Socks "Rough Guide" to Second Life Windsurfing PIX

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Socks Clawtooth
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Socks "Rough Guide" to Second Life Windsurfing PIX

Post by Socks Clawtooth »

Socks "Rough Guide" to SL windsurfing, v0.5 (Or an FAQ, for lack of a better term...)

Introduction

When I saw windsurfing on SL, it looked like a lot of fun. The only problem was that unlike surfing, there are no information cards to help you out. Jut the 1 sentence of what to do, kind of, when you hop on the board. So, after some trial and error (lots of the latter), I have a lot of this stuff figured out. Consider this a "live" document, as I'll be updating it as I find out more information or figure out more tricks

I'm not a pro, I'm just a cat who hopped onto a windsurfer at the old Truth Beach and said "DAMN this is fun! How do I do flips?!?!?" So what terms I use may not always go along with what "real" windsurfers use and I'll update as needed. Also, windsurfing in SL adheres to what I call "Mario Physics", meaning that in mid-air, you can sometimes alter your movement and momentum in ways that in the real world you can not. This plays a lot into SL windsurfing, so I reference it a lot. And what follows is what works for me, it may be different on your system and setup, or I my be flat out wrong in some of these things and I don't quite realize it. So please bear with me on these explanations, and understand that I look at this as a video game, not as a real life simulation.

Also, All these images are on my "Koinup" page in a slideshow format. You can find the whole thing at http://www.koinup.com/Socks/work/40471/ I had individual images, but it was KILLING my space there! If you want larger versions, go to that link, and you'll see them there.


The basics of movement

Movement on a windsurer is like any other vehicle in SL. Forward, back, left and right. You can use the arrow keys (up for forward, left, down for back, right), or "WASD". You can also jump using the "page up" or "E" key, but you need to press and hold the key to "power up" your jump. (for future reference, I will call this the "jump button" or just "jump") Page Down ("C") seems to have no purpose other than stopping or slowing down, but back is better.

I haven't been able to go in reverse very fast, if at all, so "backwards" is negligible and mostly should be used for stopping. As long as you're pressing forward, you will travel forward. Let go, and you will coast to a stop. Turning is pressing forward and left or right, as with any other vehicle.

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While holding down jump your avatar will wave a hand in the air. This is a signal you're loading up power on a jump. The longer you hold the button, the more "power" you load up for the jump. The tradeoff is that while you're loading up, you are gliding and no longer accelerating or maintaining speed. You will decelerate rapidly if you are not careful. We'll go into jumping and tricks a little later.

Windsurfers have a cruising speed that isn't impressive. However, the skill is catching the SL wind. At certain angles you will see your avatar change body position, arms will lock, body will pull back and lean away from the sail. When this happens, you have caught the wind, and your acceleration and top speed will increase substantially. To catch the wind you may have to release and re-press the forward key, which almost simulates jerking on the sail to get in the wind in real life.

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"Mario Physics" begins to show here. You can catch the wind on either side of the sail, and the animation / action is the same. One you are "stiffarmed", you can steer away from the wind and maintain your high speed as long as you do not release the forward key. It's possible to accelerate in tight circles, if you so desire, by hold and release long enough to put turn input in, but not so long as to turn sharply. The board's natural tendency is to make sharp turns until you reach full speed, so a light hand is needed to make sweeping turns up to that point. At full speed you can make long arcing turns by just holding L or R, and you'll make a long, sweeping turn automatically. If you need to turn sharply, let go of the forward key to start slowing down, and turn hard.

The real key to windsurfing in SL is getting up to speed, and keeping your speed up. Once you have the wind on either side of the sail you should try to keep the sail full. Practice long, sweeping turns instead of sharp ones, as longer arcs will maintain speed. There are times a sharp turn is needed, but you will only get impressive tricks off when moving at top speed.


Jumps

Jumping with a windsurfer is fairly basic. You need to get your speed up, load up by pressing and holding the jump button, and release. You then press a direction button to determine your movement. You must release the jump button before pressing the direction keys! Sometimes you will float into the air a little, this is normal and a sign of great air possibility.

