Monthly Archives: January 2013

Be an SLSA Sponsor for the 2013 Season 1

SLSA+logo1The Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) is accepting sponsors for the first season of competitions for 2013. There are several levels of sponsorship and you can sponsor anywhere from 1 event to the whole season. For details and benefits and questions contact an SLSA Director or sponsor liason; Xander Datura (Sponsor liason), Sally Lasalle, willowwynn, iLaurenb or Cierra Theriac.

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Meet the SLSA Directors – Lauren Walker (iLaurenB)

Part 5 of a series of 5 by Flynn Sheridan

Lauren monFlynn:  Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing. What surfing experiences do you have in RL?
Lauren: I got involved in Second Life surfing by visiting beaches and individuals helping me learn. I have been surfing since 9 yrs. old but have mostly stayed surfing in Florida, I hope to visit many other beaches around the world for a more better experience.

Flynn: How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Lauren: Season 2, 2012 would be my first full season competing. My favorite thing about comps. is uniting with other surfers(dancing,chatting and competing with each other for fun). There is not really anything I dislike about competitions.

Flynn: What prompted your decision to run for SLSA Director this term?  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. do you hope to bring in as a director?
Lauren: I felt the need to put in my dedication as being a SLSA Director, not only to have fun but to help people out and bring in new surfers to this wonderful organization.

Flynn: What do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director? What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general?
Lauren: My first priority as a SLSA director is to promote and increase the membership of the SLSA.  I see a top issue in SL surfing being as people not reaching out deep enough for others.

Flynn: As founder, we envisioned that SLSA would be more than putting on competitions. Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community and why?
Lauren:  In a way yes but not that much. I will try my best along with other directors to make this organization a more better role and successful as it can be.

That’s it for the tough questions.  (Laughs)

Flynn: What board is your current favorite?
Lauren: My favorite board currently is the Hp5, it feels smooth and also surfs good!

Flynn: What wave is your current favorite?
Lauren: My favorite wave currently is “Mavericks”. It gives me alot of room to do tricks and also is a fun wave to party on 😛

Flynn: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots (a location is much more than a wave)?
Lauren: Solace Beach & Solelua Beach is nice to surf at because its peaceful and also I am able to meet and get to know a bit more new people & surfers.

 

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Meet the SLSA Directors – Sally LaSalle

Part 4 of a series of 5 by Flynn Sheridan

Sally - Jan 2013Flynn: Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing. What surfing experiences do you have in RL?
Sally: I was born in Australia. The beach is almost an integral part of life there.  I spent a lot of time at the beach on weekends or on holidays. I have windsurfed (a lot), boogie surfed but never surfed on a surf board.  My cousin is a surfboard maker so was around that environment a lot too watching boards being designed, made and decorated.

My SL Sim Chi was created at almost the exact same time that surfing was created in SL.  Thats kind of how I got involved in it.

Flynn: How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Sally: I have been involved in SL Surfing since before the SLSA was founded.  Initially I contributed as a Judge and then as a Head Judge, I have officiated in over 30 competitions.  My first season as a surfer was 2009 season 2 and i was rookie of the year that season :D. I enjoy competitive as well as non competitive surfing.  I have surfed at the ABSSL comps, the ASA comps, the Vibes Surf Jams, the PCX Tandem Events,

My favorite thing about surf comps is the excitement and the nervousness you get every time you get called to your heat, the jokes and the stokes of the other surfers in the heat, the whole shared experience and the fun party-like atmosphere on the decks.  The anticipation and excitement of seeing the event results unfold and seeing new surfers developing and improving.  The sense of achievement of seeing people enjoy a well run event, and knowing I was a small part of something special.

Flynn: What do you think was the most important contribution (or decision) you made during the prior board session for surfers? Sometimes its hard to say individually what you did, if so, then what are you most proud about that the group did for SLSA?
Sally: I think the introduction of new surfboard technology (HP) was a defining moment for the SLSA.  People are always uncomfortable with change but it is, I believe, change that helps us all grow and to expand our horizons.

Personally I was proud of the introduction of the new live surfing scoreboards I made that can be viewed on the Internet or on shared media prims in world.

