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April 5, 2009 "Palm Sunday"

I was paddling by some friends today, and I asked them if they could see my right foot. I wanted to know if it was still there or not. You see my friends, my feet were freezing. They were so cold, that I was not sure if they were still connected to my ankles. Much to my surprise, they were. So I'm here to tell you, that it's true about what some people will say about getting older. Your circulation does have fleeting moments. I don't think there's a wetsuit boot out there that can help me. Lord knows I've tried. And it's just the boots. My hands, head and body are fine. It's my damn feet. But now that I think of it. It's always been my feet. So maybe getting older has nothing to do with it. Say I know what it might be. Maybe it's the freaking part of the world we live in. Case closed.

So was this swell windy enough for you? Damn it was gusting all day and night on Saturday. It's hard to believe that the swell had anything left on Sunday. But it did. Albeit it was not nearly the size as it was the day before. But there was still something. But Saturday? Whoa she was blowing to beat the band. Wait did I just write that? You all know what I'm talking about. It was gusting 30 plus knots throughout the whole day. But that swell had enough volume to push through the line of defense, and make it to our shorelines, where we lucky SOB's were there to meet it. And lucky we were. Now, I don't know about you guys but, is it my imagination, or did we suddenly luck into a weekly swell pattern? And did this swell pattern happen the exact week I launched my new site? Hey, I'm not trying to take credit for something that I obliviously had no real part in doing but...OK, so maybe I am. Maybe my new site, is the reason we've been having all this great surf. So what can we do for me? Ahhh shucks, there's nothing I want...BULLSHIT!

There is something I want. I want what you all want. I want to be able to catch more waves.

So how does that affect you? How about this. If you see me out there cursing and struggling against the offshore winds...let me have a wave or two. You know, instead of saying hello and asking me about how things are, while you paddle around me, taking off on another wave. Let me have a damn wave. Throw me a bone. Let Uncle Ralphie get a wave or two, and then Ralph will be a happier, more approachable, member of the human race. Look I'm kidding about both. I'm not the reason, we've been getting more surf. And I don't expect you to give me waves (unless you want to). I just so happened to have, a bad day surfing today. I did. That wind was really getting to me. Or rather, not allowing me, to get into the surf. Maybe...and I really hate to say this..maybe the magic is finally gone in my Long Board. While I am still relishing, in the joys of a invigorating new youth surge, with my new short board, my Longboard, as of late, has been letting me down. Big time.

And honestly? I don't want to ride a new longboard. I happen to love my board.

But seriously, I have been getting blown out of waves as of late that I never would of missed a year or two ago. This current board that I'm riding is only 10 years old. Do surfboards of length eventually lose it's magic? That would be terrible if true. Why you ask? Well all my boards tell a story. That board is very special to me. It's the board I rode 90% of the time during my year long Quest to surf 365 consecutive days. That board has all my old Military unit patches and some awards embedded in the glass. And I have gotten some memorable rides on that board. I got a few fun ones today as well. Maybe it's taken on water. Or maybe the board has lost some of it's responsiveness. I don't know. I don't know enough about the mechanics of fiberglass, resin and foam. I've never bothered to learn about these things. I was always leaving my boards and shapes up to those who do it for a living. Shane Smith shaped that board in 1999. Shane if you're out there and reading this give me a call. How can we save that board? Or what can we do, to get a new LB for me that will suit my needs.

Because with me, it's not just the function of the board. It has to make a visual statement.

Getting back to the wind on Saturday. So I'm standing high up on my perch at 10th Street shooting the action with both the NIKON D-90 and my Canon GL-1. It is fast and furious (no I didn't just say that...damn I hate sounding like some cliché bonehead). Anyway, I'm shooting away, when out of the corner of my eye, I notice a beginner, or intermediate type Surfer, place his little surf board, up on the Wall while he got into his wetsuit. Instantly my senses went into full alert. This had disaster written all over it. Now before you ask why didn't I warn him? Well he was a good distance away. He would not have heard me if I yelled a warning. Besides, I wouldn't yell that far if it was a friend or family member. Actually scratch that. I would and have in the past. Especially, if it's one of my boards that it's jeopardy.
So I had one eye on the surf action, and the other on the board.

Everyone in the entire New England area knew about the wind this day.

But somehow this guy did not. Are you kidding me? So I'm waiting maybe a minute when this huge gust blows across the cement, and as sure as the day is long, the little swizzle stick takes flight and goes hurtling into space like a North Korean Missile launch. I spun my D-90 to try and capture the moment but I'm using Carden's 300mm and I have to manually focus the big lens. By the time I snap off a few the board has hot and is pinwheeling across the rocks. His friends go nuts. As they should. There are hoots and catcalls and insults from his crew. As they all jump up on the Wall to get a better view. The board settles in and lies there. Still. Like a discarded toy. He looks over the wall and then starts the walk down to the opening. His path will take him directly by me. Now all my friends already know what's coming. I see stuff like this and I have a difficult time keeping quiet. It's just not my nature. I see wrong and I will always try and right it. More times than not, it works, and the perp always gets something out of it. Sometimes it does not. This time it worked.

