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May16th, 2010 The Surf Count of Waist High or Better is
11 out 13 weeks... For the last 20 years or so, I've told a joke, that I would tell my fellow surf brethren that was always guaranteed to get a chuckle. It was about Surf Contests. The joke was..."You know I have the perfect Contest Record." At which time, most surfers would reply "Really, how's that?" And I would say answer.." I have a perfect contest record, because I never entered one." And they will typically smile. Not exactly a fall down laughing joke, but you know, a respectable chuckle. Last week during the event where I was named "Citizen of the Year", one of my oldest, and dearest friends messed that line up when he was giving a testimonial of sorts about my life.
He told that large audience that night "You know, Ralph has the perfect Contest record...he Never lost one!"
No one laughed. Because it was not funny. I just shook my head.
I don't think he got it. But more importantly, his line made it seem that I had been surfing in contests all my life. And as anyone who knows me, will tell you. That is simply not the case. I have in fact, never entered one. The reason being, I just didn't believe in contests when I was a young "Soul Surfer" growing up and surfing all over the world. My take was, you can't judge someone who's riding a wave, because it was to me, a form of their personal expression.
A dance. An artful, soulful, personal expressive dance.
Or an art medium, where we would actually paint across the wave face. Is that too heavy? Nah...it's what surfing was, and is to me. I refused to be judged by someone who knew less about surfing than myself, and more times than not, they were less talented than myself.
I was in a nutshell. Dead against contests.
Besides, I saw the negativity it brought to the surf culture. I saw the crybabies bitching about scores. I witnessed in horror, the groveling in sloppy surf. I saw the complaining of non contestants. I saw what I thought was the beginning of what organized sports brings. To me it was all BS. In those early days, I was more in line with Miki Dora, than I was with Corky Carroll. I was the anti of Antis.
That all changed in the mid 70's, when Shaun Tomson and the rest of the Bronzed Aussies went to Hawaii and tried to make Surfing contests a legitimate pastime. I had a change of heart. I saw the surfing of contests in a different light. And I found myself agreeing with these new professionals. There was no reason why Surfers shouldn't make the kind of money that other professional athletes were making. Golfers, Tennis players, Basketball, Football, Soccer and Baseball.
Why the hell shouldn't they be able to make a living at something they are good at? Look we all know how hard it is to surf big waves and surf them good. It's certainly harder than hitting a freaking golf ball. Or dribbling a basketball.
I had to admit. They had a legitimate beef. Surfing was a sport and a business. As most of us now know. The Pro surfers of that time, paved the way for surfers like Slater and company today. They also paved the way for amateur surfing. Like the ESA. And while I personally stayed true to my own personal beliefs about surfing contests, I supported the local and national contest scene. By the time I got married and had kids, I found myself supporting the local ESA, and before I knew it, I was there at most of the contests supporting the kids.
And yes, my own kids did compete. And it was fun to watch and document.
I'm bringing all of this contest
stuff up because, this week the local ESA chapter NNE is hosting the Northeast Regionals here in Hampton. And I want so badly for there to be waves on so many different levels. But mostly because I hate to think that these traveling surfers from New Jersey and New York will come up here and not get to see and surf our waves when it's really good.
And look, I know it's a double edged sword. I get it.
We don't want them to see our surf, because we don't want them getting any ideas about possibly moving here and adding to the already too crowded line-ups. But look, They already know we have surf. Is there anyone out there who does not know, that the rest of the surfing world knows about Northern New England? Anyone? Hello?
New England is NOT a secret. The mags know. The pros know. The hottest surfers on the planet all know. So can we just get beyond the fact that we might be exposing our waves to the unknown surf population. The only ones who don't know about our waves, are those who don't surf. And believe it or not, most of them live here. It never ceases to amaze me, to hear someone who has spent their entire lives here in Northern New England say they didn't know we had good surf. And when you show them documented proof, they look like damn Chimpanzees. It's ridiculous.
