Thursday, June 1, 2017

Conversations with Nash: Petra Xaris

Submitted by Nash Laville

Nash LaVille, former Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) Director and long-time soul surfer, shares his enlightening, interesting and sometimes hilarious conversations in Second Life (SL).  This post he visits with SLSA Director, Petra Xaris.

Nash: Hey Petra! Can I interview you for SurfWatch?
Petra Xaris: Sure.
Nash: Kewl.
Petra Xaris: I wonder what you'll ask me?
Nash: When is a good time?  Now or always???  Trick question.
Petra Xaris: Any time.
Nash: I like that!

Petra Xaris: Do you have a question?
Nash: I do.
Petra Xaris: I wonder if I'll have an answer? lol.
Nash: When did you learn of surfing in SL and how did you find out about it?
Petra Xaris: Well, it was my first day leaving Help Island or what some know as Orientation Island.  I came to SL to be a clothing designer and my first stop was a sim for that but no one was there.
Nash: Listens....

Petra Xaris: I wondered if there were beaches in SL, and so I looked it up on the destination guide. I saw one listed called What? Surf Camp; Simboard.  I went and found the surfboard rezzer, started surfing and have never stopped.  I loved it!
Nash: Wow! Cool! You taught yourself to surf.

Petra Xaris: Then about a week later I saw this cute chipmunk wandering around.  I had no idea a human was behind the avatar till he started talking to me. It was SLSA member Fuzzy aks Bullet Admiral.  He introduced me to SLSA and started giving me some surfing lessons.
Nash: So your first day in SL you discovered surfing.
Petra Xaris: Well, my first day off of Help Island.  I was there for weeks lol

Nash:  Ahhhh....those were the days. What kind of board was your first ride on?
Petra Xaris: It was an SSi in the rezzer.
Nash:  Sweet!
Petra Xaris: But then someone introduced me to LSD boards. Wow, fast and fun.  I wanted one of my own and splurged and bought one.
Nash: When did you begin to compete?
Petra Xaris:  I was shy about competing.  A few people told me about it.  In those days, though, it was all SSi comps, no LSD.  I was told by a friend, Pova Rustamova,  if I ever wanted to compete, I needed to learn SSi,  He gave me a shortboard from his own collection and gave me a lesson, too. A few weeks later Fuzzy told me about a mini comp SLSA would be having. I went to check it out that day and ended up in it, to my own surprise, lol
Nash: )))))) WOW!

Petra Xaris: I didn't think I'd surf that day cause I had tremendous lag.  I had forgotten my draw distance very high from picture taking the day before.  I fell off the waves pretty quick for my lack of ability to turn around on them.
Nash: Is that the first time we met? You won 2nd, I think?
Petra Xaris:  Nope.  I came in last.
Nash: 3rd?
Petra Xaris: There were 5 of us that day.
Nash: Oh.
Petra Xaris: I came in 5th.
Nash: I wasn't paying that much attention but I remember you for some reason.

Petra Xaris: That evening I saw Fuzzy, and he asked if I competed.  I told him about my troubles with lag so he helped go over my viewer settings. We discovered my high draw distance.  And then he suggested I surf bald.
Nash:  Hahaha.
Petra Xaris: I tried it and wow, getting rid of my scripty hair helped a lot.
Nash: The irony.... Fuzzy telling you to surf bald.
Petra Xaris: I never surfed better.  I surfed for hours that night, climbing the Sunset waves at Solace Dreams. Yeah  lol.  I always listened to Fuzzy. He also told me everything I learned about surfing I should teach others and not keep to myself.  Help others enjoy surfing, too. I try to follow his good example.

Nash: Yeah, I got in big trouble when I first started surfing, and I didn't tell someone how I was doing something.
Petra Xaris: Oh, really?
Nash:  It's not so much I wouldn't tell....it was because I didn't know anything, lol. Yeah, I had no clue.
Petra Xaris: Well, sometimes it's hard to explain how to do a maneuver.  I usually have to go out and surf on the wave to try to come up with instructions.  Well, it's not like you can say 3 taps of up arrow, 2 taps of left arrow, 5 taps of W. Some of it you need to figure out on your own.
Nash: Heck, I STILL don't know.  Wow....I gotta try that one! Thanks, Petra!
Petra Xaris: Get a feel for the wave and the board and what feels good to you, lol.

Nash:  Yup. That's what peeps told me when I asked them how to surf better and not belly.  Someone said become one with the wave.  Were comps any different back in...what...2013?
Petra Xaris: 2012 was when I started.  Well, there were more in them than recently. They were about the same, though, other than that. For me, though, it was all so new and exciting.  My first season we had four SSi comps and then an HP5 which was the first HP5 comp for SLSA.

Nash: When did you get involved with SLSA?
Petra Xaris: I never thought of myself as a director type.  I was appreciative of those that did it.  But I kind of shied away from things like that. Then one day a friend of mine suggested I run.  I said to her, "Me?"  She said, "Yes, you." She thought I should run to be a director.
Nash: Huh.
Petra Xaris: I thought about it.