So, he gets to within hearing distance of me, when I casually say under my breath. "I almost got that." He looks up at me..."You mean that wave?" "No...your board flying through the air." I answer somewhat sarcastically. "I didn't think it was that windy." He says. "What?" I exclaim. "Listen you could of placed a paper plate full of potato chips on that wall, and had the same result." He walks down the stairs towards the limp stick and says.."Thank God for Epoxy". "Yea thank God for Epoxy, unless you happen to be sitting there under the wall, protected by the wind watching the surf, when that Epoxy board goes driving through your freaking skull!" Silence. "Look, this will only happen once in your lifetime. You will never make that same mistake again. And neither will your friends. Just be careful." He shook his head and grabbed his board. He walked by me and I smiled. He still had to deal with his friends though. And that is all part of being a Grom or beginner.

The things we learn in our precious little surf world.

Speaking of learning things. The last few weeks I have written about surfers getting special soul sessions. Today Brian Nevins reminded me of one that he got last month. All by himself in chest high glassy perfection. For about 2 hours. And this at a place that is notorious for crowds. Nevins scored. Last October, Tony B, Paulie B and myself scored some insane surf with just the three of us. But the souls session of all time just happened to an old friend of our seacoast. Tom Christo. Better known as TC. Well TC writes me and tells me that he scored UNREAL surf all alone for about 3 hours. But here's the was less than a half hour from LA. Yes. I said LA as in Los Angeles. Now my friends clearly, if TC can get empty perfection within a half hour's drive from LA well, WE CAN ALL GET IT. You just have to...(all together now class)...that's right. Open your eyes. TC says hi to all his buds back home and he wants you all to know he'll be back in the Fall.

OK. Check it out. I'm trying something new here this week. The site has changed just a little. What I've done is create a web Gallery where you can either browse through the thumbnails or look at each large photo by simply clicking on the arrows and seeing all the pics as they are, 800 pixels wide. Please drop me a line and let me know what you think. I mean either way. I can go back to the way it was for the last month or keep it this new way. I'm trying to make this as user friendly as possible. I'm also building a custom embedded video player and juke box. The problem is these dam swells keep messing me up. But seriously, let me know.

Don't forget All the shops are STILL collecting cards, gifts, and other provisions for the Rowlee family. PIONEERS , CINNAMON RAINBOWS, BRICKHOUSE, ZAPSTIX and many more shops are drop off points of interest for Miss Molly. Skip Brunette has opened a Little Miss Molly account at the SEACOAST CREDIT
UNION on 887 Lafayette Rd, Hampton NH
. (see poster below for info). There are several more fund raisers in the making as well. There's still plenty of things going on for Lil Miss Molly and you can find out most of it on the Ralph's Community Page.

This is the info for the ONLINE Auction.
Little Miss Molly Fund Auction

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

Well this was one hell of a week news wise. President Obama was in Europe garnering support for the downward spiraling Global economy, and the Global War on Terrorism. Yes I'm still calling it that. Sorry Nancy Pelosi. Obama has asked The NATO nations to step up and help out. And they should. I for one, am sick of AMERICA being the only country to fight these radical Islamic Terrorists scumbags. Although we've had plenty of help from Great Britain and a few other countries. But let's face it. America takes the brunt of all the word's problems. Terrorists (Yes I'm still calling them that) hate all Free thinking human beings. No matter what the color of your skin, or the color of your politics. Terrorists hate us all. And like Obama said last week. We need to destroy them. Let's hope we get help.

Speaking of Great Britain, how funny did the Queen look standing next to Michelle? Man she looked like she came up to the First Lady's hip pocket. Such a strange scene. The Queen and the whole Royalty etiquette. And Obama giving the Queen an IPOD with what? His favorite tunes? Her fave tunes? I'd have given her Hendrix. That's right. "Here you go Queenie dig this! It's Jimi Hendrix's greatest hits!" Yea baby that's what I'm talking about!

So the Little Nut Job Kim Jong Ill in North Korea launched the Missile that the WHOLE WORLD said not to launch. What is it with this guy? Someone should put some lifts in his shoes and make him feel better about himself. What a freaking wack job loser he is. Look, if you don't think our world is an unstable mess, that is one step away from horror of unimaginable proportions you have not been paying attention to countries like North Korea and Iran. This is serious shit here people. These people don't surf. They don't get what we're all about. Isn't that scary enough for you? Do I think North Korea is going to attack America? No. But they might attack Japan. And do I think Iran is going attack America? No. But they might attack Iraq or Israel. I do however, think that Al Qeada and other like minded losers will attack America. That I am certain of.

And what the hell is going on in our country. 7 police officers killed in a two week period? What the hell??? What is with this recent crazy trend of mass murders? Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives these past few weeks. Both the police departments and the other innocent victims. Just terrible strange behavior. Awful.

