This is your page. In other words, simply click on the link below to send me an email, or short story. Tell me what's on your mind. Try not to be so hurtful. Just keep in mind, that any email, and or letter I receive, could be posted on this page. But keep this in mind as well, I will answer most with a short reply. And don't worry. I will NOT post your email address, but I will post your name. After all, that's only fair. So send me your thoughts, praises, complaints or well wishes...I'd be happy to hear from you.
Click here- Dropping In On Ralph! Be sure to leave your name and State. Thanks.

MARCH 10 APRIL 10 MAY 10 JUNE 10 JULY 10 August 10 September 10 October 10 November 10 December 10 JANUARY 11 FEBRUARY 11

MAY 2009


thanks ralph. Yeah the board flipped over and i got sandwiched between the lip and the fin. Went pretty deep and took me out for a couple days. Looking a lot better now. No pics. Saw Kenny Linsman out there on one of the good days, didn't realize it was him until he paddled back in... I told him you'd be bummed I didn't get photos of him. Heres a couple guys on my trip though, the older guy is Tom Hogan, owner of Warmwinds surfshop in Rhody and the captain of my ship Joel who is also a Rhode Islander.

Brian Nevins

Oh my God...these are hands down some of the BEST Surf Photos I have ever seen from anyone. I mean it. I've been around long enough to make that claim brother. You are as good as anyone out there. Un freaking believable. I'm speechless...



Just getting back to Singapore and taking in some reflection time from the past couple weeks cruising around Indo. What a trip. I can't remember ever seeing waves this good, here... or anywhere. Cruising around with Brad Gerlach and the Marcotti clan walking into 12 straight days of perfect waves... and finally putting in some time myself in the water (with a lovely fin through the calf injury). Ill be spending a couple more days out here, and looking forward to sharing more of the trip when I get home.

Hope all is well.

Brian Nevins

Holy shit! Whoa...this is going to be perfect for this week's column. I just NOW put up all your gear for the Classified (Ralph's List Page). Plus I'm writing about water shots and the new TSJ shots as well as Clark Little. And I was going to mention your gear and your old water with's giving me more than enough fuel for this week's column. Thank you brother.

But wait, a calf injury? How bad? You got pics of the wound?

Thanks so much for sending these unbelievable images.


Ralph, 5/29/09

I wish I would have thought about sending this picture to you earlier. This was my dad's (Roland K Henschke,Lieutenant Commander) LSM in the famous Life picture. He was always upset that they cropped him out. He was standing on the front of the boat thinking he would be included. None the less, it was my dad's boat and that is good enough for me. I owe him my freedom and could have never imaged my life could have been as rich as it is. He is gone now but every Memorial Day I thank GOD men like him existed.

Mark Henschke

Thanks Mark. Wow your dad standing next to MaCarthur. That's mighty impressive. God bless your dad and all the other WWII Vets. We owe them our sincere gratitude.


Ralph, 5/28/09

We had a barbecue on Memorial Day at the shop and we raised a couple bucks for the Legion #35 Building Fund. If your in the area swing by. Otherwise i'll get it to you at some point next week..



Wow that was nice. I didn't know you guys were doing that.
Max got a good photo of the Family O'Hara from the North Hampton
service. I'll send it along for you.

Thanks for being there on Monday. (Man did we luck out with the weather.)


Ralph: 5/27/09

I know you were busy with Memorial Day activities yesterday but what a game between the Big Red and Orange, too bad Cornell fell to the pressure during the final minute of play. How’s MVF doing?

I returned late Saturday night from a 19 day trip to OZ and Fiji. Here’s three pics from the trip.

Best to the family,

Doug (California)


MVF's team today had the EXACT same thing happen to them. They were leading with 10 seconds to go against the number 1 seed. And with 3 seconds on the clock their number one shooter gets the ball and scores. Then we lose it in OT.... a heartbreaker for sure.

Here's the web gallery...I have every game except today's...still too upset to post.

More tomorrow...


Ralph, 5/26/09

You do a great job as Post 35 commander by getting all this to happen and by motivating the Post membership to do all of events for the community and to honor all veterans. Most wouldn't bother, but we are grateful that you put in huge amount of time to get the job done.



Thank you Dave. I appreciate it. We have a great group of Veterans.
We all kid each other, but when we need to get things done, everyone gets
together and makes it happen.

Thanks again. Tell Elaine I said thank you again.


Ralph, 5/26/09

Just wanted to say that yesterday's tribute at the HamptonBeach memorial statue was moving. Alison and I are glad we attended. Her brother Steven (25 yrs old) and has re-upped in the Air Force. He's a loadmaster on C-130's and has been deployed to Bagdad several times over the last few years. He always calling from "the road", but never says where he is due to his clearance level. Her dad Craig is retired Navy, step dad (Greg) is Vietnam Vet (navy-river boat). My dad is a Vet (Korea). My dad also endured a hellish childhood in Northern Greece during WWII (Italian and German Occupation) and Greek Civil war. Both of my Grandfathers fought commies in the Greek civil war. My dad's dad was killed by Greek commies because he was the mayor of their small town, and he was "bourgeois".

Both Alison and I realize how blessed we are to live the life we live, and know that our freedom and blessed life would not be possible if it were not for you and other Vets (both here and in the old country) who have given so much when called.

