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Showing posts with label surfers bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surfers bay. Show all posts

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Surf Camp, Champs and the Surfing Community Keep Catching the Virtual Wave - Shiny Blackheart Reporting...

After years of Virtual Surfing appearing in Second Life, a robust community continues to surprise and inspire in a way that only virtual reality and the limitless creativity of the artists and residents of SL can conjure.



In the spring of 2007, a surf SIM called Chi, owned and created by Sally LaSalle organized the first ever SL surfing competition. The popularity and success led to the culmination of the Second Life Surfing Association formed to facilitate and formalize a growing community of surfers and events.

This past week the 2nd Annual Surf Camp, offered a comprehensive schedule of talks, workshops, and surf lessons that brought veteran wave riders and nervous newcomers alike together to explore surf life in SL.



“This particular event is not affiliated with any organization or team.” says its organizers.  “It is designed to unite the soul surfer, the novice, and the competitor in one mutual love of surfing. It's never too late to get involved! No fee or sign up, just show up to the below beach at the below time.”  The events took place at a few of the over 70 Sims, beaches and breaks SL virtual surfers can choose to explore.



The SL Surf Association’s SIM is a tropical island inspired SIM, with crystal blue waters, beautiful swells, sandy beaches, green palms, and fun shacks and hatched info huts and shops. Along with that casual beach-life-feel is a proud legacy expressed in the exposition and exhibitions at the SL Surfing Hall of Fame where a lineage of SL Surfing greats are honored and remembered as well as a detailed book of history about Second Life and virtual surfing’s co-creation.



 At a Surf Camp talk Mick Lunasea, a long-time RL and SL surfer, and an SL Surfing Hall of Fame inductee began the history talk saying, “In the beginning, God created the earth in 7 days according to the bible. Many god-like earthlings disagree. After attending a burning man festival, godlike Philip Rosendale created Linden Lab’s Second Life. By 2007 surfing arrived big time. It has taken years for all of us to create it.” 


 The surfing community is vibrant, expressive, and savvy. From highly developed tropical surf environments to just a fun wave tacked onto a water holding parcel, the surfing SIMs of SL demonstrate vast collaboration and creativity so every surfer can find different waves and communities to ride with.  The community has general, moderate, and adult locations with varying rules and guidelines. Some very family friendly, non-human/fantasy friendly, and others strictly human, adult, and even—unattired!


Recently spotlighted in SL Enquirer, Surfer's Bay VIP, owned and created by Duncan Blackburn, is an adult exotic beach surfing SIM that its group description says offers “adult fun, DJ’s and parties. Try surfing or explore the tropical island and meet new friends.”  But even with all the other possible activities, Persia Bravin, the SIM’s landscaper seems to have a special fondness for the surfing itself.

Bravin first surfed in Second Life precisely a decade ago in August 2008. Persia has also surfed in RL since childhood and admits she’s somewhat “obsessed with it [surfing]. A surfer and builder by vocation, she naturally sought the virtual surf beaches of SL, and at only four months old as an SL resident Ms Bravin had a full surfing SIM at a surf estate called JJ Lane where some early surf contests were held.


 Bravin can describe many changes from her decade of experience stating, “When I started surfing in SL, the waves and boards were made of prims. This meant extra lag and also less realism than we have now with mesh.”

Despite the tech and programming challenges, the surfing community still thrived, and there were frequent celebrations and events she recalls.  “Like anything in SL, surfing has evolved and many of the great SL surfers from those days are still here – and surfing,” she said.

The foundation created by the generations of surfers, SIMS, and technology swelled the development and continued growth of SL surfing, but it is the activity of surfing itself that is the fascination. Persia describes the attraction stating, “SL surfing offers you freedom and peace; when it is just you, alone, facing a huge wave…it can be very meditative and a great release from real life pressures.”



When asked what is so attractive about surfing Julz and Vally, the creatives and surfers behind the breathtaking, Indonesian inspired surf SIM, Cloudbreak, answer, “Simple. Riding the wave...nothing more...nothing less.”  Julz added,  “I really love the disconnect - you can't IM or email or text when surfing, it's you and the wave, it's the most peaceful part of my SL day.”

The set of waves at Cloudbreak are epic and keep on coming. The expansive pink-kissed sand meeting mirror-like turquoise waters, overshadowed by immersive jungle canopy is a surf location designed with surfers, creative and community in mind, says its creators and a visit fulfils expectations.

