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7th , 2009 16
Weeks Of Surf...But Who's counting?
"Well that's just the way it is." He said as he walked off, uninterested in the waist to shoulder high surf. After all, it was only a "foot" in his mind.
I'm not really sure where this whole wave calling scale first originated. But my guess is, it was from the California boys surfing in Hawaii in the early 60's, and busting on their friends who just flew in from the Mainland. You know you can just picture it. "Holy Crap! How big are those waves?" They'd ask trembling with fear. "What? You mean those waves?" They'd say, pointing out to the blustery Sunset Beach peaks, that were easily 10-15'. "Those waves are 4-6'!" They'd answer trying hard not to burst out in laughter. "Gee really? They look bigger than that. " The scared out of his mind Haole would say. "Yea well, those waves are only 4 to 6 feet." They'd answer trying to be cool and macho. "I told you guys it gets big over here. Now you know." And so it began. The macho measuring system.
Sometimes that wave size thing can get you in trouble. Case in point.
About 10 years ago, I was standing at the Wall getting ready to head out, into what was legitimately head high surf. I was calling it 4-5' surf. As I was doing the final touches on my board and suit, a local Grom, who used to live around here, ran up to me panting. He was out of breath. His nickname was Zippy. He was a good little surfer. He had the whole surf look down. Blond hair, all the right clothes and stickers. You know the look. So I ask him why he's out of breath and he tells me. He ran out of gas about a mile up the road. "You ran out of gas?" I asked. "Yea. Can you give me a ride to a gas station so I can get some gas?" He asked. "Whoa whoa...give you a ride to get some gas?. I'm in my wetsuit here. I'm getting ready to head out." I stated. "Please Ralph. Besides, the surf is only 2'...there's no hurry to surf that small surf!" He blurted out.
I looked over and down at him ,with a total look of scorn. Now for the record, Zippy was a very short human being. He couldn't have been more than 5' 3" or 5' 4". The surf was clearly over his head. "So it's only 2 feet out there huh?" I said. He shook his head yes, as he stared at each set that unloaded out in front of the Jetty. "And so you must be, what...about a foot tall?" He looked up at me with a look of disdain. "What?" Has asked. "You heard me. If that surf is only 2' then you must be about a foot and half tall." I laughed. He was getting upset with me now. "Look I need a ride can you PLEASE help me?" He pleaded. "OK I'll give you a ride on one condition." I answered. "What's that?" He asked. (Remember I said that calling wave sizes with the macho scale can get you in trouble). "You have to ride in the crate." I told him. The "crate" for you non pet owners, is where I have my dogs ride. It is in the back of my vehicle. It is called a Crate. "What??? No way I'm riding in a dog cage!" He yells looking for someone else he might know who would give him a ride.
Just then my friend Johnny Meehan heard the conversation and said "I'll give you a $10 dollars if you can get him in that crate." I laughed and said "Keep the money, if this guy wants a ride bad enough, he'll ride in the Crate." Just then, a solid head high (or better) set broke and we all hooted. I looked over at Zippy. "Well...? What's it gonna be? I want to go surf that 2 foot swell." Zippy looked at the surf and then back at me. He took one more look at the vehicles parked at the Wall, and realized I was his only hope. "OK...I'll do it."
I walked to the back of my vehicle and opened the door. I opened the crate door and gave him the command "KENNEL!" He looked at me with a look of disgust. "What?" he asked. "KENNEL!!!!" I yelled again pointing to where he should jump in. Reluctantly, he crawled into the Dog Crate, and I locked him in. Johnny Meehan was giddy with laughter and I have to admit, that this had the makings of an all-time surf story. I of course did not take him directly to the service station. I drove him around for a little bit, showing him off to certain friends. I even drove him to Doc's house where we took several photos of him in the crate. Because it locks from the outside, you can't open it from inside. And why would you? It's for dogs.
he complained, and said it "smelled like a dog had slept there".
"Not just any dog," I said.
Speaking of surf and wave size.
Today, Sunday June 7th, 2009 I sat on the Wall and shot a handful of photos. Hell I shot a couple hundred photos. And I'm standing there watching chest high surf pour into the beach and casually said..."I'm calling this 16 weeks of surf." A few nodded, but a few did not. "What you don't consider this a swell?" "Not really" one of them said. "Wait you don't think a chest high swell is not a swell????" I asked. "Well" he said, "not compared to some of those big swells in March and April and even in May." "I agree" I said. "But since when, did we get so jaded, to not call a chest high wave a swell?" I then went on to point out in certain places on the planet that this swell would be all time! Certain places like the Great Lakes, or down in Florida and the Gulf Coast. I mean my brothers and sisters when we start scoffing at chest high surf we have lost touch with our very own reality.