Pressing left or right will spin the board rapidly in that direction. Pressing back will induce a reverse flipping motion. Pressing forward will induce a forward flipping motion. However, this alone won't always get you into a flip.

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The best way to do stunts is to combine left/right with forward/back. For example, left/forward is the best way to get air on a front flips, back/right the best for back flipping. The left/right somehow gives enough twist to the leap to give it extra punch, possibly a little corkscrew action to put wind under the sail in real life terms, or just enough twist to get the board out of the SL water to make stunts easier. It's best to experiment with all of the key combos to learn which is better for you.

NOTICE : Since Havok4's release, there is curently no H4 friendly windsurfer. This means that the water drags over the nose of the board significantly to affect performance. It was possible before H4 to front-flip with impunity, now it's a lot harder but still possible. Again, it's speed management. Getting up to speed, keeping your speed up, and doing the tricks on the right part of the wave.

The hardest part of a trick is landing it. Often you end up 180 degrees off your starting point and it kills your speed as you're facing "fins first" and not "nose first". The best way around this is to either learn to land nose forward, or to quickly turn upon landing and get on the wind again. It's also possible to land on a wave, and use it to gain speed.


Interacting with the waves

Normal windsurfing is fun, I've had a lot of fun on "pure glass" water before doing just basic flip tricks. But to get some real power, you need to get on a wave. Waves in SL are more like skateboard ramps than water for windsurfers. For reference, the "heelside" is when your heels are closest to the wave, toeside your toes. For tricks it seems to make little to no difference, but to explain waves, it does.

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Fluffy waves are fun to look at, but for windsurfing they're all but useless. You can make a nice looking technical run to the beach on them, but they offer little to no power for speed. They actually slow you down more than help, but if you're needing a small burst of speed, hitting a fluffy from the back can give you enough of a boost to make a jump that clears an obstacle. Barely.

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Epics are fun, but it's riding by Braille. The windsurf camera puts you behind the wave on the "heelside" edge, and sometimes the wave covers your avatar on the toeside edge as well., so you really have no clue what you're doing or where you're going. It's possible to do some fun tricks, but you're not able to see them for yourself and it's VERY difficult.

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Pipes are the ideal wave for windsurfers. Since they are translucent, when your camera goes behind the wave you still see yourself. Plus the wave is small enough that you can control yourself on the wave. From here out, I will be talking about Pipes and Epics only. All tricks work on them both, but are MUCH easier on pipes.

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Understand that the windsurfer is not a surfboard, it's a boat. If you're trying to turning on a dime in the wave like you would on a surfboard, you will lose speed and never get stunts to work. Also understand that it's like skateboarding in that you need to be fluid in how you travel along the waves.

If you haven't already, leave the mini-map up. Learn what waves look like in it, and anticipate making waves on the map and not on the main screen. The camera is in a weird place on main screen, and makes it hard to navigate on that screen alone.

Now approach a wave at an angle with the intent on a light climb up the bottom part of the wave (the trough, but it looks more like a curb to me). If you do it right, your speed will kick up and you'll see yourself speed up. You can use this speed for tricks, or just yell "Wahoo" and go faster too, whatever floats your boat.

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You can get some interesting effects going "nose first" into a wave and spinning in place on the wave itself, but it will kill a lot of your speed doing it. It can look REALLY cool, but understand you won't "nosepick" into a wave and be able to load up for a jump.

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Stunting off a wave can get interesting. You hold jump for 1-2 seconds, let go, and start your trick. If you want to go up, be closer to the bottom with your board in the water and not on the wave. If you want to go out, turn into the wave and put our board over the water line. It's SL, there's no guarantees you'll go up or out on any given try, but it's how I've been trying to do it.

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There are also times where your sail becomes trapped under the lip of a pipe. I call this being locked in, because you can't steer, you can't accelerate or move, you're just along for the ride.. If this happens, you'll be stuck and more than likely pushed backwards until you're ejected out the side of the pipe, the pipe hits the beach and stops, or you force your way out. The way out of this I've found is to load a jump, and try a front/right flip. If that doesn't work, try other combinations (front/L, back/R...) If you break loose, it will probably shoot you towards shore, enjoy the ride!

