Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Legends Series: INTERVIEW - Robin Coche (Originally Posted 4/8/2008)

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".

By Tauri Tigerpaw. Exclusive to SurfWatch.

With a rez day of one year fast approaching, Robin Coche is an active member of the Second Life surfing community. Although she's currently not on the competition circuit due to real life obligations, Robin is the enthusiastic surf instructor at Majini Island. Surfwatch was able to squeeze in some time in with her between lessons to talk about surfing and the Bishara Surf School.

SurfWatch: Can you tell us a little bit about how the surf school started?

Robin: VW Sands [now Bishara Resorts Estate Manager] and I have known each other more or less from our rez in Second Life . We met on a beach, and I was fascinated by his profile quote, "boneheads and bitchy girls, don´t bother". So I made contact. We spent a load of time doing crazy things like skydiving onto moving objects like killer whales and crabs from 8,000 meters; also dropping unloved politicians into volcanoes or feeding them to the sharks!

Neither of us can remember where we started surfing. It was either Bundoran or Bishara, before Majini came into being. Bishara was one of the hardest beaches to surf - a pipe, short and sweet, and just to get me really frustrated, fluffies that pushed one into a corner. This is where I got my first board (Namiko/Bamboo). Sometime last year, we had the idea of starting a surf school on Bishara and thanks to the owner, Dumisani Ah, it was quickly realised. Shortly afterwards, I was asked whether I would like to take on a job as lifeguard on another beach. I was able to help newcomers to surf and also protect them, and myself, from griefers (having been caged and assaulted previously). Doing this job gave me a great opportunity to surf. I had already got a GR board.

At the end of 2007 I left the sim. I was burnt out and needed a rest. During all this time, VW and I had stayed in contact. I had been doing a lot of surfing on La Bahia. It was a lovely, lonely beach with triple pipes where I could regenerate myself. I asked the owner, Flynn Sheridan, at some point whether he could use me as a lifeguard or something similar. Unfortunately, as many of us know, Flynn is taking a break from SL, so I asked indirectly whether VW could use me. I ran a trial lesson on 13th March and was more or less thrown into the deep-end. The feedback was positive which convinced me that (VW willing) I had made the right decision!

SurfWatch: What are some of the challenges for you in your new role?

Robin: I will be the third instructor after VW and Slave (Lacey), so it´s not really starting, more like joining again. As to my goals, I want to initially help new surfers on the beach, show them what surf is about. It´s a passion, but we do it for fun - hey - who cares if we belly out! I do it every day, annoying, but a fact as we search for the perfect wave. And for me, very important is surf etiquette. Lots of people come here thinking this is a game, want all, but aren´t prepared to give. Our surf world is about giving and taking. We aren´t here to take all. The perfect wave will come. Patience for all of us. Secondly, I would like to show advanced surfers what we can achieve together. I think the circuit can only benefit from our knowledge of the waves and, of course, our keyboards.

SurfWatch: What's your favorite wave? How do you like to approach a wave?

Robin: Difficult. I love the pipe. It runs fast, which means I have to react faster. And then again, the Epic is more challenging. It has lag - needs a different tactic. And fluffies are damned fast. I tend to ignore the fluffies unless I want to get out into the surf.

My secret? [smiles] I guess I´m a maverick - just like to surf. Love to surf upside down.

SurfWatch: Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?

Robin: It´s great to be back here. It makes me feel really warm. We are planning one hell of a birthday party, VW and I. We will rip the waves, plus red, red wine and reggae.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Artfully Created Kanaloa Surf Beach!

Submitted by Opal Rivers

Kanaloa Surf Beach, Poison Apple (172,125,21) – Moderate

This beach was created with a masterful hand, and yet using the restraint that only a true artist can achieve.  Your arrival point dunks you in the water, but a short wade through the water to the shore will not hurt anyone.  Besides, that’ll teach you not to teleport to a beach sim with high heels on.  Kanaloa Surf Beach has a gentle motion of the tide, the gulls flying overhead, and the soothing sounds of the shore all make this beach one for your landmark files.  This simplistic beach has the most realistic sand texture that I have seen in Second Life (SL).  The beach vibe is artfully created to portray a realistic beach for surfers to enjoy, with no lag or long rezzing to be found. 
There are many unique features of this beach.  First and foremost are the waves.  They are Maoli Tahiti Break.  The ample surf area is a smooth ride for all surfers on the multiple waves that run with a good frequency.   You must be a group member to rez a surf board.  However, there are multiple surf board rezzers for everyone to enjoy.  The buildings and social gathering areas are an eclectic mix of beach-worn buildings to tropical grass huts.  There are even a few strategically located abandoned locomotive engines around the sim.  Even the beach loungers are uniquely creative.  All these areas create social gathering areas to inspire the gathering of surfers and friends after a long day of enjoying the waves.  There is this unique carousel that looks harmless enough, until it starts to move at full speed.  I wish I would have held on tightly.   Next to this is the hip hop club that is actively used. The name of the nightclub on the sim is Club Sole.  There is also a landmark board to teleport to the store associated with the group called the Sole Shop.  Here there are many freebies for group members.  The owner of the sim is a Japanese avatar named Wataru ShoreI managed to have a brief interview with him despite the language difficulties.  Wataru explained to me that he loves the ocean and is a real live surfer.  It was his intention to create a realistic sim with wonderful waves for people to enjoy.  Enjoyable is the best word for this sim.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Mess to Mesh: SurfWatch Resident Part 1

Photos courtesy Maxwell Silvansky

SurfWatch Resident just recently made a reappearance into Second Life (SL) after several years, and she was in for a very rude awakening!  Mesh you say?  How the heck does that work?  And what does that all cost? What about all my other clothes and hair and skins and shapes and shoes and...