A waist to chest high wave is a fun wave on any freaking coast.
The funny thing is...I got some great shots of this guy today. He was killing it. Hitting the lip and doing some really aggressive carves. And I know he was stoked doing it. But he let that Macho wave scale enter his blood stream, and he just couldn't shake it. He couldn't bear to bring himself down to the real world of measuring. The real 12 inches equals a foot scale. The Macho scale calling is everywhere. Not with me though. I'm 5'10" tall, and when I stand on my surfboard, and the wave I'm facing is over my head...I'm calling it what Einstein would call it. Six foot plus.
should all do the same. A foot is a foot is a foot.. Case closed.
for some of my weekly Global observances:
see that North Korea's Kim Young Ill, has named his son as successor
to the throne in North Korea. You know the old saying of the
"Apple does not fall too far from the tree..."well my friends,
my fear is that we will be getting more of the same with Junior. At
least the rest of the world is on board. Lunatics in North Korea.
local boys Jimmy Dunn and Drew Cropper who were nominated
for an EMMY did not win but they had the time of their lives in Boston.
Especially little Drew. Click here for the full story in today's
a more serious note. Lil Miss Molly has had a minor setback. And because
of this latest news, we are calling on all able bodies and souls to
pray for her recovery. There is a a legit 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.
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) Brian Taber popping loose on a fun looking little wave at Cementland.
Sunday June 7, 2009. To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.
2009- Sunday June 7th, 2009 Mike Moran Sequence
(Above) Mike Moran . Sunday June 7th,
2009. He's one of the best Longboarder's in the world and he lives
here in Hampton.
(Above) Click on this image of Mike Moran Footage shot TODAY Sunday June 7th, 2009 Clip from SFOD RALPH Movie.
(Above) Unknown Kite Surfer blasts the
lip during the 65th Remembrance of D-day
(Above) That's a ripping turn in shallow water.
Unknown Kite Surfer on the 65th Remembrance of D-daySaturday
June 6th, 2009. To see more of this INSANE Kite Boarder- click
on image. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Unknown Kite Surfer
looking for a soft landing. Saturday June 6th, 2009. To see
more of this INSANE Kite Boarder- click on image. Photo
(Above) Lisa Anderson raised the bar
on Women's competitive surfing back in the 80's and 90's and even today.
EVERY single woman surfer owes Lisa a HUGE Thank You and a ton
of respect for doing what No other woman surfer has ever done. The Former
World Champ was in Hampton on the Quiksilver Tour last week. Monday
June 1st, 2009. To see more - click on Lisa's image. Photo
(Above) King's Highway...they keep getting
better every time I see them.
(Above) Skip from Todo Bien tries to hide from the pesky Paparazzi. But it's no use. They
are relentless in their pursuit for the ultimate photograph.
Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.
Today 2009- Sunday May 31st, 2009 "Quiksilver Tour"
(Above) Mark Healey has surfed HUGE Pipeline. And now he has SUPPED in Hampton. Photo by RALPH Click on the image above to see more.
(Above) Bart finds a
wave that I would of called Week number 16 if I didn't see today's swell.
So wait, does that mean today's swell is week 17?
(Above) Week number
16 is good enough for the Quiksilver Boys.
(Above) Drew Cropper and friend Tom Bergeron at the EMMYS.
Photo by Mike Cropper Click on the image above to see more.
Today June 7th, 2009. Photo courtesy of the Grondins
Today 2009- May -June 2009 "INDO"
(Above) Kenny Linseman
said this INDO trip was the trip of a lifetime. We believe him. Just
look at this wave. Photo Courtesy of KLinseman
(Above) Master Shaper
and surfer put on a clinic last week in California. Check it out.
Photo by R. Freeman
Above) John Carden misses getting his
photos in to me due to work. But he did want to share with you these
little leftovers from April. ENJOY Photo by John Carden
(Above) The Grom's in Hawaii must love Bernie.
I mean to have one of the World's Best
(Above) Girl Grom's in Hawaii are some of the
best in the world. This week in Hawaii May -June, 2009. Click
on the image above to see more.
2009 PARTING SHOT- Board Crunches
(Above) Nothing wrong with getting a little workout while your surfing. This is great for the abs and flattening that stomach. Sunday May 31st, 2009 . Photo by RALPH