SurfWatch (SW): A lot of people are already aware of your history and long involvement with SL surfing and the SLSA, but for those new to SL surfing, tell us how you found out about Second Life surfing and how you got started. Where, who, when all the details lol!
Cierra: Little over 10 years ago I joined SL after watching over my husband’s shoulder for a day. I found out about surfing again through Flynn (Sheridan). Watched him do it, and was immediately hit with, “I want to do that!” At that time it was all SSi pipes and fluffs. Flynn managed a beach location, brought surfing to it, and I spent most of my time there. It all happened fast. I joined SL in January, and by May we had started competing and found enough like-minded people to found the SLSA.
SW: What made you want to surf? How hard was it to learn?
Cierra: First it just looked like fun, and I don’t get the chance to surf in RL (real life). It wasn’t hard to learn, but very hard to get good. I was a terrible surfer, lol. I liked free surfing, no one judging. Just you and the board and the wave.
SW: Did you know anything about RL surfing?
Cierra: Yes. Love it! But I am like an armchair quarterback. I watch it all the time, try to watch all the world tour competitions through WSL (World Surf League). I am landlocked at the moment, so I am living vicariously by watching RL surfing. I also try to see if there is anything I can take from RL surfing and bring back to SL.
SW: How did you get involved in competition surfing?
Cierra: It was there. I had to try it. Surf competitions started pre-SLSA. They were held by surf businesses on local sims. First one I remember seeing was on Chi. Back then we watched on the same sim as the competition was being held.
What was the question again? Oh yeah, so naturally after seeing a competition in SL, I had to try it. LOL, never got out of the preliminary heats.
SW: What are your favorite competitive moves?
Cierra: Depends on the board… with SSis, I like smooth barrel rolls and getting air. The higher you can go and not bellying is amazing. I love just pushing and seeing what I can get a board to do.
SW: What do you get out of competitive surfing?
Cierra: Fun. Camaraderie. It’s just a huge get-together with friends. Doing well is always a bonus. :)
SW: What's your favorite board?
Cierra: Competitively, SSi and C-3. But I like the Flow board for just smooth stylish surfing. I would love to try a comp with that and see what we can come up with.
SW: What music if any pumps you up for surfing?
Cierra: Grunge! 90s alternative. Current rock. Singing and surfing at the same time is awesome! Always try to get FooFighters Everlong and Learn to Fly in my heats.
SW: Is there anyone in the past or current surfing world that you admire their style and try to emulate?
Cierra: That is a hard one. There are so many people to admire. The one person that I always loved to watch and try to borrow their style is Wil DeCuir. He is probably the best surfer that I have seen in SL. If Wil said it, it was gospel to me. He has the perfect balance of style, control, maneuvers, and just balls out surfing, on any board.
Not going to name any current surfers. Don’t want their egos to get too big, lol. But there are really good ones out there.
SW: What advice would you give new surfers about how to start?
Cierra: Keep surfing. Start simple. Learn to feel good and in control on the wave first. Then start ramping it up. And don’t give up. A new board, a new wave, they are always a challenge. That’s a good thing. Above all have fun!
SW: Where are your favorite places to surf? What's your favorite wave?
Cierra: Easy. Bluff Cove. Since Flynn and I designed it to be the perfect surf place for us, naturally it is my favorite place to go. Besides that, my favorite place is always ‘where the next comp is’.
Favorite wave… I love to match up SSi pipes with an SSi shortboard. But favorite waves are probably Maoli Freestyle and Swell.
Cierra: It’s constantly changing. New blood keeps things fresh. Sometimes I think things get too complicated. I like simple. You practice with surf buds, compete like it is a big party, and go out and celebrate (or commiserate) after.
The new waves and boards are wonderful thing. Maoli is making great waves. We have new boards: C-3, Flow, in addition to using SSi, Hp-5 and LSD. I can’t wait to see what the talented people out there come up with.
SW: What do you imagine SL surfing will be like 5 years from now?
Cierra: The same as it is now, but even better! People making waves and boards, and finding surf comps, and free surfs with friends.
SW: What else do you like to do in SL in addition to catching a wave?
Cierra: Wow, this is a biggy. I used to only surf. Sun up to sun down. Then I started shopping. LOL, no coming back from that. I sell a line of C-3 boards with Flynn’s textures on them. I am hoping to get a line with my designs soon.
I am always working on my sims: Bluff Cove that I own with Flynn, and Bundy Reef that I own with Sally LaSalle. Bluff is purely a surf and chill spot. We were inspired by some spots in California when we designed it. So I like it because it is a little different from other surf sims. If you want to chill and hangout, alone or not, I have put a lot of different spots to just be. Watch the waves, the sunset or sunrise, be with someone special.
Bundy Reef has turned into a surf sim with residential parcels. What could be better than sitting on the porch watching the waves and then jumping on them from your front door.
I also resell gachas on the Marketplace to help pay for my very expensive hobby, i.e. sim tiers. And then I may go shopping again, lol.
SW: Anything else you want to add?
Cierra: I love meeting people. And I hate it when they go away. SL surfing is one of the best things I have found. I get to surf. I get to challenge myself to get better. I meet awesome people, some who have become very good friends.
When all else fails, catch a wave!