Nash: Would you like a beer or a fizzy soda, Petra?  Help yourself.
Petra Xaris:  Oh, thanks.
Nash: Sure....listens...
Petra Xaris: I asked Sally LaSalle what the director jobs were, like, how much time I'd need, and she said about 30 minutes a day and extra time for comps and fund raisers.  I thought, well, if some day they really needed me, I could do that.  It was June 2013 and suddenly they had some drop out from running that June 1st election.  They needed someone badly, so I put in my nomination.
Nash: You have been actively involved with SL surfing your entire Second Life. That's impressive.
Petra Xaris: Oh, wow , I never thought of it that way. You are right, though.
Nash: Mhm.  You are like... hmmm...what's the right word..................
Petra Xaris: I grew to love SLSA, the people, all of them.
Nash: Like a blonde Queen of Makaha.
Petra Xaris: Oh, my, I think of myself as the girl next door, lol.

Nash: That will work too. And to me..you ARE the girl next door. A fine neighbor.
Petra Xaris:  Aww, thank you.
Nash: I never see you!  KIDDING!
Petra Xaris:  Lol. I'm always busy doing something.

Nash: But serious, when did you win your first 1st place trophy?
Petra Xaris: For surfing?
Nash: Yes.
Petra Xaris: November 2016 at Chi on the fluffy waves.  My 49th Pro comp.
Nash:  Just last year?????
Petra Xaris:  Yes.
Nash: DAAAAAAAAANNNNNNGGGGGGGG!  That was the 1st time you won a comp?  I remember that!
Petra Xaris: Well, first Pro comp.
Nash:  I know it's not that far back....
Petra Xaris:  I can't remember if I won a mini comp but don't think so... or an Open. Well, that day I had a lot of lag.  When we got to the beach to surf the final, I thought I was doomed.  I sat there on my surfboard praying: Please God, help calm down my lag.
Nash:  Perseverance furthers.
Petra Xaris:  And luck.
Nash: I think Confuscious said that .... or maybe Lao Tsu.  I Ching?  Maybe it was a fortune cookie.,,,,Luck.
Petra Xaris: Oh, maybe. I did visit a fortune cookie factory once in RL (real life), That was interesting, lol.

Nash: Never underestimate the power of luck. That's my advice to new surfers.  Petra, who writes the fortunes?
Petra Xaris: Oh, I'm not sure who writes them.
Nash: That would be a cool gig.
Petra Xaris:  But the man making them drank beer and smoked cigarettes, lol.
Nash:  Not surprised.  Tell me about the first time you lost a board to the void....that SL ate your no copy board.
Petra Xaris: Oh, I'm trying to remember.
Nash:  How did it happen?
Petra Xaris:  I'm not sure that I ever did lose any.
Nash: Woah, talk about luck!
Petra Xaris:  I remember surfing with a friend and thinking I lost my LSD board.  I had gone flying off a wave and ended up on the sim next door, then crashed.
Nash:  Mhm...sounds familiar.
Petra Xaris:  My friend ended up finding it in the water.
Nash:  Oh, wow.

Petra Xaris: There was one board that another friend lent me.
Nash:  Oh oh.
Petra Xaris:  I thought it was eaten by SL but months later LL (Linden Labs) returned it to me. Imagine that?
Nash: Luck.
Petra Xaris:  Yes, that was very lucky.
Nash:  Was that an LSD board, too?
Petra Xaris:  No, SSi.

Nash: You are a very social person....good looking, will talk to almost anyone.  Does this pose any problems with you trying to help noobers? Like....they want a date or whatever? Sometimes people mistake wishing to help as an overt interest personally.
Petra Xaris: I don't think it's really a problem for me. Once in a while a guy will ask me to date but it has not happened all that often.
Nash:  Are you busy Friday night?  Kidding.
Petra Xaris:  Lol.

Nash: Whats your fave wave ever?  No matter if it's still around or not.
Petra Xaris:  I'd have to say the 200 meter Sunset wave that Colleen (Brennan) had running at Solace Dreams once.  Talk about fun surfing. It was this feeling of freedom to me, climbing that wave so high. So much fun!
Nash: 200 meter...yes, I think I remember that.
Petra Xaris: The ride is incredible on it. I hated for her to have to turn it off.  It was a bit too large for the Solace Dreams sim.
Nash:  It was a bit too large for any sim.
Petra Xaris: Lol.  You'd need a sim with no land on it, just the wave.
Nash: Exactly.  One person had it running.
Petra Xaris: Oh really?
Nash:Y eah, there was one place that had it running, and it was just water next to another sim.
Petra Xaris: Oh, okay.

Nash: What do you see as the biggest challenge that surfing in SL faces today?
Petra Xaris: I think there are plenty of people that surf for pleasure as I do. I think the biggest challenge for SLSA and the surfing comps is to keep enough interested in doing the competitions and also those that will volunteer to staff the comps, especially judges. Competing is not for everyone, you either get bit by the competitive bug or you don't. Some love to go and watch, support the surfers competing, which is great to see, too. I think the important thing is to share our love of surfing with others. Let others experience the joy of it, whether they end up competing or not.

Nash: One last question which may or may not be having an impact on the interest in SL surfing....: Is it just me or have bikinis gotten larger over the past few years?
Petra Xaris: Bikinis. Are you wearing magnifying glasses or something? I thought they were getting smaller, lol.
Nash: Hmmmm OK..... must just be me. Except for Salsa Waverider's..... teeeeeeeeeeeny!!!??!!
Petra Xaris: Yes, she has the teeniest tiniest bikini in all of SL!
Nash:  Lol.  Thank you, Petra, for taking time from your busy schedule to sit and talk.
Petra Xaris: You're welcome.
Nash: Shall we catch a few since we're here?
Petra Xaris: Sure.
Nash: Cool. Kowabunga.
Petra Xaris: Wooo hooo.

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