Thanks Ralph for your weekly MAGAZINE! Weekly! It's a goddam magazine!
I should be reading it on the shitter!
You can read it on the toilet. They don't call them new computers Laptops
for nothing. Keep reading and keep surfing.
June 29, 2009
again, a fantastic POTW. You are right, last Thursday was the
best. I had my most awesome session ever and have been on a high ever
since. And, I'm glad to hear your shortboard isn't letting you down.
Thursday was my first day on a 6'4" biscuit-style board I just
from Shane Smith. It has a ton of volume and made paddling & wave-
catching pretty easy. If you ever feel discouraged again, try one out!
for the note. Glad to hear you scored good waves on Thursday. I think
Friday was just as fun though. Shane has always made good boards. My
longboard was shaped and glassed by Shane in 2000 and it's still holding
up fine. And my current MERRICK is a great board. It was never the board
with me, it was just me. I'm good now though. Re-stoked and ready to
05:32 PM 6/25/2009, you wrote:
My name is F________, I live in S_______ and have been surfing for about
5 years now. I have stayed clear of the wall for the first few years
just to respect the talent that is out there. Now I'm starting to ride
better and for the last 9 months made the wall my main location choice.
So I have a few questions, the surf community seems pretty tight out
there, locals know locals, and most seem to be very good. I hate being
the guy they look at and think I'm Canadian or something cause they
dont recognize my face, so, just wondering if there are any bars/hangout
spots other than in the water that are better for "making friends".
But the main reason why I am writing to you, is due to the mistake I
made in the water this afternoon. After consulting the tips and rules
page, I did not see an applicable tip. So here is the story.
Me - riding a nice right (did not drop in on anyone)
Some other guy (drops in on me) - no big deal, I can slow down a little
Me - now approaching the end of the wave and notice surfers bobbing
in the water after the break.
Me - panic, tried to steer over the wave... fell off board, slammed
into another surfer
I think it was Dougie Fresh who I hit, and he was very vocal about our
collision, I apologized, and we parted ways. (all while close by, another
surfer was singing 'summertime' to mock the incident)
My question is what to do in that case - obviously try not to hit people,
but should I have seen him long before and cut the wave short? should
he have moved out of the way rather than just ducking? should I just
get better to be able to manuver last second? or is there a way of duck
diving off of the wave that I should learn??
I just felt really bad about hitting him, and want to make sure I dont
do something like that again.
for writing. Sorry I'm late getting back to you, but as you know, the
surf was good on Thursday and Friday. I surfed for 4 hours straight
on Friday morning. On my shortboard. I saw that incident that you wrote
spoke with Dougie Fresh about it. He and I both agreed, that you should
of straightened out. Or done a pullout. A pullout is different than
a kick out. The problem was clearly you panicking. Dougie said that
you saw him, and had plenty of time to do one or the other.
bottom line is. It's better to sacrifice a wave, than to potentially
cause serious injury. There's always another wave coming. But, if your
board took someone's eye out? Well, I think you know the consequences
of that. As far as locals being locals, and ragging on you by giving
you the stink eye and singing Summertime? Well, like any other sport,
or tribe activity. You have to earn the right to be part of that upper
pecking order. There is no hangout, or place that you can hang out at,
to become part of a "cool" surf scene. And I don't where you
get the idea that we don't like Canadians. It's the surfers from Kakistan
that we have a problem with.
think you're trying too hard, and want to be accepted into a circle
of surfers, who have already established themselves. Be humble and be
polite. Give waves and get waves. However, the sure fire way to get
accepted into any group of surfers is, too get good. You start ripping
and getting good, and everyone will want to be your friend. Trust me.
You get really good and you will be accepted into any group. Hell, we
might see you hanging out with Slater or Machado someday if you get
really good. And we'll be trying to hang out with you.
enjoy the waves you get, and the friends you have.
June 24, 2009
Last Saturday Morning, 6/20/2009, I was out at the ______, directly
in front of the ______ at 6:30 am. It was indescribably peaceful and
beautiful. The waves were chest high, clean, long, and peeled long enough
to produce some very memorable rides. In fact, the waves I caught there
that morning provided me with the most pleasurable experience Ive
had in recent memory. There were 7-10 of us out (no one I knew), all
sharing waves and exchanging hoots; the atmosphere amongst those surfing
was very friendly and there was no animosity. Overall, it was a tremendous
session and I would like to thank those guys (and gal) that were out
that day for helping make it such a memorable experience.