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Planned jumps are, however, the better way to do tricks. the best way to launch off a wave is at the ends, where you have room to flip over the lip and away from the wave itself. It is possible to launch from inside the wave as well, you need to be further up the wall so your jump pushes you forward more than up. Some tricks will put you up and over the wave as well, and it's possible to ride on top of an epic! More "Mario Physics" at play.

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Tricks

Most of your tricks will be key combinations, and you crawling all over your keyboard. In all cases, it involves loading up a jump first, then doing these tricks mid-air.

360's : Press left or right in air. You spin through a full rotation.

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Spin loop : Performed in open water flat, back/left or right for a corkscrew flip

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Table Top or Shove it : jump higher on the wave for an "out" jump, hold forward/(L o rR) and release when enough turn is achieved, then reverse with back and the opposite L or R. In RL Windsurfing this is more like a "Shove it" and as close to a tabletop as we're going to get.

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Back loop : back/right to full rotation

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Front loop : Forward/Left to full rotation (HARDER to do in Havok4!)

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Barrel Roll : rotating around while parallel to the water. VERY hard to plan for, but spectacular trick when you're spit out of a pipe after being locked in.

SL specific Wave tricks using "Mario Physics" :

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Cat Tap : Harder than it looks! Ride to the end of a pipe, jump before the end and start a back loop. Tap the TOP of the pipe with the nose, and roll out with a front loop (so back/r in, tap the top of the wave, front/l out, ride away clean) If you do this cleanly, you can turn around and re-enter the wave for another trick.

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Pipe Rolls : Before reaching the end of a wave, jump with a back/R to loop with 180 degrees rotation. If done right, you're still in the pipe and can accelerate off the pipe wall. Ride through the inside of the pipe, repeat. It's possible to do this stunt all the way to the beach.

Pop-up : Ride hard directly at a pipe, load a jump at full speed, and front loop over the wave. The sail will catch on the pipe, so stay on it for two full rotations over the pipe. Land clean and you can resume your speed. (VERY hard in Havok 4!)

Wave Grind : VERY difficult, you'll do this mostly by accident. Unless you really try, in which case you'll never do it. Back loop off the end of a wave high on the back of the pipe. If you jump high enough, with enough right spin, you can end up on top of the wave. If you can stop it in time, you're on top of the wave like a skateboarder on a rail doing a "grind".


Hopefully, this "Rough Guide" will give you a starting point to enjoy SL Windsurfing! May the wind always be with you!

(Many thanks to "TWC" for use of the Epic, Tavarua for the fluffies and the smooth surface, and Tsunami Beach for the pipes! This guide is FAR from complete, but after being frustrated at a lack of information, I figured someone had to write one.)[/img]
Last edited by Socks Clawtooth on Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Socks Clawtooth

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Radical Twang
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Post by Radical Twang »

Nice guide Socks, thanks. I'll be making this a sticky in the forums. :)

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Post by Sierra Sugar »

OMG Socks, GREAT post! Please tell me you are competing this weekend in the Second Reef Competition? I will be cheering for you from afar, as sadly I have to work and cannot compete this year. We'll have to match up again some other time. Hmmm... do I smell a Windsurfing invitational? *grins* At any rate, absolutely fantastic post. Thanks for taking the time to put all of that into words and corresponding pictures.
**his kitty**

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Socks Clawtooth
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Post by Socks Clawtooth »

I've got a RL event going on here this weekend, so I won't be there competing. Now if the event is rained out, or whatever, I'll come and see if I can slip into the event. But right now, I'm not anticipating being there.

Hey, this event has been planned for like 4 months... I'm not gonna say no. :) But I'd like to see more "freestyle" events. Give riders 2 minutes on the water and let them rip it up, see what happens.
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Post by Dharma-Austin »

Socks you are one of the nices people in Second Life!
I LIVESTRONG
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Poid Mahovlich
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Post by Poid Mahovlich »

socks you ROCK this is excellent ! wtg you :)

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Post by Mick Lunasea »

Wow! Socks awsome, gee if only i can remember... tripple lutz with a cherry nose flip... Boy am I in the stone age... great info thanks!

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Post by Abel Halderman »

Great post, Socks! Thanks so much.