Thanks. Hope you and the Family had a nice Memorial Day.


P.S. Thanks for the nice plug. Got in the water yesterday (for a paddle).
First time in 7 months.


Thank you. Glad to hear that you and Alison enjoyed the service. That was the first of four that day. Busy weekend all around. Takes a lot out of me these days. But a small price to pay for what and who we're honoring.

Thanks again Chris.


Hi Ralph: 5/26/09

A friend told me that I was the unknown victim of this week's "drop in." Sure enough, that was me. I'm glad you were there to capture the event as it unfolded. The photos are great and the commentary is really funny. The guy apologized, not for dropping in, but for not riding fast enough to stay ahead of me. Apparently, he thinks it is okay to drop in as long as you stay ahead of the victim. To be fair, he seems like a nice guy but he needs to learn the drop in rule.

I'm a new surfer (I started last July at the ripe old age of 49) and have violated the drop in rule a couple of times, usually when I am tired and sloppy. I apologize and end my session (I bought a six pack of beer for the last guy I dropped in on a couple of months ago when I was trying to learn how to ride a short board). I hope those days are over (and that you are not there with your camera if I do screw up!).

I'm sure I'll see you out there. I've been out more than 100 times and have a lot of catching up to do since I started surfing so late in life.


P.S. My father was also a Vietnam veteran (but not a surfer). He was a Navy Fighter pilot. I was in DC this weekend and visited his grave a Arlington National Cemetery. As you might imagine, a lot of people visit the cemetery on Memorial Day weekend.


Glad to hear you're having fun out there. I am always surprised to hear of surfers taking up this lifestyle at a later age. Must be like the new "Golf" or something.

Have fun and don't forget to look both ways before taking off.


P.S. Not sure if your dad was KIA or not, but if he was, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure you're proud of him. Arlington is a very special resting place. He's in good company there.


Thank you Big Daddy....Aaron Buell gave me the heads-up!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day


Heads up to what?

Thank you I did have a good day on Monday. Saw your dad
at the beach service. Had a few surfers show up.


Hi Ralph, 5/25/09

Brian and I want to say Happy Memorial Day to you. We just got through watching a show called "Reflections of Viet Nam" on the history channel. It's a documentary of this group of vets who return back to Vietnam, Saigon, and some other places, over 40 years after serving in the war. It was quite moving and it reminded us how proud we are of you and what war must have been like. Do you ever think of going back? We love you (well I do anyway!!) :) Brian says, "Thank you for our freedom." Semper fi.

Gale and Brian

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters:

Here are some visual reflections from this Memorial Day weekend. I came to Beverly yesterday for the parade and service. And today in Hampton, we had 4 services and 3 parades. Plus a Funeral Service tonight for one of our WWII Vets...Needless to say...I'm exhausted.
My guest speaker was a Platoon Leader in Vietnam (my unit). One of his Marines got the Medal of Honor (see attached speech).
Also check my column this week. I have an old pic of Dad in the war...

Gale and Brian just got your email. Thank you. I am going back to Nam either this late Summer or Next winter. It's been 40 years this year 1969-1970.

Any ways, enjoy the photos...Max took the one's in Hampton and I took the one's in Beverly. By the way, I did NOT drive by our old home. I couldn't do it.

Thinking of all the fallen today and yesterday.

Love and respect,


Semper Fi, Capt! 5/25/09
We hope you had a fabulous day.

Pray for surf!


Thanks Buck. We had a great day. It was exhausting but worth it. Small price to pay for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for the kind words on your blog too.
You guys are the best.

Captain Ralph

Hey Ralph, 5/24/09
Nice column. You are the MAN! Keep people aware because when we were
in the military, no one gave us an ounce of respect. Very funny "perp/ victim" sequence. Great Joe S vid by Ed!!! He does go way back. I didn't realize.
Cool archival photos of veterans. You need to get this stuff organized
so when you croak, it will live on. (We all know YOU will live on!)
You can do all that in your old age. You have some priceless photos
and film.
I will have to dig out some of my military pix. I was gonna send you some but I will do it for veterans day. Thank you for your service and support!
Have a successful day tomorrow and I thank your father, both of Cory's, too.
Hand Salute!


Thank you guys for your service in the Military.


Ralph, 5/21/09

I just wanted to tell you that my son Robert really liked your music Friday night. He’s gotten into that music recently and loved hearing it live!

Thought I’d let you know!

Good show by the way!


Thanks Chris. Glad to hear that you and your son enjoyed the show.
It's old school blues rock that not many people have a taste for.
It's still fun for me to play that style.


Ralph 5/20/09

Many thanks for posting the pictures of Tom surfing at San Onofre and also the two of us in front of the house.If you are out here again do look us up. cell is (000)0000-0000 our door is always open.

Ron Sizemore


Not sure if that last email reached you. Thanks for the invite. I may take you up on it someday.Tom was at my show on Friday (Big Handsome Daddy). Met some guy who said he knew you this week. His name is Kevin. Go to the gallery from 5-15-09 from this week's column. He's the guy Longboarding on a nice Glassy wave. I said in the caption, that he was more concerned about the Meters than he was about catching waves like this.

Keep Surfing!


