Saturday, April 29, 2017

Eaten Alive!

Submitted by Kanjena Sweetleaf

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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Burning Man Happening Now

Submitted by Mick Lunasea

And for the next 3 days!  Don't miss it!  Burning Man - Deep Hole (50, 89, 24) - Moderate - burn2 - Virtual Regional of Burning Man

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Legends Series: Interview - Bobbi Laval (Originally Posted 3/19/2009)

Within the pages of SurfWatch is the rich history of Second Life (SL) surfing from the mouths of the surfers that created or developed or promoted or excelled in this virtual sport over the years.  Enjoy these interviews and the perspective from these surf legends as SurfWatch begins "The Legends Series".

SurfWatch recently caught up with Bobbi Laval, ranked 3rd in the SLSA standings after 2008 Season 2, in the midst of preparing for Friday's St. Pat's Pro-Am Competition at Neart and her photography gallery showing at Costa Rica.

SurfWatch: How did you get started with SL surfing? Who taught you?
Bobbi Laval: (laughs) Well, I am self taught, mostly. I started on a date. This guy took me surfing at Bish (Bishara), on the fluffies that were at Munch Bay. He couldn't figure out how to catch waves, so he just sat on shore and watched me. I don't remember who that guy was - never dated him again. But I'm still surfing. I went back there a lot. Joined Bish group cause they kept boards rezzed for group members to use. I didn't know there was anywhere else to surf in SL - never saw anyone else there. It wasn't until WOI started Reef Riders that I found out about SLSA and surf competitions. So that's when I really started surfing. Seano (Osumi) encouraged me and Ritch (Goalpost) was my first surf buddy. We kinda learned how to surf together. After the first surf comp, TK (Tightline Kidd) and Portia (Roelofs) got me on Reef Riders, and I learned a lot surfing with them.

SW: Where did you surf?
BL: Back then, I surfed at WOI sims. Mostly Bundoran Reef, Crab Island and Clare. Neart didn't come til later. And Imagi. I met Virtual Bacon before that first comp. He encouraged me, and I loved surfing there.

SW: What board and script did you start off with?
BL: Well, the first boards I used were whatever was laying around Munch Bay for group members. The first board I bought was a Namiko Shibuya, the pink one. It was a pre epic enabled board, very difficult to surf on actually, especially by today's standards. Just before the Imagi comp, I bought an SJA Epic enabled board. It was the Hedonism promo board. Then I had Sammyjo Ah make me a custom SJA board.

SW: We understand you, along with Colleen Brennan, have competed in every SLSA competition since it started. Tell us about the first competition.
BL: Yes. Every SLSA competition, even the Surf City comp on Rob Jon boards and the RFL fundraiser. Gosh, that first comp at Imagi, I was so intimidated. I really didn't know anybody there. Just Seano and Ritch who I met practicing there before the comp. He was new, also, and didn't know anybody. Most of the surfers there had surfed in the Namiko competitions. And I was the new girl that didn't know anyone.

SW: What made you want to start competing?
BL: Well, I've always been a bit competitive by nature. I grew up ski racing. But I was having so much fun exploring SL and surfing was just part of that.

SW: How has SL surfing changed from back then?
BL: Gosh, it has changed so much and grown so much. Boards have changed so much. Back then, there were only prim boards made straight from Heather's (Goodliffe) template and the Namiko which was a bit shorter. Basically, boards were all the same except for graphics. Often, there were boards for each comp. Everyone rode the same board that was issued for that comp. So back then, it was all the surfer and what they could do. Boards didn't make any difference like they do now. But the biggest change was Havoc4. That changed surfing more than anything. Physics are totally different now, and post havoc boards are different. It made aerials much easier and, believe it or not, bellying is harder to do now. So many tricks we do now were so hard to do back then without bellying. Havoc4 kind of equalized everything. All the old surfers had to learn to surf over again and experience didn't mean as much. The difficult tricks could be done by more surfers without bellying. Then people like Laz (Longstaff) and Radical (Twang) started tweaking board shapes for better performance.

SW: What board do you use now and why?
BL: I make my own boards to ride now. There is so much more performance potential with 5.2 scripts than with 5.1 scripts. But unlike with 5.1 scripts, there really are not a lot of retail versions of 5.2 boards that have been optimized for performance. Seb (Sebastian Saramago) is doing some cool things, but I don't think he has anything you can buy from a vendor. I think the only way to get them is to buy a custom board from him. Sniper (DSniper Hotshot) made some small tweaks and got a bit better performance, and I think Robin (Mapp) did, too, but nothing like what's possible. I don't think we have really figured out what's possible with a 5.2 script. I just rode Wicked's (WickedV Carver) new board recently. I think it may be possible to go too far. It almost seemed like the board could do things faster than my computer could draw and was a handful to control.

SW: What advice would you give new surfers today?
BL: Whatever you do, have fun. Watch other surfers for inspiration and to learn what is possible, but experiment and develop your own style. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most of us are happy to help.