Flynn: How will you improve the experience for SLSA surfers during the coming board session? How will you continue to connect to the various groups and personalities so that you can represent their interests and possible concerns?
Sally: Instead of “you” I always prefer to think of it as “we”. Not just ‘we” the board, but “we” the members.

We are developing a weekly newsletter for social surfing activities.
We are working on the Surf Quest non-competition activity concept.
We are working to improve reporting to the members on activities with reports from all directors, not just financial officer.
We are working on a whole batch of surfing courses.
We are working on a pre-season party.
We are going to hold a competition based on LSD surfing technology.
We are making a comprehensive edit of all the event rules to clarify each rule and to minimize any confusion.
(BTW we are using the SLSA Wiki to do this, and this new community contribution mechanism will be opened up to all members.  http://wiki.surfslsa.org.)
We have passed a motion recognizing Solace Estates as an honorary Gold Sponsor based on the monetary value that group provides in order to strengthen ties with them and their 6000 members to our mutual benefits.
We have purchased a communications system to help event staff avoid the unreliability of ad-hoc group conferences which should help comps run even more smoothly.

.. and apart from all that .. we are..
Planning for the next season … including ..
Selecting and fixing event dates.
Calling for Surf Sim Venues
Selecting board types for the comps
Calling for Sponsors
Training New Staff

So as you can see we are pretty busy 🙂
Flynn: We know you have worked your butts off, most of the surfers are quite happy with the decisions and directions the board has taken, others are confused by some of the changes. How can the board be more transparent in their decision making process?
Sally: Back in June 2008. I created the SLSA News Forum within the SLSA web forum and made the very first post providing an update of what the then board was working on, the goal was for that board and future boards to continue to provide monthly updates to the members on what was being worked on so that we could solicit input on projects/changes before they were enacted.  General updates have seemed to have slipped, although I recently made the suggestion to the current board that each of the directors makes a monthly report of the activities in their own area.  The financial reports have been consistently made and will be continue to be made each month.

I think that ‘confusion’ only arises when the members aren’t given enough notice of any upcoming change.  This typically happens when a rule change is made prior to season commencement.  The difficulty comes when a rule change is proposed between seasons, and the director proposing the change cannot get any input or comment from the other directors who for whatever reason are busy with other things.  This leads to a rushed implementation prior to the season so that a rule can be applied to the entire season and not (unfairly) to just part of a season.  It is important to remember that directors are unpaid volunteers and give their own time for the benefit of the members, sometimes RL interferes with the ability to contribute, and I think that realistically that is always going to be the case. We aren’t perfect but we do the best we can.  I would encourage anyone that has a concern to go to the source, or to cross-check rumors with the official staff.

Flynn: As founder, we envisioned that SLSA would be more than putting on competitions. Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community and why?
Sally: The founders of the SLSA had great vision.

The SLSA has always been a non-proprietary and democratic organization.  Close to 12 months ago in one of my previous terms as director I floated the idea of “Surf Quest” as a fun activity to get people involved in all kinds of surf related activities that were unrelated to competitions.  This concept is being revived and revised and we should have something for the members in the coming months in that regard.

In my opinion the SLSA provides a lot more than just comps already.  We have the SLSA home sim, which is a place that any member can designate as their home sim, and a place they can try out the latest waves/boards or just hang out and relax.  It is the venue for social gatherings, and for training.  A rich schedule of courses on all kinds of topics is in the works too.

We encourage the participation of new surf sims as a way to promote those sims and to spread surfing culture across the grid, last season we had 3 new competition venues which was great to see :).

We have little power over the economics of surfing and surfing technology in SL has been dominated by a couple of players.  This is also going to change, with the development and encouragement of a number of open source surfing technology projects.

I also have worked very hard behind the scenes to try and broker a better deal for surfboard vendors and sims. I have to say that on the whole this has been fairly unsuccessful, because we have been working in a monopoly or duopoly vendor environment.  The vendors had no fiscal incentive to change what they were doing and so surf sims have struggled to make a living as a result.  This is what led me to conceive of the whole Open Source Surfboard idea as a way to potentially rejuvenate surfboard technology and also to give surfboard designers and sellers a larger proportion of the income from surf board sales.  Surf Sim owners have always struggled because they sacrifice large portions of their sims to create surf breaks and cant rent that area out.  This contribution by the surf sims was, in my opinion, never fairly rewarded by the surfboard and surf wave producers.

