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December 20th, 2009 43 out of 44 weeks of surfable waves.

"The waves were easily that big." Col. Jay Hammer stated as we watched the trailer for my new
movie The RUN in my studio on Friday morning. "What? When was this?" I asked looking at Hammer like he was trying to BS me. "Tuesday afternoon. At the Wall. It was clean. It was easily chest high." "That's impossible. How could that be?" I said looking at my old friend. I was feeling a surge of being more embarrassed than I have for quite sometime. "There were two guys out SUPPing and a half dozen others on Longboards, and a few shortboarders." He said without blinking an eye. Then I thought about it. I never looked at the ocean on Tuesday. I drove within 25 yards of it and
never even looked at it.

I was dropping off my new movie The RUN to the shops on Tuesday, December 15th. And honestly,
I kept thinking about Stevie O'Hara's interview in the movie. He was saying how the actual Run of surf was going to end because of my movie. I distinctly remember thinking..."Damn Stevie was right, it is over." But now, here in my office was my dear old friend Col. Jay Hammer USA who has been living
in Hawaii for the last 4 decades, telling me that the surf was chest high on Tuesday. I was more than embarrassed. I was humiliated.

But I was also happy. Why? Because...The RUN continues. And it's now into the 44th week as I write this, because there is surf out there in that snow. I know it, because I saw it. It's at least head high and it is clean. Albeit it is a tad snowy. But there's still surf. I just feel like a Kook. I mean my friend has to come all the way from Hawaii to tell me that the Surf was good on Tuesday in my town, and I didn't even see it? Oh the horror.

That's embarrassing my friends. And when I pressed him on the "Real size", this is what he said that finally shut me up. "I would of gone out, if I had a board and wetsuit." Damn. If Hammer would of paddled out, it had to be worth it. So, the Run does continue.

And speaking of The RUN. This movie concept was what kept messing me up on the release date. After all, the movie is about the consistent run of surf we've had. And whenever I was ready to end the movie, a new weekly swell would show up. I finally came up with the perfect ending title. Instead of saying THE END" I have The RUN CONTINUES...and it has. Sorry Stevie. I was ready to call you a prophet, but now we can all just laugh. Because, it has not ended like you predicted. It's still going on. I don't ever remember this happening before. I mean this consistent. Week after week. Not every day. But at least once a week. Waist high or better. By the way, if any of you have photos from the
surf on Tuesday...PLEASE send them to me. I realize it was not an epic swell, so the chances are slim that anyone shot the surf. I do know, that my four main stay go to guys did not shoot. But if anyone else has the goods, please shoot em off to me.

Speaking of Hawaii. Col Hammer was sitting in my office and he noticed on one of my monitors a clip of the EDDIE. He asked where I got that and I told him. Dave "Crop" Cropper was there and he shot some home movie style footage of the EDDIE. Turns out Col Hammer was sitting just a few yards away from were Crop was shooting. Small world eh? Neither one saw each other. The footage Crop shot was pretty impressive. I made a short clip for this week for you to get a taste of what he shot. If you want to see the whole edited EDDIE that he videotaped stop by CINNAMON RAINBOWS and check it out. Because that is the ONLY place you can see the whole movie.

Watching the EDDIE both live on the streaming web cast and then again editing Dave's movie, I was really impressed with the enormity of the whole event. I mean Quiksilver really knows how to put on a contest. It was like the SUPERBOWL of Surfing. Really something to see. It must of been unreal to witness the event in person. All the Big Wave Heroes were there. Kelly, Sonny, Andy, and even Eddie's 60 yr old brother Clyde. It was truly a spectacle to behold. But make no mistake about it.

The real attraction was the waves. And the waves were HUGE. I mean HUGE.

I'm not even gonna try and call it ' feet wise', but I will say that some of those waves were easily 4 times over head. Some looked bigger. You can call it 20' Hawaiian scale or, you can call it 50' normal human being scale. It was freaking GIGANTIC. But it was clean. Giant and clean. Still,
some of those waves were death defying. No kidding. It's a wonder that no one got hurt. Even with all the Rescue Jet Ski crafts motoring around the line-up. It was still frightening. They say that Waimea is just a drop. Just a drop from the top of a 5 story building! I can't imagine what the hold downs are like. Thank God I won't ever experience that. The waves at the Eddie were breathtaking.

Speaking of waves. It is the same with my new movie The RUN. It's all about the waves. Those who know me well, know that I love empty waves. And there are plenty of empty waves in The RUN. And not just video. I have featured who I think are the top four contributors to Ralph's Pic Of The Week. My Four Main Photographers. Brian Nevins, Ed O'Connell, John Carden and some guy named Ralph. Seriously, the three guys mentioned here are the ones who consistently shoot all year. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of photogs who send me pics all year, and they contribute to the site and make it what it is. Wade, Doherty, Nichols, Consentino and a whole bunch more. Their contributions make RPOTW a local smorgasbord of surf scenes. But Nevins, O'Connell and
go the extra mile all year. They deliver the goods all year.