With that said, I do have a question: As I was dropping into the best
wave of the morning (a left), which I clearly was in position for and
had the right of way for (no dispute there), another surfer was positioning
himself close by but further from the peak. I assume he was positioning
himself to catch the wave in case I screwed up and did not catch it
(I often will do this, just in case type of positioning).
As I dropped into the way and was trimming ever closer to this paddling
surfer, I shouted out a warning- coming down brother! I
did this in case he was thinking of dropping in or if he didnt
see me; I wanted to avoid a collision. What is your opinion on the etiquette
of calling others of waves if you are all ready on it? Thanks-
C. C. K.
for writing. Glad to hear that you got in a nice session on Saturday
Morning. That sure was a pretty swell. As far as your question about,
is it OK to call someone off a wave. Well two things come to mind. First
and foremost, only call someone off a wave, if you are actually up and
riding. There's nothing more frustrating than to call someone off a
wave, while you are paddling, and then you miss the wave. That only
creates tension. And the next time you're in position for a wave, that
person you called off earlier will go on you. It's the Crying Wolf Syndrome.
The other thing is.
you call someone off the wave.
like to carry my water proof taser and just give em a little zap. That
saves me from using my voice and straining my vocal chords. (Kidding).
Seriously, just say it so only he and you can hear it. I usually just
say "Hello...passing through here" and then follow it up with
a "Thank you " afterwards. That
had to respond to your "Blatant drop in"
Doug is a repeat offender, he has cut me and all my friends off on numerous
occasions. Your sequence is an all to common occurrence. I have the
misfortune of knowing him for the past 10 years or so and have nothing
kind to say about him. I get so disappointed to pull up to the beach
and see him there, or even worse have him paddle out any where near
need to keep him away from the surf and away from your daughters, sisters,
girlfriends and/or wives, just girls in general because he is a hugger
and he smells. It's not pretty....
are we to deal with these crimes against surfing?
up the good work - Mickey
just spit my coffee thru my nose. That is too funny.
From: David M
To: Ralph <firstname.lastname@example.org>
never heard that story about you and Allen and it had me cracking
up. Then to top it off with an old photo of Neddie in a classic
"Neddie pose" keep up the good work.
I would of completely forgotten about that story if a friend of mine
had not brought up Allen's name. Surfers are a funny bunch. We've had
some characters move in and out of this Seacoast scene. Clearly, Neddie
was one, Robin, Bigbee, the list goes on and on.
The stories about these surfers need to be told and re-told. It's up
to us to keep that stoke going for the younger surfers. Thanks for the
Subject: Ralph's Rules #4 & #5
. THE SURFER CLOSEST TO THE BREAKING PART OF THE WAVE HAS POSSESSION.
OR THE SURFER WHO CAUGHT THE WAVE FIRST HAS PASSION. *UNLESS THAT PERSON
HAS A LONGBOARD AND IS BEING A D--- ABOUT WAVE COUNT. IN THIS CASE SIMPLY
ASK..."WOULD YOU MIND IF I WENT ON THIS WAVE?"
5. Don't Drop in on anyone.
Ok Ralph, I screwed up this morning. Three of us were in the water at
4:30am and having a good time. A guy on a long board at 5am decided
the beach wasn't big enough, so he came over to where we were and was
paddling behind us, in front of us, paddling around us to get position.
5am, 3 guys!!!! We were pretty annoyed and I, instead of using your
suggested sarcasm, decided to drop in after he grabbed a few waves.
Well, we collided, he actually didn't wipe out but gave me a few choice
words afterwards to which I responded with some great sarcasm. Though
he moved down after that, now I'm the D***. Hindsight, should have controlled
my Irish temper and handled it differently - I apologize for my actions
- it was stupid. I should have followed rule #5.
