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May 2nd, 2010The Surf Count of Waist High or Better
61 out 63 weeks, or 11 for 11...
OK so check this out. I'm sitting down for dinner the other night, nibbling on my one 'real meal' of the day, when my wife tells me, that one of her co-workers who's on vacation, keeps sending her pictures of Florida's Key West. She sends her pics because, she's trying to rub it in at how nice it is in the Keys. Why do people have to be so hurtful? Any ways, my wife turns to me, and says. "Can we have a place in the Keys to spend a month each winter once the kids are all off to college?" I looked around to see who she was talking to. I gave her a quizzical look I'm sure. But I didn't answer her. "Well what do you say?" she asked. Now for the record, I've been with my wife since 1983. So it's not like she has no idea what I'm into.
"The Florida Keys?" I asked with a ton of incredulous wonder.
"Yes the Keys...or somewhere in Florida?" she says. I'm stone cold silent. But my mind is racing. Have I suddenly become someone I never thought I would be? Is this what getting older is all about? The kids go off to college and the parents head for Florida? I felt my stomach turn. Maybe it's because I have not eaten all day. Then like a miracle she says..."Or, how about someplace warm with surf, like Puerto Rico?" "Well yea, that's a bit more like it. I mean come on baby, why on earth would we spend a month in the Keys? That sounds like a nightmare. We're surfers. We're a surf family. If we go somewhere warm, we go where there's surf."
She seemed receptive to the obvious. Or, what I always assumed, to be obvious.
The truth is, my wife and I have traveled to many a tropical destination. And each time, it was for surf. Unless of course, you include visiting relatives in Arizona and Virginia. But family visits aside, we travel to surf destinations. And look, I don't mean to diss those of you who live and surf in Florida. Hell no. Because I know you guys get surf. This month's ESM has a great spread by Nick McGregor on the Surf in the Gulf coast. So I know you get surf. But the Florida Keys? I don't think so. We went there once for a wedding for a couple of close friends. But that was a short visit (and a short marriage). Like most surfers, I hate being someplace tropical where there's no chance in hell for surf. That's the Florida Keys in a nutshell. There's no surf there. There will never be surf there.
And having said that, there will never be this 'RALPH' there.
So send your tempting Florida Keys photos Amy. We'll be sure to return the favor by sending you some of our own in a few years. But ours will be of warm tropical beaches, with warm tropical waves. With a little note of our own. Wish you were here. Nope. You don't surf.
You know, up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Google Analytics. Are you familiar with it? It's basically a tracking program that lets you know how many visitors and hits you get on your website. Well, long story short, I installed it on my weekly column last week and to say I've been blown away by it, would be a complete understatement. I was sitting in my studio with my old friend Gary Ritchie the other day and I was showing it to him. I asked him how many people he thought was reading this column each week.
He thought it was just a handful of close friends.
When I showed him that close to 5,000 (it's now over 5k) have read it last week alone and that there were 20 different countries tuning in, he was equally as surprised as I was. And as of today, it's 22 countries. That's wild. 22 countries? Huh? Is New England Surfing that interesting? Or, is it more that there are so many more surfers who have lived here, and have since moved on? I don't know. Maybe it's both. Who the hell knows. All I know is, there's a bunch of you who check it each week. So I guess it's a Big Global Hello to you all. Here's the list as of the last 10 days who have tuned in.
They are: the United Sates, Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Nicaragua, Germany, Fiji,
Spain, Japan, Puerto Rico, Finland, Netherlands, Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Switzerland and Italy.
When Brian Nevins told me last year, that everyone reads this thing. I thought he was half joking. Now I'm not so sure. Oh and theUS alone has almost every single State checking in. With Northern New England leading the charge, followed closely by California. But almost every single East Coast State and Gulf Coast State. In fact, out of 50 States, only 11 have not tuned in. Can you guess which ones have not?
Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Delaware. I guess of those 11 reluctant states, I'm little surprised about Michigan and Delaware. What's up with you guys? I know you sort of have surf there. The Great Lakes has surf, and I know Delaware has surf. Come on you guys, get with the program.
Don't make me come down there.
Hey all kidding aside, I am humbled that there are that many fans of this weekly column/blog. It's no secret that some of the world's BEST photographers are featured here week after week. From Bernie Baker to Brian Nevins, and everyone else in between. My main guys like Ed O'Connell and John Carden are some of the best in the business. I am fortunate and thankful that I surround myself with such talented visionary artists. And how about the video clips from Michael Sander? That alone is worth the price of admission. How much is it again to see this large body of work each week? Oh yea, it's FREE. Just like the ocean. Free baby.
would be nice if you visited some of the Surfer related businesses you see in the column on the right hand side of this site. Each and every one of these businesses are run by surfers. And each one, has a product that we could use. So if you are looking for any of related products, please consider using one of these services. Thanks guys.