That’s it for the tough questions.  🙂

Flynn: What board is your current favorite and why?
Sally: Seems to always change, I like the HP boards at the moment, I admit i was a skeptic at first but once i got the hang of them they are fun and smooth to ride, and a challenge to master.

Flynn: What wave is your current favorite and why?
Sally: I think any of the new Maoli waves that are mesh and keyframe based, these are both smoothe to ride and very low impact (low lag) on the sim.

Flynn: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots (a location is much more than a wave) and why?
Sally: Well of course I’m biased and love my sims Chi and Tai 😀

Solace Dreams has a nice vibe to it and a good rotation of waves.

Tsunami is always welcoming, a nice break and has a nice social vibe.

I have to say that one of the best things about the surf season is getting out to all the surf sims for practice and learning and experiencing them I’d encourage everyone to do that , even if your not going to compete.

Flynn: Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
Sally:I would like everyone to know that they are always 100% welcome to IM me and talk about any concern they may have.   My door is always always open and I will always listen and try my best to help.  But one thing you should know, while I listen to individuals, I always weigh decisions based on the nett benefit or cost for the majority of members.    Saying no, is the hardest part of being a director, fortunately its not something we have to do often..

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Meet the SLSA Directors – Cierra Theriac

Part 3 of a series of 5 by Flynn Sheridan


Cie1213_002Flynn:
Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing. What surfing experiences do you have in RL?
Cierra: I was surfing soon after joining Second Life. At first, I would stand on the beach and watch the surfers. After maybe a week of watching I got the nerve up to try it. I don’t know why I was so intimidated by the surfers, I have never meet a friendlier bunch of people… I didn’t really take lessons or ask anyone how to surf in general, I kinda figured out the basics on my own, but whenever I saw something that wowed me, I asked, “How the hell did you do that?” I still do, lol. At first I was frustrated because I wasn’t very good – okay, I was horrible – but I took it as a challenge and was determined to “master” it. If anyone goes back and looks at old competition results, you will see I never made it out of the preliminary heats. And although I may have been frustrated with my performance, I sure loved being with everyone at the competition. I still feel that way – about it being a challenge and be determined to do well, and loving being out there in the line-up with everyone. I still haven’t mastered it, but I am much better than I was. For a while, I took a break from competing. But I can’t resist a challenge, so when I started competing again, I spent a lot of time, a lot of time, on the board just paddling out and catching waves over and over again until I felt comfortable with what I was doing and had confidence that at least I would not embarrass myself.

As for RL, let’s just say I am an armchair surfer. I love surfing! I follow the ASP and watch as many competitions as I can. And argue with the judges scores. I guess I am a surfing groupy, lol.  (Did you know there’s an app for that?) Yes, I have been on a surfboard in RL. Let’s just say I am still in the learning stage. But given the chance, this is another challenge I will take on. SL has given me the opportunity to do something I love in RL but don’t often have the chance to get to do.

Flynn: How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Cierra: I have been competing since 2007. I started with the last of the Namiko competitions before the SLSA was formed. Since then, it has been mainly SLSA competitions. Although, I did participate in the first competition held on Virtual Highway.

What I love the best about competitions? The stoke, the camaraderie (Bobbi sticking her gum on the bottom of my board before a heat), being able to challenge myself to do the best I can and being happy with my performance. What do I like the least? Probably the same thing as everyone else, the lag monster.

Flynn: What prompted your decision to run for SLSA Director this term? What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. do you hope to bring in as a director?
Cierra: Oh geez… what a loaded question. Some people don’t know I was one of the founding directors of the SLSA. So, I kinda have a feel for what it is like to be a director. I haven’t run for director since because I always wanted new people to come in and carry on the dream and improve upon it. For the last year and half I have thought about running though. I love being part of the competitions. I like being behind the scenes and helping out. But I kept saying, maybe the next election… finally I decided it was time for me to put up or shut up. The underlying reason for wanting to be on the Board is to give back. I so love competing and the competitions themselves and the community we have created. It has given me such joy, that I felt I had to do my part and contribute to the process.

