Cann!bal !sland [Beach Paradise Island (133, 142, 21) - General - Cann!bal !sland is a resort and residential sim, a sandy archipelago in the tropical style with plenty of things to do to while away the SL (Second Life) hours. You can play chess, beach soccer, ride a helicopter and shoot each other off the sky, hunt for rare coconuts, roam the estate with their exclusive yachts and surf! sometimes, but as it’s a general rated sim there’s a no nudity rule so no naked surfing!
It’s a beautiful, unique region, lovingly created and nurtured, one of the sweet treasures of SL.
There’s a friendly interactive dog and a cheeky monkey, which is a nice touch in my view as animals tend to be less likely to IM (instant message) me with a vague ‘hi’ and tend not to wear a tuxedo to the beach.
The real reason I came to these peaceful and pretty lagoons was a quest, to chance my luck and risk my life and reputation on the legendary ‘Cann!bal Tsunamis’. This wave was made by the creator and owner of Cann!bal, Chotaire Seelowe, who, for those who like to explore profiles, has a rather interesting and rewarding picks section.
My first attempts at surfing the wave were useless though because the wave wasn’t to be found. The wave and many other environmental features of the sim are on a timed rezzer. They call this sim an ‘automatic and modular region’ with ‘event-based, time-based and on-demand variation of the entire sim’ which means that the wave isn’t always active. Using the word ‘wave’ feels like I am understating the phenomenal force of SL nature that is the Cann!bal Tsunami, but that’s what it is, one huge wave.
This wave is unforgiving, relentless, terrifying and surreal. It rises fast out of the calm like a vengeful marine goddess and there’s no escape from her, she’s on a mission to engulf anyone brave enough to face her wrath. But, once you get on the wave and establish a position, it’s a lot of fun packed into a few intensely passionate moments. When you chill and slow down to the pace and make those moments stretch, there’s some gloriously silly surfing to be had as the wave has it’s way with you.
I tried attacking the wave dead on at the centre and then fast turning my way up to the crest, which worked well. I was able to ascend quickly and easily and as I reached the very top of the curled lip edge, there was a gap, a flaw in the wave perhaps but it was useful as I was then able to launch myself through the top of the wave, bounce off the crest and fly off into space, for a second or two, and then spin downwards like a maple seed helicopter. This is my signature move on the Tsunami, the move I keep trying to repeat and when it did come off, I felt a great sense of achievement. I used a C-3 v2 Shortboard on the wave, the custom paints board made by Catalina Hunter which she sells at Turtle Break. The board acted as normal and it's tight turning circle meant that I could stay on the wave easily despite it's great velocity. In addition, according to Chotaire, "Cann!bal has their own custom boards rezzed for everyone to use which are optimized for this wave. It's the Cann!bal Custom HP5 100."
I played with this wave for a while and time drifted away as I repeated this quest to the top of the wave. It was, as the old joke goes, all very well in practice, but will it work in theory?
I was reminded of an essay ‘Walking in the City’ by French Philosopher Michel de Certeau, in which he describes the ascent and climax of a journey to the summit of the World Trade Center. This passage in particular resonated in the afterglow of my ascent of the Cann!bal Tsunami:
‘it transforms the bewitching world by which one was “possessed” into a text that lies before one’s eyes. It allows one to read it, to be a solar Eye, looking down like a god. The exaltation of a scopic and gnostic drive: the fiction of knowledge is related to this lust to be a viewpoint and nothing more’
This wave, for me, was about the passion of that lust to be a viewpoint, the story of that journey to a fleeting moment of what seems like seeing and knowing, a pause in the air beyond the prow, through a gap in the rhythm, before a descent back down into the mass of everything unknowable.
The theoretical view is one aspect but ultimately it’s a lot of fun! Do come and see for yourself and stay awhile, it’s lovely.