Virtual surfing: girls waiting for the swell

The Virtual Highway Surfing Association keeps alive the dream of riding waves in a computer screen.

"Second Life", the online virtual world founded in 2003, has opened new creative ways of chasing waves when the real life ocean was flat. Although the overall quality of the graphics was very low-fi, there were thousands of fans gathering for virtual surfing championships.

The first governing body to be created was the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA). Champions were crowned, surf spots were designed and colorful surfboards were shaped.

A few years later, a new Tour was founded in the virtual surfing world. The Virtual Highway Surfing Association (VHSA) has been developed by members of the original surfing organization.

"Second Life surfing did decline a bit. But I now see a new interest with new surfers. I began a project that few thought would be plausible. I brought Surfing to OpenSimulator because it wasn't here yet, not because I pulled out of SLSA", explains Marianna Monentes, founder of the VHSA.

"I took surfing to OpenSimulator grids, where physics are such that few believed it would even work. But it has and we had our first competition. Sure it is in the dinosaur stage, but we did it", Monentes adds.

Virtual surfers are usually real life surfers with a passion for pixels, computer engineering and the mystery of being undercover. Tauri Tigerpaw, editor of SurfWatch, a blog which dedicates its space to virtual surfing news.

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"You can find the 'Wave Report' which will give you a list of locations and wave types in Second Life and also in Virtual Highway, the newest grid to add virtual surfing", says Tigerpaw.

"While Second Life as a whole may or may not be in decline - and you can check the Second Life sites for that information - virtual surfing has expanded to new virtual worlds. The largest and longest lasting virtual surfing association [SLSA] has over 1000 members", underlines the SurfWatch rider.

While the VHSA world tries to capture new members, unreal wave riders keep enjoying the best surf spots in the three-dimensional planet. Tsunami Beach, Chi, Tai, Archipelago, Asylum Break and Cape Marina are some of the best peaks in the pixel world.

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