League of Bodysurfing Superheroes

We’re building the League of Bodysurfing Superheroes from the Comic annals. This is a small strike force style crew with a variety of abilities. There are certainly scores of additional names for the list, but this is the crew I’m hitting the waves with.

5. Spiderman105c7ca7ef5aaa13a2d5ba8d4273af6c

Peter Parker is one of the most relatable characters in all of the Marvel universe. Peter is brilliant, insecure and always has a witty comback. I think he’d make a terrific bodysurfer. Spiderman has unrivaled reflex abilities that are borderline psychic. If perched in the curl, Spidey’s super strength and tremendous reflexes will ensure he finds the best path to navigate section after section.  As an added bonus, Spiderman is able to use tiny fibers in his skin (like spiders) to climb buildings and may be able to redirect this power to holding the high-line of a wave when the rest of us have bottomed out. In the end, Spiderman would definitely have the ability to be a great wave rider and since he is a New York city resident, he could hit up slabby peaks during hurricane season.

4. Storm 09be63a7113750466ba5fd6e2bbcec41

Storm is one of the leaders of Marvel’s X-Men. She was born mutant and has the ability to control the weather and fly. Most importantly she could create the weather events that send amazing surf her way. Her abilities extend from simply raising the temperature to modifying/creating major weather events. Not only could she send massive waves to your favorite spots, but she could also set the local winds to perfectly off-shore turning an average session to gold. Storm has not demonstrated super-human swimming or strength capabilities, but since she is able to drop in with a flight based entry we can be sure she will be in the right place to catch the waves of the day.

3. Aquaman and Mera aquaman-four-actresses-that-should-be-considered-to-play-mera-in-the-upcoming-justice-lea-730705

As Atlanteans, Aquaman and Mera are the commanders of all thing water in the D.C. comic universe. Mera is actually from the watery dimension Xebel, but she rules as queen of Atlantis. Aquaman’s origin story has varied through the comic ages, but his swimming prowess is unmatched. He is able to swim 3,000 meters per second and has even swam up Niagra Falls. With that kind of speed and the ability to breathe underwater, this water-bound duo would be bodysurfing legends. As an added bonus, you could ask Aquaman to summon friendly sea creatures to womp in the shallows with you.

2. Abe Sapientumblr_mj4dyz7ZrZ1r3az5to1_1280

Also known as Brother Blue, Abe is a must have in our League of Bodysurfers. Abe began his life as a Victorian era scientist who believed that all knowledge and life originated in the Ocean. In a secret society ritual with a jellyfish-like deity, Abe was exposed to the creature and transformed into an ichthyo sapien. Post-transformation, Abe’s physiology became amphibious including the ability to swim at great speed and breathe underwater. He is also somewhat “immortal” and highly intelligent.  As a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense and Hellboy ally, Abe is an excellent teammate. I would consider Brother Blue the spiritual guide and intellectual center of our crew.

1. Namor the Sub-Mariner Sub-Mariner1968n1

The son of a human sea-captain and an Atlantean princess possesses super-strength, flight and all the aquatic abilities of Homo mermanus. Namor is Marvel’s first and one of the most powerful mutants. He is sometimes portrayed as jovial and sometimes as quick to anger with “surface dwellers,” so I wouldn’t recommend dropping in on him.  Like the other Atlanteans on our list, Namor can breathe underwater, so he wont shy away from a big hold down. Between Namor, Aquaman and Mera, we could safely bodysurf our dream waves knowing they’d be able to scoop us up off the bottom even after our most horrific wipe-outs. Namor is the aggressive protector the Ocean deserves and I’d be stoked to trade off waves with this titan of the Sea.

Honorable Mention: Aspen Matthews, Triton, Aqualad, Marineman, The Flash, Ocean Master, Sea Ghost

Enemies of the League of Bodysurfers:

1. Silver Surfer

This guy is the sentinel of spaceways. He began as a lonely astronomer, but saved his homeworld, Zenn-La, from the planet destroyer Galactus. The Silver Surfer commands great power, but despite his familiar title it is clear he would never be a bodysurfer. First of all, he never leaves his damn surfboard. It seems that some of his ability to travel beyond the speed of light is connected, at least in part, to his silver surfboard. It seems unlikely that he would step away from his board for fear of cosmic retaliation. Secondly, he didn’t even choose to be on Earth. He was temporarily imprisoned on Earth because he disobeyed Galactus. The Silver Surfer is in no mood to enjoy the simple pleasures of bodysurfing. It is also unclear whether or not his body would float on the surface of water. His flesh is made of an unknown cosmic substance which in all likelihood is more dense than water.

2. Electro

Where do we begin? A swim with Electro would mean certain death for any mortals in the water. Electro has the power to control electricity, but as you may guess, he is shorted out by water so a swim would be dangerous for Electro as well. He is also one of Spiderman’s greatest enemies, so having him as part of the League would be cause for internal conflict.