Here's what I got from the surf gods for penance: snapped leash, had
to chase my board in. 2 nasty wipeouts: #1 - board slammed my elbow
and it's swelling up quite nicely right now & #2 - last wave of
the morning, some other guy graciously gave me one and I sunk the nose
of my board, ate it hard, board slammed me in the nose, blood coming
out both nostrils as I made the walk of shame up to the wall.
Moral of the Story: Follow Ralph's tips and Don't Drop in on Anyone.
I'd like to say I'm surprised by all of what you've written here, but
I cannot. It is beyond me, why someone would paddle hassle you and your
two friends at 5:30AM when there's a playing field of about 2 and 1/2
miles long out there. I am not surprised. Personally, I try and avoid
the small clusters of friends out in the line-up, especially if it's
as good as it was yesterday morning. There's just no logical excuse.
having said that, there's equally no excuse for doing what you did.
The old "Two wrongs don't make a right" saying comes into
play here. Of course, it's easier said than done. Taking the high road
,is a road less traveled in our surf world. You almost have to be a
complete pacifist to not get into hassles these days. The very least
is, you have to have thick skin.
it sounds like Ole Karma came back like an episode out of My
Name is Earl and bit you in the ass. Ouch. That elbow and nose injury
sounded painful. The only other insult you could of experienced would
of been, that longboarder being the guy, that had to help you to shore.
That would of been a scene right out of Disney. Sounds like you
all learned a lesson out there. You and your friends, and the Longboarder.
Live long and surf as much as you can. And remember Rules 1,3, 5, 7,
9, and 11. And you will be good to go. Keep surfing.
Love the Allan story! "Is Allan here?" So that means I can
drop in on
you 3 times and still be visible? Uh, No.
Great photos of Heather and also other of Rick Evans out back. Cool
pic of Gavin waxing up.
I was doing the York shoot at the time of this sesh.
Sic shot of Stanek whacking the lip LB style. Ross Kunkel shot nice.
Funny basketball photo-play there Ralphie!
Turkeys looking for Gozzo!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Turkey tacos at Secret Spot
Nevins is insane. Can he live any more Large?
Julia gettin hooked up in the boat shots at Ala Moana.
Bernie Baker makes me salivate for the Islands.
that was a great idea to link the Portsmouth Herald story on the
ESA NNE York contest. It helps because they track "hits" and
hits they get, the more they will pay attention to Seacoast surf
The surf may be smaller, but your column is still HUGE.
I've got so many damn Surf related stories living around here for as
long as I have. I just can't remember most of em. Glad you liked it
though. Thanks again for the glowing review on this week's bloggy...keep
shooting and keep surfing! Just "Don't Text Me Bro!"
05:15 AM 6/10/2009, you wrote:
I wanted to thank you for the awesome shots you got of me which you
posted up on Saturday. Those are awesome!!!!!!!!! what a bonus for me
I had no idea there was a lens out there, and I love the comments you
added on each of the pictures. If you or your son ever want to dabble
in the kite stuff let me know.
I got more gear than you can shake out of a tree...of course you start
with a kiddie kite ; )
But I always throw that option out there to everybody. Also on a side
note if anybody is ever asking if we are in control, we are. We have
complete control and what I say to the guys surfing is "dont worry
about me"..in other words visually I may be around, but I have
the engine so if they are on a wave or whatever, dont even worry about
where I am because In the blink of an eye I am outta there. Just thought
I would mention it to keep the peace on the water kind of thing. I dont
want anybody stirring up any bad vibes against the kiters is all. I
like to ride the same waves we surf for the obvious reason of the waves
are good, but I am all about respecting the surfers rights as well.
Anyway, see ya around! I live in Hampton so am out fairly regularly..
Hey thanks Jonathan. I just happened to be checking the surf that afternoon
and had just come back from a photo shoot, when I saw the Kite down
by 10th Street. I thought there was a renactment of the 101st Airborne
Drop at Normandy. It was after all the anniversary of D-Day. Any ways...It
was a lucky surf check. Glad you liked the pics and the comments.
As far as getting surfers uptight...well, the same rules apply. As long
as you don't drop in on anyone and are not over the top aggressive,
things should be cool. Besides, my guess is you guys gotta have problems
when it's total glass.
I'll get back to you on the Kite offer for my son and I.
Fly a Kite and Go surfing!