Hey Ralph! 5/18/09

I was happy to see a photo of me in this week's newsletter:

I'm a buddy of Ross Kunkel, I live and surf near "Peaches and Cream"... Anyway, just saying thanks and good photo! In the photo I'm riding my 10 year old (bought used from CR) 10' Harbour SanO, my first, only and best longboard. Keep it up.


Patrick D

Peaches and Cream? Where's that? Kidding. One of these days, I'm going to slip over there with my son Mackey V and join you and Russ for somePeaches & Cream Magic. Glad you liked the column and pics.


Hey Ralph! 5/18/09

Hope all is well. I tried reaching you before I left for Regionals, but to no avail. Regarding the “stash for cash event” I was able to raise more than $2200.00 in total! Aaron Buel at Pioneer’s was also involved and was able to raise significant awareness and funds for Molly. I will send separate photos of the stash and pre stash photos. No need to make it a “contest”. Just recognizing Aaron’s contribution would suffice. I will forward a copy of his stash as well. Thanks pal and hope to see you in the water soon.

Dr. Brent

PS I won my semifinal Sr mens shortboard heat and got 6th overall.


Sorry I never caught up with you before you left. That's great on the funds you guys raised for Miss Molly. We all love that little girl. And Congrats on your placing in the Regionals. This was the first year we didn't go in a long time. We kind of missed it. Even though Max always had a hard time advancing over those young rippers. We always had fun.

Anybody else advance from NNE? Lenny was going to call me back. But I've not heard from him. Send those pics again of you and Aaron.



Ralph, 5/18/09

Tim has talked a great deal about you. Looking forward to the day we meet. I have enclosed some pictures of me and my kids out at onslow beach. Tim sent me your website. Alot of good pictures.

Semper Fi

MSgt Shawn O (North Carolina)

Hey Marine!

Thanks for sending me these. I'll post some this coming weekend.
I usually Post on Sundays. I actually have photos of me on Onslow Beach
somewhere. Never saw any good surf the few times I was there though.

I've posted so many damn photos of your brother lately, he owes me big time.
Thank God you don't ride a Pink and Yellow board like Tim. (Kidding). NOT.
He's a good kid. He catches too many waves though.

Got a busy weekend coming up with it being Memorial Day. I'm the Commander
of my local Vets Post. Plus it's 40 years since the war for me. 40 years? Shit.
Where has the time gone? At least I can still surf.

Thank you for your service Shawn. God Bless and as always...Semper Fi.


Ralph, 5/18/09

Please thank me for the 13 week run of surf you have had (and I have been forced to watch). I am the sacrificial lamb of sacrificial lambs. I've been out of the water since December 20th 2008. That's 5 months and counting. I will be back in the water soon, god help you all. Although we both know that the second I get the Dr's note telling me to get back in the water, it'll go flat for a record period. Now that I am the one-eye bandit, inadvertent drop-in's (by me) are excusable (unless dropping in on you, lenny, doc, billie and select minority, then there's no excuse, and I will expect a tongue lashing, although only after 4 blatant drop-ins)

Pray that I get the go-ahead from Mass Eye and Ear to get back in the water tomorrow, or pray as in you own best interest.

In the meanwhile, here's a photo of two eyed christos from sumatra 2007


I hear you my brother. I hear you like Obama hears Joe Biden.
Actually, it's 14 weeks. And yes, it will more than likely go
flat when you get the OK. Why you gotta be so hurtful?

Did you see the pic I ran of you and John a few weeks back?
Law and Order on the Beach. least you were on the beach.

Keep me posted on your progress. And keep your chin up. You'll be back
before you can say Derek Hynd. Besides, you're going to be a father.
Everything else pales in comparison. You'll see.


Greetings, 5/18/09
Saw the pics you shot yesterday and couple weeks ago of me.

Nice shot! – That’s one heck of a lens.


Hey Thom:

I saw you get some good ones yesterday. I kept seeing you out of the corner of my eye. Getting some decent little barrels out there. I may have another shot or two of you as well as what I've posted. If we have a slow week I'll post them (with credit this time).

Thanks for checking in. Keep surfing!


Ralph, 5/18/09

Great waves this morning, we're definitely into week 14. But ... I
have enough troubles getting any work done Monday morning without pix
of the girls! Your photos & captions are a blast ... keep 'em coming,
the more the better.

I'll have an ad for you soon & see you in the water sometime.
Meanwhile, I'll work on my style. I started the shortboard thing last
fall so standing up is an accomplishment!


Thanks Michael. The surf was really good yesterday. So yes, it is week 14.
Glad you liked the pics and captions. I get giddy writing them.
Could be more surf this week ...

Thanks again,


Ralph: 5/18/09

The guy "who rides a long board like a short board" is the unknown you shot this week as well. His name is Thom. I'm the logger sitting next to him most often Billy. We laughed so hard when you shot him on the long board, he's been wanting to grace the pages of RPOW for a long time. We saw you on the wall when we came out of the water that day and he said "Watch, I'll finally get a photo on his page and it will be on my log!"

I called him this am to tell he he had redeemed himself and was shot on his short board. He already knew and was very stoked!! Thanks Ralph and we would love a "drop in do's and don'ts" mostly don'ts! Someone is going to get hurt.


