On November 10th and 17th, the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) will be holding its next events on the island of Chi. The bay on Chi regularly runs “fluffies,” which will be used in these events, but pipes have been spotted there on occasion as well.
Chi is one of those magical sims that has something new and interesting around every corner and in every nook and cranny, but never feels crowded. There is so much to see and look at. It is a perfect place to either just find some quiet corner and hang out and relax, or go exploring. And of course surf. If you haven’t been there lately, do yourself a favor and give it a visit. Walk the perimeter of the island (don’t fly, you will miss something), visit the various buildings, and then walk across the island, up the mountain. There is a small shopping district with Splendeurs, Something Surfy, Sniper Surfboards, and LSD. Maoli waves, some Analog and Namiko surfboards, and windsurfing boards are available on the beach. The Girls on Film Dance Club is located there as well.
Chi is one of the first sims that had surfable waves as well as has hosted many different “firsts” in competitions, including the first SL surfing competition (Namiko Pro) and the first Shortboard cometition (Shortboard Pro). If you look at Chi from above, the surf spot looks relatively small, but once you are on the fluffies and surfing, the ride doesn’t feel short at all. Fluffies are one of the earliest incarnation of surfable waves in SL, and it takes skill to be able to surf them well. But once you have learned how to surf them, they are a lot of fun.
I asked Sally LaSalle to give me a little background on Chi.
On November 18th 2012, CHI will be exactly 6 years old.
That is 6 actual real years, having first been rezzed on November 18 2006.
Chi is now the longest running surf sim in existence, and has been the home of many important milestones in SL Surfing.
– First ever surf comp
– First ever windsurfing comp
– First ever short board comp
– First ever Fluffy only Comp
Since the SLSA was formed in July 2007, Chi has been host to 5 Official SLSA comps.
And the “Fluffy Challenge” is kinda becoming an annual birthday tradition.
A lot of new surfers come to Chi and have trouble finding the break.
These days they are used to surf sims with massive waves running near the full length of the sim, and are often surprised by the very modest size of the Chi break.
But don’t be fooled, A Surfer can catch the fluffs out by the pontoon and spend 30 seconds on the fluffs until they reach the beach. This run time is fairly average even for the larger surf breaks.
Fluffies were the first surface waves in SL ever. they are kind of unique in many ways for instance, they are the only waves that are totally phantom allowing surfers swimmer and boats to co-exist. Their shape is also quite unique and was an attempt to simulate a small rolling beach break with only the prime that were available at the time (pre-sculpty and definitely pre mesh) . Surfing Fluffs is quite different to surfing any other wave as its easy to slip off the back or front or side of the wave, so you need to pay special attention to turning your board left and right to keep on the wave all the way to the beach.
Another reason for the size of the bay was that back when Chi was started, and the waves first made, there was no concept of a spectator sim, the surfing and the spectators all gathered on the beach. The First surf comp ever, which was held at Chi, all the surfers and spectators sat on cushions on the side of the hill overlooking the bay. so there were 40 to 50 people on the sim while the surfers were out surfing .. so when I hear people complaining about lag with 9 people on a surf sim these days I smile and think back to those first comps.
The other reason it was a short break is that Chi wasn’t designed solely to be a surf sim, it was always designed from the get go to be a public park, a place for relaxation, meditation and escape, somewhere to take a friend or make a friend and enjoy the relaxing ambience. The Island reflects aspects of the 4 elements of the physical world, water, fire earth and air , and how the intermingling of these creates new forms. At a time when many sims were flat and divided into 16 equal squares for people to rent, Chi was a little place that was easy on the eyes, ears and heart.
But at the same time Chi has also always been a place where people could rez freely, this was a planned concept, from the start so that people could have a place to come and try out their new purchases or experiment with build ideas.
Taken all together, these attributes are fairly unique, and represent a desire to make a place for individual expression and community development and peace. Remember Chi is Open to anyone all the time, so come and Chi-llax 🙂
I remember being at that first competition and sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the hill over-looking the bay on the west side of the water. It was a slightly different vibe than we have today, not better or worse, just different because the spectators and the surfers and staff were all in such close proximity to each other. It was very intimate, even with as many of us there. The surfers could all hear us cheering for them, and there wasn’t a lot of zooming in required to be able to see. See the red arch on the hill in the picture above? That is where I sat.
Come to Chi to explore and come try to master the fluffies!
(Note: I took these pictures just before Halloween. It isn’t always so stormy there 🙂 )