SW: Where do you spend most of your time surfing?
BL: Three places really. WOI which includes Bundy, Neart and Crab Island, so I have every kind of wave available right there. I also have my own sim, Bounty Reef, with pipes running the full length of the sim. Other than that, I spend the most time wherever the next competition is.

SW: Tell us what you're doing in SL currently.
BL: When I'm not surfing or taking care of the beaches at WOI, I am doing a bit of building, working on my line of beach furnishings and, most recently, photography. Bon (Bonheur Chenaux) has inspired me a bit, and I got some attention becoming a finalist in a photography competition at WOI. That has kind of opened up a whole new world to me, and I've been busy getting things together for upcoming shows at galleries I've been invited to show at.

SW: Tell us about the Neart competition coming up.
BL: Sio (Sioban McMahon) wanted us to do something for the Festival of Saint Patrick. St. Patrick's week, of course, is a really big deal for West of Ireland, as you can imagine. So Cip (Cipriano Grut) and I sat down and started brainstorming to try to come up with a format that would be fast and fun and, most of all, encourage new surfers to compete. We'll see how it goes over, but I think we have come up with something that meets our goals. It should be a lot of fun. If it works out well, we can expect some more similar competitions. Colleen has already spoke with me about something similar at Tsunami, and we think it will be possible to strong arm Wil (Wilfrid DeCuir) into hosting one. Wil doesn't read SurfWatch, does he? We'll use our womanly wiles on him - he's a softie at heart.

SW: Anything else you'd like to add?
BL: Gosh, you have asked a lot. I can't think of much more. Oh, one more thing. It's always good luck to tickle the marshall's feet before every heat, and to save your gum on the board of the surfer next to you in the line up (giggles).

Check the Announcements and Calendar sections for more information on the St. Pat's Pro-Am Surf Competition and Bobbi's gallery showings.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sons of Beaches - Revisited

Submitted by Kantbe Thursday

I'm pleased to announce with this post and its updates to how to find SL (Second Life) surfing spots,  that Surfwatch’s Wave Report web site is back in action thanks to Tauri Tigerpaw being back in SL. It’s been updated again and can be another way to find surfing venues. You can also get to the Wave Report by clicking on a link that’s in the Surfwatch blog’s main page sidebar on the right.

Last July, Cierra Theriac's  Virtual Surfside blog published an article on how to find surfing venues in SecondLife. Since that time, a couple of more options have become available, Wave Report has been resurrected, and one has been discontinued and replaced with a new way of finding things. The July post is still a good reference for Linden Labs’ Destination Guide and the free Surfing Community Teleport Board provided by Clairebear (tclairetbeart.aeon).  

Denise Foxtrot  has designed and made freely available an SLSA information sign that includes several other informational resources in addition to a list of surfing sims. The sign has a weathered board theme with different pictures and a couple of size formats.

The shark warning sign on Solace Dreams that has been used for distributing a list of public surfing sims since 2009 has been replaced by a new multi-sim teleporting and notecard giver sign created by Denise Foxtrot. This sign takes the same list of LM’s (landmarks) that have been distributed in the Surfwatch surfing sim list and builds a TP (transport) sign that let’s you scroll through the list of LM’s and select one for a TP.  It also provides a copy of the “Simlist” notecard if you prefer keeping a copy of the list in your Inventory. The coolest thing about this new sign is that multiple copies of the sign can be distributed all over the grid by anyone who wants a copy. When an update is made to a central content server, an updated sign with the new list of LM’s and an updated notecard is automagically sent to everyone who has one of these signs. There’s no need to go to another distribution sign to pick up a copy, or depend upon someone without a stellar memory (er, that'd be me) remembering to send you an updated list. If you’d like a copy of this sign, please IM Kantbe Thursday.

 With all of these options, I still can’t over emphasize the LL Destinations Guide option. This could be the most frequently accessed way people new to surfing try to find a surfing spot. Doing an inworld search on "surfing" is unreliable because so many people put this in the keywords of their sim's description even though they don't provide surfing waves. Years ago, the SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) Board of Directors worked for months with Linden Labs to help promote community development. Having a category in Destinations Guide was one of the things that resulted from this work. This is primarily intended for use by the surfing spot owner. Also part of the Destinations Guide is Featured Events.  If you have an event, like a multi-grid surf off, or a week long "get to know SL surfing" that's open to everyone, it could be a candidate for a Destinations Guide Featured Event.  If you have a sim you’d like listed and are having trouble navigating their submission requirements, drop an IM (instant message) to Kantbe Thursday who can help you get your sim listed.

Lava Flow at Tsunami

Is that lava flow in the distance?  Check it out for yourself at Tsunami Beach (131, 99, 21) Moderate

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Shark Surfing

Kris Marley, former SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) Director and 2017 Top 3 Surfer, out to tame a wild shark at Solace Dreams beach.  Is this new way of surfing a possibility for the next SLSA surfing competition?