Thanks Billy. I'm glad I know that now. "Thom"-The Unknown. I can't do anything about it this week, but in the future I'll be sure to get his name right.

I plan on getting the RULES & TIPS page soon. With the kids getting out of school soon, it's going to get congested.

Keep surfing!


Ralph: 5/17/09

Thanks for the response. Yes, I was a little bummed when I wrote that email, and had just returned from having a few beers with my friends, so needless to say I was not Mr. Cheer. Also, you mentioned the fact that you are a Marine, and always have some word for the troops. As you may be aware, it is not common in the surfing community to have outspoken support for the military - at least not on the left coast. Enough of the depressing stuff.

I just wanted to mention that I've been using your web page to prove that there are waves where I grew up. The thing I miss most about not being in NH is the fact that when there is a swell there, the perfect conditions remain until the swell leaves. As you may be aware, when the swell hits here, unless it is the rare Santa Ana condition, you have to get on it real early in order to really score. However, it is consistent, and I am constantly telling myself "if there is swell, SURF". It gets so crowded here that I actually enjoy surfing the tail end of a swell when it is a little blown out. I live about 10 minutes from Blacks and people get so picky out here that I sometimes have the opportunity to surf without competition during less than favorable conditions. I have a 1.5 year old son and I would love to raise him any place but southern California. Maybe I'll end up back there when I'm done flying.

Regarding the pictures: I would be happy to send pics of deployments, aircraft, and waves. I'll check the web site for picture size prior to sending them. Also, I don't know you any more than the guy that waters his lawn next door, but I would like to extend an invitation if you ever get out to San Diego again- If you do make it here and want to check out the flight line or the 46 simulator, send me an email and I'd love to show you around. Your web site has been an inspiration to me, especially while sitting in a 120 degree desert for 7 months.

Take care and keep up the good work.

Chris B (California)


I may take you up on that offer some day. 120 degrees...damn that sounds hot. What's the bug situation like over there? I hated bugs and I hated the heat. I thought I'd go crazy with that heat, humidity and them damn mosquitos. Of course, I've got friends who served in both Nam and Korea. Talk about the worse of both worlds. Korea sounded awful. I guess there's no such thing as a nice War. Thank God.

Yes send me some pics. I plan on doing a Memorial Day column this weekend. Gonna post some Msgt O'Shea pics from Onslow. He did a few tours over there. He's like you, a New England boy in the Corps surfing and serving. Marine Surfers. We are an odd bunch for sure. I have a motto for my Seacoast Marines Group, you've probably seen it. FIRST TO SURF!

The beach is secure sir.

Semper Fi Captain!


Hey Ralph, 5/17/09
Hows the column going? Just wanted to share that I had so much fun out there with all the boyz- Casey, Gozzo, Duffy, Perry Reynolds and last but not least Mackie V. Well I was having so much fun that I got into this hooting and chatty mode and I looked over at Mackie and I said out loud "Mack-uh-roh-nay"!
I called him Macaroni the rest of the session! We had fun talking lacrosse and stuff. Any, that was fun little waves, again!!!!!
The stoke remains.

With regards,
John Carden


Sounds like you had some fun. Johnny the perpetual Grom!I'
Keep Shooting-Keep Surfing!.



hey ralph im really sorry for being so annoying about these pictures thing but this picture seems pretty decent and it was taken on sunday may 17th really fun day...just email me back if you think it might b able to make it on your site..thank you so much



Thanks for the pic. I'll put it up next week. Tell your friends in school to check it out! CJ is on Ralph's Pic Of The Week!
Keep Surfing!.


Good evening, 5/16/09
I'm a surfer from Kingston, NH (yes, I grew up inland and loved to surf the beaches). I was a lifeguard (another enemy) at Hampton Beach for 4 summers. I moved to San Diego, CA after college and enjoyed the consistency of the waves out here. After Sept 11th I joined the Marine Corps. Currently I'm a Captain phrog pilot about to go on my 3rd deployment in 3 years. I've been a quiet reader of your column for several years now, and I just wanted to say a prayer for the family of Aaron Cox, and Jessica Conklin. They will have to deal with the loss of two young, bright Marines who joined the Corps in a time of war. God Bless Them. They were in my Squadron and passed away during training (never a good time to go) just last week. They were only in their 20's.
Semper Fi
Chris B

Good morning Captain:

Thank you for writing. And Thank you for your service. A quiet reader for many years? Oh oh. I hope I didn't offend you along the way. Kingston is hardly inland. Anywhere that is under an hour from the coast is close enough to be "local" .

So, you're one of the silent majority who heard that calling after 9-11. We (my Veterans groups) speak of you Veterans every year. I always compare you guys to those who joined after December 7th, 1941.

And flying those 46's eh? I was with a 46 pilot just last night. My band played the Fund raiser or our Post 35. We want to build a "Bunker" for returning Vets such as yourself, to come in and hang out and just shoot the breeze with other Vets/Surfers. Oh yea, there's a few of us Vet/Surfers.

I was just in San Diego in 2007 during the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle. It was great. But Chris, I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I don't know any of the particulars of the accident, but I can tell from the tone of your email, these two young Marines were special to you. It's not easy losing Marines. It never is. And that's since day one. But we are a special breed. A TRUE brotherhood and that brotherhood is lifelong my friend. I'm sure you know that.

