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Start shooting crackie!!
Ralph Pic Of The Week

If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.

May 18th, 2008

The waves this week were something really special. At least they were for me. And quite frankly, I don't where to begin, so I guess I better pick the beginning of the week.

Mothers Day to be exact.

While I did not surf that day, I know quite a few of you did. My son included. But the next four days were, I don't memorable to cliché to use here? Maybe.
But it truly was for me. You see my friends, I mentioned last week that I had been traveling south (over the border) to the land that time forgot. Or more specifically, the place I grew up in. It's been a bittersweet sojourn because my brothers and sisters have been cleaning out the house we were all raised in. We're getting it ready for the market. The Real Estate market.

I guess I need to back up just a bit here. When I write and speak about my home breaks, I'm speaking of many spots from Massachusetts to Maine. And while I've lived in New Hampshire the longest, I still feel connected to so many other spots that dot this long and craggy coastline of New England. And so when I speak of home, I think of Northern New England. And to me, Northern New England is from the North Shore of Massachusetts to Maine and everywhere else that falls in between.

Which would be New Hampshire.

So I had to be at my parents house during the early part of this week, and it just so happened that this new swell that started on Mothers Day was up and running, and it was firing at some of my oldest, most fondest breaks.

So I did what any other surfer would do. I brought my gear with me just in case. Well, it turned out that I was one lucky SOB, cuz one of my all time fave waves was working and the tides were favorable, as was the wind, and the crowds.

So.... I hit it, and hit it hard.

It had been a few years since I last paddled out there and honestly, I was a little hesitant because I really didn't want to get into a hassle with anyone. Not that I would of, but you just never know these days. I really wasn't into having to give anyone a history lesson on how long I've been surfing and how I helped pioneer several of the breaks down there. Besides without the two Beauchesne brothers Phil and Arthur helping my cause I didn't want to deal with any potential BS. So I was just kind of being casual out there.

Not being aggressive and just kind of feeling the place back out again. I was amazed at how easy it was to slip back into the mode that I needed to be in. It all came back to me in a matter of seconds. Seriously. I was tuned into this spot like I never left it. The only problem was, I was not the same. Oh yea, it's true. Father time has been catching up to me as of late (like it will all of you as well) and I never really felt 100% out there.

But I did manage to catch a few set waves and ride them all the way through into the inside section. And I did this in part, due to a couple of locals (who I had last remembered as total groms) but who are now, shop owners and really have stepped it up a few notches, in their overall surfing. The B-House Boys (as I was calling them) Jamie Hosker and Mark Driscoll run the local (Brickhouse) shops down there and have themselves quite a nice little set-up.

And like the shop owners around these parts (Dave Cropper & Phil Carey at Cinnamons, Steve O'Hara and Buck Rowley at Pioneers and Mike Paugh at Zapstix) they can both surf their asses off. Look if you run a surf shop or you work at one, you better know a thing or two about surfing. And you dam well better know how to surf. Crop, Stevie, Zappy and the B-House boys can all surf.

They practice what they preach.

My old spot was working quite nicely for 3-4 consecutive days which in itself is insane, because it really is a winter break only. And here we are smack in the middle of Spring and we are still getting Nor'easters and ground swells that just won't let up. I even brought Mackey V down one day and let him sample the spot that pop cut his teeth on. He had fun and I had fun watching him have fun.

I guess it was fun.

Anytime I can surf a spot as fickle as that place always is, and get good waves. Well, ole Ralphie is a happy camper. Hell I even went to my parents house and took a shower after my session. It had been years since I did that.

So you know that old saying about you can't go home again? Well, I'm here to tell you that you can. I did.

I went home and surfed an old friend, and let me tell you, it felt like I was with an old friend out there. Those waves have not changed, the line-up is still the same, only the faces and boards have slightly changed.

And the best news of all?

The dreadful Pirate Surfer, who used to lurk the beaches down there, has been absent as of late, and the local villagers have been rejoicing!

In the land of Pirates, there is good will, and good surf.

OK pay attention kids. Every single living surfer today, should take a moment and say a prayer over the passing of 92 yr. old Hugh Bradner. Who the hell is Hugh Bradner you ask? Well in 1951, Hugh came up with an idea that changed all of our lives forever. Hugh invented and processed something called Neoprene. In other words, WETSUITS! Hugh Bradner was the founder of Neoprene. That little idea my friends, changed our lives forever.

