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February 19th, 2012
The RUN is 51 out of 52 Weeks. Waist high or better, at least
once a week. The Surf was Chest high on Friday the 17th.

Predicting surf is not an easy task. Even for the professionals who do this for a living. And by the "Pro's" I'm talking about the big guys. Surfline, Magic Seaweed, and WetSand. These guys make millions predicting when and where the surf will hit. And again, it's not an exact science. Still, we all find ourselves relying on their expertise. After all, we are basically chimpanzees when it comes to predicting surf. While the super intelligent computers and wave modules make our lives easier by telling us when and where the surf will arrive.

They are basically tossing us fresh bananas each week. And we all jump up and down when we get them. You guys getting this? Ooh ooh eeh ah ahhh. OK?

Now for the most part, I rarely look at the Surf Forecasts. I'm not a "Weed Monkey" and by that, I mean the Magic Seaweed followers, not the other kind of Weed Monkey. And for the record, I do not have a problem with either Monkey.
I guess if I had to say which surf forecast I check out more than any other, it would have to be WETSAND. It just seems easier to read and follow than the others. And easy is what I need in my life.

I do not need difficult . I need user friendly. I need help. I need a banana.

So what's my point? Well, NONE of the million dollar surf forecasters predicted the waist to chest high swell we got on Friday afternoon. Except, WETSAND did say there "might" be a waist to Chest high swell on south facing beaches. And while we did see a solid waist to chest high swell here in Hampton, NH it was certainly not on a south facing beach. The Wall does NOT face south.

So look, I'm not putting these super high tech wizards down. I'm just saying, that a fair share of you who might have scored the surf on Friday would of been there had you known ahead of time. Especially those of you who work in the city and have to drive an hour either way. I know. I used to be one of you. I hated that. I hated the not knowing. And look, when I lived in the city in the mid 80's we did not have cell phones or surf forecasts. It was hell.

But that's not the case today. Oh hell no. We have become spoiled.

Hell some of you have apps on your cell phones to let you know when the surf comes up. That's insane. but I understand it. Though I have to say, today at around 3PM I was driving through Hampton when I saw a vehicle come at me driving erratically. "Oh oh," I thought to myself, I thought I was going to get in a fender bender with someone having a heart attack. Turns out it was an elderly man in his 70's trying to text while he was driving. I gave him a look like "Dude you have got to be kidding me?...Really? Your texting? WTF!!!"

Any ways, back to the Friday afternoon swell.

My son Mackey and I were working on a video project that I needed to get done. Some pro Basketball player named Dave Hopla. He gave a shooting clinic last week and we got hired to shoot it and make a DVD and some YouTube clips. It was mildly entertaining. We have two monitors up and running at all times. And as always, one of them has the Wave cam up and running. I kept looking over at the cam and thinking that it looked like a swell was starting to fill in.

In fact, I sent Max down to look at it at around 1PM to give it the ole hairy eyeball.

He came back and said it was clean but really only about ankle high. So back to the video project. Sometime around 3PM I thought I saw a set on the cam. But again, it's hard to tell from the cams when it's borderline ridable. Then again at 3:30PM I saw what looked like a waist high wave. Now most of you know that I keep that RUN thing every week but calling a wave waist high or better a legit wave during the week. And it only has to be at least once a week. If it goes to two weeks of less than waist high, I start over. And by two, I mean just two. Not two consecutive weeks. Just two weeks out of the year. I start over.

And I was ready to pull the plug and zero it out this week. You know, start over.

But that wave at 3:30PM caught my eye. So I did what any surf dad would do. I sent my son down to look again. This time Max called right back. "Dad there is surf. And Mikey Moran is going out! You should shoot." I hit the pause button on Premiere Pro even before I hung up the phone. Any time Mike Moran goes out it's worth shooting. I looked at the clock. It was getting on to be 4PM...damn.

I drove down to 10th street and as I did I passed my son speeding back home. He was racing home to get his gear. I set up and was firing off shots of the Mike Moran noseriding clinic within minutes after pulling up at 10th Street. There were about two dozen out. Two dozen who obviously watched the same wave cams as I did. Two dozen who live or work close enough by to slip in before dark.
Two dozen lucky I sat there snapping away at the fortunate few, I
could not but help feel sorry for those who did not know that there was a swell.

And you could tell it was going to be a short lived sesh. It was here and now only.

I realized too, that this was the first time I left the house without my brace. Or rather, the first time I shot without my brace. And honestly? I'm sick of that thing. I have not been in the water since December 1st, 2011. That's 79 days. No surfing. SEVENTY NINE DAYS, I watched as the perfect waist to chest high super clean waves would hit the sandbars and just peel. I really miss surfing. I've had to stand by swell after swell this winter and just watch. OK that's not entirely true, I have been shooting each swell. And that is very important to me as well.

But all my friends who have been traveling to the Tropics, California, and beyond, have made it especially hard on me to see and hear tales of perfect surf. I mean it's been hard. And look, I know that others have it way worse than I do. I know that I do not have to look very far to find someone who is worse off than I am. I know that. It's just that, I've never had an injury before that has kept me out of the water this long.

