Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Legends Series: INTERVIEW - Flynn Sheridan (originally posted 3/22/2008)

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.

SurfWatch was able to catch up with Flynn Sheridan prior to his leave of absence from Second Life to talk about surfing, business and La Bahia.

Well known as a founder and director of the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA), a surfing old
timer and co-owner of La Bahia, Flynn has been in Second Life for 'a year and some', as he calls it, and has been instrumental in building both the association and the surfing community that stands behind it. We caught up with Flynn before the Easter break to talk about his early days, surfing experience and some of his current projects:

We all know you're a co-owner of La Bahia, but any other projects you want to talk about?
Well, as La Bahia is now about to close, not much to say there. I did open a line of surfboards called wrd Surfboards (yep those are baby letters). wrd stands for wave rider designs, a group (Wave Riders) I founded while I was managing Hedonistic Isles surf area. I am very proud of these designs, because I had to learn photoshop to do them and I think I created a great set of classic designs. And I love the fractals too. Fractals are the geometry of nature.

My favorite board is the Water board, using the Chinese character for water and the slogan "gotta flow". Whether on a wave or as we go through life you gotta flow. Resisting or forcing energy just does not work.

How did you get started as a surfer?
Total fluke. By the end of the first month of Second Life I was close to bailing out, but I just started renting a place in Den Isle and jumped off my skybox to free-fall into, well... whatever was down there. I landed in a lagoon next to a beach and on that beach were waves... surfboards were there, too. So naturally I tried to use one and couldn't. Search came up with a few and, of course, my first "board" was not an Heather Goodliffe... nevertheless, I learnt quick. The next day I bought the Wooden Budda.

So now I have a HG board, and begin surfing at Den Isle... fluffies. Surfed there for a week straight, a couple of hours each day. I was in heaven! Then I started hopping the spots that Heather has on the notecard that comes with her boards. Chi was the sweet spot for me.

What would you call your surfing style and where did you learn it?
I'm self taught. Honestly, just watching other surfers inspires me to figure out how to do things and to discover things nobody else knows [chuckles]. Christine Daffodil told me about using the c/w keys to crouch stand to 'surf' up to a wave, but the rest of what I know is from watching and then messing around. That is how I discovered my signature board-flip trick, using the w/e keys to do a standing board flip. I just started playing with the keys, trying this and that to see what I could make them do. That is probably the coolest thing I have done surfing in SL... well, it the thing I am proudest of... gotta flow!

SurfWatch: When did you start entering surf comps and what made you want to start?
Flynn: Namiko Pro at Chi, sponsored by Keala Mimistrobell, was the first SL surfing comp (March 24th 2007). A week after I learned to surf, I knew I wanted to compete in events. Heather said Keala was going to put something together, and I talked to her to see if and how I could help. By the 1st week of March 2007, I was building the beach at Hedonistic Isles, later called Kahuna Beach in a naming contest won by Thor Bishop, and convinced Phelan James to buy Epic waves. We held the 3rd Namiko Competition.

SurfWatch: What advice would you give new surfers?
Flynn: It's not about tricks. Its how you use tricks or moves to create flow while riding a wave. Mind you, you have to practice those tricks so much that they become second nature, but tricks are just that... tricks. If you look at the top surfers, they have moved beyond just doing tricks and flow as they move into and out of them. You'll know when you get there.
Lastly, let go of the stress. Surfing is supposed to be fun, even if its competition surfing. Everyone gets butterflies, but if you find yourself stressing out... get out. Its better to find the joy in surfing, rather than it creating tension. Tension creates resistance in the flow...

SurfWatch: What are your favourite beaches?
Flynn: I have surfed all the public surf spots in Second Life, and many of the private places as well. La Bahia was my favourite, and will be again before we sell it (now that all the rentals are gone). Of course, I am biased. But it is unique in SL surfing areas. Most places have a Polynesian theme, and La Bahia is Baja and Southern California. It was the first place to have three pipes, where you could, if you caught the right set, ride all three. Heliopolis is awesome for pipe (and fluffies), all around the best surf spot in Second Life; low lag, two pipes, and a great pier to shoot. Majini is the best Epic.

SurfWatch: What are your favorite things about surfing?
The peace that comes when I am flowing on a wave. The people and community.

SurfWatch: What music pumps you up for surfing?
Oh yeah... music is part of the flow: grooving is essential. My brothers from Cali... Rage Against the Machine - Renegades of Funk, Green Day - Holiday, and Sublime - Garden Grove when I compete; or Cake, Jack Johnson, and the Talking Heads, just to begin a long list, when I am not.

