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A chest high, clean and green, hollow wave, is nothing to sneer at.
You won't catch me down sizing actual wave height and conditions. I call em exactly the way I see em. If it's head high and glassy, that's what I'm calling it. I don't care who's out and who's not. I don't care. I'm looking at the surf we have and that's how I judge the surf. Not by who surfed it, and when and why. No sir, that's not how I see things. It's amazing what kinds of excuses I hear from surfers who I respect and consider friends. Simply mind boggling assessments, of both the surfers who are out surfing, and the surf itself. I have other friends who have a cutoff point, where they won't surf. Below head high, for one of my friends. I think that's too drastic. And quite honestly, it's risky if you want to continue the current skill level of where your surfing is at. Jaded surfers living in New England are surfers who won't surf nearly as much as you or me.
If you want to surf consistent head high or better surf, it may be time, to think about moving.
I can't tell you, how many times, I've had the most amazing surf sessions, in surf that was under head high. I couldn't possibly tell you. I know it's in the thousands. Maybe hundreds of thousands. Let's face it, if you were to only surf head high or better around these parts, you won't be surfing very much. Especially in the coming months. Summer. Oh yea. It's coming. These past 12 weeks could very well turn into weeks of flatness. I know it and you know it. I say surf when we get it. You never know when the surf Gods will pull the plug on the wave machine. So for me, and a bunch of others who surf these waters, this week was fun.
big question on everyone's mind is...can we get a 13 week run
going? Do I hear 13?
This is the second year without my mom. Still seems hard to believe that she's gone. I know a lot of you have lost your moms. For us, it's a bitter sweet day. I guess my only advice for those of us who have no moms to call, or visit today, is to think of all the good times you shared with her. I can still see my mom, shaking her head, with a slight smile on her face, as I show up late to some family deal, with my hair wet from surfing. I can see her standing on the beach when I was a little boy getting trounced in the shorebreak. I can see her standing there at 10th Street, on that last day of my 365 Catch a Wave For Gus Surfing Fund Raiser. I remember that hug and kiss, as I got ready to paddle out on my 365th consecutive day for my late father. Her husband. That was a special day.
So do like I do. Think of the many fond memories of your mom. Talk about her. Let her life on this earth continue, by sharing stories and images of her.
Speaking of Moms. I am so amazed at the amount of surfing Moms that I know. I'm talking about Moms who actually surf. And some of these Moms can surf. No offense boys, but I know a few Moms who can surf circles around some of you guys. But hey, there's no shame in that. Besides, we've come a long way from the days of women just hanging on the beach. No sir. There's plenty of women surfers. But for today, I want to throw a shout out to all the Moms who actually surf. I know a few personally. Erica Nardone, Heather Day, Heather O'Hara, Ginger Kellar, Ana Barend, Jill Caisey, Angela Titone, Maryellen Giles, Robin Levin, Becky Murray, Linda Stecchi, and New Mom to be...Noreen Lynch. If there's anyone I forgot I apologize, but for those surf moms I know, who surf, and the surf moms who don't surf, but do all the little things for your surfers, I hope you have a great Mother's Day.
I want to share a funny surf related Mothers Day story. Back in 2005, I found myself deeply entrenched in the world of competitive surfing. No, not for me, my son Max. He's a member of the ESA-NNE district and each Spring they have a Northeast Regional Surf contest. This one particular year the contest dates fell right on Mother's Day Sunday. Mackey had made the Finals that year and we were hanging around Sunday morning waiting for things to get started. Now keep in mind, this was Mothers Day. I had already called my own mother and wished her a happy Mother's Day, and Mackey had called his own Mom and wished her the same. Surf contest or no contest, it was still Mother's Day.
It was shortly after 9AM when I spotted the Grondins walking across the street and heading towards the contest site. They had just finished breakfast. I saw Kim (Mom) Kevin (Dad), Leah (Daughter) and Kody (son) walking up to Mackey V and I. As Kim got closer I looked at her and said, "Happy Mother's Day Kim." Kim smiled back and said "Why Thank You Ralph, you're the first person to say that to me today." I looked at Kevin and the kids who looked like they had just swallowed the Canary.
"Huh? What are you talking about?" I blurted out. I laughed nervously, realizing what I had just done to Kevin and the kids. "Thanks a lot Vince." Kevin said to me under his breath. "Look, you guys can't be mad at me. It's 9:30 in the morning. You all just had breakfast together. I figured one of you, might of brought up the subject of Mother's Day . I mean, give me a break." Kevin just shook his head and walked away. I felt terrible. But was I wrong for saying that to Kim? I think not.
Later around 10AM, I ran into Arlene Nichols and again, instinctively, I said the same to her. And again, I got the same results. I was the first to say Happy Mothers Day to her. Damn. It's not like I was trying to 'one up' my friends. Hardly. I was just being the friendly Ralph. But now, I had two close friends, miffed at me, for inadvertently causing this uncomfortable situation. I was laughing at the whole thing because, I found it amusing. I mean come on. It's freaking Mother's day. You wake up and say Happy Mother's day to the first Mother you see. I do the same with the dads. It's not that big of a deal. But I now had something to chuckle about with Kevin and Lenny. They eventually saw the humor in all of it. And honestly, Kim and Arlene scored some GREAT dinners that night. I'm sure my name came up, several times during the course of that meal. Oh well.
Oh before I forget, I ran into Cathy Miller that same day, and well, you know..."Happy Mother's Day Cathy". Bam! You guessed it. Her son Nick who was standing right beside her at 2PM had forgotten. I had hit the tri-fecta this day.