The Pioneer of Wetsuits passed away at age 92. Rest in peace Hugh, and thanks for keeping us warm.

Getting back to this wonderful week of waves. The mid week sessions up here have been all time as well. Wednesday night was so much fun. And hell, I surfed Wednesday afternoon about 3 minutes from where I'm typing this, for 3 hours alone. Now look, I'm not trying to be hurtful (well maybe a little) I'm just trying to convey to you, the incredible streak of luck we've all been blessed with. I surfed perfect waves for 3 hours in total sunny, glassy, head high, to slightly overhead conditions. Alone.

It was ridiculous.

And later at the Wall, where things were really cooking, Wes Laine and Dave Cropper were out catching some outside sandbar bombs. There was a vibe at the Wall that night, that I had not seen in sometime. How good was this? I mean we all thought, this can't get any better.

Then Thursday rolled along.

Thursday (late) was one of those sessions that is almost too hard to describe and confirm because there's really NO evidence of what happened out there. But here let me give it a shot and try.

All day long the swell was gutless. In other words it appeared to be weakening with every passing hour. The day before was full of power and perfection and it seemed that by Thursday morning it was dissipating. Still, I have mentioned to you all in the past many many times, I have several computers in my office and one is always broadcasting the wave cams. So I was working, and glancing at the monitor, and every now and then it looked "almost worth driving down the street" for a closer look.

Max had LAX practice and was due to get out at 5:00PM. Jon Gozzo is one of his coaches and just so happens to be a surfer who's totally dialed into the surf scene. *Jon is also opening up the new Smoothie and Wrap spot called SECRET SPOT right next to 931 Ocean and Cinnamon Rainbows. So when he bugged out of practice without a trace Mackey knew something was up.

By the time we go to the Wall at 5PM the swell had (I swear) doubled in size, and had a new pulse that was totally INSANE! Max was out in the water in a flash, and I found myself walking elbow to elbow with Brian Nevins. I looked over at him as we both scanned the horizon and asked..."Hey man is it getting bigger or am I tripping?" "Oh it's bigger all right" he says. And then we both hit the water.

Long story short. 100 waves on the head later, we both make it outside and proceed to get waves, that were just so unbelievable that even now, I can't believe it.

Yet, it happened.

I called Brian into one wave that got so hollow and (he's a big guy) he just disappeared into the belly of that beast, only to emerge 75 yards down the line...stoked out of his mind.

It was that kind of night.

At one point, the sun came out and created this absolutely beautiful array of color on the wave faces. I was freaking. Why? Because NO ONE was shooting! No Carden, No O'Connell, No Nevins, No Ralph (wait I'm Ralph). Brian pointed to his head and said "Sometimes it's best not to shoot, and to just remember them up here." "Yeah well, you might remember these waves, but my freaking brain won't".

Then we laughed at how many waves landed on our heads and how many great waves we caught. It's safe to say now, that those waves on Thursday night, were hard to get into, and even harder to get out of.

Yea the Celtics WON in Game 7 today and it's on to Detroit...maybe they can win a few on the road.

Please help out Local Surfer Mike Keefe's Granddaughter and Jacko Keefe's niece Bella by sponsoring this Fundraiser we would all be grateful. She's one of those cute triplets that you see walking along the ocean. Kally's the mom and she did a great piece check this out.
Just click on this Diabetes link. Thanks.

Finally, PLEASE Say a prayer for the Cyclone victims in Burma, The Earthquake victims in China, and our own Tornado victims here in America.

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


Yesterday 1980 the 10th Street Crew Hampton
(Below) We were young and we were surfers. From left to right: Ralph, Norm Murphy, JT, bending over is
Stan Bocko, Kevin Grondin, Greg Smith, Barry R., and Jay "Rat" Hammer. We could all surf and we watched over that stretch of cement like it was ours. Barry died, and Norm left town, Jay is in Hawaii as is Greg, but the rest of us still live here and we still surf. And whenever Jay and Greg come back to visit, they get any wave they want. Why? Now why do you think?
Video frame grab from Super 8mmm GAF movie camera SFOD shot by the late Moira Daly.