Speaking of being out of the water. This time forever.

Hampton lost one of the original surf pioneers this week. Mike Van Doren. Age 63 passed away in Florida on Sunday. I am not going to say that MVD was one of my close friends. I knew him, but I also know that others like Stan Bocko were much closer to him. Stan told me this week that Mike Van Doren put together their Puerto Rico trip back in 1968. Stan and Mike were good friends throughout the years, and they still surfed together right up until this past year.

Mike was part of that original crew of Hampton surfers.

Stan Bocko, Paul Linstrom, Allen Bigbee, the Setterburg bros, Jay Hammer, Randy Radkay, Steve Clark, Paul Hamblet, Steve "Neddie" Nelson, Greg Smith, John Gooch, Dickie Burns, Eddie Canere, Bob McNeil, Barry Renderer, and Robin Rowell. Robin told me that MVD was the first person to get him into shortboards back in 1968. I could tell by the way Stan spoke of MVD that he was something special. I wish I knew MVD better than I did. I did end up eventually communicating with him these last few years via email. We shared a lot of the same history together and he got a kick out of reading this weekly blog.

MIke you touched a lot of souls while you were here on this planet. I truly hope that you find perfect surf, and endless warmth and sun where you are.
Rest in Peace Michael Van Doren.

So, I shot my friends, and my son on Friday afternoon, and watched the sun go down again on yet another day of surf that I could not take part in. Meanwhile my other friends are up North in the mountains snowboarding. Ugh. I can't win.

And later today I looked at the wave forecasters. They are calling for waves.

I sighed and charged my batteries. At least I can capture the action of all my friends and my son. And I know it won't be long now...another couple or few weeks and I'll be back. I just hope the swells keep coming.

..."Surfing Heals ALL Wounds..." and man do I ever need to surf again.

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:

I was truly saddened by the passing of Whitney Houston. She was an amazing singer with stunningly beautiful looks. She was unique in every sense of the word. A super star. And she was unfortunately an addict. Another addict has left this world too soon. She needed help, and while she did get help here and there, the demons of alcohol and drugs were too powerful
and suffocated her. Too many people suffer from the same disease, affliction. Too many. And not just super stars. We ALL know someone who is an addict. We ALL know someone who is an alcoholic. But have we EVER done anything to try and help? I know how hard it is.

Lord knows, I've tried to help people in my life that needed help. But it is up to that person to want to help themselves. We can only point the way and offer support and love. But sometimes that's all they need. Support and love. If you know of someone who is facing those demons reach out to them. Let them know you are there. What harm can that do? Better than second guessing yourself after the fact. And I'm sure some of Whitney's close friends and family are dealing with that guilt as I write this.

And please don't take this the wrong way. But I am not in favor of flying the flags at half staff for her. That distinct honor should be for the men and women, who have fought, served, and died for that flag. Veterans, Police, firefighters, etc etc. That's my opinion and I feel pretty strong about that.

OK how many of you have gone LINTASTIC Crazy? Wow, talk about a wild phenomena. Hey the kid's a Harvard Graduate too! I love it.

And some 67 years ago today, the US Marines landed on the beaches of IWO JIMA. Before the end of March, they would lose over 6,000 Marines Killed In Action. And over 20,000 wounded. Try wrapping your head around that figure. The Japanese lost 22,000 killed in action. 67 years ago today that battle started. On February 23rd, 1945 the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raised the Flag on top of Suribachi and it was captured in that infamous black and white photo by Joe Rosenthal.That bloody battle would rage on for another month. War is hell.


REST IN PEACE Michael Van Doren Local Hampton Surfer at age 63.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bill Woodward February 18th, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Johann Robledo February 18th, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Stan Chew February 20th, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Pat Snow February 20th, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Patrick Johnson February 20th, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Garret Krapf February 23rd, 2012!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike O'Neil February 23rd, 2012!

GET WELL SOON John Carden!
GET WELL Soon Brian Nevins!
GET WELL Soon Brent Reinheimer!
GET WELL Soon Steve "Surfer Crow" Watson!
GET WELL Soon Steve Dillon!
* My Surf Buddy and fellow Vietnam Veteran Ron Sizemore is NEEDING Votes! PLEASE Got to and vote for Ron's story. Mahalo
** Another LOCAL Surfer John Kiskinis is trying to get a Hood Scholarship and could use our help. Please go to this link and cast your vote for another surfer!

COMING SOON This SUMMER 2012 the Return of EMPTY Clothing.

Don't forget to go back and read the whole DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDED July 26, 2011. A Wave a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.

beyond Surf Pics!
*NEW PICS added each week!

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING IN ON
RALPH blog Section. I will have March,and April up soon (I promise).

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
week for the last 8 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.