There is nothing special about me, as far as qualifications go. Other than being stubborn and wanting anything I undertake to be the best it can be. I guess one thing I have always felt from when we (the founders) started this whole thing and how is should be set up, is that it should be about the surfers. Things should be set up and run in a way that makes them feel really good about participating in competitions. I have always felt very protective about the surfers themselves.

Flynn: How will you improve the experience for SLSA surfers? How will you connect to the various groups and personalities so that you can represent their interests and possible concerns?
Cierra: I want to help new surfers discover the joy of surfing and be able to help the “older” surfers keep or re-find their stoke. It is just so much damn fun. I want to continue to be part of the process to improve how competitions are held, whether it is behind the scenes or out in the open. I interact with a wide variety of people. I am grateful for having been able to meet lot of different people. I am not perfect… But I try my hardest in whatever I am doing. I can be stubborn when I feel very strongly about something. I also have the ability to play devil’s advocate and try to view issues and solutions from all sides, look for all the pros and cons, before expressing an opinion or making a decision. I actually like to hear everyone’s views first. It helps me make sure I have thought things through completely. My goal is to help give the surfers the best experiences possible in competitions and free surfing.

Is there room for improvement. Sure! Can’t anything in RL or SL be improved? I will try to be part of the team that helps to find ways to improve the way competitions are held, so that for the surfers they are seamless and smooth and fun. Making life easier on the staff running them would be nice too. I want to hear what ideas the surfers have, from the rules, to the competitions, to the way we interact as a community. IM me. Seriously. I am here to listen. I want to try to make sure we are following the wishes of the body of surfers. Because without the surfers, what are we?

Flynn: What do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director? What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general?
Cierra: My first priority is to learn the job, lol. A lot has changed since I was a director 5 years ago. I want to get a feel for the projects and ideas that are being worked on to see how feasible they are and that they will be beneficial to the group. I am not coming in to change specific things. I am here to help the SLSA be the best it can be. I would like to demystify the SLSA to the community as much as possible. In other words, to make SLSA more transparent. What the Board does, how the rules work, how heat draws are done… things like that. Some people don’t care, they just want to show up and surf. And that’s okay. But I don’t want people to feel like this is all a big mystery.

We could all scramble around and find stuff to complain about or what is wrong. But you can do that about anything. It used to be an issue attracting new surfers. But I have seen so many new faces coming in, the community is continuing to grow out there. I think it’s that surfers are so open and accepting of new people. They just want to share their love of the sport. The top issues in SL Surfing really are things that are beyond the SLSA’s control. Individuals being able to afford to own surf sims. Scripters to continue to improve surfboards and waves. Face it, SL surfing can be a very expensive hobby. As a community, we do what we can to support the creators and sim owners. We buy their product, we donate to their sim. We can’t (or most of us can’t) buy a new surfboard or wave every week. But we can show an appreciation for what is there and an interest in seeing it evolve and improve. This may sound like a broken record but I think that most of us can part with a few lindens a week to help out the sim owners that provide us with great places to surf. We can be there to support and encourage the people involved in SL surfing. We need to keep our eyes open and be accepting of new ideas out there.

Flynn: As founder, we envisioned that SLSA would be more than putting on competitions. Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community?
Cierra: Part of my intent is to help make sure the SLSA remains true to its original ideals and mission. The role of the SLSA is two-fold. One, to hold competitions. Two, to help build the surfing community, to raise awareness, to bring in new surfers and introduce them to the joy we have found in surfing. I think we have been doing that. We all came to the SLSA for the same thing. To meet other people with the same interest in SL surfing. Some come to compete, some just want to be part of the community. The SLSA should strive to encompass both groups, we are here because we enjoy SL surfing. And if we have found enjoyment in it, then there are likely others out there that will like it too. We need to do what we can to get the word out that there is a community for anyone that enjoys SL surfing or at least is interested in what it is.There are individuals that are working their tails off to get the word out in Second Life and working with the Lindens to do this. And SL surfers are the friendliest most giving group of people I know. They are always ready to talk to new surfers and share their tips and tricks.

Flynn: That’s it for the tough questions. 🙂
Cierra: Thank god! I feel so serious.

Flynn: What board is your current favorite?
Cierra: My go-to boards are my Namiko Aquatica for a long board and my Shark Retro Fish for a short board. Lately I have been modding boards to match the dimensions I like and putting your wrd design textures on them.