The innovation of waves and boards has created a more realistic, dynamic, and emotive surf experience in SL. Waves at SIMS  have much variety both in the type of wave and how they are arranged and randomly appear and oscillate, creating a variety of conditions and lengths of rides. Fluffy waves are small waves about 2-3 ft. high or there are waves like the Maverick, which are big and steep with a ripping, curling, face.


These factors along with a variety of boards with options for speed, manoeuvrability, and tricks give a rider the ability to personalize their ride and be creative with their expression on the wave much like RL surfing. Most SIMS have ‘rez points' where one can choose a board to appear there in the water for them to ride. Grab a C-3 for a good balance between control and dynamics, or select the coveted HP5, long since unavailable for purchase, for a high flying session of airs and dynamic tail sprays and cutbacks, like the LSD or choose the SSI for what surfer resident, Emma says, “is a pretty honest board and an equalizer.”



Most surfers tend to collect boards and many end up with a ‘quiver’, and at Surf Camp Mick set up his array of boards in a beautiful exposition of innovation and history of the board’s development over time. He even showed a board that was given out for free (to the chagrin of many SL surfboard dealers) by Linden during the 2011 Spring Break event. He called it a real ‘turkey’, and after surfing this board, this journalist verified and understood ‘turkey’ to mean ‘a poor performer.’




 The sun has set on this year’s Surf Camp but next years event is already in planning. Despite this, there are many opportunities to take lessons with group or private instructors. Major competitions are upcoming this month, and the many revellers of these SIMS are all practising their ride, partying, dancing and lounging on the miles and miles of sandy beaches.



To explore the world of SL Surfing use the most recent version of the Surf SIM List, available at the TP board at Solace or Bluff Cove or go to the SurfWatch Blog as well as some other places inworld.  A TP board is freely available upon request even!  Copies are automatically sent whenever the main board is updated.  To receive a TP board send an IM with a request to, Kantbe Thursday.


Like a good a set of waves the state of SL Surfing also has its changes, surprises, upsets and disappointments. For this reporter, I’ll be surfing everyday, in my birthday-suit at Surfer’s Cove Playa Parida, or duck-diving under friendly sharks and whales after I hang glide down to the beach at El Diablo, or I’ll be hanging-10 and showing off to the voyeurs at Surfer’s Bay, wherever and whenever, catching waves, in the sea, under the SL sky. Aloha.


URLS:
http://surfslsa.org/main/
http://surfwatch.blogspot.com/
https://secondlife.com/destinations/surfing





Saturday, August 4, 2018

“Surfers’ Bay - You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf….- Seersha Heart

Persia Bravin: “I wanted it to feel like logging into a vacation “



It is Wednesday lunch time when I decide to go in world for a bit of personal rest& relaxation.  As I load up my viewer, I am humming Rupert Holmes’ song Escape.  A very beachy tune with a lot of action happening in the dunes of the cape.  This song always makes me think of the beach.  When I come in world tonight, I want to go to the beach to escape the stresses of rl and have a bit of fun.  I recently joined the Surfer’s Bay VIP Group in world.  In my first couple of weeks as a member I had learned that surfing is not only the actual act of riding a wave on a board but also a life style.  Persia Bravin and her partner Duncan Blackburn have opened a spectacular new surfing SIM.

Kick off your shoes and wander down the beach with me here at Surfers’ Bay.  The sounds of the ocean are soothing, the waves are ready and waiting.  I recommend a nice walk around the island.  The main social area has plenty of places to sit and relax.  You can sit on the beach on a towel, a chair or float in the water on nice large floats.  What is Persia Bravin trying to create here?  I joined her at the club for lunch one day last week to see what she had to reveal to us.  She told me that RL is hard enough, this is a place to escape those stresses.  “So, log in, escape and enjoy fellow SLers” Persia says with a wry smile.

Taking a stroll around the island the aspect I most enjoy is the ambient sounds.  The sounds of surf and gulls will take your mind to the ocean as you stroll.  Our first stop is a handy rez station.  We can rez a surf board or a jet ski.  The jet ski is HUD operated and easy to use.  I have taken a jet ski around the entire island, it is possible, and it is fun.  A little bit further down the beach you will see Orchid Island off to our left.  A particularly romantic scene, this island rests in constantly swirling sea water, white caps crashing along a worn stair case.  At the top of the stairs is a view of the ocean and a private place to spend some time along or with that special someone.

