20 Questions: Surfer’s Perspective – Maxwell Silvansky

Part of a continuing series
submitted by Zelda Zimberman

Maxwell1. Name:  Maxwell Silvansky (aka. Jimbo The Cart Boy)

2. Team:  Montego

3. Surfing Since:  March 28, 2008 at 09:09:45 SLT, to be exact!

4. Favorite Board:  It’s going to be my “Surf Bandit” board once I get it done! Inspired by my best buddy, Bandit.

5. Favorite Wave:  I Love Teahopoos and Mavericks, they are big and realistic looking, and fun to ride! When I first started out I used to only ride Pipes, spent hours on them. And as for Fluffies, I still can’t surf those little buggers!

6. How did you come across surfing on SL and what was your first initial reaction to it?
I was about 5 months into SL, and pretty much done with it and was ready to uninstall SL all together. I figured I’d have one final run with my jet ski on a beach sim called Surfline Aloha (how many of you remember that one?) So, I’m racing around like a reckless noob without a care in the world and wound up colliding with a dude who was surfing. I was amazed because I didn’t even know surfing existed in SL. After a quick apology, I did a search on “surfing” and randomly clicked on one of the TP links and was magically whisked away to Majini Beach.

When I arrived, there were 3 guys sitting in recliner chairs, watching the waves roll in, and talking about surf boards: Carver Nitely, VW Sands, and Barchan Paderborn. I chit chatted a little bit, called them dudes a lot and tried to talk like Jeff Spicoli.

During that conversation Barchan gave me a group invitation, a link to the SurfWatch Blog site, and a SurfWatch T-shirt. From there I built many friendships I still have to this day 4 years later, I learned to surf and have fun with some of the absolute best people in SL, and became a daily reader of SurfWatch and watched it grow into the wonderful melting pot of SL surfing spirit that it is today. Yep…I still have that old SurfWatch T-shirt Barchan gave me, and you will see me wearing it in the stands with the fans at a surf comp from time to time.

7. Are you involved in the SLSA (Second Life Surfing Association) in any way? (competitions, events, etc.)
Kinda, sorta, ….well, not really. I’m just a group member and group chat every so often when the dialog is interesting. I do go to events and take pictures and write a bit for SurfWatch.

8. What are your thoughts or opinions on the direction on the SLSA from 2012 and beyond?
Most importantly always keep it fun, keep encouraging and helping new surfers, help each other when we are down and need a lift.

9. What do/did you find positive and negative about it?
I think there is a lot of good people doing a lot of good things in SLSA. There are so many people that devote hours of their time so that surfing can be as cool as it is. I think they have done a lot to build a very nice community. Sometimes you can’t make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, but I think SLSA has really tried to do their best over the years. Great Job!

How would you like to see it improve more? N/A

10. Do you compete in any surfing competitions SLSA or non?
You’re not going to believe this, but I have only competed in 1 surf contest in my entire Second Life! It was a mini comp at Surf Fest back in July of 2011 and I got 3rd place, I had so much fun that day!

11. What do/did you find gratifying and dissatisfying about  competitions?
Well for starters, I’m always blown away by how organized they are run and how many people come out to participate and support them. The volunteers work very hard at making them great.

12. How do you feel about the SLSA using non SSI boards for competitions? (ex; HP5, LSD, Action)
I personally am the most comfortable with the SSi scripted boards, and I like the idea of having a level playing field with the same type of board for competitions. However, I give credit to creativity and ingenuity and I think the masses like to try new things. I think I think there is a place in surf comps for “Open Script any boards allowed category” as well as a “Stock SSI category”.

13. If you are currently inactively involved in competitions (surfing, judging, etc.) what was the reason for leaving? Would you want to come back and participate?
My real life weekends are generally pretty busy, so it’s pretty hard for me to commit a lot of time for a weekend comp, but I still enjoy popping in to support everyone. If there were more mini comps in the evenings I might have a better shot at showing up at one of them.

14. What are your thoughts on the team dynamics? Is there a team you particularly like?
I like teams that don’t act like stuck up cliques, and who aren’t afraid to mingle with other teams. We are all one big surfing community, and it’s long term health will only last if we can be friendly among teams. Montego, Tsunami, and Vibrations are a few of my favorites groups.

15. Is there anyone on here that particularly had an impact when it came to surfing, mentoring, and overall being a role model for you?
Tauri Tigerpaw encouraged me and taught me so much about surfing and the culture behind it. She introduced me to many other people that helped me with surfing technique. If it weren’t for her I would have never become involved with SL Surfing or SurfWatch. You’re a good pal Tigerpaw!

16. What was your favorite moment or memory on surfing here?
The day Majini closed, as sad as that day was, it was something special to see so many people in the surfing community come together and support one another. I have a picture of a bunch of people waiting for a “party wave” . It’s one of my favorite pictures. Though sims close, others come…and go…and come and go. But the surfing spirit lives on, and strengthens over time.

17. Is there anyone you know or knew that isn’t active as much in surfing and would like to see come back?
Myself. I need to do it more. I miss the waves, I miss the people, I miss the fun of surfing.

18. Many people have strong opinions when it comes to SL surfing and RL surfing. What is your take on the comparison?
For now, SL surfing is all I know. One day I will get a chance to surf in RL, and I’m sure I will love them both!

19. Do you have any advice for new SL surfers on here?
Make time for training and time for just goofing around on the waves.

Don’t get frustrated, it takes time and patients. When I train I focus on specific things. I’ll set one goal for each practice wave and try to get a small victory, for example; ride it all the way to the beach without bellying, ride out the edge and catch it back on, do 3 flips. Do not worry if you don’t get a jillion things done on one single wave.

20. Any other thoughts?
For all you noobs out there, don’t give up if you don’t catch on to surfing right away. It takes time! Relax and have fun with it, and you will always enjoy surfing! For all you old timers out there, reach out and help a noob. Remember when you didn’t know which end of the board was up? Remember who first helped you out and how glad it made you feel? Help every chance you get, always set a good example for future surfers.


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