And they are the best. Their work in The RUN is stuff you've seen here before. Some surf action and some empty waves. But it's all magazine quality from some of the best Surf Photographers on the Planet. There can be no denying that. Brian Nevins alone is in my opinion, one of the best surf photographers ever. He shoots with a creative eye that can't be taught in some photo class. His crisp images always leave me with my mouth hanging open. This week alone he shot some tiny slushy ice waves and sea smoke images that should be postcards from New England. They are stunning.

and O'Connell can hold their own too. It seems the more I work with these guys the better they get. I know we unintentionally push each other. There's a friendly competitive edge that we all have. It's more like there's Nevins at the top, with the rest of us coming in at the next level. It's all good. And John and Ed would be the first ones to give the nod to Brian.

My own photography is based on luck and surf knowledge. I do know surfing, but I do not know my gear and what it can do. In fact Ed and John will tell you how many times I have asked them the most basic of questions concerning my gear. But having said that, my last acquisition of the NIKON D-90 has changed my whole world. I am first and foremost a videographer and film maker. But I have always taken photos. I've just been more of a motion picture guy. The D-90 has what's that saying? Oh yea..."Rocked My World". I've really gotten into the beast. It's been fun. Although my GL-1 video camera has taken a back seat in the last year.

But I can certainly appreciate the frozen still image.

So the photographers mentioned above are featured in my movie The RUN. I think you'll enjoy it.
There are no pros. There are no Huge Airs. There is nothing tropical about it. It is what it is.
A movie about the incredible Run of surf in New England that is STILL happening as I write this.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. (Next week I'll write about the musicians)

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

So a Big Snowstorm has blanketed most of the Eastern Seaboard this weekend. Good news for
skiers and surfers. Bad news for those who can't afford to heat their homes. So much for Global warming. It is going to be a White Christmas though. Lord knows there are plenty of children in this region who are still young enough to be caught up in the spirit of the holidays without the frightening knowledge of what's really going on in this world. And for that fact alone I hope their holiday is full of magic and wonder. For the children and the parents.

Let's all pray for those in harms way this Holiday Season.

So President Obama gave himself a grade of "B+" last week for the job he's done so far. Are you kidding me?
While Arnold Schwarzenegger gave him and "A" for effort. I don't know which is wackier. Comedienne Wanda Sykes gave him a "C-". Whoa...that hurts. His approval ratings have been slipping as fast as the air temperature outside. The latest Gall-up poll has him at the lowest of any sitting president at this time of his presidency. Ouch. Personally? I hope he does well in 2010. I want what's best for all of us. Hang in there Baracky things can't get much worse (wait did I just write that?)...yes they can. They can get a whole lot worse. Still, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Happy Holidays Mr. President.

The Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills 17-10 today. They looked good. The defense had a wake up call
on the Bills opening drive but really stiffened for the rest of the game. We were missing Big Vince Wilfork but still managed to shut the Bills down for most of the day except the final 4 minutes of the game. Our defense recorded 6 sacks and Randy Moss looked good. I did not buy into that rap last week about Randy dogging it out there. His contributions to the team, far out weigh any dogging it issues, that may, or may not be true.

The AFC is still tight. The Dolphins gave the Titans a scare today but lost in OT. Am I alone when I say how ridiculous it is to lose a game over a coin toss? Let them play another short OT Quarter say for 5 minutes and let them manage the clock and have to play defense and offense. It's absurd the
way it is now. Sudden Death OT? Why?

The 2010 Chris Shipley Local Surf Calendars are now in the shops.
A continued Speedy Recovery to Surf Mom Kim Grondin.
GET WELL Robin can do it buddy!
Happy Birthday David Fatello Dec 23rd!
Happy Birthday Tony Berardini December 24th!
Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends!


*Check out the updated 12-13-09 DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section.
*Molly Video by Joe Carter has been moved to the Community Page.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
every week for the last 6 years. **Think about BUYING a Photo from any of the weeks
on RPOTW as a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer!

Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Click above to see trailer.
Yesterday- January 1980 Biggest Wave in New Hampshire?
(Below) Last week I posted an embarrassing sequence of a surfer riding a decent size wave on his belly. That surfer was Stan Bocko. Now in defense of Stan, he's been surfing these parts for a long time and he's caught more waves than most of you will ever catch in your lifetime. I was just having fun at Stan's expense. This is a photo that Peter Allen took of Stan in 1980 that Stan thinks may be the Biggest wave ever photographed in New Hampshire. While I agree that the wave is big. I respectfully disagree that it is the largest. I still think the largest was Stevie O'Hara's wave shot in the late 80's or early 90's. In fact, my son Max and I agree that the video the Aaron Lyon shot in 2005 of Eric Canon may be the biggest ever documented. But this wave? While it is big Stan, it is NOT the biggest.
Photo by Peter Allen

Today- December 17-18th, 2009 New England's Revenge by Brian Nevins

(Above) Shot this week by master lensman Brian Nevins. December 17-18, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Sunrise Sea Smoke. December 17-18, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) You tell this not something special? Our world is a beautiful world. You just have to open your eyes. December 17-18, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) I hear that brother...December 17-18, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) JUST RELEASED The RUN is Now in the Shops! Crop and Phil share the stoke
with me as I drop off the movies on the 15th!!
Photo By Ed O'Connell

Today- 2009 Sunday, December 20th, 2009 The RUN Files

(Above) An Empty Wave featured in New SFOD Movie The RUN.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole RUN Still Gallery.