Time for an upgrade!  Join us as we take SurfWatch from Mess to Mesh!  We'll show you how to save linden and see what you can do to upgrade to mesh using available freebies.  Keep watching for From Mess to Mesh Part 2!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Random Dance Party at Solace Beach Tuesday!

photo courtesy Moira (venera74)

photo courtesy Opal Rivers

photo courtesy Opal Rivers

Never Too Old to Take a Wave...

Once or twice a lifetime, you meet those people that you never forget.  One of those people appeared early in 2009 - that lovable, wacky grandma who shocked everyone by hitting the waves and hanging ten like she had been born on a board. 

She was remembered for baking those special cupcakes for all the surfers, then beating them to the swells for a day of curls.

I remember it like it was yesterday...Grandma would hit the sand pulling her board behind her in a rolling cart.  She'd remove her shoes and unpeel her support hose, digging her arthritic toes in the sand.

Grandma Barnside would tell us stories of her younger early surf days in Hawaii with the Duke when she invented surfing, carving boards out of fallen palm trees.

 Grandma Barnside hasn't been seen since early 2011.  I picture her having finished another day of surf, dozing in some cozy chair near a fire eating those special cupcakes and dreaming of her Duke days and the spray of the ocean.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Surferazzi Strikes...

The surferazzi are all over the beach these days.  Who knows what unsuspecting photos will show up?  Be forwarned - the surferazzi can be anywhere!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Legends Series: INTERVIEW -- Desirae Beaumont (Originally Posted 6/19/2008)

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".

By Tauri Tigerpaw. Exclusive to SurfWatch.

New to the Second Life Surfing Association's surfing competition circuit this year, some people must have been wondering whether Desirae Beaumont's second place in April's Surfline competition was simply a flash in the pan. Desirae proved last weekend that it wasn't by winning the SLSA Thor Bishop Short Board Pro surfing competition at El Corazon. SurfWatch caught up with Desirae earlier this week to ask her about the competition and Second Life surfing in general.

SurfWatch: What was your strategy going in to El Corazon?

I knew that it was something about control. Staying on the wave at first then trying not to belly. And trying to do tricks, but without dropping. A controlled ride. I guess did the right thing.

How would you sum up your strengths and weaknesses
at El Corazon?
Desirae: Weakness... well, I really had a hard time controlling my nerves. It was like, oh my god! My heart was beating faster each heat but after the first wave in the final, my nervousness was gone. The first wave was a blast. Then by the third, I was sure I could win. Four waves and one belly. I was sure that I wouldn´t drop off the wave, but I did start bellying in the semis.

What had you most nervous, the conditions, the other competitors?

Desirae: Oh my... I am nervous every competition. That´s me! [laughs]

So, what went right for you at El Corazon?

Desirae: I felt comfortable with the short run and the small wave.
I was absolutely sure that I would stay on the wave. I knew what to do. I figured out how to avoid it, and the board did what I wanted. I had no real problems with the lag, so the controls worked fine for me.I was at El Corazon twice before the competition and once some months ago. I had no real problems there.

SurfWatch: So really, nothing went wrong for you there at this last competition?
Desirae: I was a bit late... this was my only real problem. I was taking a nap and woke up 15 minutes before the heat! [laughs]

Who were you watching as your closest competition?

Desirae: Was there anyone who was not close?
Pova [Rustamova], for sure. Craig [Stallion], Colleen [Brennan], and a lot others. Some had bad luck. Devi [DevinnaToll] or VW [Sands], Abel [Halderman] -- it was pretty close. Three waves each on this short run. But see, I was not worried, because I didn't watch them and stayed focused on my surfing.

What board did you use?

Desirae: The Reaction Sunny board.

SurfWatch: How long have you been surfing, and how long competing?

Desirae: My first wave... it must have been around October 2007. I watched my first competition in ...hmmmmmmmmm.... September 2007, I guess, at Heliopolis. Then the final competition in October. I tried surfing with Bobbi Laval's old board. My first competition was the Triple Crown last year. I competed in the SLSA season in Jan 2008 for the first time.

SurfWatch: What was that like for a first competition?
Desirae: I felt so noob-ish [laughs]. All those experienced guys... jeez! Well... I am still new. It was a blast to reach a semi final, let alone win!

Who or what got you turned on to surfing?

Bobbi brought me in. She was the one who showed me what to do, and she did it all the time.

: Any particular maneuver that you think helped you score points?

[laughs] Let me tell you one fact: the big change was surfing with Ritch Goalpost for about two hours at Heliopolis shortly before he went off Second Life. He showed and told me a few things. I was trying to copy others. He told me that I should ride my own style - controlled, and this was the change.

SurfWatch: Any advice for new surfers?

Desirae: Never give up. I was so close to doing so, so often.

SurfWatch: Anything to add?

: I really appreciate the help and support I had from Bobbi, Ritch and Cip, especially during the time when I was thinking about giving up. And the support I had from the Reef Riders team and West of Ireland. I am happy to be in a team that is about charity and no-profit. This is one of the things that makes sense in Second Life.