Look, it's not like I was wishing any of them a Happy Wedding Anniversary. Cause that would truly be hurtful. No sir, I was simply being respectful and courteous.
To change subjects for a moment. Let me create a scenario for you, and ask you a hypothetical question. Here it is.
You show up at a semi secret spot. The waves are about waist to chest high. There's only one guy out. The question is. Do you paddle out, and risk bumming the solo surfer's special little trip? Or do you pass, and let the solo (soul) surfer have his special session? What would you do? Here's what I would do. Depending on who it was, if I knew the guy, I might paddle out. If I didn't know the guy I would probably pass. Unless of course, the waves were really good. Then I'd paddle out no matter who was out there. But if it was small, and the sets were infrequent. I'd pass. But I'd make a point of letting that person know exactly what I did and why I did it. Just in case you find yourself in the opposite situation. The soul session.
The reason I ask this is because. I found myself at a little break the other day, all by myself. It was small. Waist to maybe, a bigger wave. But it was weak. There were not that many waves coming through. Then it happened, a person with a board in hand paddled out. Thank God it was my friend and fellow contributor to this site. Kevin Doherty. We shared some laughs and many waves. In fact, the better waves came through unridden. I was laughing telling Kevin, this was the 'photographer's only' session. It's nice to be able to share waves with fellow photogs. I've surfed a lot with my fellow photog buds these last few months. Carden, Nevins, Shipley and now Doherty. It's good, to let the guys who shoot, get some sweet stuff every now and then.
Last week I wrote about the Graffiti at the entrance at 10th Street. I'm pleased to report that the Graffiti has been removed. Thanks to Brian Warburton. The NH Parks and Recreation Dept. came to our rescue. Not that we needed rescuing, but we did want that Wall touched up. So a BIG Thanks to Brian and those who helped clean it up. Let's keep the Wall Clean. No bottles, trash, or Graffiti please. Remember what I said. This beach belongs to all of us.
But it's a special spot for Surfers. Love and respect goes hand in hand my friends.
for some of my weekly Global observances:
The Swine Flu Pandemic is still out of control. I heard today that a person died in Washington State. Really? Because a few hundred die from the regular flu each week. WTF? Are you kidding me? Actually, I'm amused by it all. I did that Swine Flu video bit last week, and this week, I actually wrote a song called "The Swine Flu Blues". I'll be debuting that song, at my gig on Friday when my band Big Handsome Daddy plays Friday May 15, 2009 at the Galley Hatch Conference Center on Rte 1 in Hampton, NH on Friday May 15 at 7PM. If you like the blues and blues rock, you'll dig the band.
close relative of mine brought up a good question concerning the Swine
Flu. And that is, what happens when a Taliban or Al Qeada
Terrorist gets the Swine Flu? You know they have a problem with
pork. I mean would they stone the poor soul to death? Or would they
simply send them to America? Maybe they send him to Gitmo.
What do you think?
The SOX have had a hard time with the Rays every time they meet. Somehow the Rays have the Sox number. I don't know enough the game to know why. I do know about getting inside players heads and creating havoc. And that's what seems to be happening here.
be worse. We could still have Manny still with us...oops oh yea
that's right Manny has been suspended for 50 games. So
are we to think that Manny being Manny was all because
of roids and other illegal drugs? Manny? Is this true?
QWILL at BROTHERS NORTH in Hampton on Thursday May 14th * Qwill is the
Surfer who's music is featured on both GREETING SEASONS and GROOVEMASTERS
from Surf Free Or Die.
In Peace Jack Kemp.
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) Nate floats the boat on his
first wave of the session on Wednesday May 6, 2009. Jams
a gray turn. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Friday morning, May 8th, 2009. To see more beach scenes and empty waves click on the photo. Photo by RALPH Click on the image above.
(Above) Johnny Grasso burning a lip on
Friday morning, May 8th, 2009. To see more surf action from
Friday morning click on the photo. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Friday May 8, 2009. Surf Mom Jill Caisey stoked from a long left at the Wall. To see more surf action click on photo. Photo by RALPH Click on the image above.
(Above) Chris Sullivan Victory sign Friday morning, May 8th, 2009. To see more surf action click on the photo. Photo by RALPH Click on the image above.
(Above) What the hell...? Friday May 8, 2009.
This week's installment of the blatant drop in.
Click this photo to see the whole damn sequence. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Kevin McCann parting wakes on Friday May 2, 2009. To see more of Kevin and others from this
super clean green morning click on photo. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Click on this image of Casey Lockwood
ripping this turn at Chapels. VIDEO Clip shot on May 8th 2009 by Michael
(Above) Casey Lockwood at Chapels. Out all
by his lonesome.
2009 - More From this Week's Mother's Day Swell.
(Above) Unknown Cementland. Click on photo
to see more of this fun session.
Click on the image above to see more.
(Above) From Friday May 8th, 2009. Shaggie Doggies
were everywhere. To see more click on the photo. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Click on this image of Big
Handsome Daddy and QWILL to see more of the QWILL show
at Brothers. QWILL is coming back to Brothers on Thursday May
14th in Hampton. BHD is playing at the Galley Hatch Conference
Center in Hampton on Friday May 15th for a Benefit for the American
Legion POST 35 of Hampton.
(Above) Black and white Quicksilver surf.
(Above) Another Black and white Quicksilver surf.
1974 PARTING SHOT- Caley My Surf Dog!
(Above) My late pup. Caley Brentwood Snow.
Caley was actually born on this day. May 10th 1974. Man
she was so fast. She actually enjoyed surfing. She lived to be 16yrs
old. That's pretty old for a dog. She was an English Setter.
Look Caley you made it on RPOTW!