Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Rez Day, Revlon Benoir!



Happy Rez Day, Thelma!!!

SLSA Director Candidate Interview - Cierra Theriac

SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help members get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All 3 candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received all interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Stay tuned for more details!

Candidate Name: Cierra Theriac

SW: We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term. What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?

CT: Experience... I have served as director several times before, as well as, being a founding director. I have a strong desire to make things right for the surfers, that we are having fun, and building a strong community. I have always tried to think of things from the surfers' points of view. Think about what we are doing and why, and how does it best benefit everyone.

SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?

CT: As an organization, we need to grow our community a bit more, get more participation in events, as surfers and staff. There are a few specific areas I believe need to be cleaned up; the judging rules, communication with members and community building events.

SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?

CT: That is a hard one... I see lots of people loving the beach and surfing. But we don't have as many "full" sims that can accommodate large numbers of group members. This makes it hard to get together as a community. We would all love to see more surfboards and more waves... but for those of us less talented, ahem, in the building and scripting... it is kinda beyond our control. Don't get me wrong, we have some great boards and waves available to us now. I just am greedy and always want more. We all want less drama, and more surfing!

SW: When you decided to run for Director, why did you feel you would be the best candidate for this job?

CT: I am in no way "the best" candidate for the job. But I like to work with people to create a fun environment. I work hard. I love SL Surfing, ok, any surfing :) I have history, so I have a sense of what works and what doesn't, but am always open to suggestions and ideas.

SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?

CT: I love all of it. My surfing was pretty good. Being out in the line-up chatting with other surfers is one of my favorite things. Dissatisfied? Let me get back to you on that, lol.

SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

CT: I am quiet/shy (usually)... but not a loner. I am open to talking to anyone about anything. I am totally approachable. If you have questions, issues, concerns, want to share a beer, hit me up :)

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2017 and possible issues moving into this upcoming term (listed below):

1. Were you concerned with the low number of competitors signed up for the recent competitions? What are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in competitions?

I am not concerned per se, but it does make it difficult to staff. Small comps are still fun, but we still need the same amount of staff to hold them. I think we just need to get out there and show surfers how much fun the SLSA and competitions can be. The numbers will fluctuate. I have faith that we will pull more people into our crazy world.

2. While there are a substantial number of surfing sims in SL these days, there is still a continuing decline of surf sims with supporting neighbor full sims for spectators. Do you believe the current two sim requirement as being viable? If so, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions? If not, what do you envision as the alternative(s)?

I don't have answers to this one, but am open to suggestions!

3. Some people have expressed a feeling there is an overall decreasing interest in surfing in SL, or at least a decrease in the feeling of community within the SLSA. What are your thoughts about this, and if you agree, what ideas do you have for possible improvement?

I would love to have members get together for a surf or hang out and chill... just be together. I feel that is where we start building a bond in members.

SLSA Director Candidate Interview - Kris Marley

SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help members get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All 3 candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received all interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Stay tuned for more details!

Candidate Name: Kris Marley

SW: We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term. What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?

KM: This will be my 2nd stint as a Director so I'm going into it knowing what to expect really. I've been competing for 3 seasons, trained as a judge and met so many experienced people that my knowledge of how it operates and the surf scene in general is pretty good, so I know I can do the job well. I ran again obviously because I want to see the SLSA and competition surfing continue, I feel it’s a huge part of SL Surfing and used right can be one main place for surfers to go to for all Surf related information and not just competition Surfing. More importantly I knew there would be people running that are just as passionate as me and that I would be going into a really hard working and committed team of 5. To have 5 people who will work so hard and can bring so much all as Directors at one time is rare and it can really make a huge difference to how it runs.

SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?

KM: It has to modernize a bit, I get the historical side of it and the nostalgia that comes with some aspects of the SLSA but you don't see cars driving around with cassette players now because once upon a time you had a cracking road trip listening to your favourite sounds on a cassette. Times change and SLSA has to progress some. Social media is huge, it needs a bigger presence there through facebook and flickr and whatever else we can use. Also for a lot of people SL is a visual experience, things like the stands probably haven't changed in years, it’s just a block of wood, the podium is a few boxes joined together and painted white. Nobody new is gonna turn up to an event and think this looks cool as hell, they gonna think they just arrived in 2007.

Then you have the judging situation, we have to get judges trained and encourage people to do it. We all love to surf, but if people don't step up and take their turn there will be nothing to surf in. As an organization we have to make it more appealing to people to want to do it, reduce the time of competitions, make them feel more part of it all, reward them better. It’s a major issue and that was shown with a competition postponement this season, it has to get looked at.

SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?

KM: Judging has to be the first priority. If we can go into each month not having to worry about finding judges it allows us to focus our attention on other areas, creating a buzz around the place, more community inclusion and togetherness. We want to give the surfers something to be proud to be a part of, something they enjoy each time they attend and that will wear off on newcomers and encourage them to stick with it and keep coming back to the beach. Recently some of that buzz has been coming back to Surfing, so far this year we have had Surfari, Surf Camp, and Surfella. Surfella was a smash which everybody seemed to have enjoyed and a number of people in the community all pulled together to make possible. To have 18 different people and groups from the Surf community all turn up to help and be part of one event gives me huge encouragement. Another event was The Hummingbird Surf Challenge that Shi put on, again it was a smash with the people who competed and those who came to watch. The surfers involved in it all pulled together to make it work. The buzz is definitely there in Surfing we just have to pull it all together.