SurfWatch: What got you interested in co-owning your own surf sim? What was involved in starting up La Bahia?
Flynn: Fate, a good friend and a wonderful wife. You'd have to ask Cierra she did most of the work, I bought the waves and placed them in the ocean my job was done [laughs] .

SurfWatch: We all know your involvement with the SLSA and the Hall of Fame, but anything you want to add about that that you think people may not already know?
Flynn: I think that most people don't know how much Cierra Theriac did while she was a director. She helped me pull together and write the foundations of the SLSA rulebook. Until she left office she made all the banners, rashies, and competitor packages. She set up the SLSA website, creating the layout and content, and kept it all up to date until long after she left office. And she marshalled at two competitions. Yep all of that was the wonderfully unspoken and often unnoticed grunt work that takes hours to do but is essential for the party to happen. It was a hell of a lot more than I ever did, and yet she has been in the shadow by my limelight. So I thank you publicly, "Cierra, Thank you!"

SurfWatch: Tell us a little bit about your video site.
Again that was part Cierra and part Portia Roelofs. Cierra knows Jellybean Madison. Jelly and HawksRock Gunawan do some some incredible machinima in Second Life. Cierra has been in a couple of vids and I got to play a bartender in one too. Anyway, Portia was looking for someone to help her create a surfing vid when she ran for SLSA Director. I suggested Jelly and wow! what an incredible video. I saw Colleen Brennan spin across the wave and was "how the f*** did she do that?" That jumpstarted me into re-exploring my surfing technique and when I discovered my signature board-flip.

During this time I wanted to video myself and see what I was doing. A week later I shot vid of Cierra and put them both on Youtube, later most of my videos went on Vimeo in HD. So I started searching Youtube for more surfing videos. As it turns out Jelly and Hawks shot some video of Thor at TWC months earlier. It was so good to see him again. It was then that I knew that this was something that needed to be done. One thing led to another, and the Reef Riders were at
La Bahia practicing for the Majini Comp, I think I spent 3 or 4 hours shooting vid that day. I was hooked!

SurfWatch: What is it you want people to know about what's going on right now?
Although I am totally bummed that La Bahia is closing down. Life goes on and though I might be gone for a while, I'll be back.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Nope! But since I have this forum... I want to shout out to the 8-ballers! That was the best day I had surfing in Second Life!

Friday, July 14, 2017

SurfWatch Fashion Focus: Cynful

Submitted by Valerie Lavender

There's more to the Second Life (SL) surf scene than the wave.  Beaches are full of dudes and babes checking each other out and checking out the latest in beach fashion.  Stay tuned for Valerie's regular series on SurfWatch Beach Fashion.

Hi Fashionistas! 

I found this bikini at one of my favorite shops called CYNFUL and it's in one of the popular colors - which is - NUDE or TAN.  You can choose from a multitude of colors or buy a fatpack.

Name of Bikini:  [CYNFUL] Poolside Bikini
Shoes:  JD "Cult Lacquered" - Nude
Model:  Valerie Lavender
(Bundy Reef Surf Community)
Hair:  DeLa - BeBe in Blondes
Head:  CATWA AnnaGrey
Appliers:  Dee Tale Z Catwa Head Face Gaby Mixed Type
Body:  Maitreya Lara 3.5
Shape:  Custom by Nash

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Legends Series: INTERVIEW - Wilfrid DeCuir (Originally Posted 12/10/2008)

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.

Wilfrid DeCuir's biggest hurdle last season was taking part in enough competitions, only making it to Surfline and El Corazon and coming 18th in the 2008 Season I table. This season is a whole different story, with Wil taking first place at Boneyard, Chi and Majini. He only came 5th at Morant Cays, but Wil has done plenty enough this season to earn the number one spot in the table and as the SLSA Pepo Pipe Longboard competition approaches he has 3,350 points and almost a thousand point lead over second place surfer Desirae Beaumont.

SurfWatch: How did you get started?
Wilfrid DeCuir: An old friend, Tistan Micheline, brought me out surfing in early October of 2007, and although I was a bit reluctant at first, I bought my first board, non-epic Namiko Shoalin, that I still have and take out every once in a while for old times sake on the fluffies. All I can say is that I got hooked. I was also going through some personal issues in real life at that time and surfing kept me going. I then spent a lot of time fighting the pipes and flying on the fluffies at Flynn Sheridan's old sim, La Bahia and got to know both Flynn and Cierra (Theriac) , two of the best people you can ever meet. Other memorable moments was when I also found Majini - great surf - and got my second board there, FAKT. What I enjoyed the most from those early days was the chilling by the camp fire with a bunch of new friends - you (Tauri Tigerpaw), Monq (Pinklady), Slave (Lacey), VW (Sands) and so many more to name. You know who you are and I hold you all close to me.