These Marines Aaron Cox and Jessica Conklin will live on in our brotherhood because of Marines like you. By telling their stories, and sharing their lives, they will live on in our memories. As an older Vet, and Commander of my Post (Ironically since May 2001) I keep telling my fellow Vets that we must NEVER forget our fallen. It sounds like you are on that same track.

By the way, if these two Marines were from NH they would qualify to be on our Monument. We have the only one of it's kind in the Nation. Check our website for pics and other info. and check
my Marine Corps website.

Send me pics (Surf/deployments etc etc) if you have any. I'd love to see one of your 46's. I flew in a few of them during my stint in the Corps. In fact to this day (40 years later) if I hear one, it brings me right back.

Thank you again for your service. I hope you get out in the water from time to time. I'll say a prayer for your Marines.
Semper Fi and God Bless.


Hey Ralph, 5/13/09
This is Ryan Olsen. You probably remember me from working in Cinnamons (curly hair). I'm currently down in Wilmington, NC. I religously check the page to see how the waves have been and try to catch up on any local stories that I may miss through the grapevine. Obviously I've seen how unbelievably consitent it has been for you guys up there, and couldn't help but chuckle to myself as I read this week's report of people becoming spoiled. I unfortunately am not in the same boat. Playing soccer back in January I shattered both my Tibia and Fibula bones, which in turn spiral fractured down to my ankle. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital after the surgery and had to live with my mom for over a month. Now with 2 titanium plates and 21 screws holding it all together, I've got at least another 6 months till I can even think about getting back in the water, and may never be able to push it like I used to. Let me tell you, It's been a long recovery, with a lot longer to go; and a truly humbling experience.

I, like many of our surfing counter-parts up there now, was at a point where I was becoming spoiled, thigh-high sessions were laughable suggestions, and head-high and choppy days were "just not worth it". Getting up hours before work just to go paddle on flat days for an hour used to be my routine, but as schedules exapanded and the prospect of better winter and spring swells danced in my head, I took for granted the one thing that kept me sane. Now, after being laid up for over 16 weeks, with at least another year of recovering ahead of me, I would give just about anything just for a single knee-high wave. Hell at this point, I'd probably barter away my left nut to just be able to sit in the line-up and gossip with the gang. It's funny how perspective can change so quickly, how something like a single wave, or the ability to walk through soft sand can seem at some times insignificant, and at others insurmountable.

I know you've been harping on ways to keep up our "perpetual stoke", and I can say when I get back in the water, I'll only need to think about this time in my life. But I thought of you struggling to convey to some of our "spoiled" comarades the importance of taking nothing for granted, if they need some more incentive, please feel free to share my story. I've also attached my x-rays, they may help to convince someone that a knee-high day is certainly better than nothing. Thanks for your weekly dedication to "Ralph's Pic" Seeing all the boys get some great days of surf with some great waves has been one of the few things keeping me motivated to keep up with the therapy and keep training for the day that I can surf again. Hope all is well up North!

My best regards,
Ryan G. Olsen (North Carolina)


Whoa brother that was a heavy email from you. Man, I really hope things progress quicker for you.
I can't imagine being out of the water for that long...wait yes I can. I did it during the War. But I was able to do other things. Like fight a war. Seriously, I'm sorry to hear about your down time. But you are young enough and strong enough to get through this and get back in the ocean.

I don't think for a minute that your better days are behind you (surf wise). I will say this. You are the 2nd person (surfer) I heard from this week to have a serious injury involving soccer. What is up with that? Is soccer that dangerous? If it may want to slow down a little.

I'm glad you thought that some of "our friends" are crazy when it comes to not surfing unless it's head high or better. That's just stupid. Be one thing if we lived on the North Shore or somewhere like that. But man, this is New England. You have to take advantage of it every step of the way. And yes, we have had one hell of a stretch with surf. Unreal. 12 weeks and counting. There might be a little bump tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for writing. Be cool, and be patient. You'll be back before you know it.

Stay in touch. I may post those X-wrays...just to keep everyone aware of how lucky they are.


Ralph: 5/13/09

The website for the Lacrosse charity I worked on in January down in La Chureca, Managua, Nicaragua went live today. The opening video came out great, it's about 20 min. long but a great view of the project. Theres also an extensive photo gallery under the media section.
Check it out, heres the link:

Brian Nevins

Unreal. Really well done. Can't wait to show this to Max who plays LAX for WHS. (see attached pic taken last night)
Wow...Thanks for sharing this.


At 12:34 PM 5/13/2009, you wrote:

Thanks! W------p born and raised. I surf with some guys you might remember. I dont know if you ever met Chris C., Bob M., or Bill H. (deceased). Those guys are still ripping.

The spots you mention area gems. Winnies is no longer anyone’s secret. Boston magazine blew it up in a recent article I've attached to this email. FOX news will be doing their part to spoil the fun this Friday. Don’t get me wrong-I’m no nasty local. Neither are the guys mentioned above. Everyone has the right to surf wherever they want. Hostility in the water ruins the fun for all. There is, however, more sport to finding the point on a map, viewing rollers from the window seat on approach to Logan, or by ending up on the wrong side of a Boston detour.