But my point about supporting the ESA, and hoping for good surf is in my opinion,
good for all of us. For starters it's good for the NNE ESA directors Lenny and Arlene Nichols. It's good for all the local surf shops. The Local shapers. The Local surfers. The Local photographers. The Local Restaurants. The Local Hotels. And it's good for the community itself. The only ones who will not like it. Will be those like I used to be. You know who you are. Most of you are already miserable. So there may be nothing that ESA-NNE Regionals will do for you except make you more miserable. But for the rest of us...let's pray for some decent surf.
By now, most of you heard, that last week I was named Citizen Of The Year here in Hampton. And honestly, I was completely surprised by it. They tricked me into thinking it was for someone else, and I went to the Ashworth Hotel on Hampton Beach thinking that I was going to speak about another community leader. They turned the tables on me, and well...I was truly humbled and thankful. But, it was also a dilemma for me. I asked my wife. "How can I possibly mention this in my column/blog and not come off sounding like a pompous ass?" I couldn't. But I also could not acknowledge it. It was dammed if I do and dammed if I don't. But I knew I owed the people who put it together some credit.
And looking back on it, I had some really close friends there, along with my loving family. And it was truly a memorable evening, made more memorable, by having two of my favorite Photographers and close friends there documenting it all. John Carden and Ed O'Connell. I love those guys.
However, I will say this. I now know what it feels like to have camera in my face.
And I'll remember that, the next time I chase one of you down and stick my camera in your face. But if I forget, kindly remind me.
And if that night was not enough to make me never want to step out in public again for fear of having my photo taken. Brian Nevins was in the planning on doing a piece on me for his Get In The Van website. I knew about this project a year or two ago. And it just so happened, that he had some tricked out flash strobe lights that he had rented for another project, and he wanted to take advantage of it. So I went from Citizen of the Year, to GITV with Nevins. It was sort of an overload for me. But I have to say, Brian did a great job. Not just shooting those amazing photos, but his words. He wrote an honest and poignant piece. I was for the 2nd time, in the same week...completely humbled. What a week that was.
*Check out the NEW Blatant Drop In of The Week Banner with one of Brian's pics.
But honestly. Thank you all for the wonderful, thoughtful emails, and phone calls. I hope I can live up to all of these amazing accolades...you know, it kind of felt like I was at my own wake. My son Max also commented, that he felt like he too was at my wake. I guess I was having an outer body experience. It was weird.
Walk away from the light...walk away from the light.
for some of my weekly Global observances: So the congressional hearings on BP this week discussing the Massive Oil spill didn't go over very well. Do you all realize that over 5,000 gallons of oil is still leaking every day? It's getting close to 30 days...5,000 gallons a day?? They are saying that this will go down as our worst environmental disaster in our history. Some are complaining about President Obama for still wanting to drill offshore. I don't know what to think about that. Especially now. But I think drilling off our coast is a good idea, if they implement solid safety features. I'd rather us be dependant on our own oil, as to being at the mercy of Middle Eastern oil. That should be a no brainer. Right?
OK, I owe you Boston sports fans a big apology. Last week I stupidly said that I was not worried about the BRUINS, but I was worried about the Celtics. Boy was I wrong. I'm sorry. It's apparent that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about when it comes to both teams. You'll notice that's why I rarely speak about the Red Sox. I don't know enough about baseball. I do however have some Hockey background. And I did honestly think that the B's would take the Flyers. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Again.
But being up 3 games to none? That should of been in the bag. OK so game four was the beginning of their slide. But to come back to Boston for Game 7 and be up 3-0 and then lose it 4-3? I don't know.
I just don't know. I do know that a lot of you Bruins fans are in a daze today. As you should be. Some of you are comparing this loss to the Pat's Superbowl loss in 2007. I think that's a bit extreme. But I guess if I was a rabid Hockey fan I'd be pretty upset. But I'm not. I am a fan just not a fanatic.
Look on the bright side. The Celtics beat the Cavs. They beat King James and Company. They beat Shaq. And if I didn't see it with my own eyes I would not have believed it. The Cavs gave up in the waning minutes of that game. They gave up. Let me just say this. There is NO sport. Zero. Where any team should give up no matter what the score is. That was embarrassing. So as bad as you Bruins fans feel, imagine how bad the Cavs fans feel. They gave up. The Bruins at least tried.
