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14th, 2009 Flag
Day and oh yea...17 Weeks Of Surf.
I know the other waves throughout the day were waist high as well. In
fact, the night before produced a few in the waist to chest high category.
So my brothers and sisters this is why I am calling this week...WEEK
17 Of SURF. Rejoice in this news. This may be unprecedented in our
land of infrequent surf but frequent crowds. And...if I might be so
bold to state, at 9:00AM on a Sunny Saturday morning there
was hardly anybody out and on the beach. It was quite freshening. Waist
high glassy waves and plenty of them around to share. Beautiful.
I'm not really sure if this weekend was the unofficial start of Summer, but it sure felt like it. We laid claim to our spot at 10th Street and watched it all unfold. Groms and Moms, Dads and Grads. They were all there. Hardly heard a peep from the line-up too. There were many drop-ins and a few bumped rails, but for the most part, the heated aggro session was no where to be found. My guess is, if the surf was bigger, the hardcore surfers would of been in full force and therein lies the seeds of discontent. Real surf breeds real surfers, and real surfers and beginners don't usually mix to well. And that's just the way it is. On any coast in any country.
Last month they held bona fide Peace Talks at Malibu in California. Talking about crowds and problems with surf rage. Imagine having Malibu be your homebreak. If you are new to this sport then please just skip this part. I don't have time for a history lesson concerning where and what kind of break Malibu is. Suffice it to say. It must be a terrible nightmare on any size swell at the Bu. They are actually discussing the potential for crowd size limitations. In other words, they would have cut-offs at say 100 surfers. And then you would take a number and have a Beach Marshall issue you a permit. Miki Dora must be spinning in his grave.
I hope and pray that this does not happen here in New England. It is getting more congested for sure. But I think with a few rules and tips we can get through this Summer unscathed. I finally included a few RULES & TIPS on this site. I will be adding visual aids to help those who do not understand what exactly it is I'm writing about. Or, to those who can't read English. But for the most part, there are 10 Rules and 10 Tips. Feel free to share them. Most you've heard before. Some you have not. It's just a question of comprehending them all.
quote our man Rodney..."Can't we all just get along?"
There are no regulators. Unlike in Skiing and snowboarding. There is no SKI Patrol.
we need Beach Marshalls? Maybe. In some places for sure. Malibu,
Pipeline, Trestles, any place that has a ready made crowd. And just
who would be the Beach Marshalls? Lifeguards? I don't think so. You
would need trained Surfers, who understand the basic concept of Surfing
and the unwritten rules. Plus they would need to be able to handle themselves
in a court of law. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But my friends it may come
down to this in the future, if the sport/lifestyle continues to grow
the way it is.
Last week I wrote about my old friend Zippy. Turns out Zippy is still surfing and is now living in Australia. He had heard about the column less than 24 hours after after I posted it. The power of the Internet is truly amazing. Any ways, he wrote to me and I answered his email in the DROPPING IN section. Go check it out. By the way, feel free to drop me a line. And let me know what you're thinking. I'd be happy to hear from you.
Speaking of old Ralph surf stories and things of that nature.
The whole dropping in thing? Well that reminded me of a story that happened back in the 70's or early 80's. The date is not that important. This happened between me and a good friend of mine. His name is Allen Bigbee. Allen's been surfing around these parts for as along as anyone I know. I've known Allen since 1971. That's a long time. Back in those days we were all pretty young and full of piss and vinegar. So we were always doing things to each other like Surfers do. You know the deal. We were just being young Surfers in the wacky 70's. Well one good day at the Wall, Allen was getting particularly aggressive in his wave catching. In short, he dropped in on me. Not once. Not Twice. But Three times. After the first one, I was cool, the second time, I said something, the third time...well, I lost it. I know I yelled at him. And honestly, if nothing else had happened, I would of gotten over it. But Allen was not done with me. He dropped in on me again. That was it for me. I completely lost it.
So what did I do? Did I hit him? No. Did I threaten to hit him? Hell no. I simply cast him "INVISIBLE FOR ONE YEAR!" What? You read it correctly. I made Allen Bigbee invisible from my sight, for one year. At first they all thought I was kidding. You know, up at the Wall getting in and out of our wetsuits, where I first cast the spell on him. We all laughed about it. Clearly Ralph must be joking. Well, I was and I wasn't. I was determined to see it through.
And yes, it was the making of another classic Surf Story.
The funny thing is, the days, weeks, and months that followed. We would all be at a surf break, or at someone's house, and poor Allen kept forgetting he was invisible. He would try and speak to me, and I would act as if he was not there. Of course it would dawn on him. "Oh yea...I forgot...I'm invisible." He would say. The only way for he and I to communicate would be through others present. I can remember people saying to me..."Allen is trying to speak with you, why are you ignoring him?". To which I would reply. "Oh Allen is here? I can't see him, or hear him." So for one year. Allen became invisible.
recently ran into Allen last week and he was of the thinking
that his sentence was two years. "No Allen it was only a year.