If you find yourself in the area sometime, you should go back and check it out. The beach and break have changed dramatically, even over my lifetime. Still, there’s nothing like a waist high burger on a summer day taken wearing 7mm boots and pair of boardies!

Thanks again for the pictures. To be honest the left you captured was the best of my night (only one worth photographing!). I was making some rights look real sloppy before and after that. I’ll look forward to seeing whatever images you sent.
Dave .

There were four of us who surfed it that first day. 1972. Me, Bob DeChico (who lived right there), Mattie Crowle, and Gary...I forget his last name. But he was a firefighter in Chelsea. I know Murph he's a good guy. But he came around way after I was there. I'm sure I know the other two guys as well. Or they must know me. I was also one of the first to surf D-land. Surfed there for many years (alone). During the 70's and 80's. I surfed all over New England. I lived In Hampton for a short time 72-79...before moving back for good in 89.
Been here ever since.

My fear is I would paddle out at Winnies or D-land and have some young guy give me shit...then I would have to school his ass with a little History lesson. "Pay attention class."

Let me know what you think of the pics when you get them.


Hey Ralph: 5/12/09

Great Mother’s day column, it is somewhat bittersweet for me too as I lost my Mother a few years ago and like your family, my parents always got us plenty of beach time and were very supportive of anything that got us to the ocean.

Great beach shot of your brother, old shots from great days by the shore are priceless. Kathy and I are planning to try and get to Galley Hatch Friday hear you play and maybe shoot some photos.

I just ordered a Nikon 1.7 tele-extender, you gotta try it on the 300 or 500 would put us in a league (at least in terms of focal length) with Stoner’s 1000MM.

Good Job as always on the weekly column, I checked it Monday after a late night at Fenway.

See you soon, hopefully week 13 of surf



Thanks again for the weekly review. Glad you liked the Mothers Day Column. It is a bittersweet day for sure. My mother has been gone for two years now, and it still seems like yesterday that she would call and ask when I'd be coming down for the Holidays. Man...we all still miss her.

Thanks again for the positive words .


Ralph: 5/11/09

As twisted as it may sound, I have enjoyed the “blatant drop in sequences” the last two weeks. I’m not quite sure why, because we all hate it when it happens to us (and it happens a lot out here in San Diego too)

Sometimes it’s the college kid learning to surf, sometimes it’s a tourist on a rental or sometimes it’s a regional pro who thinks he is above the law of the lineup.

But whoever it is - I think I always have that same reaction – an expression of disbelief and disgust, yelling something like “you have got to be bleepin’ kidding me!”, and then sharing a head shake or laugh with some regulars in the water who saw it go down. I can usually brush it off pretty quickly (after some choice words for the offending party) and enjoy the rest of my session, but it would make for some great post-surf laughs if such a sequence was captured on film.

Having grown up surfing the Seacoast, I know how crazy the Wall gets in the summer. Since blatant drop-ins are going to be served up a regularly as fried dough around the casino the next few months – maybe you could make that a regular summer-time feature? You might even get some folks to sell out their friends by identifying the offending party. Who knows, you might get some repeat offenders that could end up on a Ralph’s Pic Most Wanted Poster?

Thanks for the weekly updates and I hope to get some waves back there when I visit in June.

Justin (California)


Thanks for the email. And yes, you must be twisted to be into Drop-Ins... but I must say...I like your idea about the RALPH'S PIC MOST WANTED POSTER. Except my fear is, it will be someone I know, or worse, someone I live with. Like my son! Drop-ins are all part of the big picture.

I'm glad you're getting a kick out of these.
Keep Surfing!


Hello Ralph, 5/11/09

My name is Stephen A---- and I truly enjoy your weekly blog and photos. I live in the Cove in Beverly with my wife and 3 young children 9, 6 and 4 and surf the North Shore as well as the Wall and Jennes. I loved the old photo of your mother and brother on the beach in 1965. My kids and I spend a lot of time at the beach (the oldest two are just beginning to surf) and I know you grew-up in Beverly so I was tying to figure out on which NS beach the photo was taken. Here are my top three guesses in order:

1) West Beach (a few buddies and I plan on surfing this beach as well and always keep an eye on it during the big storms)
2) Brackenberry
3) Rice's

Did I get it? I will introduce myself if I ever bump into you in NH. Keep doing what you do and thanks for your service.

Stephen A

Bam! Rices. I have surfed all three that you named, including Dane Street and the cove between Dane and Lynch. But it is so fickle. It was more of a novelty thing than anything else.

But it can be done.

Thanks for the kind words and be sure and say hello if you ever run into (and hopefully not over) me. My three kids are now, 19, 17, and 14. The years fly by my friend. Enjoy these special moments with your wife and kids now while they are young and innocent. The real world is a scary place. But you already knew that.

Keep surfing!


Hi Ralph 5/9/09

It was good to catch some waves with you yesterday...i think that was my 1st time seeing you in the water

here are a couple pics...i only snappped off a couple before the tide was to high



Thanks that was fun. It's always fun to surf with one of my fellow photographers. Should be more surf coming.
Keep Shooting and Keep Surfing!.