Flynn: What wave is your current favorite?
Cierra: Tough one.  I hate all new waves until I have surfed on them for a while. I am old-school. I love pipes. My favorite competitions were the last two at Bundoran Reef where 3 pipes were lined up in a row and you had to hop the gap. I like the Cortes and the Juaquina as well. There are so many new waves coming out. I can’t keep track… but any wave that let’s me do tricks and be able to show some style I enjoy.

Flynn: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots (a location is much more than a wave) ?
Cierra: Wherever the next competition is, lol. Tai is my home. So it is fun to grab my board off our beach and paddle right into the wave.

Flynn: Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
Cierra: Goodness, haven’t I babbled enough? Okay, me and Second Life… I surf. Ninety percent of my time on SL is surfing, thinking about surfing, or talking about surfing. Also, I really am easy-going. You aren’t bugging me ever by talking to me. Go ahead IM me. Anytime. I feel very fortunate, grateful and humbled to have been elected to the board. I wasn’t elected the first time, I was just at the right place at the right time.

Flynn: I want to thank for taking the time to respond and letting us get to know you a little better.
Cierra: You are very welcome 🙂

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Meet the SLSA Directors – Xander Datura

Part 2 of a series of 5 by Flynn Sheridan

XanderFlynn: Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing. What surfing experiences do you have in RL?
Xander: I met a dude at a party that was surfin some and going to some of his first comps with the SLSA, he took me to Mick’s board shop n I tried a couple out. I immediately had a custom one made.. and been around ever since 🙂 Now of course once Mick n Rev adopted me.. that changed everything 😛 Learned a lot from them, trained for every staff spot and got to know everyone in the community… No gettin rid of me now 🙂

As for RL, I don’t have a lot of expirience with actual surfin.. Ive been out a few times and been slammed pretty good by some big surf 😛 but geographicly I haven’t been able to hang out much n learn or practice.. I grew up doin all kinds of stuff tho.. motocross was big, I had my first bike at like 5 I think.. Done a lot of scuba diving, LOVE the water.. wakeboarding, SKATEBOARDING used to b my life!! umm.. been skydivin a few times.. I just naturally gravitate towards this kinda stuff.. rl and sl.. if I had been born in a diff place I imagine I’d been all over a surfboard 🙂 I ain’t dead yet tho n hoping to move to so cal one of these days 😛 ( I’m told I WAS conceived there)

Flynn:  How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Xander: Ummm I been competing or involved for a couple.. 3 years? off n on, I think… I dunno 😛  I haven’t participated in other surfin comps really but have done skydiving and drag racing and stuff.. these last couple seasons I’ve been working a LOT of the comps.. which is fun for me, and its a blast to be on late and just randomly run into some surfers at a spot and just ride.. I think I’ve been on a board MORE than when I used to practice for comps, and deff more styles.. it’s cool to hit a spot and try all the board makes on it n stuff.. I WILL be competing 2013 tho 😛 I’ve learned a ton and time to apply it 🙂 my fav thing about comps is the people! Awesome watching everyones diff styles and watching them interact.. Especially in the lineup.. being a judge or marshall is great.. u get to see every lineup front row ya know? 🙂 I guess what I like least, at the moment.. is stuff we can’t control.. hehe, like lag and the costs of maintaining comp surfable sims..

Flynn: What do you think was the most important contribution (or decision) you made during the prior board session for surfers? Sometimes its hard to say individually what you did, if so, then what are you most proud about that the group did for SLSA?
Xander: Ummm.. we’re still workin on some of this.. Group chat has always been a problem so I think we’ve found a fix for that.. some things idk if I can say yet, I’m not sure of proper protocol 😛  My fav thing though is working with the crew I had for the first part of my term, I’ve learned a lot.. feel I’ve contributed to talks and always had my opinions respected.. its been great!! and what excites me is I think this is just a the beginning for me.. I’m learning the director spot through expirience, have a GREAT community full of support.. so in the very near future, I’m hopeful things will only get better and continue to grow!! Big things being talked over 🙂 I’m stoked 🙂

Flynn: How will you improve the experience for SLSA surfers during the coming board session? How will you continue to connect to the various groups and personalities so that you can represent their interests and possible concerns?
Xander:  Well I try to stay in touch n friends with a lot of people! and always listen to what they have to say and if there is somethin I can do with that then I’ll run with it!! I mean its all about the MEMbers.. I hope some improvements that I can help the community with is continue to make things more fun! run more fluid behind the scenes, continue to work comps often and train up more staff to support as well.. Bring in NEW members, new boards, new waves.. and reach OUT into other communities of like minded sports nuts to grow bonds between groups within SL..