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Post by Socks Clawtooth »

Update 1 of.... well many if I have anything to say about it.

Windsurfing on Epics

In the first post of the thread, I mentioned that riding epics was very difficult due to the wave style and camera angle. Well, a lot has changed in two weeks.

The biggest change is the introduction of the "translucent epic" at Manjini for the 2nd reef contest. I was skeptical about having the event on Epics until I saw what they had done to the epic! Now it's rideable on a windsurfer! And I've seen the "clear epic" on a few other sims now too, so it's spreading!

Several new windsurf boards have come out with altered camera angles. A "Switch cam" is available for the classic view, which is good for me as mouselook and head on makes me seasick. Landlocked in the states being seasick on a computer game, I know. The fact that they're H-4 ready is a bonus. PLUS Havok 4 has been altered, or some sims are running new versions or something. So the standing front flip is now possible again. So this means that some of the stunts that WERE hard before are back to being easy!

So with these changes, windsurfing on Epics is not only possible but a LOT more entertaining! So after many sessions on the waves, I've got this addendum to the Rough Guide specific to Epics. Most of the rule book is thrown out the window on these bad boys.

I don't claim to understand how Epics really work, I'm just going off my experience with the ones I've been on. So I may be TOTALLY off on the physics, but all the stuff I'm talking about I can easily repeat on an epic anywhere in the grid, so I think that I've got the constants down.


The Basics :

Your basics do not change, steering, jumps, and maneuvers are all the same on Epics as anywhere else. The difference is the wave speed, power and "fins in the water".

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Epics are more powerful. I think part of this is due to the wave size. Unlike a pipe, Epics have a ride surface that goes almost all the way up the wave. What this means is that you can load a jump at the bottom of the wave, then launch it with your board at almost a 45degree or more angle to the base water surface! Add to this the forward "push" of the epic, and you have a LOT of launch potential.

The other part is that windsurfers don't steer unless the fins are planted in water. So in an Epic you can do multiple rotations bouncing off the wave before the fins hit water again. This allows for some radical spins, twists, and amplitude you can't match on a pipeline. Just through playing around I found a lot of things that real life windsurfers could only dream of doing. Or actually have nightmares of these stunts. In the real world this would be terrifying.


Jumps and Launches

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Unlike a pipeline, I've found you can radically climb up an Epic at a steep angle of attack. The down side is if you flip wrong near the top, or if you go too far up, your mast goes over the "push wave" in the epic and you fall off the back and come to a dead stop as the Epic rolls to the beach.

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Here's a trick, however, Windsurfers, once in the wind, are FASTER than Epic waves! So if you lose the wave in the first 1/4 of the run, go chase it down! Enter from the side, not the middle, and you can still get a run in. You can still get a stunt off the wave before it breaks!

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What happens once you jump off the wave depends on a few factors. What your speed is, what your angle to base water and wave is, and arguably how close to a wave seam you are. The last is arguable, because I've fallen through a few waves when the seam gives out.

The faster you are moving before you load up a jump, the higher you will jump. Best way to do this is to think like a skateboarder and roll from the top down at speed. Load a jump for 2-3 seconds, and launch into a stunt directly.

If you are at an angle to the base water, your launch will be angled as well. You can effectively put yourself into a flat spin with a launch in the middle of a wave while the board is flat against the wave but at an angle to the water.

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And to go back a little, you will KEEP flipping and turning until your fins plant in the water again. Not always the wave, but ALWAYS in the WATER. So a real skill in Epic windsurfing is not doing flips and turns, it's STOPPING them. In all reality, you can catch an epic at its inception, start into a flat spin, and ride that spin all the way into the beach. Looks cool, but really no skill in that.


Building speed

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At the Manjini event, when I was cleared I went into the wave area and started making grand circles. This wasn't just "something to do", I was building up speed. By the time the event starts, you should know which way the wind is blowing. Let the sail catch the wind, and start a grand circle. If you time it right, you'll be at speed at an angle to the wave as it forms. It takes some patience and learning, but once you have this down you'll be able to get more usable time per wave.