SW: When you decided to run for Director, why did you feel you would be the best candidate for this job?

KM: I wouldn't say it was ever me thinking I was the best candidate for the job, but I knew if the people running alongside the remaining board members were all on the board then it would be an energetic and passionate team. I wanted to be a part of it and try bring some of the stuff we are trying to do outside the SLSA into it.

SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?

KM: I think every time you see a season completed you have to be pleased with the efforts and commitment with the people involved in making it possible. It’s a hard job and you have to take your hat off to them for the work they did. I wouldn't say anything was really dissatisfying, some things can be improved on, competitions just running on time and a bit more efficiently is something I'd like to see.

SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

KM:

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2017 and possible issues moving into this upcoming term (listed below):

1. Were you concerned with the low number of competitors signed up for the recent competitions? What are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in competitions?

Obviously you would always like to see bigger competitions but during my 3 seasons I have seen numbers go up and down constantly and from people who were surfing for a couple seasons before me it sounds like it’s not been much different for a while now. People step away from it and come back, and next season you'll likely see faces who missed out this season back in competition again. The time of competitions, you want them running smooth and efficient every single time. Things happen that you just can't control but I think if we can cut the time down as much as possible through not making mistakes people would be more willing to spend 2 or 3 hours competing. We've spoken about lessons during the off season and during each month for whatever board will be used in the competition, maybe it will encourage people to sign up for them. We also need better information around the place, too many people find it hard to work out what it’s all about so we have to fix that.

2. While there are a substantial number of surfing sims in SL these days, there is still a continuing decline of surf sims with supporting neighbor full sims for spectators. Do you believe the current two sim requirement as being viable? If so, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions? If not, what do you envision as the alternative(s)?

It’s really something out of our control in regard to sim numbers but for sure the 2 sim setup is still important. In my 2 years knowing Surfing I think only 1 full sim has dropped off of the calendar with Surf Religion not being there now. There will always be somewhere to Surf, it will never disappear as sad as it is to lose good places to Surf.

3. Some people have expressed a feeling there is an overall decreasing interest in surfing in SL, or at least a decrease in the feeling of community within the SLSA. What are your thoughts about this, and if you agree, what ideas do you have for possible improvement?

I don't think there is a decreasing interest, I've seen more people getting involved and getting together recently than I have in the 2 years I have been here. Sim groups are willingly advertising events on other sims, talking to other sim owners about organizing events and activities on the sims. That’s something we have to keep building on, not just through SLSA but the community as a whole. There are so many creative and intelligent people in the community that can keep improving the vibe in Surfing, it’s everybody’s responsibility to help create the buzz around Surfing.

SLSA Director Candidate Interviews - Solsty Kismet

SurfWatch conducts these in-depth interviews to help members get a clear picture of the candidates that are running for the Board and gives candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters. All 3 candidates were sent the same interview, SurfWatch received all interviews back. See their interviews below. All interviews are posted in the order received. Stay tuned for more details!

Candidate Name: Solsty Kismet

SW: We understand you have announced your intent to run for SLSA Director this term. What qualifications, skills, competencies, traits, etc. would you bring as a director and why are you running?

SK: I am mostly running because I love the surfing community and see the SLSA as the backbone to that. Does that mean it’s perfect and that everyone loves SLSA? Of course not, that's not possible in any realm. But, I want to be part of the solutions to the problems, not part of the problems. I hope to take my RL legal and political background into the SLSA and maybe offer a fresh perspective to some of those issues. But more importantly, help to continue with the things that do work. Often times, we focus on the problems as the primary things and miss all the people working behind the scenes to make the good things continue. Surfing needs more people to step up and be a positive role model in the community. I cannot compete, due to RL obligations... so the least I can do is help elsewhere.

SW: What areas of improvement do you currently see for the SLSA as an organization?

SK: I can only give an uneducated response to this question, since I am not in yet. I don't want to be the politician claiming they have the answers then publicly admit it was more complicated than I understood. But, from a layperson's perspective.. I would love to do more inclusive events to bring us all together more, similar to what SurfWatch already does. I would like to offer more incentives for sponsors, I am not 100% sure how yet, but it’s a goal. I used to want to revamp the competitions but I am slowly seeing a bigger picture to that and not sure which direction I will go as I'm more educated on the inner workings. But I definitely think we need to get more of an interest in judging and staffing for the competitions.. so perhaps I will work on that.

SW: What do you see as the top issues facing SL surfing in general, and what would be your first priority as an SLSA director?

SK: I hear everyone say "drama" as if it only exists here. But if you spend any time on Facebook or at a RL job, you know drama is everywhere and seldom management stirring the pot. Drama reduction has to come from each individual member, it cannot come from the top. As a director, I would do my best to avoid the drama, but I think Directors should stay out of it as much as possible.