SurfWatch: Who taught you?
Wilfrid: I never took any lessons, never had a teacher, I'm a self taught surfer. But every once in a while, Flynn would give me a tip that I would then incorporate into the style that I now have. I remember Flynn showing me a video he made, and one of the surfers in that vid was Bobbi Laval. I said to myself, "I want to surf like that one day". So I guess watching Bobbi surf inspired me to get better.

SurfWatch: What made you want to start competing?
Wilfrid: I always told myself that I would never compete, I surf for fun. But after much convincing from another good surf friend, Ariana Talaj, where we used to rip Black Rock Harbor together, I entered Surf Jam 3 at Majini, surfing pipes. Not too long after that, I met Abel Halderman where he got me to join Team Tsunami, then got to surf in my first SLSA comp.

SurfWatch: What advice would you give new surfers today?
Wilfrid: The best thing I can say to all the new surfers out there is to just go out and surf. Surf every day, and surf to have fun, not to compete. Competing is only a small part of surfing. And get used to feeling those waves.

SurfWatch: Where do you consider to be the best surfing beaches in Second Life and why?Wilfrid: [laughs] I'm going to be biased here and say my own, Thetis Bahia. But seriously, Majini will always have a special spot for me, I don't know why, the places vibes... [laughs] I love any beach where you can take your board out group free and just go out there and surf.

SurfWatch: Where do you spend most of your time surfing?
Wilfrid: Currently been spending more time at Pepo getting ready for Dec 13th. Otherwise you can find me at Thetis Bahia, at Majini, or on the fluffies at Topanga Canyon which is the sim I got Kimmy (Jigsaw) and I as our wedding present.

SurfWatch: What are your favorite things about Second Life surfing?
Wilfrid: The freedom it gives you, being in the water and one with the wave, feeling its energy, that's the rush. But most of all, it's the people.

SurfWatch: What's your favorite wave?
Wilfrid: My favorite waves are fluffies. For all waves, I like to approach them sideways, having my board parallel to it as it comes and picks me up.

SurfWatch: What board do you use now and why?
Wilrid: I have all kinds of boards and they are all great, but since this summer I've taken a liking to SSi based boards. I find they give me good control in the pipes, excellent air time on the Epic, and they rawk on the fluffies. But like I mentioned earlier about my old Shaolin, I like to take out some of my old boards again every once in a while.

Do you have a favorite or trademark maneuver?

Wilfrid: Yes, I think I have a trademark maneuver, some kind of barrel roll. I have no name for it, and my style comes from just being out there on the water all the time since I'm self taught.

SurfWatch: What music pumps you up for a competition, if any?
Wilfrid: I love to listen to the new rock on the XRM stream. If I happen to be on a sim with no XRM, I start winamp and stream it from there! [laughs] That pumps me up. Then with less then an hour before the competition, I like to cuddle on the beach with my wife, Kimmy, as we watch and count the waves together while in voice as we both energize ourselves from each other and the waves.

SurfWatch: What got you interested in owning your own surf sim?
Wilfrid:I don't know, after I found this passion, the idea of having my own sim was always there brewing in the back of my head. Then after a few various circumstances went sour, it was time to get one going with the idea of providing the most lag free sim around that rawks, minimal content but still provide more fun stuff to do other then surfing. I named it Thetis Bahia for two reasons. The first one is after Flynn Sheridan for when he used to have La Bahia as I see him as my sempai (senior). And Thetis comes from my private group of friends since it's part of our sim's name. These people are my Second Life family and my support group when I'm bummed [laughs].

SurfWatch: Any other interests you want to talk about?
Wilfrid: During the summer after I got Thetis Bahia going, I wanted to dabble a bit with board texturing. I got to learn Photoshop real quick, came up with 10 designs, got a hold of Heather (Goodliffe) and created the TSS line of boards. I currently have other interests now, like growing the relationship with my Second Life wife, Kimmy: let's say that if it wasn't for surfing, I never would have met Kimmy. But later on I would like to come up with 10 more textures and also modify the size and shape of my next line of boards.

SurfWatch: Any last words?
Wilfrid: Just want to say thank you for all the support from everyone in the community. This season is quite overwelming considering my standing. Kind of got me by surprise. And everyone made it easy for me to stay level headed. Surf everday my padiwans, feel its force, be one with it (bad Star Wars humour [laughs].

