Sunday, April 9, 2017

SurfBoards, the Real Deal or Not!

Submitted by Opal Rivers

There’s nothing more exciting than watching surfers riding the big maverick waves in real life.  Especially when you consider some of those waves are taller than three story buildings.  It is an understatement to say that real life (RL) surfing is quite an exhilarating and dangerous sport.  Putting your life on the line to stand on a handmade or manufactured surfboard takes a lot of courage and trust in the makers of those boards.  Is it any wonder that surfing made its way to Second Life (SL) given the romance of chasing the ultimate waves?

With this in mind, I am left to wonder who is making the boards in SL?  Can they stand up to the intense power of a Maverick wave?  After some investigation, I have found some answers to these burning questions.  Shack Schapira, a long-term resident of SL, was very kind to take time out of his busy life to answer some questions about his creative works.  Shack is a talented creator and scripter of surfboards in SL.  The C-3 surfboards were created 3 years ago by Shack.  He created these smooth riding boards and also scripted, and animated them.  However, he is quick to note that no creative project occurs without advice from friends and people who are more familiar with surfing in RL.  His unique surfboards are available on the Second Life Marketplace and in-world at THE SHACK, House (34, 210, 1801) – Moderate.  He also has released a franchise of the C-3 systems to a few select retailers to alter textures and board shapes.  Shack also has other quality products that you should be sure to check out, like his C-3 Diver, S – Swim buoy, and the C-3 Swimmer.  His adventurous and creative designs are expertly created and sure to catch everyone’s attention.

Moving on to the surfboards.  The early versions of surfboards in SL were not as detailed as today’s versions.  They were flat and rather unrealistic.  Needless to say, the modern SL surfboard has evolved.  Today, RL 3D computer models are used to create realistic SL surfboards.  It’s both obvious yet important to note that the end result of the product is significantly different in RL and SL.  Surfboards generally have three components: the board, the animations, and most importantly, the scripts.

First let’s look at the boards themselves.  With the explosion of mesh products on the marketplace in SL, I felt like we needed to know what those surfboards are made of.  The newest version of surfboards, C -3, are a mixture of mesh and standard prims.  The visible components of most boards are either mesh or sculpties.  "This is done to achieve the realistic appearance of today’s surfboards", said Shack.  Additionally, the quality of the surfboard ride depends on variations such as board shape and differences in components.

As with most things in RL and SL, size does matter.  Larger boards react differently than smaller boards on the waves.  Secondly, the animations determine whether you are standing on the board, flipping, or hanging ten.  The most important component of a surfboard is the one that brings everything to life, the scripts.  Scripts determine how the board moves, floats, turns and reacts with the waves.  C-3 Surfboards work on all waves in SL today, however, to surf the fluffy waves, a different scripting is needed.  The C-3 version has the fluffy wave modifications.  So, let’s all get out there and enjoy all this hard work from the creators by catching a wave. 


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