Hawaiian Size June 9, 2009
story about Zippy. I think Id heard a little about it from Johnny,
but it was great to hear the whole deal.
for what its worth, I thought Id chip in on the Hawaiian
size deal. As you probably know, I lived in Honolulu 1961-63, and I
learned to surf at Waikiki, and moved up to Ala Moana, Harry Hakman
would take Jeff and I up to the north shore in the winter, where I surfed
Haleiwa, Lanis, Pupukea, Chuns, Velzyland, and he made us go out
on a HUGE day at Sunset, where it was on the verge of closing out. I
just sat in the channel thinking I was going to die as those big west
sets feathered two or three waves outside, looking like they were going
to land on my head.
I found that the convention of measuring waves from the back seemed
to have been a local Hawaiian thing which was certainly latched on to
by the mainland Haoles for all the machismo reasons. I have no idea
what the rationale was, other than perhaps being the locals way of impressing
a casual attitude towards waves that get way too big. I remember coming
up to paddle out at Ala Moana one day and listening to two mokes complaining
that it was flat. Totally flat. Now we New Englanders know what flat
is, and this was not it. What I was looking at that day was nice clean
waist to chest high groundswell.
didnt really understand the method of determining how big to call
the surf on a particular day, but I ended up with my own system which
sort of corresponds to the Hawaiian size, which was to take the height
of an average wave (not the biggest set wave) after youd made
the takeoff and turn, and had set your line. So if a wave was 6
high at takeoff, after it has started to break, and youre driving
down the line, its more likely to be about 4 or so. And
all this on a day when the biggest sets might be 8 at takeoff.
noticed that in the past in NE surfers would basically exaggerate the
size by calling it as big as the biggest wave of the biggest set at
the point just before it broke, and that would be how big the day was.
the final analysis, I think the system that the shops use now is the
best. Everyone knows what a knee high day is, or chest high, or overhead,
double overhead, etc. Whats the problem? Whereas if you hear some
guy whos just come back from Easter Island saying they got some
great 8 surf, then you have to figure out if this guy is from
Florida, then it means he got head high surf, if hes from California,
he got solid overhead surf, but if hes from Kauaii, then it might
have been nearly triple overhead. And then you have to argue about the
whole deal. Rediculous. So I dont even use my own system any more.
Fiji, most of the boatmen are from Hawaii, or from La Jolla with a lot
of Hawaiian experience, so they use the full tilt Hawaiian scale, The
day that I would estimate is the third biggest session Ive had
out there was called 8 to 10 with 12 foot sets which I called in my
journal at the time 15 to 20 with the occasional quadruple overhead
dont know whether were going to have a photographer in Tavarua
this year, but Im taking my camera and Ill try to get a
few for the incomparable RPOTW.
Thanks for writing. I just heard from Zippy. He lives in Australia now.
Unreal small world we live in. It was a classic story for sure. I agree
with you 100% the Shops have it best. It's the easiest and makes more
sense than all of the others. And really, without giving actual wave
sizes in numbers no one get's hurt.
So in closing I say this...Let those who walk around calling an 8 foot
wave- 4 foot. Just as long, as they use the same measuring scale, when
they measure that thing hanging between their legs .
you out in the water. Unless it's really 20'.
Ralph, June 8, 2009
got a heads up from lenny f. about your rehash of the kennel story.
I tell that one all the time, it is a crowd favourite... I am still
surfing and living the good life. I moved to Australia about 6 years
and haven't looked back. I have my permanent residency here and am looking
to become a citizen.
Will have a trawl around your site a bit later on. I will send you a
couple of filth shots that I recently got down the south east coast
Eric? Oh My God! Are You Kidding me! Dude...less than 24 hours after
writing that story I hear from you. How have you been? Did you ever
get any taller? Seriously, how the hell are you? I can't believe you
share that story with drunk Aussies. They must howl with laughter. You
were a good sport about it all. Besides, I took you to get your gas,
and you eventually went out surfing.
bet you're killing it out there. You were getting really good the last
time I saw you back in the early 90's. Please send me some photos. I'd
love to post them. Especially one's of you. You can go from Zero to
Hero in one week with me. Show those Aussies where you come from, and
where you learned how to surf.
for writing Zippy! Keep surfing and don't lose your New England Pride.