Hey last week I wrote about Mike Stanek and Mike Sander's new boards. Well, I was there when the Turbulence was ridden in chest high surf on Sunday. I was impressed. But again, I'll let the photos do the talking. And I also witnessed the other link in this creative threesome. Toby Parke's Foamular. All of these boards were made with material from HOME DEPOT. And they all cost $100 dollars or less.
Is this the future? Probably not.
Look people have been making homemade boards for eons. We did it back in the 60's with our group of surfers. And there will undoubtedly be many more who step out of the box and create their own crafts. I mean, what better feeling must there be, than to have been able to make the actual board you ride? That has to be the ultimate satisfaction in any surfer's life.
Will HOME DEPOT be the next Surfboard Popout factory? I hope not. I really do. Look what BIC did. They went from making Ink Pens to making soft tops for beginners. If Home Depot were to put money behind a marketing of surfboard designs, we would all be lost. Unless, they built wave pools and made many more artificial reefs. If Steve Jobs from APPLE and Donald Trump got together and built artificial Reefs and Wave Machines ,well, that would be something to consider. Otherwise, count on getting your boards through your local surf shops and shapers, and dealing with the surf we have. Leave the quirky NEW designs to those who live and breathe outside of the box.
The Turbulence, The Foamular and Frankenstein will not be coming to a HOME DEPT near you. At least not yet
for some of my weekly Global observances: They are calling this major Oil Spill in the Gulf, bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill in
1989. Are you freaking kidding me? Oh my God. The Louisiana Oil Spill may even be worse than Katrina. In this terrible economy this is the last thing anyone wanted to hear. But it's happening. The fishing and Shrimp industry will be the hardest hit of all. This could literally wipe out hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses. Dear God is there nothing that can be done to save the Shrimp Industry and the wildlife that will be affected by this?
The news is generally depressing enough as it is. With the economy in dire straits and the Global War On Terrorism in full swing, the last thing anyone wanted to see was another major catastrophe in our country. But we have it...again. It's time to send our prayers and positive thoughts to those who live and work in the Gulf.
The Bruins and The Celtics have moved on in their mutual quest for another Championship. The Celtics beat the Miami Heat and The Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres. The B's played the Flyers on Saturday in the first of a best of 7 games and won in OT 5-4. Marc Savard is back and scored in his first time on the ice since his concussion back in March. They now lead 1-0 in this series. The Celtics will face the Cavs (number 1 seed) Saturday night. James and company will not be as easy as the Heat was last week. Hardly. Hey, these are the Play-Offs, and it's a whole other season. Best of luck to both Boston teams! *Celtics just lost a close one. 101-93
You what I keep forgetting to mention is Donovan McNabb. I know some Eagle fans out there (Geoff Haenn) who eat sleep and drink the Eagles. I'm just curious as to how they feel about this trade. McNabb is a Redskin. Is this good or bad?
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! 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.
Happy belated Birthday to Chris Nichols (April 12).
Happy Birthday Nohea Nichols May 2nd!
Happy Cinco De Mayo May 5th!
Birthday Jay Gould May 7th.
Happy Birthday Leah Grondin May 8th.
Happy Birthday Gabby Fatello May 9th. Happy Mother's Day To ALL The Mothers May 9th!
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 1975 Jim Clifford...Rest In Peace
(Below) Last week I posted a video clip that I shot back in the mid 70's. In the clip were several old friends. Some of whom have since passed on. And some who I assumed, were still with us, and though some have stopped surfing, there were still many others who still surf to this very day. One individual who was in the clip was Jim Clifford. When I saw the clip, I thought about whether or not to put his name over the one shot of him surfing. I went back and forth on it, and then decided what the hell? I'd put it in. I thought that he might see it, wherever he was.
We had all lost track of Jim. He was one of the regular local surfers back in the day, and like a lot of of what happens in life, we all go our separate days. Jim left town and was never heard from again. There were times when we thought about him, and he came up in conversation. But it was always in passing. He was unique that's for sure. He was not one for keeping up with new trends. He rode the same board and used the same wetsuit for years.
I honestly thought someone who knew him, would tell him that his name was on the video clip and that he should check it out. Then the news paper came on Friday morning and I read the obits. Jim Clifford was dead. He died in Syracuse, New York. He was 62 years old. Another surfer has left the line-up.
On behalf of all the Hampton faithful, our condolences go out to his family and friends.
