Got good surf pics? Send em off to me directly.
(See link below) Just make sure they're NOT huge
files. In fact if you have any questions about the
size, email me first and I'll write back.
Start shooting crackie!!
Ralph Pic Of The Week

If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.

August 27, 2006

So last week I walked into the shop when Dave sees me and his eyes light up. He reaches over and hands me the new DVD "FLOW" and says "You have to watch this. Could be the movie of the year." I gave him a skeptical look. "I mean Nationally, not locally". (As if my movies were on the same level as the Big guys.) I laughed. I love Surf movies, so I grabbed it. I had heard about this flick and thought I'd watch it later with Mackey. The movie is about Al Merrick. And it features, three of whom, I feel are the most influential shortboarders in the history of surfing. Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. It also has the early Aerials of young Davey Smith in the early 80's. To say that Al Merrick is one of the industry's biggest Giants, is an understatement. His influence on Tommy Curren and Kelly Slater alone is HUGE. A major player Al Merrick was and is today.

Shaun Tomson, in the mid 70's, to the late 80's was the man. Shaun The Prawn was the ultimate Tube Rider. When the movie FREE RIDE came out, and we all watched Dan Merkel's footage of Shaun's Backdoor and Off The Wall barrel riding go by us, in ultra slow motion, well, we freaked out. His wide stance, and his finely tuned, turning in the barrel, set the surf world up on it's ear. All of us here in New England quickly adapted the wide stance, and began pulling into every wide open hole we could fit our bundled wetsuited New England bodies into. From Kevin to J-Rat, we pulled into every wave that even remotely looked like it was going to throw. We were all Shaun Tomson's that first year. Kevin Grondin honed his barrel riding style after Shaun.

When Tom Curran started showing up in the mags and early movies, we knew that Surfing again, had taken a turn for the better. Suddenly, there was more than just Barrel riding to pay attention to. Curran's surfing took surfing to the HNL..."HOLE NUTHA LEVEL". The early 90's was wild. And Surfing would never be the same. I had the pleasure of meeting Curran in 1994, and actually got to jam with him at a party. He played drums and guitar, and I played guitar on several songs. *Some of that footage is in my movie 99 to 90. He was a very humble human being. He was also very talented. I never got to surf with him. Not that I would of. I would of grabbed my camera and shot every single second of his session. But, it was not to be. We met again a couple of years later, when he flew in to Boston to catch a Hurricane swell. He ended up heading south, instead of North, and he missed a classic Northern New England swell. This was back in the day when New England was still off the radar. Tommy we missed ya.

The next Surfer in FLOW is Kelly Slater. Now, I can't say anything about Kelly that has not already been said a million times before. I won't even try. If you don't know who Kelly Slater is, and what he's done for Surfing, quit surfing right now and take up golf. You are too much of a kook to save. Every surfer in the last 15 years has been influenced by Kelly in one way or another. Kelly is THE MAN. There will never be another Kelly Slater. I will say however, that there's a softer side to Kelly in this movie that I was not aware of. A very emotional side. I guess, he's human after all.

And, all you young aerialists out there, should get this movie to see who the real innovator of popping airs is. It's Davey Smith. Smith was popping out of waves since 1983 and making them. I can remember seeing photos in the magazine, of this bushy headed freak, flying out of waves and thinking to myself..."No way he made that". But, he was making them. This is in 1983. It's good to see this guy get his due credit. Davey Smith should earn his place in the Surfing Hall of Fame.

The movie tells the whole Santa Barbara story and it's all based on AL MERRICK. Al is a tremendous human being, who did more than make surfboards for the best surfers in the world. He became like a father to these young surfers. And it's apparent by hearing these surfers talk about him. I won't say anything else except, this movie is important. I mean that. It tells a true story about contemporary shortboarding, and it's done very well. Complete with my old friend, Sam George who knows more about surfing than anyone on this planet.

Get "FLOW" and watch a movie of significance.

22 years in the making. The Annual Cinnamon Rainbows Midnite Madness happened last night, and if you were there, you know what kind of an event it is. This Madness event has taken on a life of it's own. And it's hard to believe, it's 22 years since the first one. Surely there have been other sales, at other shops, and all of them have been successful in their own right. But this thing at Cinnamon Rainbows, is like a Rock Concert or something. I'm always amazed at the amount of people who come to this thing. It is truly one of the highlights of the Summer. And it's 22 years old! Wow I feel old again.

The new ticket system that was implemented a few years ago seems to work fine. Gone are the days of near trampling of trying to rush into the doors. This new system works fine, and everyone seems to get what they want, without the suffocating crowds. It is like a well oiled machine. From "Heather's Girls", to the many Groms, working under Dave and Phil. It is an experience.

The Quiksilver Boys are outside cooking FREE Hamburgers and having raffles every 5 minutes. So, there's no let up in the action. The door men, Mark Jowett and Brock Dunn kept the crowds under control in between shopping segments. It was and always has been MADNESS. And it only happens once a year.

Speaking of well oiled about them dam Patriots! Now, I know it's preseason and all, but dam. Those boys look good. Just in time too. The Red Sox are fading and the air is getting cooler. Sounds and smells like Football season to me. I mean last week, it was 30-3 against the Cards and this week, it was 41-0 against the Washington Red Skins...YIKES!

If I was Deion Branch, I'd be bitch slapping my agent and telling him to get me a deal with this team NOW! The guy's turning down $18million? Are you kidding me Deion? You're playing Football here. Hello??? These guys are winning HUGE without you right now. Look, I'm no Sports Agent, but, if I was, I'd of signed you up by half-time last night. $18 Million Dollars! What's wrong with Sports today? Ha. Money.