(Above) Longboard Barrel. Featured in New SFOD Movie The RUN.
Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole RUN Still Gallery.

(Above) Mike Stanek in the Chowda Shack. Featured in New SFOD Movie The RUN.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole RUN Still Gallery.

(Above) Max Fatello blasting thru the late summer lip. Featured in New SFOD Movie
The RUN.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole RUN Still Gallery.

Today- 2009 Wednesday, December 16, 2009 WEST COAST

(Above) California can really be pretty.
Dec 16-2009
Photo By Ben Ginsberg

(Above) Sunset in California.
DEC 16-2009
Photo By Ben Ginsberg

(Above) Silent night...Happy Holidays from California.
DEC 16-2009
Photo By Ben Ginsberg

Today- 2009 Wednesday, December 9, 2009 WEST COAST
*From the same Swell they had at the 25th EDDIE in Hawaii.

(Above) California gets the EDDIE Swell a day later.
Wednesday DEC 9-2009
Photo By Ben Ginsberg
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) The EDDIE Swell shows up a day later.
Wednesday DEC 9-2009
Photo By Ben Ginsberg
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.





The RUN Trailer December 15-2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

Dave Cropper EDDIE Video Below Shot on December 8, 2009 at WAIMEA BAY
To see the WHOLE Viddy drop by Cinnamon Rainbows this week!


The Quiksilver 25th Eddie December 8, 2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

(Above) Crop shoots The Eddie. Check it out!
Tuesday DEC 8-2009
Photo By Dave CROP Cropper
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole EDDIE Gallery.

(Above) Crop and Reef McIntosh at The Eddie. Check it out!
Tuesday DEC 8-2009
Photo courtesy of Dave "CROP" Cropper
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole EDDIE Gallery.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The Week.

(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #35 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-MVF vs FNG. While this photo is all the evidence I need, it's too much fun showing the sequence each week. Click on image above to see it all. Photos By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Crime Scene

RANDOM Pics from Readers
(Above) Jordan McGrath sent in this photo of a secret spot North of where you are standing right now. Photo By Jordan McGrath

(Above) One from Hurricaine Bill 2009. Mark Henschke riding.
Photo by Rene Mallen

(Above) Today Sunday December 20th, 2009.
COMING NEXT WEEK Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Ed shoots Brian shooting the surf. Today Sunday December 20th, 2009.
COMING NEXT WEEK *PLUS the Year in Review or for that matter the Decade in review. Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Somewhere in New Hampshire today Sunday December 20th, 2009.
COMING NEXT WEEK Photo by Brian Nevins


(Above) What's my old saying? Oh yea..."If you can drive by ain't a secret."
Drive by Lefty...Somewhere in New Hampshire .Sunday December 20th, 2009.

COMING NEXT WEEK Photo by Brian Nevins

The NEW Invisible Surfer Man Series
*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) This is what should of happened. The surfer should of had a clear face to deal with. Instead...well check it out. Just know that this is what happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Put the mouse over the image to see the original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT-"Merry Christmas to all...
and to all a good Deep Barrel!!"

(Above) Come on I can't help it! Merry Christmas!

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To contact the advertisers below, simply click on the Ad space. Anyone wishing to find out info about advertising here can do so by emailing me directly. Ralph's Email I'll send you a template and other info.

We highly recommend the various businesses and artists listed below. Why? Well simply put, each and every one of them is a Surfer, who lives the Surfing Lifestyle.

Hi Everyone
I have posted a group of small "Sports Art" paintings and painting studies I have done to the following webpage:

All paintings are between 4" x 6" to 8" x 10" in scale, are framed and are in the price range of $150.00 to $350.00

If you are interested in buying one for the sports fan on your holiday shopping list (or a gift for yourself:-), give me a call at 617-285-8310 or email at

These sale prices are the new prices, so if you are interested in purchasing one after the holidays, and it is still available, the sale price will still apply .



The Rowlee family is still accepting donations to
the Lil Miss Molly Fund to help other families
fighting cancer.

Click on this Ad to go to the website and read all about Stan Chew's Panama Surf Camp!


Think about BUYING a Photo from any of these Great Local Photographers from past weeks on RPOTW. It's a GREAT Gift Idea. Just think, a nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer! Just contact me and I'll contact the right
photographer and put you in touch with him.