Stunts

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Most of these are only possible in Second Life, and in the real world there's no way that you could possibly do this. But let's face it, THEY LOOK COOL!!! You can do the basic stunts as you can on pipes (tabletops, front and back loops, cat taps, piperolls). You can even "Epic grind" too, but I have yet to figure out a way to fall back into the "right" side of the wave and not just slip off the back of it. But the power and size of the Epic gives you a lot more possibility. These are stunts that I've done, and gotten down. You may discover some other variation. Just remember, if you're the first to do it, and you can repeat it, you get to name it. That's the rule.


Flatspins

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These are like "tabletops" in which the sail is horizontal, and parallel to the water. You get this by launching high on the wave, preferably with the board angled 25 degrees or more in reference to the water line. As you enter the wave, if you carve it like a skateboarder does you'll angle your board position to do this. Jump with your board angled to the wave, and you'll launch more "out" than "up" which places your sail parallel to the waterline. While the sail is parallel, you begin a flip motion (up or down) to induce a rotation like a top. The board and mast touch the wave, and keep pushing you forward. It can be argued the sail is being pushed up from the force of air under it and the wave but... DAMN it looks cool!


Barrel rolls

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The setup is similar to a flatspin in which the sail is parallel to the water. In this case, you press left or right to induce a flip rotation instead of a spin. If done right, it will look like the board tip and tail are tapping the wave, and the sail is somehow not collapsing as you rotate. In mouselook, it's guaranteed to make you hurl.

Cartwheels

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Something you can only do on epics! Jump higher on the wave but board parallel to the water line, and begin a front of back flip (up/right, down/left works well). Then don't let go. You'll cartwheel from one side to the other if you let it! The fun is stopping it before you run out of wave.

Curl Flips

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A fun looking trick that's more technical than it looks. Ride up the wave loading up a jump. Near the top, begin a back flip (back/right) and put more turn input than flip (release the back half-way up the tube but keep on the right, then press back to finish the flip). The end result looks like you're riding along the top of the curl, and back down into the wave in reverse. You can use this as an elegant way to switch direction as you're doing wave tricks.


Hyperspace Launch

I found this the night before the Manjini comp, and it came in handy. It's NOT easy, but it's repeatable so it's not a bug or glitch. I don't have it 100% perfected and it's NOT something you can count on, but when you can hit it the word "sick" doesn't even describe it.

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Approach the wave almost head on, and get your speed up. Angle out just a little so you're about 80 degrees to the front of the wave. Load up a jump about 2-3 seconds before you hit the wave. Let go just as you hit the face of the wave and are climbing up. IF you do it right, with your board angled up the curve of the epic, you'll hyperspace launch. You'll know if you do it right.

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By my guess, it's a 30-35M launch UP and OUT. You'll move faster than the wave to the beach forward, and I've gotten about 4-5 seconds of hangtime. What I like to do is flatspin on the way down, like the sail is a parachute, and flip to land fin side down if I can. The fun part is you land in front of the wave and may still have enough run left to do some more tricks. Just be careful when you try this, I was launched off the water, OVER the beach, and nearly out of a sim while doing the photo shoot for this piece!

Real world? NO WAY. SL, go for it!

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Dismount

Something I'd like to play with more. Near the end of the run, ride the top of the wave at a hard angle (near 80-90 degrees), front flip so your mast pushes against the back of the push wave, and forces you to flip over the back of the wave just before it breaks on shore. It's not much, but it's a neat way to end your run. Oh, and wave to the judges too, let them know that's it for this run. (hold down jump to make the armwave motion)

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Final words

All these stunts are spectacular, but the best stunt to learn is ENDING a stunt. On an epic you can get 3-4 stunt runs in from end to end, but only if you stop and show the judges you have control of your board. You end a trick by putting the fins in the water and steering away with control. Doing spins from end to end looks cool, but I could do that by putting weights on the keyboard and getting a beer.

And as with everything else, just use this guide as a start point. You may find that what works for you is nothing like what I wrote! It takes practice and patience to learn how to ride, so take some time to learn how the craft steers, how the wind affects it, and how you interact with the waves. And see you on the beach!

(and yes, the bunny is me. I never surf in the bunny because it's so script heavy! Empty beaches, I love it! But in a comp? No way, too much scripting...)
Socks Clawtooth

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