Last night during the Madness sale, I ran into several Groms who I had interviewed in my movie SUMMER 05. They all wanted to retract what they had said. You know, they were trying to downplay how good SUMMER 05 was
while I was interviewing them at the time. Now that they have experienced this weak Summer...all of a sudden, SUMMER 05 looks pretty dam good.

But not to worry my little Grommy friends...the season is just getting started. You're ALL going Back to school, and the Tropics are acting up. ERNESTO Come On Up! The tourists are headed home. The Lifeguards will soon be gone. It's all coming together, my little wet eared friends. So...Here's to a strong and well groomed Fall. I mean it has to get better. Right?

My friend Doug and his wife headed back to California. But not before actually getting to sample a little knee high to waist high surf. They eventually worked their way up to Maine and saw some of New England's pristine coastline. They were impressed. I'm glad you and Robin had fun Doug. Hopefully the next time will be a little longer. And the surf will be bigger.

Speaking of end of Summer events. This year will mark the 15th Anniversary of an annual Beach party called Surf Family Robinson. It's a party started back in 1992 by a bunch of local surfers who have kids, and who wanted to spend the last weekend of the Summer together. It's been fun for everyone. Mostly for the young surfers. Every Labor Day Weekend since 1992. If you're interested in this event email me directly and I'll let you know where and when.
Ralph Pic Of The Week

Thanks again for all the positive feedback on SUMMER 05 The movie's in the Shop and available at my other site

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



Yesterday 1956 A Day at The Beach, Northern New England Style
My father took this photo. Check out the WWII era tent. I can remember being in that thing to get out of the sun.
That's my sister in the foreground. I'm standing on the tent to keep my feet from burning off. My mother is in front
of the tent. My brother are somewhere down by the water no doubt. Back in those days we never knew what the
surf was doing until we showed up at the beach. In other words kids, there were no Wave Cam
s or Surf Reports.
You had to find out the hard way. Photo by Gus Fatello

Today 2006 Scenes from Last Night's Midnite Madness
These photos were all taken last night, Sunday August 27th at Cinnamon Rainbows Annual Midnite Madness
Photos by R. Fatello courtesy of SFOD

(Above) Waiting for your number to be called. Meanwhile the Quik Boys are slinging burgers again!

(Above) KING MADNESS himself. Dave "Crop" Cropper Celebrating 22years of Madness.

(Above) Madness Groms longing for last Summer's surf...

(Above) Quiksilver Boys cooking up the MADNESS Burgers! 'Hey Dan you want a burger with that Cheese?"

(Above) Captain Phil out the back with the boards...enjoying the night and talking foam.

Today 2006 Scenes from This Past week in Northern New England
These photos were all taken on Tuesday August 22, 2006 in Northern New England.
Doug Hendry's wicked
Eastie Adventure came to an end this day. At least he got to surf.
Photos by R. Fatello courtesy of SFOD

Doug, Mackey and Vince.

(Above) August Surf Boys. The Fatellos, The Saracusas and The O'Haras.

(Above) Unknown Longboarder gets one of the Last Glassy waves in August...

(Above) Surfing Pats Fans...The Fatello Boys and The Savastano Boys.

Today 2006 Another Series from The Phantom.... Summer 06 in Cali.
Hey why does the dam Phantom have to be so hurtful? Sending these photos of him and his friends, knowing
that all the poor Easties up North have been suffering so? Why? Because he likes to that's why! Hey we can
handle this. We're Surfers, we enjoy looking at others getting good surf while we grovel in slop. Bull we do!
Dam you Phantom! Wait until we get our first REAL Fall Swell! In your face brother! Oh it's coming all right!
Photos courtesy of The Phantom

(Above) The Phantom's perspective of yet another solitude score. Just The Phantom, Rocky, Sam and Matt.

(Above) Rocky takes the slide home while Matt sees something out the back.

(Above) Matt in a semi compressed weird torqued out bottom turn, on a rather large board and quite frankly, looking
very stylish in the process.

(Above) Matt connecting on a nice wind swept peak. Just the four of them. Bastards.

(Above) Somebody impacted like a painful wisdom tooth.

(Above) Rocky looking for Sea Urchins and his board. Somewhere in Phantom land.

(Above) Sam setting up on his Big Blue Craft. That's a lot of foam Sam. Where's your paddle?

(Above) Sam swinging wide on Big Blue. The style, the stance, the hair, it's all still there Sam. Nice.

(Above) Sam perfect positioning on Big Blue. I first saw Sam surf back in the 70's and he blew us all away.
It's obvious, the man has not lost his style or passion. Sam in a timeless pose.

(Above) Rocky indicating the kind of session he just experienced.

(Above) Sam, Rocky and Matt. At the end of the day. And this my friends, is the true essence of any surfing
experience. Sharing a perfect day with some close friends. Look at this photo...this could easily be you and
your buddies. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Make it happen today.

Parting Shot -Junior Seau is a Patriot who Surfs!
What can you say about our New Linebacker for the New England Patriots? How about the fact that he Surfs!
What else do you need to know? The man is a SURFER!
Photos courtesy of Boston Herald

(Above) Junior and Donald Takayama. They ain't talking Football!

(Above) Junior stoked!

(Above) Junior's a Goofy foot! Oh oh another Goofy Foot Union Team Rider!





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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