3. Catwoman

Also technically not a heroine, Catwoman wont be catching the womp anytime soon. Her abilities are so strongly based in “cat-like” behavior it is hard to imagine even getting her near the Ocean.

Special thanks to Scott Abercrombie for comic consultation.


Purple Blob Report: Winter 2013/2014

Polar Vortex- NASA
XXXL North Atlantic- StormSurf
XXXL North Atlantic- StormSurf

The winter of 2013/2014 is already historic. Bitter, record-breaking cold and snow seized much of the Eastern USA as the “Polar Vortex” dipped south. Sunny skies have California bracing for drought repercussions. XXL after XXL storm churned across the North Atlantic and pounded Europe. They’re calling it one of the best seasons in hypothermic New Jersey surf history.  Gerry Lopez called it a “once-in-every-30-years Pipeline season.” Let’s review the North Pacific winter and what it provided for California wave-riders.

Looking back, there were a couple of solid South Swells in June 2013. Then the Ocean went painfully dormant for much of the summer into fall. Only one beloved Santa-Ana wind/combo swell event in early October and a moderate swell for Thanksgiving. By December, California surfers dried out and moved onto secondary hobbies. NPAC season started slow. Persistent high pressure off the western US spun the storm track north.  The Ocean stayed quiet and mountain slopes remained dry.  There was a small pulse before the Holiday but it was generally pretty weak.

Early January
Early January

2014 dawned with hope as the NPAC showed signs of life. The jet stream coming off the Asian continent strengthened, unsettling the atmosphere in the Pacific near Japan. Low pressure systems started to churn across the Ocean. The high remained along California, but the swell energy from the NW began to funnel down the coast. Sunny and mostly glassy conditions met the first swells of the year. After months of sluggish surf, wave riders deeply appreciated the Ocean’s power.

NPAC-  Jan. 21st
NPAC- Jan. 21st- StormSurf

The first major swell event of 2014 began in mid January.  The North Pacific storm track exploded with activity. Successive storms moved over each other’s aggravated path and strengthened. Culminating in a multi-week run of surf for California. The final storm of the train was the biggest and most powerful. The Mavericks Invitational ran on Friday the 23rd in 25ft, wind-affected surf.

January 25th
January 25th

Long-period, WNW swell began filling into Southern California on Friday afternoon. By sunset, winter magnet waves were well-overhead and pulsing. Saturday the 24th dawned with off-shore wind and pumping 8-12ft. groundswell. The wind slacked around 10am, creating glassy, near perfect conditions that lasted all day. First light Sunday: offshore and holding swell. It remained overhead and glassy through Monday the 26th. Wave riders licked their wounds, recalling the beatdowns and glory that come with 4 days of pumping North Pacific winter energy.

SoCal Winter Weather
SoCal Winter Weather

February remained active with fun size surf throughout. Then in late Feb, a low pressure system intensified as it passed to the NE of Hawaii. The aforementioned high pressure was no longer blocking the coast. SoCal meteorologists became very busy. Weather forecasts called for a major winter storm to impact the coast. The intense low pressure tracked south and surf forecasts quickly jumped. Wind and rain began in earnest on the morning of Friday the 28th.

NPAC Energy
NPAC Energy

On Saturday morning, March 1st, the surf was waist high and windy.  The Ocean changed around noon. Rising fast, each set larger than the last. The close-proximity storm spun strong south winds, periods of heavy rain and raw WNW swell into every willing nook of coast. The Harvest Buoy peaked on Saturday at 21ft. with a relatively short 15 second period. By 3pm, most of SoCal was overpowered and decimated by wind. However, the dynamic California coast contains a few kinks that handle the south wind and pump with heavy winter energy. And pump they did!

IMG_6619  Cleanup

Sunday March 2nd
March 2nd

One San Diego giant awoke with solid 20ft. sets. While South LA was as good as its ever been: clean, double-overhead+ freight trains. The swell peaked overnight, while Sunday continued with overhead+ surf and cleaner conditions. Palomar Mountain recorded over 8 inches of rain for the storm while most areas received a healthy 3+ inches. Burning sinus membranes and the putrid smell just add to the excitement of a rainy, raw winter swell in Southern California.

Overall, the winter of 2013/2014 was good bordering on great. Characterized by a slow start then consistent energy from the W, WNW and NW, high pressure sunshine and two classic swells.

Here’s hoping the South Pacific activates and stays active for the spring/summer 2014! Looking ahead, meteorologists are beginning to see the signs of El Nino setting up for winter 2014/2015. Being a perpetual optimist, my forecast data shows pumping groundswell for the rest of forever.

Purple Blob Review
Purple Blob Review