The Legends Series: Heather Goodliffe Speaks at SurfWatch 2 Year Anniversary Celebration March 3, 2010

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":

(Condensed from Heather Goodliffe's presentation at SurfWatch's 2 Year Anniversary Party
March 3, 2010).

Heather Goofliffe:
Alright, well, hello fellow surfers and a big Thanks to the Surfwatch crew for inviting me to speak at the 2 year aniversary party! It's been a little while since I've talked to so many people. I think the last time was at the opening of the HoF (Hall of Fame). Going with the text chat tonight, hope that works for people. Hard to believe it's been so long. If you guys don't mind, I was thinking I might talk about how it all started since it's something people ask Seb (Sebastian Saramago) and I pretty often.

Well...for my part, I first joined SL (Second Life) shortly after it started many, many years ago out of curiosity. Almost 5 years ago in fact. Being an old IRC junkie from way back in the day, and I've always had a passion for building things, it seemed like an amazing opportunity to connect with people and be creative. As soon as I logged in, I was hooked.  When I first got to SL, I met a lot of amazing people, including Yadni (Monde) the creator of Yadni's junkyard and Dane Zander, the creator of The Lost Gardens of Apollo. I LOVE that place. One of the most AMAZING people I met happened to be Seb. But first, let me go back a little bit...

When I first started, I was either exploring everything I could or in the sandboxes all day. The one thing that struck me the most out of everywhere I went was that there were NO WAVES?! Being an San Diego native, that was something I just couldn't have... it was just wrong for sure. Tripped me out even!  SO of course I set about making some waves. Figured, why not? (smiles and winks).
The amazing people I'd met for suggestions on how to go about it - unfortunately, not many people had much advice for me. Sorry, got excited there AND I actually couldn't find any sandboxes with water at the time, so I had to work on them where people would let me. Fortunately, one guy in particular felt the same way I did about the waves - maybe even more so. He was so ecstatic about the idea, he invited me to work on them at his place whenever I wanted. THAT guy was Seb.

The first set of waves we did were the foamy waves. As people probably know by now, they're a bit heavier on the sim. I think we probably crashed the sim on more than one occasion while working on the original version of those, SL being known for it's stability and all (smiles and winks). Another couple times, I had people IMing me from all across SL as the waves were flying across the mainland, more out of curiosity than upset.

In any case, while I was getting the waves working at Seb's place, Seb was already putting together the boards! Couldn't wait to see it happen. We had this idea and IT WAS GOING TO BE AMAZING!  Once you have waves, you gotta have SURF! That was a no brainer! At that point, though, I figured someone else must've done something already, so I went looking around SL for other surfboards to see if there was someone we could work with. Kept buying these boards that turned out to be just for show. Finally, I found a few that weren't just for show, but they ended up pretty much being skateboards on water. A step up, but still not the AMAZING we were hoping for.  SO Seb and I set out to make some awesome boards that interacted with the waves. Just to get going, we threw in the linden boat script and started tweaking it. A few hundred hours later, after A LOT of trial and error over the course of many months, we had pretty much redone the whole thing. And that was the v1.0 of the boards

Seb ended up buying a half sim and then a full "water" sim ... Quan Li.  Some people might still know that one.  So, we kept at it for a while. Seb always teaching any newbie he could find to surf, especially the hotties.  Speaking of which, that was about the time we met up with Keala (Mimistrobel), another AMAZING person who a lot of you know. The shorts I have on today were made by her.  I think the Namiko boards are still some of the most popular.  That was the very first line of boards we did with another designer. Might even say enabling other designers probably wouldn't of happened if it weren't for her. With that, other amazing designers you guys are all familiar with were able to shape and design their own boards, working with us to make surfing even more amazing, not just with the boards, but the community as a whole.

We also ended up doing the pipelines at Quan Li. I have to admit, they initially sort of just started out as a... "I wonder what would happen if..." We didn't promote them in any way. People just kept asking for them until I was like "FINE", you can surf the pipelines!  We had a lot of fun, met a lot of amazing people. Seb and I just really enjoy what we do and wish we could spend all day doing it.  People sometimes call me the queen of surf, but I really have to give it to all the amazing people who have built up the surf community, like Surfwatch and the SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) and all the people who surf in the competitions.

I hadn't even gotten to how the first Epic waves came about but maybe that's a story for another day (smiles and winks).  Anyhow, I should leave it to Seb to talk about all the Amazingness we've been working on. It's hard with the little bit of time we get to work on it these days, but we both try to meet up at 8pm each night after we get home from work and work on making more amazing stuff. Seb's got some really amazing stuff going for the new Epics as well as some of the work we've been doing to make competitions better, but, we'll see (smile and winks).

I guess if anyone has any questions?, I am happy to answer. Otherwise, we can get back to partying, and I can stop embarasing myself up here.

Geof Romano: How cooperative do you find Linden Labs corprorate has been in supporting surfing in SL?
Heather Goodliffe: Geof, it's been mixed.  Can't throw them under the bus too much.
Geof Romano: And in the future, do you see improving maybe?
Heather Goodliffe: Saw the waves in an SL promo video once and a lot of the Linden's have got the boards and waves (smiles and winks).
Geof Romano: What about getting surfing in as a recreation in the "Start Zone"?
Heather Goodliffe: that would be amazing ;)

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