A Visit with the SLSA Board of Director Candidates

SLSA+logo1On March 1st elections will be held to choose two people to fill seats on the SLSA Board of Directors that will be open. Bobbi Laval LaSalle and Robin Mapp are ending their terms. New board members will join Xander Datura, Sunrize Mornington, and Petra Xaris.

You are eligible to vote if

2.1.1.2. An SLSA Member must have competed (and been assigned a score) in at least one of the previous six SLSA sanctioned competitions prior to the election.
2.1.1.3. An SLSA Member shall be an SLSA Hall Of Fame inductee.
2.1.1.4. An SLSA Member must have served as an appointed officer or director at, at least, one
of the previous three SLSA sanctioned competitions prior to the election.

Voting takes place via a voting machine, most likely located near the clubhouse on Solace Dreams. Voting is easy peasy and quick, unless of course you are having a hard time making a decision. In order to help to make your decision, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know the candidates better.

Surf Side: Let’s start at the beginning, how did you get involved in surfing in Second Life?
Maldrul Morris: My partner, Sonya Saarinen, found a sim that had surfable waves, so we went there and checked it out. I tried a rezzed board then went and bought my first long board. I surfed for fun and showed the sim to my friend Sunrize Mornington. She became involved with the competitions and invited me to be her partner at the PCX tandem event. After that I was hooked on competition surfing and joined the SLSA.
Alvaro Pevensey: I surf, snowboard and skateboard in RL, Back in ’08 when I started, I heard about those sports in SL, decided to check it out and landed in Mori Pwani. Tried a board there and loved it. Been surfing ever since.
Roxy (Roxyangel007): I was exploring and came upon Tsunami Beach and was trying to surf for the 1st time and Rayzza and Nico were there and I started to talk with them. They both were very helpful in getting me interested in surfing. I was hooked immediately and have never looked back!

Surf Side: What prompted your decision to run for SLSA Director?
Alvaro: I think we all have something to offer the surf community and whatever part we play in it is important, and we have to start by giving back. I want to contribute as much as I can for the sake of all of us surfers. I understand that there’s real life surfers and others that aren’t, but that is the magic of SL, Even landlocked people can surf and be a part of a surfing community. I think that’s awesome. We all learn from each other and whatever little I know, I want to share as Director.
Roxy: Well I have been a member of the SLSA for nearly a year and thought it was time to give back to something that has brought me so much joy by becoming more involved.
Mal: I have been an SLSA Director in the past and I decided that I should once again give something back to the organization.

Surf Side: What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?
Roxy: I’m hesitant to  answer this question as I myself am still learning about the SLSA and what it brings to its members.
Mal: Training, not only for event staff such as judge or marshall, but also for the various offcer duties such as SIM manager or HR.
Alvaro:  Definitely think we could do a bit more training and education, more tryouts and tests for the boards that are coming. Testing wave/board combinations to find the best for each. I think we also need a revamp of our home break, Solace. Make it the best surf spot in SL.

Surf Side: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what do you see as your first priority as an SLSA director?
Mal: I would say the top priority for all of the directors should be to make sure everyone is having fun.
Alvaro:  Definitely wave and board certification.
Roxy: Overall I feel that SL surfing runs very smoothly. The one issue that always seems to rear its ugly head from time to time and especially during competitions is lag. However unfortunately that’s something we don’t have direct control over, so I think educating SLSA members where to look for tips to help reduce their lag would be a good place to start.

I also think communication is key so all members are informed…even if its as simple as directing members to the SLSA website as it contains a wealth of knowledge there that most may not be aware of.

Surf Side: How long have you been competing in SLSA competitions?
Alvaro: I started surfing in the second season of 2012, My first comp was DaHui surf classic in 2012, then i decided to join SLSA comps.
Roxy: I nervously entered my first competition in April 2013 and was excited to be a part of the SLSA. Each and every competition I enter gets my heart pumping as each new challenge is presented.
Mal: Since 2008

Surf Side: Do you participate in other competitions?
Roxy: To date I have only entered the SLSA monthly competition which I absolutely love.
Mal: I have competed in the PCX tandem and recently in the SLSA Team vs competition.
Alvaro: I haven’t participated in other comps.

Surf Side: Since we are talking about comps… What do you like the best about them? And what is your least favorite part?
Mal: My favorite thing about surfing competitions (aside from being on the podium at the end) is being with all of my friends and making new ones. The thing I like least? LAG!!!
Alvaro: I love to compete for the sake of it, to have fun, win or lose, doesn’t matter, what matters is the fun and the people. Ultimately, we only compete against ourselves not against others. What I like the least, is sometimes there are people who forget to have fun.
Roxy: My favourite thing is that it brings all the surfers together in one place for a day which allows us to reconnect with those that we may only see occasionally and share the excitement of the competition.

