Got good surf pics?
It was a quiet, calm, Sunday morning. Before the last Japanese plane left, almost two thousand Americans would be dead. The next four years, saw over 400,000 Americans killed in WWII. That's almost a half a million lives. Imagine that? They were estimating over 1,000,000 casualties (KILLED IN ACTION) if we had to invade the mainland of Japan. Two atomic bombs stopped that from happening.
That all happened today...67 years ago.
Every year, around this time, it happens. What's that you ask? Well, the shift in ocean storms. Or to be more specific, the shift from our beloved and cherished New England coast to the far out West Coast. And the shift of which I write is the awakening of those large Aleutian storms that produce those death defying heroics of the now infamous Mav riders, all the way down to the joy riders at Trestles. The West Coast wakes up, and so starts the bidding. "Who wants a piece of me?" Ole Westie Mother Ocean beckons. You want some of this bitches? And dammit, if some of those boys and girls don't hedge an inch and answer a resounding..."We Do!"
And so it begins. The Big Wave season.
The phones start ringing, usually my office line, and then the cell. My buddies start calling. Hell, even the Dam Phantom called. (See below) Then come the inevitable emails. Oh yea. And I have to sit here and listen, and take it all. Not that I am jealous of some wacked Mavericks Steroid wave. Hardly. I want no part of that shit. I've said it many times before. I am not a BIG Wave surfer. I have been out in Big Waves, but I am NOT a Big Wave surfer. I want no part of it. I'm not comfortable in Big Surf. Shit, that's an understatement.
I am VERY Uncomfortable in Big Surf. I look at the photos, and the video clips, and shudder at the thought. How do they do it? I ask myself. Why would they do it? Well, I know why. The rush. The thrill. The same rush and thrill we get, in surfing our waves, only 10 times the potency. There's a photo on the inside page of the new Surfers Journal that just scares the snot out of me. It's Peter Mel with just his head above water, facing a wall of whitewater, that looks absolutely terrifying. Have you seen it?
No thank you.
But, there are some spots out west, that do deserve a second look and more. The latter being, the jealous sighs. I see what they get, and I know what we're all facing from now until late March, and I let out a little sigh. Our winter is fast approaching, and it's not for the feint of heart. My Westies are facing those large, clean Winter Lines, and semi warmer temps.
That warrants a twinge of jealousy.
get me wrong, I love it here. Hell, you all know that by now. This is
my home. Our home. Our waves. This is all part of the deal, living and
surfing here in New England.
But my buddies out west, some of whom are transplants, who once lived here, and for one reason or another, have moved out west. Whether it be work, school, marriage, military, whatever. It does not make a difference. They live there. They read this column, and look at our photos, and dream about home. And then the surf comes up, and they quickly remember why they moved out west in the first place. And every single one of them likes to remind me of that choice. In so may words.
No, they are not spiteful and hurtful (like I would be).
In fact, some of them are subtle. They like to act as if, I had not heard about the BIG Ass surf they are getting. "Really?. It's that big eh?" (Like I don't know). Look it's 2008. There's not much we don't know about surf these days. And that goes both ways. With Surf Line and Surf Cams everywhere it's hard NOT to know. So I play the game. I go along with the news. Like I'm hearing it for the first time. "Wow! It's that good huh?" Oh yea, I play along with them all. Because, I know, that most of em miss it here.
You see, I know what we have back home.
Dorothy once said..."There's no place like home."
get hot and the shit starts flying. Usually not a good mix. Big waves
and big crowds. And let me tell you friends, The North Shore is one
of those spots, where you really have to be on your toes at all times.
Both in, and out
not much room for error out there. Mess up at one of the many Big Wave
spots on Oahu's North Shore, and it could have deadly results.
Gee, our cold New England winters are looking better all the
time. Get a new wetsuit,
That's what Ralphie's gonna do this winter.
So my first movie in two years got released today. GREETING SEASONS. It's at the shops (or getting to them). It's strictly a Shortboard movie. There are NO longboards in Greeting Seasons. There are however, ONLY Longboards in GROOVEMASTERS my second movie. You see, I've shot so much footage over the last two years, that I needed to make two separate movies. A shortboard flick and a longboard flick.
But honestly? It's the waves that are the real stars of my movies. It's always been the waves. Mostly, because we don't have the HOTTEST surfers in the world surfing here on a regular basis. Don't misunderstand me here. We have some Real Good surfers, but not the kind of surfers that blow you away every time they paddle out. The PROS. They come and visit every now and then. Brian Nevins is always hosting a few. The local Shops also run promotions, and the occasional pro shows up. But trying to coincide, a visiting hot pro surfer, with good waves...well, that's the proverbial crap shoot.
It's tough to pull off.
That's why my movies are what they are. I describe em to people as...a few notches below a Pro Surf Movie, and a Few notches up from your parents home movies. Does that make sense? I just know, that I try and shoot the best waves, and the best riders. But I end up usually shooting everyone. And, why I can't guarantee that you (personally) made the cut into one of my flicks, there's a better chance of you making it into one of my movies, than one of the pro flicks.
And I do mean, what I say about the waves in my films.
If you love it here in New England, you will recognize the surf. Of that, I can virtually guarantee. You will see waves that you have ridden. And who knows, you might see yourself. There are some riders in my movies, that I don't recognize. Could it be you? I don't know, buy one of my NEW movies and find out.
a shameless promotion.
Now for some casual observances last week.
I happened to be walking by the TV set last week, when the criminal of the ages, who just won't go away, was finally sent away. I'm talking about OJ Simpson. Looks like the juice is set to be behind bars for some time. I'm thinking, there's two souls in heaven, who are smiling this week.
was finally served.
And I say Thank God. However, Tedi Bruschi got hurt today, and so did Vince Wilfork. I said last week that these Patriots of 2008 are like a box of chocolates. "You never know what you're gonna get." Well, we got some sweet chocolate this week. And if that isn't good enough...the JETS lost today. There's a virtual 3 way tie for the AFC East. Let's see what we get next week. Sweet chocolate or sour candy?
sees a KNEEBOARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA:
SEASONS" was released today December 7th.
And will be Premiered at LOS OLAS (Mexican
Restaurant) in Exeter, NH this Wednesday Dec 10th at 7PM.
And "Groovemasters" the first ever Longboard ONLY movie
from Surf Free Or Die comes out on Sunday December 21st.
The first day of Winter.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of
The Week Especially: Ed O'Connell, John Carden, Brian Nevins,
Bernie Baker, Jamie Wade, Kevin Doherty, Lenny Nichols, Chris Shipley,
is available on myspace.com/qwillmusic
Sunday December 7, 1941
Mike Gleason making gravy. Pre Thanksgiving, November 26th, 2008.
I can hear this beast hissing at me. Ed O'Connell's leftovers.
A leftover turkey sandwich with NO turkey. Thanksgiving 2008.
2008 Today-Last Week in California-2008
2008 Today-Surf Scenes from This week in Hawaii
Today 2008 PARTING SHOT- Man vs Machine Vs Mother Ocean