Flynn: We know you have worked your butts off, most of the surfers are quite happy with the decisions and directions the board has taken, others are confused by some of the changes. How can the board be more transparent in their decision making process?
Xander: Well.. sometimes its confusing on the inside at first too.. we’ll have ideas flying around on many things, all at once.. and looking for pros and cons on everything.. then RL gets in the way.. its hectic.. If anyone has any questions, I’d hope they know they could start a dialouge in forums, or just talk to one of the directors! I have an open door 😛 I will try to clear up any questions as to why certain things were decided, or rather I will give MY reasons and try to help.. I do think its important for there to be good communication between the board and the members… but communication is deff a two way street.

Flynn: As founder, we envisioned that SLSA would be more than putting on competitions. Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community?
Xander: Well its a community.. not just competitions.. I think its very important to support each others shops, builds, projects etc.. Even with diff of opinions, diff friends, diff affiliations.. We all are part of a bigger family.. I’m not saying SLSA REGULATES any of that… BUT.. SLSA is an association of its MEMBERS.. And all its members have a lot in common, even if it doesn’t always seem that way 😛 We can make this anything we want.. skys the limit as long as we all as a community, work together.. celebrate our strengths and similarities, and squash the differences..

That’s it for the tough questions.  🙂

Flynn: What board is your current favorite?
Xander: bllleeehhhh… ummm… well I LOVE my mod ssi board with my crazy clown texture i made :> but lately i REALLLY love my new LSD digi spectrum board too.. its fun.. I like variety.. so picking just one top one is impossible 😛

Flynn: What wave is your current favorite?
Xander: These are TOUGHER than the first questions >.< I like a ton of waves too.. off the top of my head the teahupoo, evolution, the new LSD waves r wild..

Flynn: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots (a location is much more than a wave)?
Xander: Hmm… I’m not gonna list this so I don’t leave someone out 😛 i like a ton.. been mostly hangin out ridin at peoples own sims lately not so much comp spots 😛 I feel bad running into people practicing if I’m just out for the ride.. so been doin other spots as of late 🙂

Flynn: Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
Xander:  Eigh I’m sure they know more than they want to as is 😛 I’m not shy.. But if theres anything i can help with in my professional type capacity person.. lemme know and ill do my best 🙂

I want to thank for taking the time to respond and letting us get to know you a little better.

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SLSA Head Judge Training

SLSA+logo1On Sunday, January 27h, Sally LaSalle will be conducting head judge training at noon SLT. To be eligible to be trained as a head judge, you must have had previous SLSA judge’s training and have judged at least 2-3 competitions. Training will be a exclusive one on one session with Sally, one of SL’s top judges. So, contact her in-world to set up your session with her.

Also announced was judge’s training. Classes will be held by appointment on weekday evenings with Bobbi LaSalle (Bobbi Laval). So send her a message in world to let her know you are interested.

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Meet the SLSA Directors – WillowWynn

by Flynn Sheridan

This is a series of articles with each of the current board of directors overseeing the SLSA. We have three new board members and two who are half way through their term. I have always felt that getting to know the directors helps the membership as a whole. After all, they represent YOU… they are there to help make a better experience for SLSA comps and the surfing community as a whole. With my butt firmly planted in the sand… watching SLSA grow, I can say I am proud of what SLSA has become. And so here they are in a post every couple of days… your board of directors. I’ll start with our newest board member, WillowWynn.

Willow 1

Flynn:  Tell us how you got involved in Second Life (SL) surfing. What surfing experiences do you have in RL?
Willow: My father, Maldrul Morris, got me involved in Surfing in SL. Since he’s already part of the SLSA it seemed a fine place to start and to learn. As for real life, the only experiences I have are dreaming about surfing. I haven’t lived in places where such an activity is really realistically available since I’ve been mostly in land locked states.

