Send your SURF Pics to me directly. (See link below) Just make sure they're 800 pixels wide. PLEASE NO smaller. Need photos by each Saturday at 12 noon if possible . In fact if you have any questions about the size, email me first and I'll write back. Start shooting my brothers and sisters!
SEND PICS by clicking here- Ralph's Pic Of The Week To check out Past ( RPOTW) Go to the Archives Page

June 14th, 2009 Flag Day and oh yea...17 Weeks Of Surf.

So to reiterate what I said last week. I'm calling any wave that is waist high or better...a Swell. Or more specifically, a New England Swell. Surely we can all agree to that scale. Waist high or better is a swell. I'm not saying it's a good swell. I'm just saying it's a swell. Put it this way, I personally caught a wave yesterday in the land of Cement that went from Jetty to jetty. It was a ridiculously long ride. The wave kept reforming along the way. Hell, I even fired off a salute even though I had already given my traditional "Once a session" salute. And I know that this particular wave was at least waist high when I paddled out to meet it.

And 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 saw people shedding their suits as well. I guess the water temp was close to 60. Damn.

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.

To quote our man Rodney..."Can't we all just get along?"

I know some of you get a kick out of my BLATANT DROPIN of the week. And while it's been done with a tongue and cheek flair, it has not always been like that. Hardly. I've seen more yelling and screaming matches at DROP-IN incidents than anything else. And, I've seen more actual physical violence as well. I certainly don't condone violence. There's no real need for it. Unless there's someone who needs to be removed from the lineup due to their aggro attitude and their own violent approach. You see that's the problem with this sport.

There are no regulators. Unlike in Skiing and snowboarding. There is no SKI Patrol.

Do 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.

I 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.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

So 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?

Does anyone out there honestly believe that if America destroys all of our Nuclear weapons, that every other country will follow suit? Hello? Tell that to North Korea. Tell that to Iran. Tell that to Russia. Tell that to Pakistan and India. And then, if you really have a sense of humor, tell that to Israel. Not gonna happen. Ever. A more realistic dream Mr. President is a world where we might NEVER use a Nuclear weapon. Not a world without them. But even that, is a stretch. Our world is a dangerous place. And getting more dangerous with each passing week.

But Kudos to President Obama for refusing to allow the release of the Gitmo detainee photos that Nancy "The face Lift" Pelosi and Barney Freaking Frank wanted released. Give Obama credit for knowing that releasing those photos will only cause more hate for America and possibly result in Americans dying in the war zone.

David Letterman is a bonehead. A complete freaking bonehead who's losing ratings faster than you can say Conan O'brien. The lame excuse of being a comedian is not working here. Conan is funnier and hipper than Letterman. Sorry Dave. But your joke about a 14yr old getting knocked up by A-Rod? Not funny. Not even close. I hope your ratings continue to slip and Conan slays you in the late night ratings race. Yankees suck and so does Letterman.

Speaking of Yankees. How about the Sox and Yankees this season? So far so good. Man if nothing else that has got to put a skip in your step this Summer.

Another bonehead loser is the 88 year old White Supremacist loser James Von Brunn who shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum this week in Washington. Are you kidding me? Those nut cases are still out there? I say they should send him to a prison where the most dangerous gangs are and let them take care of a little poetic justice. Loser of the week for sure.

Rest 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.

Congrats to Pittsburgh Penguins. Stanley Cup Champions. Defeated Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7. Why were the Bruins watching this at home? Oh well good for the Penguins. They earned it and deserved it.

Finally, check out the REALLY COOL New ESM website. These guys did a great job making that site so cool. I mean this is a great new Surf Site that is all about the East Coast. Check it out! Eastern Surf Magazine

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.

Don't forget All the shops are STILL collecting cards, gifts, and other provisions for the Rowlee family. PIONEERS , CINNAMON RAINBOWS, BRICKHOUSE, ZAPSTIX and many more shops are drop off points of interest for Miss Molly. Skip Brunette has opened a Little Miss Molly account at the SEACOAST CREDIT UNION on 887 Lafayette Rd, Hampton NH. (see poster below for info). There are several more fund raisers in the making as well. There's still plenty of things going on for Lil Miss Molly and you can find out most of it on the
Ralph's Community Page.
Little Miss Molly Fund Auction

Check out the Classified and the DROPPING IN ON RALPH Pages.
Check out the new RULES & TIPS page.
Check out. Cinnamon Rainbows SurfLine.

Happy Birthday to Brian Nevins.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.

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


Yesterday- 1975 The Late Steve "Neddie" Nelson in NH.
(Below) Yes his tongue is out. Neddie's tongue and middle finger was always out. He was a classic for sure. No one quite surfed like Neddie. I mean he was unique in every sense of the word. I have some classic footage of Neddie in my collection. But this footage comes from Ed O'Connell and Steve Crow. Ed has been sitting on this footage for quite sometime and we recently went through some of it. The good news is he has a whole lot more and we will as the year goes forward dig up some old gems like this for all of you old surf photos and film fans. Some of Ed's old footage can be seen this week as I feature my old friend Robin Rowell. See below. Meanwhile Rest In Peace Neddie. Say hi to Joe for me.
Video Frame Grab by Ed O'Connell

Today 2009- Saturday June 13th, 2009

(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) Kevin McCann hits the surf with the stoke of a young grom.
Saturday June 13, 2009.
To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Dougie Fresh is happy to be back home, sharing waves with his friends and many other total strangers.Saturday June 13, 2009.
To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Kai Nichols. Kai floats the boat at yesterday's ESA-NNE contest in York Maine. For a complete story and other photos click on Kai for the story in the Portsmouth Herald.
Saturday June 13, 2009. Click on image. Photo by John Carden
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Heather O'Hara on a nice green face. Saturday June 13, 2009.
To see more Click on pic. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Friday June 12th, 2009 Blatant DROP-IN

(Above) This Week's Blatant Drop-In. Friday June 12, 2009.
To see more of this Blatant Dropin . Click on Crime Scene 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.

Today 2009- Friday June 12th, 2009 Longboards Rule

(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
Click on the image above to see more.

(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 by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(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
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) This guy was showing off his B-ball skills on Friday June 12th, 2009.
To see more- click on image. Photo by RALPH

Today 2009- Sunday June 14th, 2009 "Flag Day"

(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

Today 2009- June 8th, 2009 "Mikey Takes The Plunge"

(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.

(Above) Unknown at Huntington Beach Pier in California.
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
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) The breathtaking sunset at ALA Moana. Photo by Julia Nichols
Click on the image above to see more.

Today- 2009 Bernie Baker June 8th 2009

(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.
Click on the image above to see more.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(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.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today- Below A Surfer's Memorial 2009

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.

Today 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

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