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Ralph Pic Of The Week

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June 8 , 2008

In my honest opinion, there have been four individual US Surfers who have turned our Lifestyle/Sport up on it's ear since the early 60's. Those four US Surfers are: Phil Edwards, Miki Dora, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. If you don't know who any of these individuals are, then please stop reading. Seriously, stop reading this column right now, and get on your computers and google those names. Once you've read up on these Lifestyle changing ICONs then, and only then, can you contiunue to read.

We all know that Phil Edwards single handedly, took Longboarding to "a whole Nutha Level". In other words, it was Phil's contemporary longboad surf style that turned so many heads. Seriously, Phil Edwards, was the master of the drop knee turn, the squat and grab the rail style. He was in short, re-writing what surfing was all about back in the day.

Miki Dora was the anti surf hero. However, Miki was as significant as anyone who ever paddled out into the line-up on a longboard. Miki was what Surfing was really about. In other words, he was a Rebel. Surfers are by and large slightly off the beaten path. Miki was something else, and he was as colorful a figure in our lifestyle, as much as anyone. Maybe more. You've seen and heard the stories. Dora was unlike any other surfer.

Tom Curren came along in the 80's and became something of a National cult hero. Talented beyond anything we had ever seen before, Tom Curren could surf circles around 99% of the surfers all over the world. Yes, including Australia and Hawaii. Tom Curren became a super grom over night and then was propelled out onto the National stage where he continued to blow minds. And somewhere along the way, Tom became a man with principles and character.

During the peak of his professional career, he refused to go to South Africa because of Apartheid. And then, he refused to put stickers (sponsored stickers!) on his board. Was Tom Curren the Rebel that Dora was? No, in fact, no one would out do Dora in the Rebel department. Besides, Tom Curren could surf the snot out of any size wave and and surf it good.

Tom Curren is one of the world's Best Surfers Period.

And I'm going to go out on a limb here, and just assume you all know who Kelly Slater is. Please tell me you know who Slater is? You have to. But if you don't...again, just stop reading this column. Don't make me have to cyber space my ass up through your computer and bitch slap your ass. Cuz I will.

All kidding aside. This column is not about, Slater, Edwards or Dora. It's about Curren. Why? Well, perhaps you heard that Curren was in town last week? He's on a mini tour of sorts, traveling with local East Coast Surfers and his band. They are out promoting the movie Walking On water. A feel good flick about a couple of young Groms who travel around the world and surf great waves. And along the way, they discover the Lord and help spread the word about Jesus and the good word.

...depending on who you talk too, some folks dug the movie and the message. While others just dug the movie. And I suppose there are a few, who did not dig either one. But hey, that's what makes the world go round. Tom's band Noah also played and they were fun to listen to. Kind of a straight ahead 3 piece rock/pop scene. It was cool.

But for me personally?

Well, I liked the movie and the band, And I was really looking forward to seeing Tom again. And I was especially looking forward to seeing him surf. Not just in the flick, but in person. In other the Wall in Hampton.

That's right. Tom Curren surfed the Wall on Monday.

I know he did, cuz I was there, and I shot it. Now, before you get all giddy with excitement, You need to understand, that the surf was small on Monday. It was only waist high at best. But...Tom Curren was suited up and was going to surf our waves in New Hampshire.

Tom Curren surfed 10th Street for the very first time on Monday June 2nd, 2008 at 4:30PM.

And if someone were to tell me 10 years ago, that I would witness Tom Curren walk across the sand and head out to surf our waves at the Wall, with my son Max I would of laughed in their face. But, I witnessed that as well. In fact, I shot it.

Because I am a musician I got to meet Tom Curren back in the 90's. We jammed together and exchanged music (CD's). I was playing pretty regularly with my band The Nor'easters. I ended up jamming with Tom in Rhode Island with Sid "The Package" Abruzzi and some members of the Pixies. It was fun and all, but I had secretly hoped that there was surf and we could of shared some waves together. And I was looking forward to shooting Tom surf.

When I mentioned to Max that Tom Curren was coming last Monday and I needed help in lugging some gear for his band. Max looked at me and asked..."You mean THE Tom Curren?" It's funny because, everyone who knows anything about our Lifestyle/sport in the last 20 years, knows who Tom Curren is. I mean he is what he is. A Great freaking surfer. And anytime a surfer comes to town with the 3 time World Champion title hanging over his head, well, it's worth paying attention to.

When Max and Tom were out surfing last week, a friend of mine stopped by to chat with me. He's a good guy, but he is absolutely clueless when it comes to surfing. His son is a beginner and he was out thrashing around in the water and he too was clueless that a three time world champ was sitting next to him.

This friend is someone I know outside of our world. In other words, he does not surf and does not know anything about the lifestyle. He couldn't understand why there was this mini buzz happening at 10th street that afternoon. I knew that he was a serious Golfer so I tried to make a parallel to what he we were experiencing to what he would experience in the golf world.

"Imagine you are standing ion the 5th Tee and suddenly you look behind you and here comes Tiger Woods. And he asks if it's OK if he plays through. In other words, you'd be sitting there watching a Golf Champ tee-off right next to you. How would you explain that to your friends? You don't.

But that's what it was like for a few of us.