P.S. Gunny died in 2005...but I still have his crate. If you ever need
a place to stay when you visit, I'll clean it up for you.
I got what I wanted for my birthday... Mikey Moran jumping out of a
perfectly good airplane. Nothing is as fun as skydiving... nough said.
Great day. heres a few of Mikey today...
scary (to me) looks like I'll have a back to back Mikey columns. Can't
believe you guys jump out of planes. Why would you do that again? Oh
yea, the rush. No thank you.
and Happy Birthday!
Thanks for putting the ad up... just one good contact can make it all
worthwhile! Keep up the good work and you will be able to live off
your web site soon....
I can get most of the swells but with daughter graduating I
didn't make Sunday ... so your photos were all the more hurtful. See
you next time...
Thanks for sending the check. I hope some surfers give you a call for
their next printing job. Don't know if I can make a living off this
thing. It may end up killing me before that. Sorry the pics were hurtful...ha!
you out in the water.
column this week, I am still laughing about the surfer in the dog crate,
classic Ralph story.
photos that really show the size of the waves, how do they build houses
in Hawaii, do they have special tape measures with Hawaiian scale for
Ron Freeman shots of Lopez shaping reminded me of something I always
thought I should do. Do you think we could go and photograph some local
shapers/glassers at work?
I don't know what it was that triggered my mind about the Zippy in the
crate story, but I'm glad it did. It is one of those classic Surf Stories
that has taken on a life of it's own. Except, this is real. It happened.
Funny day for sure.
Yea the whole surf size deal has been over blown for years. Why can't
we call a wave size exactly the size it is? Hello?
Yes I know a few shapers we can tag along and shoot. Be fun.
FYI: Thought you might want to check this out....Seems timely with your
surf art newsletter coming up next month.
Also, if you haven't been to this site yet it's a good one. Lots of
nice surf art on it. Andrew invited me to join/show my work on the site
last summer but I told him I wanted to postpone a bit util I had more
/better work to send him. I'm thinking of joining soon - or once my
new website is up (new work posted).
Thanks for sending this. Pretty interesting. Although I am very biased.
Surf art has always been a big deal for me. My whole life revolves around
surf and art.Get ready...next month is the annual Ralph's Surf Art Column.
Start painting and shooting your work. Can't wait to see this year's
surf art .
>BELOW IS WHAT THE SURFING HERITAGE FOUNDATION
SAID IN THEIR PR FOR THE EVENT...
>Has Surf Art actually evolved into a Serious Category of Fine Art?
>It's hard to deny that Surfing has inflicted a rather marked influence
on the lifestyle of our western world. As a practice that typically
evidences mankind's passions, a growing mass of often serious artistic
expression has been directed at depicting wave riding and the part rebellious,
part spiritual, part jock culture surrounding it.
>A panel of prominent surf artists will "seminar" to experimentally
mine this thesis and other topics, hoping to provoke a stimulating conversation
of interest to other artists, collectors and art fans in attendance.
Hosted by the non-profit Surfing Heritage Foundation, one of their primary
goals is promoting the understanding and appreciation of surf culture
as it transpires and contributes to our society.
>(More info here - https://www.surfingheritage.org/news.aspx?id=27)
>Thanks and aloha,
I did see Nevins Indo stuff and thought it was fantastic! I am
still trying to figure out how he got some of those shots.
really enjoyed the column last week, and I did catch that comment about
those nice beach puppies. I am sure it was a canine reference.
read the dropping in on Ralph and pretty much agree with every comment
there, even the ones I made myself.
forwarded your comments about the French president snubbing the Brits
on D-Day ceremonies to my friends in England, they applauded your comments
and said it had been a hot news item in Britain all week and it looks
like the French may come around.
to see you soon shooting some surf.
Nevins is the best. I was wondering if anyone caught that Puppie comment.
Ha. Yea the Queen can't be denied. She was in uniform during WWII and
is the only living World Leader today that was involved in WWII. Call
her up and send her a Lear Jet President Zarchozy!
LOVED the photos....your action shots are the best.....
and I surprised myself by LOVING the blog as well.....
naturally, I went to the archives and pulled out random pieces..