The Sports world
has some crazy stories brewing this week. Michael Vick may end up working for $10 pr hour in some construction job. And Plaxico Burris was in court last week on his gun charges. I just heard tonight that Tom Brady's wedding had shots fired. It's true. Some security guards shot at the poor Paparazzi. Damn! Speaking of Brady his old Coach Josh McDaniels lost his starting QB Jay Cutler to the BEARS when he tried to steal Matt Cassell. Only to lose Cassell to the other turncoat Scott Pioli. Man you can't make this shit up huh? Monday is OPENING DAY! GO SOX! Finally, REST IN PEACE Lou Saban. The First Coach of the Patriots. He was 87yrs old.

THERE was BEACH CLEAN-UP ON SATURDAY APRIL 4th BY THE NH SURFRIDER. There was also a private cleanup in Hampton on Sunday, by our friend Sandy Radcliff. Thank you Sandy, for picking up that trash, and all the nice things you
said. I hope your fingers heal soon.

Happy Birthday Lynne Berardini Sunday April 5th!!
And a Get well quick to Johnny Meehan!

Happy Palm Sunday to all the Christians.

Check out the shout out in the NEW ESM magazine about my two latest releases. "GREETING SEASONS" and "Groovemasters" both are in the shops!

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.

Remember my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Yesterday- 1983 Little Tube Squat at The Wall
(Below) You can't really see it in this photo, but the board I am riding is camouflage. Like I said earlier. All my boards are visual statements. This board while not exactly the design I wanted was an eye opener. I have some friends out there today who remember my camo board. It was a 6' 4" with really hard rails. Not exactly a functional board for these parts. But if I remember correctly we ere always experimenting with whatever shapes were coming out all over the world. From OZ to Hawaii and the West Coast and Florida. We tried to emulate what everyone else was riding. Then one day we woke up and realized the kind of surf we were riding was different than what they were riding all over the globe. This was a NOMAD. And our good friend Rick Aho shaped it and did the design work. I know Rick has cursed me a few times over the years back in the day with my designs. Sorry Rick. But thank you for listening to me and trying to get my vision on the boards I ordered from you.
Photo by Hedi LaShay

Today- 2009 TWO Days in APRIL 4-5, 2009.
I'm Calling this " The WINDY Palm Swell."
Starting with the First Day, the morning of April 4th.
*Click On This Image to take you to a NEW Photo Gallery That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click image below.
All photos by RALPH

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 TWO Days in APRIL 4-5, 2009.
" The WINDY Palm Swell." The First Day continues with Brian Nevins shooting. Check out these INSANE Empty Line-up shots.
*Click On This Image to take you to a NEW Photo Gallery That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click image below.
All photos by Brian Nevins

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 TWO Days in APRIL 4-5, 2009.
" The WINDY Palm Swell." The First Day continues with ED O'CONNELL at the trigger. Check out Ed's high action madness on the first day..
*Click On This Image to take you to a NEW Photo Gallery That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click on the image of Garrett Krapf getting shacked out of his mind below.
All photos by Ed O'Connell

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 TWO Days in APRIL 4-5, 2009.
" The WINDY Palm Swell." Later in the day, I went back out and shot some more. Check out the evening of the First Day, April 4th.
*Click On This Image to take you to a NEW Photo Gallery That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click image below.
All photos by RALPH

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 TWO Days in APRIL 4-5, 2009.
" The WINDY Palm Swell." The 2nd Day April 5th with ED O'CONNELL on the beach. Check out Ed's Sunday action.
*Click On This Image to take you to a NEW Photo Gallery That will Allow you to see either Thumbnails or Larger images That you can forward or reverse. Click on the image of Billy Ritchie.
All photos by Ed O'Connell

Click on the image above.



(Above) Adam Coates on April 4th, 2009
Video Frame Grab by Ralph

Today- 2009 Local New Englanders in the Tropics.
TC (below) and a few other wayward New Englanders
post their stuff here.

*Click Image below for Thumbnails and larger view

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 " UNREAL Australia March 27th 2009."
*Click below for Thumbnails and larger viewing
All photos Via The Internet

Click on the image above.

Today- 2009 Clear Water Hawaii Shot.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) There was a time when I would go to Hawaii every year. It's such a beautiful place. The waves, the people. The whole package. There is STILL REAL Aloha there.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today- 2009 Westie Scenery
Photos by Tony Szabo

(Above) My buddy Tony Szabo sent these in. He and his wife Liz used to live out here. They have settled in on the West Coast and have made a nice little life for themselves. Tony's always dropping me emails to say hello and to send the occasional pic. Like these two above. Come back and visit us Tony. We'd love to see you again. T
Photos by Tony Szabo.

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- "Think he's dead?"

(Above) Hard to tell what's going on here. My guess is the fella on the sand is just plain tuckered out. More than likely, it's his first time back in the water. While I would like to say we've all been here, I really can't.
Photo by RALPH

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