one event with a non-SSi board (the HP5). What are your thoughts on allowing other scripts into the competition season?
Bobbi: All in all I think the HP5 competition was a success. Many of the established surfers learned a new board, and there were new surfers surfing very well on the HP5 board.  I am not opposed to allowing other scripts, but at this point I don't know what they would be.  The overall goal is to serve the membership and put on good competitions. There are issues with some boards that make a fair competition difficult. This is why the SSI 6.4 board has never been allowed in competition. Action boards have just never become widely popular among members. I think there was promise with LSD boards and Luscious developed a fan base among some members, but since they are so highly configerable running a fair competition on one becomes problematic.

SW:  That's it for the tough questions.  (Laughs)
Bobbi: lol,  okies.

SW: What board is your current favorite and why?
Bobbi: I thought you said the tough questions were over.  I like riding and testing lots of boards.  Of course I like SSI boards, and like designing my own SSI boards. My own shortboard is maybe my favorite.  But I have lots of fun riding HP boards and have enjoyed a bit of success on them too.

SW:  What wave is your current favorite and why?
Bobbi: My favorite wave is the wave I happen to be riding on at the time. I do have a soft spot for old school pipes and fluffies.

SW:  What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots and why?
Bobbi: My old favorites are all gone it seems. I stay away from places that don't have rez areas or require group membership to surf.  I spend allot of time at Chi and Tai. I also like Tsunami and Ocean Shores. There are also a few lessor known areas I like. Parrot Island with its long long run of fluffies and Pirate Point with it's long wide Epic. And of course the SLSA sim at Solace Dreams. Thats really my favorite, is warm and cozy there.

SW:  Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
Bobbi: Isn't that enough? 

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

1 comment:

Marianna Monentes said...

Excellent interview of one of SLSA surfing legends, Hall of Fame...well to me that is awesome but Bobbi Laval is a surfer I often think of, like Colleen Brennan, who was there every single comp since the beginning. It is what gives us surfers a "home" SLSA has seen days of turmoil and days of exuberance, when all is said and done at the end of the day, it is these women like Bobbi Laval who gently remind us what is real, and that is the "soul" of surfing. Once you find that nothing compares. Thank you Bobbi for being a soul sista of surfing.