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Riding The (Virtual) Waves

by Persia Bravin

         s surfers, we all have bad             days. Maybe it’s flat out               there with no waves in sight, or perhaps you have just risen with the sun to paddle out in peace at your secret surf spot… only to find it overrun with every surfer within 300 miles.


Or the worst: you just snapped that new board in half, making you more aggro than usual. There will always be days where you are unable to be out surfing - but what if you could get your fix simply by switching on your PC?

Marina Bay | Second Life by Gween Marech

Within the virtual world of Second Life™ exists a thriving surf scene, with beaches, boards and thousands of active ‘surfers’ that regularly take to the pixel waves.
“Second Life has dozens of beaches and virtual surfing spots that are a blast to explore,” explains Brett Linden, Director of Marketing at Second Life.


“The virtual world is filled with people who share a passion for surfing culture, lifestyle and community - even if they aren't still active in the sport outside the virtual world.” 

Many SL surfers take part in the sport away from the screen in their real lives too, but the beauty of SL surfing is that anyone can do it: just create an avatar and within minutes you too could be surfing the virtual big blue.


All content in the world is created by the community, including surfing items such as the surf waves made by Marina Bay and surf beaches including ‘Surfer’s Bay VIP’ owned by Duncan Blackburn. “We have two large surf beaches with surfable waves and free boards so anyone can join SL and then come here to surf or socialize,” he says. 

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Courtesy of Gween Marech

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Courtesy of Gween Marech

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Courtesy of Gween Marech

There is a very real sense of a strong surf community within this virtual world too, as Tauri Tigerpaw, owner of SL’s own surfing magazine ‘SurfWatch’ confirms: “SL surfing is all about the vibe and if you've surfed in real life, you can use the visual imagery of virtual reality and a little imagination and almost feel you're in that space on the water, in the spray, hearing sea gulls and hanging around the fire pit on the beach with your crew having some beer.

The democratic nature of surfing online means that anyone can take part, no matter where you are in the world. Some of the best SL surfers are women, such as Leanne Mordue, who says: “It’s a great place to be if I have a lot to think about, it calms the mind and creates a sense of peace.

I can really chill out and focus on nothing but the surf, it’s an amazing feeling.” So, if those real-life waves are giving you a hard time, log on, zone out and try the virtual breaks instead.

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