And you have to feel good about that.
Nor'easters will be performing at the Winnacunnet
High School Auditorium on Saturday May 29th,
2010 for a fundraiser concert to raise money for the Hampton
American Legion's GWOT Memorial Monument .(*See flyer in this
week's column.) I know there are a lot of old "Easter's" fans out there. And let me say...the band has not missed a beat.
We are looking forward to playing in front of our old and new
fans in May. Look who's blowing into town...The
OUT THE NEW/Old YESTERDAY PAGE! ALL OLD New England and beyond Surf Pics!*NEW PICS added each week! There's a Clean and Sweep at the Beach Wall in the area starting at High street across from Cinnamon Rainbows on Saturday Morning May 16, 2010 from 9am – 12. Bring your brooms to help clean up the walking area along the wall going south from High Street.
GOOD Luck to local ESA-NNE team during the Northeast Regionals this week at the Wall in Hampton. Kick some butt. KEEP Getting Stronger SUPER SURF MOM Kim Grondin! We ALL Love you!
A Quick RECOVERY to local Big Man Ripper
Eric Palmer...see you in the Summer
brother Semper Fi.
give to the RED CROSS or some other trusted organization
to help the people in Haiti and Chile. Like the RED CROSS. www.redcross.org Help these people. Please.
Children of Nicaragua via Brian Nevin's recent work. lovelightandmelody.org This organization deals directly with the plight of the children
of La Chureca.
*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING
IN ON RALPH blog Section.
ALL Of April is up. *This is the blog section of this website
where you can write in and comment. The only downside of this
blog is, you actually have to use your REAL Name. No hiding behind
some fake handle and name. If you want to comment, you have to
man up, and be yourself. I will post all comments, both good and
bad. You just have to be yourself.
*Molly Paddle Video by Joe Carter has been
moved to the Community
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic
Of The Week
every week for the last 6 years. **Think about BUYING a Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW as a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite
my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.
Click YESTERDAY Banner Below to see new Old Surf Pic Page
of 1968... Contest Madness
(Below) This story is hilarious. Unless of course you were around in those days and had to put up with this crap. I mean you have to read this to believe it. Boy we sure have come a long way since those days. You can find the larger version of this newspaper clipping in the YESTERDAY section, or just click on this image.
Photo courtesy of Ed O'Connell
Today- Thursday, May 13th, 2010
(Above) Tiny, teeny, weeny, itzy, bitzy...GI Joe Barbie Doll waves. Use your imagination and pretend you are 6 inches tall... Thursday May 13, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Pretend you are a little tiny man or woman...oh just 6 to 10 inches tall...how much fun would you have out there? Look at it...can you let your mind drift off into that fantasy world? No...? Well you better, this is a s big as it got this week.
Thursday May 13, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) From this distance it's hard to tell just how big this really is. But you already know. It is Tiny GI Joe Barbie Doll waves. Thursday May 13, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Why do I have to be so hurtful? Actually I'm not, I'm just goofing on you. But seriously, check out the GET IN THE VAN piece called LOOKING IN by BRIAN NEVINS. Just click on the photo above and then click on my mug on the GITV Looking In Page and check out the piece that Brian did on me...it's really well done, and again, I am humbled to the core... Photo By Brian Nevins Click on the photo above to see the Whole Brian Nevins GET IN THE VAN piece.
THURSDAY-May 6th, 2010 CALIFORNIA
(Above) This is Balaram Stack and my son Max had to surf against him in the last couple of Northeast Regionals. Suffice it to say, Mackey lost to Balaram. Truth is the kid's a freak out in the water. Last week Ben shared some insane Barrel rides he got in Newport. This week it's Mr Stack's insane AIRS. It's all here. Click and check it out. Thursday, May 6th, 2010. Photo By Ben Ginsberg
* Click on the photo above to see the Sequence.
(Above) This is Ryan Carlson. Think he can surf? That is one major league rip into
that wave face. Newport California.
Thursday, May 6th, 2010. Photo By Ben Ginsberg
* Click on the photo above to see More.
(Above) Ryan Carlson. Newport California.