I asked Persia about the name “Orchid Island”, where did she come up with that name?  She told me that initially she didn’t quite know what to do with the island claiming it “came out of nowhere”.

Persia Bravin: I wanted somewhere small and peaceful.  I love orchids rl and a friend of mine who makes really good sl plants just came out with some. He sent the orchids to me, so it made sense.  It also runs with the Bali theme

Surfer’s Bay is chock full of spots such as this one.  There are all kinds of romantic stops with any animation you might wish to enjoy.  There is deck in a lagoon of the most beautiful turquoise water you have ever seen.  On this deck is a large round chair.  I take a seat in the chair and find out, like most of the island, I have many options. 

Along with all the couples poses you could ever need, you will find the playful poses too.  In one lagoon there is a platform with several poses for the single traveler including treading water and jumping off the platform into the water.  The island has been designed with a weaving of rock and of sand throughout.  Stone staircases, decking and platforms appear exactly where needed.  The furniture is strategically placed throughout with both the single and the couple in mind.  At many areas of the SIM I feel as if I entered a nice quiet private place.  As if it is designed with me in mind.

There is a double diving board jutting out into the ocean.  I have seen people hanging out on the diving boards chatting up a storm.  The boards are dramatic and tower well above the ocean.  The diving is outstanding.  Nearby there is a spot where elegant comfortable cream-colored sofas sit on a floating dock waiting to be used.  I see a man standing there on the dock looking out to sea.  The people you encounter are friendly.  He sends me an IM telling me I “improve the view”.  I smile and thank him as I continue this stroll.  Almost directly opposite of the main social beach area I find a picturesque swimming pool. 
The pool provides a swim HUD, it works well there and at other points on the SIM.  It is hard to imagine that this Island is only three months old.  The group already has 5000 members and I expect to see a lot more.  I traveled to ten other surf SIMs to research what one might expect to see at a surfing SIM.  While there are a few nice ones, no surf SIM captures as many amenities as Surfer’s Bay.  Surfer’s is a place you will want to visit every day.  If you want to own your own surf board, there is an unobtrusive shopping area a short walk from the beach with surfboards on sale for men and women made by regular a surfer on the sim - Guyot Habana. 

Persia is a charming and a laid back surfer.  I asked her a few more questions for the prospective members of Surfers’ Bay VIP Group.  Here is the conversation:

Seersha Heart: Are you a member of the SL Surfers Association?

Persia Bravin: I have been a member of the SLSA since 2008 – it’s one of the organisations that I have never left or discarded to make room for other groups.  The SLSA is a stalwart of the SL surfing community; they provide competitions and support for surfers and surf owners and do a lot of work to promote surfing as a sport across SL.

Seersha Heart: Do you or will you host “Pro” surf events?

Persia Bravin: Surfer’s Bay VIP is about the fun and non-competitive aspects of SL surfing. It’s a sim for true ‘soul surfers’ or those people that simply enjoy the sensation of paddling out and taking on the huge Maoli waves and we love welcoming newcomers to SL surfing too. There is a hardcore group of surfers that you will see hitting the waves here on most days and they always give their time to coach others. We are considering becoming a destination for future, larger surfing events though – watch this space!

Seersha Heart: How do you track how members feel about the SIM?

Persia Bravin: The Surfer’s Bay VIP group chat is always buzzing with thoughts and suggestions from our thousands of members and we do listen carefully to all feedback. We don’t have a formal suggestion process currently – although that might be something we could implement in the future – but all ideas from our members are welcomed and usually implemented immediately!

Seersha Heart: Any good stories to share about couples who may have met at Surfers’?

Persia Bravin: When we created the sim, we definitely wanted to impart a sense of romance, but not in the traditional way, but rather through lush planting, naturalistic scenery and plenty of areas where you can be alone with loved ones. Romance does bloom at the sim and I am pretty sure many couples have met there! I also love to see all the different friendships develop: Surfer’s Bay VIP truly is a meeting place for people across the world. Who knows…maybe we will host a wedding one day of a couple that fell in love here.

Coming soon to Surfers’ Bay are well known SL performers Jack Slade on August 4th and Max Kleen on August 18th.  Join the crowd at Surfers’ Bay and enjoy some music while you look out on some beautiful waves.

SURL: secondlife://HIDDEN%20VALLEY/138/177/22
Surfer’s Bay VIP Group
https://www.flickr.com/groups/surfersbayvip/

 
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