Hey Ralph, 5/8/09

Thanks! The transition effect is a film burn. I can get a copy of it
for you to use if you'd like. Use whatever you want from that stuff,
I'm stoked on the one I got of you, still surfing so smooth. But lets
get together and I'll show you the full film.



That was really beautiful stuff. You shot all of that? Wow. Really nice.
I'm very impressed with your work. What's the transition affect you
used in the trailer? That orange/yellowish wash. I really like that.
I also like the fact that you use slowmotion.
To me, nothing depicts the mechanics and beauty of a wave better
than slo-mo. The piano piece for the trailer was very nice as well.

I also watch some of your other clips. There's some really good stuff here.
You've got some talent and a keen eye for the aesthetics of surfing.

Thanks for the clip from today. Casey was surfing good. I think I'll end up
only using the Casey footage. I need to keep it short. Unless I can compress
it and keep the size down. But thanks again for doing this. I was kicking myself
for not taping today.

I need to figure out how to use my HD quality NIKON D-90 video
aspect. Can you believe I've not tried that yet? WTF????


Ralph, 5/7/09

I know you’re pretty busy these days but can you tell me if you think this lens would be a good choice for taking shots at the beach with my new Nikon D40?

Also, just wanted you to know I defended your honor recently. A guy named Joe Holaday told me you were a Fool! I said Ralph's never been a fool! He said; yes, he once was, just ask him!



I'm the wrong person to ask about lenses. But I think any lens that will
put you closer on the action in the surf is a good call. The lenses I use
are an 18-200. And the 300. I want to go larger 500 or 600.

And Joe was correct. I was a Fool back in 1981 for one year. I toured
with them (The FOOLS) and wrote some songs with them as well.
It was a fun time.


Ralph, 5/6/09
Wow I cant believe Gabby is 19 . I will never forget her telling me that I "have her birthday" when she was 3-4 years old. The years go by way to fast.
Max didn't look to happy when he came out of the water with the DA Kine Flu mask on. Thanks for the shout out.I am 55 years old on Saturday.We are going to the beach for the weekend.

I like the web site with the album feature. And I really miss surfing with my old friends.

Tony (California)


Thanks for the email. Happy Birthday to you too. We miss you as well. Come back for a brother session. Hell, I'll even give you a wave.
Keep Surfing!.


Ralph, 5/6/09
First off, I would like to apologize to Mr. Stokes...I am, "The Blatant Drop In". I have been laughing non-stop for the last half hour after browsing through the sequence of events. The captions are outstanding. That was day 1 for me on the board. I had just bought a board from Cinnamon Rainbows and thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, it was quite the slow start as you can see. I will be trying to improve my skills tomorrow. Took the day off of work. If you would like to see any more casualites...I'll be there around 9am. Hilarious. Good work.

-Drew Cat
"Blatant Drop In"

I'm not sure if you meant that this was your first day on that board, or your first day surfing. If it was your first day surfing, someone should of at the very least, given you some pointers. In other words "Look both ways before taking off". There are unwritten rules and a code of honor in this sport/lifestyle. Most surfers understand this. It's the beginners who get caught up in the initial stoke of surfing and just don't have an understanding of what's right and what's not.

I know you think this is funny, but trust me, it's anything but funny when someone get's hurt. And there are places on this planet where there is little or no tolerance for drop-in infractions.

Surfing is a fun sport that can literally change your life. But like anything else, there are manners and gestures that go a long way in both creating new friends, and making this lifestyle a less stressful one.

Peter Stokes happens to be a nice guy. But the next guy, might be the complete opposite. Trust me, I've seen it first hand. It can get ugly out there. Like any other sport, you just have to learn the ins and outs.

Keep surfing and keep learning.


I just watched the Fuel TV spot on New Hampshire with Nevins, Moran,
Carey and Hammer!!!!!! Pretty cool. The Wall!

With regards,
John Carden


That is cool. Boy did FUEL luck out with that swell. Oh my God. The Wall was firing and Nevins and Moran were in their best form.
Good for them. Good for us.



You forgot to photoshop out my pot belly on the drop in sequence! And you’re right, I never said a word to that guy, but I paddled past him near enough for him to apologize, but I don’t think he had a clue.

Oh well…



Why do people have to be so hurtful?

Keep smiling and surfing.


Ralph, 5/5/09

Nice picture of Johnny Meehan at the Rocks. All the Best to the New Hammy Slammy’s.

Take care,
Greg (Hawaii)


Hope all is well with you and your new family. Stay healthy. Get some good waves. Love your wife and child and continue to be a good person.

Keep surfing.


Ralph, 5/5/09

I was suprised. I was suprised you stuck it out-if I remember right there was a pretty mean squall that passed through just before that; and the rainbow followed. Thanks again! For guys like me, traveling/surfing alone, your photos provide might be the only visual feedback we get. Damn nice quality too (made it look like I knew what I was doing)! You should see the check in a few days, I dropped it in the box this morning.

Really cool, really generous way, to throw some extra green in the wallet. I appreciate it!

See you in the water,

Dave (Massachusetts)


Thanks again. Yea that Rainbow was something special. That night was wild. Glad you got to experience it and I got a couple of your waves.
Thanks for buying them.

Keep surfing.