Hanging out with Tom Curren at the Wall was so cool. And honestly, the whole Walking On Water Crew was great. Yea they are heavily into Jesus and they preach it pretty heavy, but really, big deal. It's not like they were trying to sell us Crack Cocaine or anything. In fact, I spoke with Mike after the movie and explained to him that the reason that the majority of people did not raise their hands and praise Jesus is that they felt a little bit pressured. But I assured him that the majority of the people that were present that night, were all good people.

That they have good goodness in their hearts and souls and that's all that really matters in the long run. He agreed. In fact, he even said to me "I would not have put my hands up". And really...That's cool. Most of us know where we are spiritually.

I have faith and it is a personal relationship with God.

I know you don't get into heaven by how much money you put in the collection box every Sunday. You get there by being good. Plain and simple. And all those Walking on Water entourage members agreed.

Believe in the power of love.

Mike and Sarah Cropper's Mother Diane passed away on the same day Tom Curren came to town. Again, the power of Prayer and Love can help ease the pain and suffering of their loss. On behalf of the entire Surfing community we extend our most sincere condolences.

*Rest in Peace Bo Diddly...

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


Yesterday June 1979 Jim Clifford Surfing a Not so Secret Spot.
(Below) Jim Clifford was an old school surfer back in the 70's. He used the same board and wetsuit for
decades. You can just make out his long fu manchu mustache and beard. He always had long hair, and he
was a true outdoors man. Kind of a real life Grizzly Bear Adams. He left the Seacoast a long time ago, and never looked back. I don't know if he's still surfing or not, but I would bet anything, that he's still out hunting
and gathering for his food.
Super 8mm Movie Video Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD.

2008 Today-June 2-3, 2008

(Above) That's Tom Curren on the left and Mackey V on the right heading out to catch a few at the Wall.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Grif, Mackey V and Tom Curren after the session. *That's Marco out the back, he plays drums in
Tom's band NOAH.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Tom Curren at 10th Street.
Video Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Mr Curren Bouncing around the lefts at 10th Street.
Video Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Chuck Barend is a great guy and a good surfer. And his wife Ana is one of the best female
surfers on the entire East Coast.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Chuck Barend on the same wave at the inside section.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Longboard stroll perspective at 10th Street.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Ace Photo Man Brian Nevins slipped out for a few early morning nuggets.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Tom Curren playing in the white stuff.
Video Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Jeff and I had a good chuckle over the shirt and the fact that Tom Curren is one of those dots
out in the lineup What are the chances?
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) TC in the not Tom Curren. That's Tom Christo and his late father's 280-Z. TC and Eric Canon back out while Johnny Sav directs Dougie Fresh into the next slot.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Meanwhile Eric Zak get's ready to tackle the early June swell. Check out the hat and the Fiero!
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) NOAH rocking out at the IOKA in Exeter, NH. Tom, Marco and Chris.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) This is the guy who won the NEW Merrick autographed by Tom Curren. Sorry man, I didn't catch your
name, I do remember you were either from Germany or Switzerland. They got good surf there?
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Marco & Mike with Ana Barend flashing the Peace sign. It was a fun nite!
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) The super talented Jesse C from QWILL with Jaiden, Kay and niece.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Crop and Mike share an after show shaka while Salt looks for his 26" bass drum.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) All three shops were present. Cinnamon Rainbows, Pioneers and Zapstix (pictured here).
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Kody Grondin and Mackey V must be freaking hanging with 3 time World Champ Tom Curren.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Marco gives MVF a signed set of sticks.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Bass player Chris strikes a pose before heading out the next morning.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Erik Zak's newest creation. The headboard for Kenny L's bed. No one else is doing this stuff. It is
unique and it's all Eric. Look for Zak's website coming soon.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) The 10th Street Crew and friend. Left to Right -Ralph, Tom, Jay, Doc, Eric and Chuck.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Life ebbs and flows. This is for Mike and Sarah's Mother Diane Roberts. Rest In Peace.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Kai Nichols negoitates the SUPB..."Bring the stern down Capn!"
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Kai looks like he's playing a big ole bass guitar here.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Kai catching a few z-z-z-z's waiting for a set.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of Tom Curren. This was shot on Monday and Tuesday,
June 2-3 at the Wall.The new flick WALKING ON WATER is good. I
Video Frame grab by R. Fatello SFOD

2008 Today-Hawaii's South Shore and The Tasman Sea

(Above) Nice lefts in the Tasman Sea.
Photo courtesy of Charley Daley

(Above) Look at that Wall! Sweet!!!!
Photo courtesy of Charley Daley

(Above) More nice lefts in the Tasman Sea.
Photo courtesy of Charley Daley

(Above) This reminds me of some place nearby.
Photo courtesy of Charley Daley

(Above) REAL Nice lefts in the Tasman Sea.
Photo courtesy of Charley Daley

(Above) KEANU ASING Boys div
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) CHRISTIAN ENNS Open div.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) ERICA STEINER Girls LB Winner
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) NAGE MELAMEDGirls SB Winner
Photo by Bernie Baker


Today 2008 Parting Shot...Say WHA--A-A-A-A-T?

Above) I think this is what they mean by a "Sign of the Times". 10th Street.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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