2008 Today-Sunday May 18th, 2008

(Above) I drove down to the beach this morning (late 9:00AM) and saw there was surf (again), so I went
back and woke up Max.
Photo by Bill Morrissey

(Above) Erin Mace get's an early morning snap in.
Photo by Bill Morrissey

(Above) By the time Max and I hit it, the Wall was too high. So we went looking elsewhere and
we found this spot. Empty...
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Tony Berardini joined us for the sunny, Sunday, session at this spot called "Suffering Bastards" .
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Another friend Mike (I forget your last name) was out in full glide mode too.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) This is Alex Deconstant. He's a freaking howl with his dry sense of humor.
I was hoping to get Tony, Mike and Alex in one "Suffering Bastard" photo.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

2008 Today- Friday May 16, 2008

(Above) The morning after the killer Thursday nite swell produced a handful of gems for those not
tired enough to sleep in. Ed got up and made his way down to Cement town and shot these. Unknown
on a rather colorful board banking on the lefts.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) If it's lefts ye want...then it's lefts for everyone! Unknown lippy left bounce.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Fully hooded longboader says "the Hell with those lefts Give a Right! "
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Now I'm asking myself...why did I sleep in? Unknown carve.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Whoa! Check out the blue in this board! Unknown speed racer.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) OK this pic was a borderline PARTING shot. I mean check out this guy's foot placement.
Think he made this? If I had to guess, I would say no. Unknown Big Yellar about to lose it all.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

2008 Today- Thursday May 15th, 2008

(Above) The moon came out and it stayed light well after 8:00PM. *Note there are no photos
of the wall from that night.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Kai and Hoku Nichols at a semi secluded spot known as Scraggle Point.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Kai Nichols on the face at Scraggle Point.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Hoku Nichols at Scraggles.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Scraggle Point sunset and vegetation.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Meanwhile North of Scraggles at a spot called Bugaboo Cricket.
Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Bugaboo's was going off! Check out that lip.
Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Skeeters Lefts was happening too!
Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) This is either Bugaboos or Skeeters. One thing is for sure, it's GLASSY!
Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Whitewater launch at Bugaboo Cricket.
Photo by Andrew Frost

2008 Today- Wednesday May 14, 2008

(Above) Kevin Grondin off the bottom while his son Kody paddles over the shoulder.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Kody drops in while Kevin watches from the shoulder. Wednesday nite.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Earlier at the Wall...the pulse was hitting.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Wheeling off the face at the Wall on Wednesday.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Look at that walled up lefthander. How much fun does that look?
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) I can't remember if this guy made this turn. What do you think?
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Point and shoot and then send them to me. Just size em right!
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Those Golf sneakers? Surf Fashion statement.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Low center gyration. I know he made this turn.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Rick Evans powering through a long right hander on a large (but light) longboard. Rick & Tony
head up the Hip Brigade.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Wednesday morning at Smoker's Rights.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Wednesday morning lineup at Smoker's Rights.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Kenny Linseman at Smokers Wednesday morning.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Unknown Wednesday morning glass turn.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Unknown Wednesday morning glass turn #2.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Unknown Wednesday morning glass turn #3.
Photo by Kevin Doherty


(Above) Another Unknown on Wednesday morning.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie Wednesday morning bottom turn.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie slice number 1.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie slice number 2.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie slice number 3.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie slice number 4.
Photo by Kevin Doherty

(Above) Billy Ritchie slice number 5. No matter how you slice it...this winter and spring has been great!
Photo by Kevin Doherty

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of B-House boy Jamie Hosker for a short Clip shot on
Tuesday May 13-2008.
Video Frame grab by R. Fatello SFOD

2008 Today- Tuesday May 13, 2008

(Above) Mackey V's first wave Tuesday morning at the Land of The Pirates.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Mark Driscoll from The Brickhouse Gang... Tuesday morning at the Land of The Pirates.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Mackey V's Last wave Tuesday morning at the Land of The Pirates.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) MVF and RGF after the session. Tuesday in the Land of The Pirates.
Photo by Jon Mark


(Above) Monday afternoon May 12-2008. That's me framing the wave with my pretend water camera.
Photo by Mark Driscoll

Today 2008 Parting Shot..."Quick Take My Picture!"

Above) Alex DeConstant goofing around (I hope) this morning 5-18-08. That's a hell of a stance Alex. Beautiful.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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