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?
Desirae: 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.
SurfWatch: 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.
SurfWatch: What had you most nervous, the conditions, the other competitors?
Desirae: Oh my... I am nervous every competition. That´s me! [laughs]
SurfWatch: 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]
SurfWatch: 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.
SurfWatch: 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!
SurfWatch: Who or what got you turned on to surfing?
Desirae: Bobbi brought me in. She was the one who showed me what to do, and she did it all the time.
SurfWatch: Any particular maneuver that you think helped you score points?
Desirae: [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?
Desirae: 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.