My first priority as a director would be judges for the competitions, I think. I hear from many people that is a constant challenge the SLSA faces. I would also like to make it a little easier for people to get involved. As a non-director, I had a lot of issues getting the SLSA to cooperate, respond to, or encourage people to do external things. I recognize this as a staffing issue, more than a blatant resistance, so I am not sure if there's an immediate fix, but I'm eager to investigate it.

SW: When you decided to run for Director, why did you feel you would be the best candidate for this job?

SK: I didn't. I just want to help where I can. I do think I have enthusiasm that only comes with newer members, so I'd like to harness it while it exists. The more you get in there and work on things, the more that fades. It's a natural and typically unavoidable progression. So I think , while I still have it, it's a good time to run. And when my enthusiasm fades, I hope there will be another me, eager to step in and help.

SW: What were you most satisfied with as an SLSA member last season? What were you most dissatisfied with?

SK: I was most satisfied with watching an understaffed crew work their butt off to do the absolute best job they could. Again, was it perfect? of course not.. but it was extremely impressive to watch them pull off everything they did. I am inspired by people like Petra who work tirelessly to keep everything going. I honestly can't say I was "dissatisfied" with anything. There were times I felt something could've been handled differently, but I am not so arrogant as to believe I have all the answers to everything. Perhaps there was a reason I didn't consider.. or a hurdle that was overcome that wasn't at the forefront. Until I get in there, I refuse to have an opinion on how things should be done. I would however like to see people WANT to participate, not have to.

SW: Anything else you would like voters to know about you?

SK: My #1 goal is to revive surfing. I was constantly told that surfing was dying in SL and that people were never gonna be as good as the old days. I don't love this mentality, but I feel it’s worth noting. As a director, I would like to use a 3-point plan to revive the community. 1. Bring back the older surfers by showing them the enthusiasm they crave from the old days. Bring back some of their ideas and hope we can incorporate them into the newer generations harmoniously. 2. Bring in the new. New surfers bring new enthusiasm but they need resources to stay interested. Surf classes, parties, events.. anything to look forward to. 3. Unite them all. Every single one of us has a passion for surfing. A common cause unites people. I think some of us have forgotten that we all still love the same thing. We have different opinions on how things should go and run and how waves should perform and which boards we should use.. but at the end of the day, we have so much more in common. We just need to be reminded that we're in this together.

Give us a brief statement or opinion on some of the major issues the SLSA faced in 2017 and possible issues moving into this upcoming term (listed below):

1. Were you concerned with the low number of competitors signed up for the recent competitions? What are your thoughts on how to get more riders to participate in competitions?

Yes, of course. You never want to see your passion dissipate. This is part of my 3-point plan to bring this all back. I think, personally, and I'm open to counter arguments to this, but I think there needs to be an excitement built up for it. Make the judges mini-celebrities. Make the surfers something special.. I know creating more competition is dangerous, but the people working so hard to compete would like a little extra recognition, and I think it’s a good thing. Of course, we don't want to encourage people who are only in it for glory, but I do want to give the people someone to look up to and inspire. When I first started, Neptune was the champion and there was so much buzz around him. I loved it. Just seeing him on the beach, made me feel like I had a brush with celebrity. I wanted to practice really hard to be as good as him. For some, that’s a turn off.. Some prefer Soul Surfing, and I LOVE that too. I want both, not one or the other. We all have different beliefs on what surfing should be about. I think it’s important to embrace these difference and work together in harmony.

2. While there are a substantial number of surfing sims in SL these days, there is still a continuing decline of surf sims with supporting neighbor full sims for spectators. Do you believe the current two sim requirement as being viable? If so, what can be done to support the sim owners and ensure smooth running competitions? If not, what do you envision as the alternative(s)?

I don't have the answer to that yet. I can see why it’s an issue but I also see what HummingBird Point did to counter that issue and I think it's brilliant. I would like to see what comes of that. Whether its SLSA or not, I think it’s exciting to see people create new ways to be involved. If I, as a director can help facilitate that, I will. If it’s outside of the scope of SLSA, then I will just personally encourage it.

3. Some people have expressed a feeling there is an overall decreasing interest in surfing in SL, or at least a decrease in the feeling of community within the SLSA. What are your thoughts about this, and if you agree, what ideas do you have for possible improvement?

I think it’s coming back now, but yes there was a major lull until recently. I am sure there's a natural ebb and flow to these things. But I also think, like I expressed before.. this is on the individual members mostly. The SLSA could be more active, specifically in group chats and updating people. I love that it’s a mecca for many and that should be continued. But SLSA is only a small part of what makes surfing amazing. What I would LOVE to advocate is.. rather than people standing around complaining about what they do not see, make it happen. "Be the change you want to see in the world" (-Gandhi) don't just wait for someone else to do it for you. Complaining about problems is the easy part and everyone is able to do it. Fixing those problems is the hard part. Come at me with viable solutions, and I will work my butt off to help you.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Photo Journal: SURFELLA'17

Photos courtsey of Harmony Sandalphon


Photo Courtesy Talikser Braveheart
Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue

Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue

Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue

Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue

Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue

Photo Courtesy Leanne Mordue