And I guess my least favourite thing is how long the comps are as I find myself exhausted after so many hours, even when I’m only there to cheers on my fellow surfers, however its definitely a good exhaustion. I don’t see the comps getting any shorter as more and more people are catching the surf bug, so this is something that is a part of the SLSA world where the good far outweighs the bad 🙂

Surf Side: Do you think SLSA today has a greater role to play in the SL surfing community?
Alvaro: It is the glue that binds us surfers together, I haven’t heard of other associations that come even close to the SLSA in terms of organized surfing, or any other sport for that matter. I believe yeah, the SLSA has a huge role to play in our community.
Roxy: From my limited knowledge of the SL Surfing Community I feel the SLSA is the centre of it and therefore has a responsibility to its members to keep them informed and interested in the sport.
Mal: Through the years, I have seen people attempt to increase the visibility of the sport of surfing in SL in general and the SLSA in particular, most notably by Kantbe Thursday. Other water sports do seem to get noticed more often than surfing. Organizations such as the SLSA should play a role in bringing this sport to a wider audience.

Surf Side: It is still being determined what boards will be used in the remainder of this season. And there has been great innovation lately in board creation. What are your thoughts on having a variety of board script/vendors into the competition season? How should it be determined which boards are used in competitions?
Roxy: Wow this is a loaded question…..but I applaud the creativity of the board creators and welcome new boards into the mix. I feel that there is always room for new boards as well as new waves as that way we will continually be challenged. As to how to decide which boards should be used in competitions I feel it should be an mutual agreement between the sim owners who so generously offer their sims for Surf Competitions and the Directors.
Mal: Having a variety of scripts that determine the way boards react with the surf-able waves is not a bad thing *IF* all of them have at least common basic control functions that are predictable. The Directors should form a committee to produce a baseline functionality requirement for how a board acts when mounting a wave, speeding up, slowing down, turning left or right.
Alvaro: I think it is a great thing to have people innovating all the time, new boards, new waves mean new challenges. The way to determine what is to be used is by testing, testing, more testing and then certifying a board or a wave as competition ready. I also believe that there are wave/board combos that definitely don’t mix. Glitches, script clashes and other problems. Also, the opinions of surfers, what they would like to see and what they wouldn’t, leaving the final decision to the board of directors.

Surf Side: Time for some fun stuff… What board is your current favourite?
Mal: SSI 5.1 long board. I have found it to be the smoothest ride with the best control for the widest variety of waves. (I own a 5.1 Tribe Earth and it hasn’t let me down yet)
Alvaro: My HP5 Fish board, I love how it handles in any wave and realistic way it behaves. Also the fact that it takes quite a bit of skill to surf on it. Shame I wont be able to use it this season.
Roxy: I love all the boards and haven’t picked one as my favourite…each requires different skills which makes hard to compare.

Surf Side: When you are in search of the perfect wave, which one do you favor?
Alvaro: The Jaws. I love the freedom I have in it and the fact that i don’t bump my head on a solid ‘roof’ when i go up and hit the lip. You can go right through it, just like you can on a real wave.
Roxy: As far as waves go I feel the same as I do about boards….I enjoy them all and one has yet to stand out for me as a fav!
Mal: Without a doubt, the Sunsetter 200 m because I’ve always excelled on that wave.

Surf Side: Any places in particular that draw your surfing soul?
Roxy: That’s a difficult question as each Surf Beach offers different challenges which I love. While each offer different beaches and may use the same wave/board as another it rides differently so its difficult to pick just one, but I guess I could say I have a soft spot for Tsunami as that was my first introduction to SL surfing.
Mal: I have no favorites. They each have their good and bad points, but in the end, they all present another place to surf.
Alvaro: My home break, Hawaii. It’s got the real feel.  Wes’ sim is pretty cool, virtually lagless, completely devoted to surfing.

Surf Side: What else is there that might help us get to know you better?
Mal: I am just a regular elf and very approachable. I know elves have gotten a bad reputation for being aloof but in my case, its just that I’m kind of shy. ;>
Alvaro: While in university, near San Francisco, I learned to surf, some of the places we hit, got mauled, froze and were bruised but made me fall in love with the sport were Ocean Beach, Pedro Point and the Mavericks (I owe them a broken rib and quite a few bloody noses). I have surfed the Pacific in Guatemala, treacherous breaks and some nasty cross currents. Now I surf the great lakes, ice and snow and quarter inch wetsuits but ultimately amazing. I’ve worked in advertising all my adult life, from graphic designer to Creative Services Director. (I assure you, I’m not a mad man). I got my Sarah both lives, Second and Real. I’m a happy man, what else can I say? I can’t sing. I can dance pretty well, I can draw. Can’t ice skate to save my life. That’s about it, I think? Yeah, that’s about it.
Roxy: Not really, though I just want everyone to understand that I am in no way a seasoned surfing veteran but am very eager to learn and grow within the SLSA. My viewpoint  is from a limited exposure to the SLSA and my responses reflect that.

I love my “Surf family” and am so glad that I have a potential opportunity to get more involved. By Surf family I mean all surfers from all teams as well as surfers who surf independently.

Surf Side would like to thank all of the candidates who so graciously took the time to answer all our questions.

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