Hey Ralph, 5/4/09
Yes I did see those perfect lines come in on Saturday- small but
clearly longboardable and definitely perfect for beginners. I had a
shoot on Saturday that had me driving all the way up to Newcastle and
back down to North Hampton- it was the Music Hall Kitchen Tour of 10
very expensive homes that people (alot of people... nearly a thousand)
paid 20 bucks to go in and look at kitchens that are more expensive
than my entire net worth! I know Crop made a killing this weekend on
rentals and probably already booked his next trip to Tahiti!
Great picture of little Gabby. I can see why it is your favorite.
Happy Birthday to her.
"Leash on" photo: No, I don't know what you are talking about. Haha!
Playa Cemente! I like it.
Love the people talking to the surfer- "them suits help?"
Doesn't it seem like Nevins should have a camera in hand while he
No I did not sleep in. I am a working photographer. (Got 5 kitchen
photos in the Sunday Herald and at least one in Tuesday Union). And
shooting kitchens is much is easier than shooting surfers because they
don't move. And I got paid. You hear what I'm sayin' mah baruthah!
Don't think I didn't appreciate those lines all the way up the coast,
I think leash dragging is sinful. Remember, I pull up the slack when I
put it on at the vehicle so I don't inadvertently up-end any tourists
as I walk to the waves. And I remove it completely and drape it over
my board before I exit the water.
Mike Moran doing some kinda rapper crotch holdin thingy????? Some nice
photos of him in there.
Mackie's swine flu shot (pun intended) hahaha! Music by "Cold" Play- I
get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cloudbreak looks perfect and perfectly ridable ( at the size pictured,
of course).
This week wasn't as good because I didn't have any photos in it.
Juuuuust kidding!

Enjoyed it as usual.

JC With regards,
John Carden


You are a funny man. Thanks for the weekly feedback. Good stuff to
chew on before the next crunch. Man it's weird having these deadlines.
I feel like a Newspaper Publisher or something. Oh well, could be worse.

That Gabby shot is one of my favorite shots. When the original photo came
back from developing, I was really happy with it. The actual print was clear,
and the composition (inadvertent), was perfect. I was so happy.

Hard to believe Gabby's turning 19. Unreal.

Wait, isn't your birthday soon? Or did we miss it? Talk to me Johnny.

You really didn't miss much surf wise. It was clean, but small. Of course,
Mike Moran made it look better than what it really was. Still, if you had
a longboard or a Fish, it would of been a fun day.

I'm glad you shot a shitload of kitchens and got paid. Getting paid is a good thing. Shooting Kitchens? Well I've shot a few myself. There's an art to everything.

Glad you liked the Swine/Da Kine bit...that was fun.
Mahalooooo My Burrrathaaaa...


Ralph, 5/4/09

My buddy pulled these (links pasted below) off your site. Is there any chance I could buy the data file's or get prints? I've never seen myself surfing-thanks for showing me! Its a cool thing that you've got going.

Thanks Ralph,

Dave P Massachusetts


Thanks for the kind words. Glad you got to see yourself. Good thing your bud's got a sharp eye. I can send you pics. I sell high res versions of each shot. Just let me know which one's you want.

Keep surfing.


Ralph: 5/4/09

Classic job this week and without a great swell.

The Swine/Da Kine flu stuff was hilarious and fantastic! I have already email some photos of Masked Max and a link to the video to some non surfing friends who I know will appreciate it. You should share some of this stuff with the non surfing press, it’s perfectly timed for laughs given the current swine flu mania.

The Peter Stokes drop in sequence was great you should save that one for Ralph’s Rules and tips

Your shots from last week from that windy day at the rocks were great I didn’t realize you held out so many classic shots for this week. The one shot of the guy going right with the tanker off in the distance is certainly a magazine quality shot telling the story of New England surfing. .

On my shots: The line about the “Adjusting the family jewels” totally cracked me up.

The Shot of the John Doe guy is Andrew Roussell who you may not know but the reason he looks familiar is he is riding Jon Gosso’s old Quiznos board.

The last 2 shots are definitely Jared Veltsos.

Great Job man.



Thanks for the weekly review. Glad you liked it. The Swine Flu/Da Kine flu bit was fun to do. Of course Max was the ever reluctant actor again. But when I threatened to not give him anymore spending money, he jumped all over it.

I was surprised at Saturday's little swell. It was actually fun.

I think I will use the Peter Stokes seq for the RULES & TIPS page. I was actually thinking that as I put that gallery together.

Not sure what is on the horizon for this week. Looks like there could be another little ridable bump midweek. We'll see what develops. In either case, I have a slew of pics in the vault and other little tidbits when things slow down.

Thanks again for the good words of encouragement.


Subject: Ralph's Pic - Surfrider Cleanup info 5/3/09
From: jamie m>
To: "Ralph"<>

Hello Ralph

Many thanks for posting the beach cleanup info on your website - it looks great. Are you tempted to come along and get a raffle ticket?!

If you have anything that you'd like posted on our site please let me know. Our site is only a few months old and there's not much traffic yet - but I'm happy post good surf stories in our News and Events section.

See you at the beach,


Jamie M.
New Hampshire Surfrider Foundation


Whatever we can do to help out Surfrider just let me know..

Keep surfing.
























































































































































































































































































































































































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