Useful links
SurfWatch: Wilfrid widens his lead (20 Oct 08)
SurfWatch: Top surfers vie for Chi title (17 Oct 08)
SurfWatch: Wilfrid DeCuir tops new table (18 Aug 08)
SurfWatch: Wilfrid DeCuir wins TCH Surf Open (5 Jul 08)
SLURL: Boneyard
SLURL: Chi Island
SLULR: Majini Island
SLURL: Morant Cays
SLURL: Pepo Island

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bluff Cove - The Diamond of Surfing Gems

Submitted by Opal Rivers

Join the pages of SurfWatch as we explore Opal's Gems of Second Life (SL) surf sims.

If you want a beach where the surfers hang out, then don’t miss Bluff Cove located at Bluff Cove (127,205,26) - Moderate on the Second Life (SL) grid.  This popular surf beach, created by Cierra Theriac and Flynn Sheridan, is a moderate sim that has an outstanding vibe.  Cierra is a long time SL resident and one of the founding members of the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA).
Picture by Cierra Theriac
 A family-friendly spot, has simple to follow rules; no nudity, and no motorized vehicles. 
I love this simple but pristine beach, mostly because of the picturesque sailboat visible in the distant ocean.  It seriously makes me want to drink rum. 
Picture by Cierra Theriac
The icy blue waters have multiple surf waves that come often and mix with fluffies giving an exciting ride.  Those rocks at the edge of the surf area will slice your AV up to bloody pieces.  It very important for the lifeguard on duty to keep a vigilant shark watch.  There is also a quick rez time and low lag experience, which is also helping the fabulousness of the beach. 

Joining the free group associated with the sim will earn you the Bluff Cove Surfer tag.  The group states the Bluff Cove is home to Wave Rider Designs (WRD). It’s certain that the WRD surfboard shop (173,194,27) is a great place to buy a surfboard.  The designs created by Flynn are unique and classy.  I particularly appreciate the fractal-like designs on some of them.
There is everything at Bluff Cove that one would expect to find on an excellent surf beach.  A rez area for your own boards and multiple boards rezzers allow you to ride the waves on new boards.  The bluffs that surround the sim support many great features, like a picturesque lighthouse.  This area has great views to watch sunrises.
Picture by Cierra Theriac
There are many areas for cute couple meeting places that would be great to get to know a friend at.  My favorite spot is the extra tall lifeguard stand giving a great view of the surfers riding the waves.  Another notable spot is the deck where you can grab a beer and wait to see if anyone dares to ride the metal swan.  Based on the intensity of the waves and the top-heavy nature of the metal swan, it would seem the unfortunate AV would go for a dip in the ocean.  This might be a great photo opportunity if I were more paparazzi-like.

As you look around, you realize that Bluff Cove is neighbors with other long-time prominent beach sims like Bundy Reef Surf Community, Chi, and Tai.  These are some great beaches to mesh with, and Bluff Cove rises to the occasion and more.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kantbe Serious: Kantbe Found (1 of 7)

Submitted by Kantbe Thursday

We’re beginning a new series of posts that we hope will be interesting and fun for everyone.  We’re going to post a series of pictures of what may be some lesser known spots on pretty well known surfing locations.  Each picture will have a hint about it’s location.  The series will conclude with a review of all the pictures again with the location of each included.

Hope you have fun with this and get a chance to explore to find them.  So let’s get the party started.  Here’s the first one:

Hint:  If you look hard enough, you might find a Hole in the Wall.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Who's Hanging Out At...

Who's hanging out at:  Frozen Banana (40, 77, 21) - General - Fruit Islands Public Beach & Surfing Area

Meet Bonno Bilavio who hangs out at Fruit Islands.  What is he up to there?  "I love surfing and water sports but I like to sit and enjoy the view and the waves."  Awesome waves there, Bonno!  Surf on!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The New Event Calendar!

Thanks to Solsty Kismet's brilliant idea, SurfWatch has now added an Event Calendar to the sidebar!  Check it out - your event can be seen with today's latest SurfWatch post!  Be sure to let Solsty Kismet know your event date, time and place, and we'll get it added to the schedule!  DJ, competition, performance, wedding, whatever you have going on, we want to share it with the readers of SurfWatch!

Michael Jackson Concert at Solace Beach

Photos courtesy MaryAnn Maa

Solace Dreams, Solace Beach in the sky was the location of Saturday night's amazing Michael Jackson Moonwalker tribute concert also featuring singer Viviana Houston!  In this fundraising event for the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA), Michael Jackson arrived via spacecraft to a packed location, standing room only, and performed all the hits you would expect to an adoring crowd!