Thursday, May 6th, 2010. Photo By Ben Ginsberg * Click on the photo above to see More.
CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP.
Lil Surfers from SFOD's MONKEY PUNK 2003 by RALPH
Because the Surf is flat (again) this week, I thought I'd show you a clip where a legitimate knee high wave, looks like it's double overhead.
I shot this back in 2003 and it was a skit in my 2nd GROM movie called MONKEY PUNK. I forget where we bought these surfing GI Joe type dolls. And I forget what I did with them...unless one of you guys borrowed them. Anyone? Hello? This thing on...? Hello?
In any case, they were fun on the Flat Days.
Check out the Lifeguard at the end. She was a good sport.
Enjoy it...oh yea pray for surf.
Today- "Surfing Heals All Wounds"
San Clemente, California (CNN) -- Dana Cummings survived two tours of combat duty as a Marine in the first Gulf War without injury. But 10 years later, he lost a leg in a car crash.
A divorced father of three, Cummings said he was abandoned by his girlfriend and denied physical rehabilitation by his insurance. Realizing he needed to be strong for himself and his children, he began an intense workout regimen in the hospital -- then found his own brand of rehab in an unlikely place: a surfboard.
"I wanted to prove that I was whole, and one of the ways to do that was to learn to surf," Cummings said. "When you become disabled, you feel trapped. And when I felt the first breath of freedom, of riding that wave, I was like, 'This is so good, so inspiring.' I wanted to share that feeling that I had with others."
In 2003, he helped create the Association of Amputee Surfers, or AmpSurf. The nonprofit, volunteer-run organization is dedicated to teaching people with disabilities, most of them veterans, how to surf -- for free.
This is a lot like our Summer program Wounded Warriors Hit The Beach. This Year's HIT THE BEACH III is on Friday August 27th, 2010 at the WALL. Stay tuned for more details as the date gets closer.
Street District Court of Surf Justice
is now in session, the Honorable Judge
Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE
#56 BLATANT DROP IN OF
THE WEEK- This
case is between a Man and a Woman... Photos By RALPH
on the photo above to see the Whole CRIME.
(Above) If you can drive by it...it's not a secret. Somewhere on the West Coast.
Winter-2010. Photo by Tony Szabo * Click on the photo to see the Readers
(Above) Another Perfect California Day... Photo by Steve Dillon
* Click on the photo above to see the Readers
(Above) THE ESA NORTHEAST REGIONALS ARE HERE IN HAMPTON MAY 20-22-2010
THERE IS A BANQUET ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE ASHWORTH THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. THERE'S A RUMOR THAT THERE'S LIVE MUSIC THERE...BHD IS GONNA ROCK THE JOINT SO GET ON DOWN THERE. IT ALL STARTS AT 7PM AT THE ASHWORTH Hotel SATURDAY 5-22-10 at THE ESA NERSC BANQUET PARTY
.Photo By RALPH
(Above) Marcelo cranking off the bottom this week in CR. Coming NEXT WEEK! Photo courtesy of Marcelo Matos
(Above) Marcelo sent these pics to Jon Gozzo trying to entice him to bailing on his business SECRET SPOT and his LAX team and go surfing...now why does Marcelo have to be so hurtful? This week in CR. Coming NEXT WEEK!
Photo courtesy of Marcelo Matos
(Above) While we were all bitching about the lack of surf. Little 3 year old Jaden Barros of Boston was saying goodbye to his Daddy Carlton Barros as he along with his unit from the 94th Military Police got ready to Deploy to the Middle East in the never ending GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR. Remember this photo the next time you complain about the small surf. This is reality. More of these images in the next couple of weeks.
Photo by Aaron Rodhe and the Manchester UNION LEADER.
*Click masthead above to read the original
(Above) Put the cursor over the image above to
see happens when you DROP in on someone. You
become Invisible. Simply put the mouse over the photo
to see the original photo and then marvel at
the results of what happens when the criminal
becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real
Photo by RALPH
(Above) Someone (had to be a surfer) placed this TINY man on the Rock bern last week to guard this semi private surf break. This is the week for little waves and little surfers. Photo by RALPH
on Wave to return to top of page
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