Flynn:  How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions? Do you participate in other competitions? What is your favorite thing about comps and what do you like least?
Willow: I’ve only done one season’s worth of competing since I’m fairly new to the whole thing. I haven’t really gotten a chance to explore competitions outside of the SLSA, save one.

My favorite thing is how everyone cheers on everyone else, no matter what team they are on or who they are. It’s a Surf to have Fun mentality, not a “I’m going to beat you today” mentality and that really helps.

The think I dislike the most is the lag. Of course, that’s not something that can always be helped, but it does put a cramp in the style sometimes. 🙂

Flynn: What prompted your decision to run for SLSA Director this term?  What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. do you hope to bring in as a director?
Willow: What prompted me was the idea that they didn’t have ANY applications put in at the time. It worried me since if that was left that way it would mean that the SLSA couldn’t continue. I’ve grown exceptionally fond of the SLSA and its members so I didn’t want to risk that.

I think my work at college being a large part of student government groups, and other head positions should help me immensely as a director. I’ve learned a lot about proposals, communications and management of resources. That coupled with the lightning flashes of inspiration I get sometimes when faced with a problem might come in handy- or at least I hope it does.

Flynn: How will you improve the experience for SLSA surfers? How will you connect to the various groups and personalities so that you can represent their interests and possible concerns?
Willow: I feel that expanding what we use for boards and waves gets people’s attention really well. I could tell people were really excited this season, for example, with the hp boards being used in the first competition. We should build off that excitement and work with it. It will be fun, I think. As for connecting to other groups, well I think that’s really simple. Talk to them. Ask them questions of what they think and put together the best possible options that can work for the majority of the group. I know you can’t please everyone, but there usually is a common denominator that can be reached which can make most happy.

Flynn: What do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director? What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general?
Willow:  My first priority is fairness. I know that no matter what I can’t give any kind of preferential treatment to anyone. Sure we have teams, friends and we’re only human, but there is going to be some point where as a director it’ll be important to step back and make sure that we’re looking at the big picture. The largest issues facing SL surfing are to make sure we keep people coming in, both those who have been here forever and new surfers. We need to make sure they’re welcomed with open arms, and that we work together as a community to create a fun environment for all.

Flynn:  As founder, we envisioned that SLSA would be more than putting on competitions. Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community?
Willow: I think it brings people together to learn and have fun more than it just puts out competitions. That’s what it’s for- networking, community, parties. You get the idea. I say this because I’ve seen it in action. I’ve had people come up to me that I’ve never talked to before and start helping me with whatever I was having trouble with. That sort of tradition is important and goes a long way to making friends and long term committed people within the organization.

That’s it for the tough questions.  😉

Flynn: What board is your current favorite?
Willow: HP 5.. by far… It’s fast, it turns on a dime, and it’s the first board I really felt comfortable with. I’ll take it over an ssi any day. 🙂

Flynn: What wave is your current favorite?
Willow: Oh, that’s hard… I’m torn between the nala and the jaws… The nala had some great feel to it with the short boards and I tried the HP on it a few times too. I just did this great thing with the barrel rolls and the air I could get was amazing. The Jaws… well…. it’s huge… and there is just something majestic about it. it’s the only wave I’ve been ok with riding a longboard ssi on because of that. I love how it curls into itself like waves do as well. So artful.

Flynn: What are some of your favorite SL surfing spots (a location is much more than a wave) ?
Willow: Witch’s Rock… It’s usually pretty empty when I go there… so little to no lag… it’s very hp friendly with the waves…and above all… it’s gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I dare you to go there, put your settings on sunset or sunrise, either works, and not be in awe at the layout of the place.

Flynn: Anything else you would like readers to know about you?
Willow: I’m an artist, going to college for animation. I am pondering how to do a machinima video (is that redundant?) for the SLSA, but I have to work out a few story boards first before I get started on it. I suppose I should get permission before I do this too…. might be a good idea. I would also like to take this moment in the interview to thank everyone who helped me learn how to surf and what boards are and such. I greatly appreciate all the support I got as a newbie to the organization and I only hope I can repay it back in kind.

I want to thank for taking the time to respond and letting us get to know you a little better.

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