....and the one written after the election hit me as particularly fair.....on
another occasion, you told me not to read any further ! ! !
so, thanks for those hints...now I"m plugged in.
really good to see you at the game.
I'm fascinated that you have success shooting into the sun !
Patty. Boy that was quick. What did you check it out on your Blackberry
on the way home? Glad you like both the LAX and the Ralph's Pic site.
The latter has some really good photos from March of this year to today.
Including some pics I took looking right into the sun.
honestly? Shooting into the light is nothing new. And you will get a
better shot with the sun behind you, if that's what you're trying to
Me? I like to go against the grain.
you around the campus.
Hey Ralph; 6/3/09
Just wanted to say Hi; that's me going backside in the picture you took
Consentino taught me how to drop in like that last summer!
make sure to say hi next time I see you at the beach.
Picture by the way!
That's the difference between my weekly and most others. I shoot everyone
and anyone. I like getting emails from surfers like you and making their
day. Hard to put a price tag on that kind of satisfaction. Glad you
liked it. Tell Bob I said hello and tell him to break his camera out
and start taking photos again.
How the hell does Clark Little get those shots? They're amazing.
Brian Nevin's Indonesia gallery is a field trip to the frontal lobes.
Clark Little had to have taken some serious punishment getting those
shots. I mean how could he not? They are truly amazing. And Nevins?
He's as good as anyone out there. Past, present, and future. We're lucky
to have him as one of our own. Very lucky. Speaking of luck. If you're
a local boy, you gotta feel lucky having 16 weeks of waves.
am back. To check what I was up to in England check this site http://picasaweb.google.com/surfphoto1/SantaPodMainEvent2009#.
for your Military service as well and that excellent Memorial Day column.
It meant even more being out of the country.
was amazed at how great my Super 8 footage looked, great job and my
favorite tune as well.
foreword to shooting some surf for a change, much more relaxing than
shooting 8000HP ground shaking beasts.
back. Those pics are cool. I never really got into Drag racing and stock
car stuff, but lots of friends (our age) certainly did. I was into Ed
Big Daddy Roth though. I loved his work. I was into all that crazy cartoon
stuff back in the day.
a guess, but those cars seem loud and fast.
was curious if you've seen the new column with the surf from Friday
and Saturday and more importantly, Nevins Indo stuff. It is as good
as anything I've ever seen period. Really impressive stuff.
weeks and running. Don't know if this is the week it stops or not. But
I did shoot the Quiksilver crew Sunday night at the Wall. And...I knowingly
missed the Rainbow. The squall came thru followed by clear skies and
sun. I mean I just knew it was going to happen, and I hedged at the
house and ultimately blew it. I'm so dam mad at myself for that.
you like the latest column...*I added the Dropping In On Ralph page
and the Classified page too.
Emmy Night was the time of our lives! Although we did not win Drew,
Jimmy and I had a total blast! What an opportunity for us and for Drew
at 8 years old. he met Tom Bergeron, host of his favorite show America's
Funniest Videos. Look at how excited he is and even got to sign a couple
autographs! Being a young star is tiring too :)
Thought you could share this in your weekly column.
He looks like a star. Glad you guys had fun. What memories for such
a youngster. Posting this weekend. Tell Drew I said congrats.
Just saw that Ralph, thanks a ton, I hope more East Coasters will read
Larry's story for a little slice of history.... man I don't think we've
had decent waves IN 15 weeks down here..... the more I think about the
Northeast, the more I like it.
Associate Editor, Eastern Surf Magazine
On Jun 1, 2009, at 9:10 AM, Ralph wrote:
You're welcome. Gave
you and the mag a good plug in my column this week.
www.ralphspic.com By the way...15 weeks running now...with more on the
Oh yea baby...
07:59 AM 6/1/2009, you wrote:
Ralph, that means a lot, and I'm stoked to get Larry's story out there
to the masses.
us in the loop in the Northeast!
Associate Editor, Eastern Surf Magazine
May 29, 2009, at 8:31 PM, Ralph wrote:
job on the Pope piece in the new Surfers Journal. I've always thought
highly of Larry Pope and always looked forward to his shots. He really
kind of paved the way for all your guys at ESM.
well written piece. Good job.