Thursday, September 13, 2012

20 Questions: Surf Perspective - Tauri Tigerpaw

Questionaire by Zelda Zimberman

1. Name:
Tauri Tigerpaw

2. Team:

3. Surfing Since:

4. Favorite Board and why?:
My SSi longboard. I love the interaction of board and wave.

5. Favorite Wave and why?:
I'll always be a fan of very first wave I surfed in SL - the Epic.

6. How did you come across surfing on SL and what was your first initial reaction to it?:
Looking for the pixel representation of things I love in RL, after I hit all the Harley riding sims, I started hitting various shorelines.  Quan Li was one of the first surf spots I found.  I fell in love with Chi right away.  Majini became my home base - my office was a rock around the firepit, hanging out with the Sisterhood of the Sand.  I took hella long epic rides at Weather and I took vacations at La Bahia.

7. Are you involved in the SLSA (second life surfing association) in any way? (competitions, events, etc.):
I served as director and advisor in the past, conducted marshall training and worked the comps.  I also sponsored any groups I could afford to buy a sponsorship for, including, of course, SurfWatch.  Not currently involved other than posting reports on events in SurfWatch.

8. What are your thoughts or opinions on the direction on the SLSA from 2012 and beyond?:
As long as the focus stays on second life surfing and ways to keep it inclusive and make it better for everyone, I think it will weather through the types of storms that every growing organization deals with.

9. What do/did you find positive and negative about it?:
An organization is only as good as the leaders that are elected to run it and the membership that votes them in and participates. I believe the original intent, integrity and goal of the SLSA is worth fighting for and preserving through any negative.  But you can never be afraid to look at the negative and keep it from being said. Just learn from it and do better!  Anything that effects the membership, i.e., a rule change, a director position vacated, etc. is information that the membership deserves to be aware of.    The SLSA has had many, many selfless, creative, generous members serving as directors that have pushed SL surfing forward in a positive direction.  There have also been some self serving and manipulative members serving as directors for their own agendas.  The organization will always reflect those positive and negative intents of the members in charge and making the decisions.

How would you like to see it improve more?:
 The more people involved, the more sharing of ideas and information, the more true desire to benefit SL surfing as a whole - all the surf sims, all the sponsors, listening to all ideas, reaching out to past organizations like the ABSSL, the JSA, etc. - the more opportunity there is to improve and expand. 

10. Do you compete in any surfing competitions SLSA or non?:
I competed in Surf Jams before I started working the SLSA comps as marshall.  I also won the original SLSA Sportsmanship trophy AND, most importantly, Best Drunk (where's my tequila)!!!  I worked all the official competition posts at one time or another which precluded an opportunity to compete at the time although I understand now some officials can also compete.

11. What do/did you find gratifying and dissatisfying about competitions?:
Gratifying - The camaraderie, first and foremost.  We used to have a blast in the line up, kidding around, loosening competitors up.  It was about fun and hanging together.  Surfers were always tickling my feet as marshall!  Dissatisfying:  The competitions took too long a chunk out of a weekend day, especially for the officials.  Changing to a two day format was supposed to cut back on the time committment but unfortunately meant it took up two days instead of one long one.  Also dissatisfying:  The serious egos caught up in winning a pixel surfing competition involving everything from harassing judges, disrupting competitions, interfering with equipment, etc.

12. How do you feel about the SLSA using non SSI boards for competitions? (ex; HP5, LSD, Action):
It means more training for the judges in understanding the capabilities of each script but I think it's a great idea as long as they are not mixed within one competition.  The RobJohn  board competition was a blast - everyone had to learn a totally new way of surfing but it leveled the playing field a bit so newcomers had an equal shot - everyone was a beginner!

13. If you are currently inactively involved in competitions (surfing, judging, etc.) what was the reason for leaving? Would you want to come back and participate? Please explain your answer:
The weekend time committment was and is still a huge hindrance for me in continuing to work the comps.   

14. What are your thoughts on the team dynamics? Is there a team you particularly like? Why?:
Naked Surf Nation!!! 
I had belonged to several various competing teams in the past but felt I should try to maintain some impartiality for SurfWatch.  Years ago, and I'm not sure if this is the case today, they were a blast socially in terms of developing friendships, partying, learning new skills but more divisive in terms of competitions - at one point, teams were accused of griefing competitors beaches and boards during comps, yelling inappropriate things at comps, etc.

15. Is there anyone on here that particularly had an impact when it came to surfing, mentoring, and overall being a role model for you? Who and why? Please explain your answer:
My first beach peeps - the gang at Majini - had a real beach vibe that I missed in RL.  They're the ones that got me hooked.  Many of the original Hall of Famers were role models for me.

16. What was your favorite moment or memory on surfing here?:
Smoking doobies, passing the bottle, laughing so hard we were crying and falling on the sand on the beach at Maj.  Grabbing one board and trying to see how many we could fit on one ride.  Impromptu parties on the deck when everyone would show up.  My first SLSA comp as marshall when no one could instruct me how to do it (altho Cip and Rani gave it a good shot!), hearing a competitor say she was going to throw up from nerves and realizing they were way more nervous than me and I needed to help them get through it.  Too many memories over too many years.

17. Is there anyone you know or knew that isn't active as much in surfing and would like to see come back? Who and why?:
AlexSurfer Hiron, one of the originals.  If you ever see him, kick him in the butt for me!  And Buffffffy - where are youuuuu!!! 

18. Many people have strong opinions when it comes to SL surfing and RL surfing. What is your take on the comparison?:
C'mon - there is no comparison.  Comparing the virtual "ride": why do outlandish unbelievable gamer tricks on a board and then pretend it's surfing?  It's skillful, it's gaming, it's awesome, but it's not surfing - call it something else.
Virtual surfing is about the skill of "riding" a board and trying to capture the fantasy vibe ideal that people that didn't grow up surfing imagine real surfers live, as if all RL surfers are laid back, easy-going stoners that talk like Keanu Reeves.  They clearly haven't seen surfer turf wars.  There is no cookie cutter surfer - RL surfers are as complex and varied as anyone else and that's no different in SL surfing. 

19. Do you have any advice for new SL surfers on here?:
For anyone new to virtual reality, really, not just surfing:  Everyone says stay out of the drama.  Really what is "drama" but feelings, and you can't avoid those.  But be wary of the manipulations of real people behind the avatars with their own agendas that may be completely different than what comes out of their mouths.  And remember that people change - the personal information you share today may be something you regret later on.  Remember this is a virtual reality - never let it become your priority (I speak from experience!). 

20. Any other thoughts?:
I've been involved with SurfWatch since 2008, and it's been a huge part of my life.  While people appear as new avatars with the same questionable intent and try to rewrite the history of SL surfing along with their own history, SurfWatch has been documenting it for years from the mouths of the people involved in the history as it happened - the dramas, the charades, the improvements, the changes, the rivalries, the lies and truths.  Browse the archives and become familiar with the history so any mistakes of the past can be averted, and so the true pioneers of SL surfing aren't forgotten.

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