Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Learning to Surf in SL

submitted by Frankie Edon

For those of you out there aimlessly wandering Second Life (SL), stop what you're doing and head to The North Shore at Fairhaven, or HummingBird Point. It's time for you to discover surfing. You'll not only ride just about every board out there on these two sims but also meet some of the most friendly surfers around.

I've only been hanging around the surf community since January 2018, and in the last 4 months, I've gone from being thrown on a board with a crash course in the basics, to competing, teaching and now writing about surfing. It's become my biggest passion in SL, and I love nothing more than introducing people, especially longtime friends, to the sport.

Checking out the waves and getting a lesson as the lesson begins
Recently a friend of mine, Nina (Nina Nightshade), came back to SL from a long hiatus and was getting the lay of land, seeing who was where and what people were doing. Seizing the opportunity to share the waves with another person, we made a plan to meet up and surf.

When the day came, Nina decided to leave the Swimmies on the beach and trust in my passion and guidance. She had only ever seen surfing, taken photos of people doing it but never tried to surf herself. We've known each other for years now, and I know what she can handle so I threw her on the HP5 straight away, similar to but not exactly the way the owner of HummingBird Point, Shi (Shilow Carter), did to me.

Paddling into the first wave of the day
Riding smooth on her first wave
When teaching new people how to surf, I will try to break it down as simply as possible. Ask what controls/keys they use, then get them first moving and turning on a board before breaking into advanced maneuvers and tricks. Nina did say that it was, "sort of overwhelming at first, but it made me even more curious, and I couldn't wait to try it myself."   I kept rattling on different instructions in chat but then also would take the time to demonstrate everything I am talking about and a bit more. As Nina said, "watching a demonstration helps to get an idea what you can do, but doing it yourself is different." I think that right there is the key.  Give the student some guidance and show them what they can do. You want to inspire a love and give them a challenge so they keep at it.

Learning the handstand on the surfboard
As the morning progressed, it was obvious Nina was a natural. Turns, tricks, airs and control of the HP5 were all coming through. She was motivated and excited to keep at it, "it's a nice change from what you usually do.  More active and something you can practice while having a good time with friends."

Isn't that what it is all about? Spending time with an awesome community? Being part of a team? That's truly when everything is awesome.

At the end of the day, I asked Nina about what she would tell the person who is new to Second Life, spends their time wandering aimlessly through terrible clubs, nude beaches and asking people for lindens, about surfing. "Well... there's more to Second Life than terrible clubs and for surfing you don't need a single linden. So, beach and surf more, worry less. I wish somebody would have kidnapped me to a beach and shown me surfing earlier."

I, too, wish that someone would have taken me surfing earlier on in my Second Life but I am glad I finally found it and have not been happier since. The community, the sport, the fun, and just everything about it is what I have been searching for in my 11 years on the Grid, and now that I've found it, I'm not going anywhere.

See you on the water!

1 comment:

Frankie Edon said...

Happy to see this out in the world!