It was a first offense. It was only a year." I said to him. The
bottom line is. Allen and I are still good friends...oh, by the
way, he never dropped in on me again.
for some of my weekly Global observances:
much for President Obama's wishful thinking for a new leader
in IRAN. Think we all saw that one coming. The nutcase Mahmoud
Ahmadinjad has proclaimed a landslide Victory. Meanwhile challenger
Mousavi has refused to accept defeat. There's trouble brewing
in Ole Tehran town. I honestly believe Obama's wishful
thinking is heartfelt, when he says "My dream of the future, is
a world where there are NO Nuclear weapons in any country." Well,
that's a nice, peaceful, fuzzy, thought Mr. President. But that world,
is not even close to becoming a reality. Are you kidding me?
in Peace Pio Sagapolutele 39 yr old ex-Patriot
who played on the 1996 NE PATRIOT team. He started at Defensive
End and switched to Tackle. He died of a Brain aneurysm. He was married
with four kids.
Lil Miss Molly continues to have some a minor setbacks this week.
We are STILL calling on all able bodies and souls to pray for her recovery.
Like I wrote last week, there is a legitimate power of prayer and positive
thinking and WE NEED ALL OF THAT and MORE. Please send your prayers
and positive vibes to the Rowlee family. Thank you.
Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
(Above) Don't ask me why, but I really like this empty wave shot. Something about the texture and sun spots. This was shot yesterday morning.
Saturday June 13, 2009. To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.
(Above) Click on this image of Robin Rowell Footage shot in 1975 at the WALL Video Frame Grab by Ed O'Connell.
(Above) Mike Stanek blasts the lip on
Friday June 12th, 2009. To see more of this FUN LB Session- click
on image. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Unknown Hat Guy Surfer on a RED
LB having himself a total blast out there. Friday June 12th, 2009.
To see more of this fun sesh- click on image. Photo
(Above) Shop guy Ross Kunkel was having
himself some serious fun on Friday June 12th, 2009. To see more-
click on image. Photo by RALPH
(Above) This guy was showing off his B-ball
skills on Friday June 12th, 2009.
(Above) I shot this today. Flag Day June
14th is the day we Retire All Old US Flags in a somber Flag burning
ceremony. Photo by RALPH
(Above) These 3 Turkeys were hanging out in my yard all day long today.
A Jake and two Hens. They said they were looking for Jon Gozzo. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Mike Moran jumped out of a perfectly safe Airplane at Nevin's Birthday Party. *Check Brian's hand shaking Mikey's hand. Photo by Brian Nevins
Click image to see more of this insanity.
Today 2009- The Westies Weigh In June- 2009
(Above) Unknown at Newport Beach in California.
Photo by Ben Ginsberg Click on the image above to see more.
Photo by Ben Ginsberg Click on the image above to see more.
Now For The Summer Hawaiian Tropics...
Today 2009- June 2009 "Ala Moana" by Julia Nichols
(Above) Some lucky Goofy
slotted at the Alamo bowl. Photo by Julia Nichols
(Above) The breathtaking
sunset at ALA Moana. Photo by Julia Nichols
(Above) This turn is world class. This is potential
pro stuff. The South Shore of Oahu is the breeding ground for lots of
potential pros. This week in Hawaii June, 2009.
(Above) Any one of us get's a barrel like this
we wouldn't stop talking about it for a month. This Grom is more than
likely in and out of these things all summer long. Life ain't fair.
This week in Hawaii -June, 2009. Click
on the image above to see more.
Tragically Dr. Jose 'Rommel' Souza was among the souls lost when Air France Flight 447 went down off the coast of Brazil, but thankfully the good doctor took full advantage of every moment while he was with us.
Tragically, on the 7th June 2009 Air France Flight 447 en route from Rio to Paris crashed into the Atlantic killing all 228 passengers on board. And while this terrible incident has been widely reported across the news channels, as we find out more about what happened and who was on board the personal stories of those souls lost are coming to light. Sadly, surfing lost one of its own on June 7, Dr. Jose 'Rommel' Souza. The following piece was graciously submitted by Mr. Richard Gaunt, one of Jose's close friends. Our hearts and best wishes go out to all those affected.Jake Howard
Those who read the detailed press releases may have come across the story of a Brazilian orthodontist from London who tragically died, aged 35, on his birthday along with his beautiful girlfriend Isis Pinet. What they may not have read or have known was that he was a surfer, one of the best, who touched the lives of so many people around the world in his pursuit of the perfect wave. He represented everything that is special about our sport and although his death was tragic, what will be remembered is his life which was an inspiration to all those who knew and surfed with him.
2009 PARTING SHOT- Longboard Shenanigans
(Above) Stanek and friend "stinking it up" and "killing it" at the Wall on Friday June 12th, 2009. Friday June 12, 2009 . Photo by RALPH