(Above) The NEW Movie is coming along...we're trying to get it out as soon as possible. It's all original music (QWILL, Todo Bien and more), and local footage:Joe Carter's GITV, my own, Granite Stoke, and a few others. Plus the many stills from Ed O'Connell, Brian Nevins, my family, and more. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to The MOLLY Fund.
Yesterday- US Marines Hit The Beach at IWO JIMA 2-19-45
(Below) It's hard to imagine what those young Marines are feeling in those boats as they race to the beach. It's even harder to imagine that most of them would be dead within days. Over 6,000 Marines died on that Island. Another 20,000 were wounded. I had both friends and relatives who fought there. They are all gone now. This all happened today February 19th, 1945. Photo courtesy of the USMC Archives

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today- The Sunny Surprise Swell, Friday February 17th, 2012 Photos By RALPH

(Above) A complete surprise for those who scored this short lived swell.
Friday February 17, 2012.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Mike Moran put on a Nose Riding clinic free of charge.
Friday February 17, 2012.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Max Fatello was out riding my board BIG BLACK.
Friday February 17, 2012.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Max Moody opted for the short board and made the best of this surprise swell.
Friday February 17, 2012.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) What did you miss? Well, you missed this. Friday February 17, 2012.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today- One From Today and a Bunch from Last Summer. February 18th, 2012 Photos By Ed O'Connell

(Above) Unknown stepping into the mini green light.
February 18, 2012 Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Last Summer 2011. Mike Moran. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Mikey Moran on the nose
last Summer 2011.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Noreen last summer. Styling in the warmth of Summer of 2011.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- The Phantom's Magical Winter Tour Jan- February 2012

Photos by The Phantom

(Above) How bad do you want it? How bad do I want it? Bad. Very bad.
February 2012 Photo By
The Phantom
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

The only place we can compare this to, is up North...
February 2012 Photo By
The Phantom
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

I love the rights here...hell we all love the rights there.
February 2012 Photo By
The Phantom
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Look at that wave. Then look at the three distinct crafts, a SUP, a YAK, and
February 2012 Photo By
The Phantom
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) The Late Mike Van Doren (far left), Jay Hammer, Allen Bigbee, and Greg Smith. In
Hawaii during Greg's wedding a couple of years ago. REST IN PEACE MVD.
Photo courtesy of Jay Hammer * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Tuesday February 14th 2012. Tres Palmas in Puerto Rico.

Photo By Ross Kunkel * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Somewhere in Central California, February 10th, 2012. Photo courtesy of
the Internet
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) KB's Bagel shop in Hampton has a new look over the counter...check it out the next time you stop in for coffee and a bagel. That's my man Ed's work up there.
by Ed O'C *Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON on each clip to view videos

BELOW- This is the second 5 minute trailer to the NEW Surf Free Or Die -Memory Lane Movies documentary called SURFING HEALS ALL WOUNDS.


This is the insane surf footage from December 2010. Oh yea, there was good surf last December, and this clip will prove that. The soundtrack was recorded in 1983 and it's the classic "LIL DRUMMER BOY" that I sang, played guitar and arranged and well, you should just sit back and watch and listen. The music will speak for itself.

Music is by RALPH


This is the NEW 5 minute trailer to the NEW Surf Free Or Die -Memory Lane Movies documentary called


It's the true story of the man who surfed 365 consecutive Days in memory of a 5 year old girl (Molly Rowlee) who lost her battle to cancer in 2009.
He called it "Catch a Wave For Molly".

Music is by QWILL


Crackie is back and he answer's the BIG question we all want to he introduces his assistant Juan Carlos...oh yea, but be
forewarned he will tell you what you already know...and that is...

Crackie now has his own Facebook Page. You should Friend Him...though there are no guarantees that he'll be nice to you.

Hope you all learn something from this informative Q&A.



(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge RALPH presiding. CASE 149
Shot this
week in Hampton. CLICK and SEE this Surf crime and the verdict.
Photo by RALPH

Click above graphic for The Daily BLOG I wrote from July 26-2010 to July 26-2011
Yes you can STILL
DONATE to the Fundraiser.

now the ESPN website too! Wow!

To see it on this site go to the Molly Page.


(Above) Looks like the First BIG Swell of 2012... COMING NEXT WEEK!

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to see happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Simply put the mouse over the photo to see the
original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal
invisible.*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photo by RALPH

Today 2012 The 2nd Most difficult move in surfing. The "Kneel to Toe Balance Stance" Performed here by Mackey V

(Above) For the second week in a row I've managed to shoot local surfers performing some wild ass balancing acts while out surfing. This week it's MVF doing the Kneel to Toe stance. Friday Feb 17, 2012 Photo By RALPH.

Click on Wave to return to top of page

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Above New Todo Bien CD

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Hear BEFORE The CRASH in the NEW RUN REDUX movie

Recorded in 1978. Click on VINNY CD art to see
a larger version and how to order this CD.
This CD and others for sale at GAF Music.
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Recorded in 1983. Click on VINNY CD art to see
a larger version and how to order this CD.
This CD and others for sale at GAF Music.
A Division of Adlantic

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CLICK ABOVE to read the WHOLE DAILY"Catch A Wave For Molly" BLOG. I started the campaign on July 26, 2010 and Ended July 26, 2011. I kept a daily digital blog, of each and every day. There's tons of photos too! It was an amazing adventure. Click it.