I hope that Jim had faith in his life at the end. And that he believed in God. Rest In Peace Jim.
Say hello to all of our friends, who have gone on before you.
Video Frame grab of Super 8mm movie by RALPH
Sunday, April 25th, 2010
(Above) Toby Parke slaying this wave on his homemade Foamular 1. This is the board he made from parts he bought at Home Depot. Looks functional to me. Check it for yourself. Sunday, April 25th, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Erik Zak styling through a clearly chest high wave on Sunday. Zak is such a stylish surfer. Always flowing. Sunday, April 25th, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Skip Brunette on a super clean right. You can't look me in the eye and say this is NOT Waist high. If you do, I will slap your lying lips. Such a fun looking wave and it was so neat to Skip and his family hanging out on the beach. Skip and his son surfed while the girls hung around on the beach. Sunday, April 25th, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Sean O'Connor Sunday Morning April 25, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Long Island transplant Ryan off the bottom on a (dare I say it?) Head High wave. Sunday Morning April 25, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) The other Ryan from the other coast. Sunday Morning April 25, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
SUNDAY-April 25th, 2010 The Sequences
(Above) These are the first ever pics of the TURBULANCE in action. Mike Stanek in
Sequence Number one.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Sequence.
(Above) Alex Orestis...Sequence. Sunday April 25th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Sequence.
(Above) The 2nd Mike Stanek TURBULANCE sequence.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Sequence.
CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP.
HAZZARDS REEF 1983 by RALPH
In the late 70's and on to the late 80's ,a bunch of us from New England used to head off to Hawaii's North Shore every winter. Our close friend and surfer, Capt Lenny "Hazzard" Nichols lived on Oahu, and every now and then, we'd go out with him on his inflatable boat, and we'd explore the outer reefs.
Those were bold and daring times for all of us.
One such reef was named after Lenny. "Hazzad's Reef." This little clip is actually 2 or 3 different trips out there. There's not much to see in the way of surfing. But there is some wild navigating through some pretty big ocean swells.
One in particular, was on the last day.
The swell had jumped up to well overhead and it was perfect. There's one scene, where you can see us in between waves rushing in to the safety zone of the protected side on Turtle Rock.
That same session, almost ended in a near tragedy.
Unbeknownst to us, there was a 15' TIGER Shark lurking in the area, looking for Sea Turtles to munch on. That shark chased us all out of the water that morning.
It was quite the session.
Those were special trips for sure. And the beauty of the mountains rising up in the background, combined with the early morning ocean glass, will always be special memories for us.
And once again, I was glad to have my old GAF movie camera with me to record all of it for times like this.
The song is from my old band VINNY and it's called "Letting Go Of Love" from the LP Olas De Sexo that David Robinson of the Cars produced.
Enjoy it my friends, enjoy it all...Mahalo.
CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW FOR A REALLY GOOD VIMEO VIDEO CLIP.
Ventura California by Brandon Aoyan
“Here’s a little film for the Sacred Craft gathering in Ventura this year. It was an honor to be included. It is the first film I shot and edited to be publicly displayed on the web. It became one of the Audience 5 favorite original shorts. Thanks to Cyrus Sutton for instigating.”
Street District Court of Surf Justice
is now in session, the Honorable Judge
Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE
#54 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK- This
case is between an American SWAN and a CANADA GOOSE. Photo By RALPHClick
on the photo above to see the Whole CRIME.
(Above) Christina Kalinowsky during last week's Rainbow Swell. April-2010.
Photo by Joel Kalinowsky * Click on the photo above to see the Readers
(Above) Peter Randazza at Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz CA
Photo courtesy of Peter & Trish Randazza
* Click on the photo above to see the Readers
Dave, Phil, Sashi and Buck's Tavarua Trip.
April - 2010
(Above) This is a sunrise. Is this not beyond beautiful? It's more than just a surf trip.
Photo by Dave Cropper * Click on the photo above to see the Tavi Trip
(Above) It's more than just a surf trip? Yea, but let's be truthful. This is why they go.
Photo by Dave Cropper * Click on the photo above to see the Tavi Trip Gallery.
BERNIE BAKERS Opening Day of Summer
April 28th, 2010 (Above) And so it begins. The sights and sounds of the South Shore Summer.
And once again, Bernie is there with his finger on the pulse of all that is Town
April 28, 2010. Photo by Bernie Baker
* Click on the photo above to see Bernie's Gallery.
(Above) Summer time on the South Shore of Oahu.
April 28, 2010.
Photo by Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see Bernie's Gallery.
(Above) Taken in the Golden State on 4-22-10. It's more Newport action from our Main West Coast man Ben Ginsberg.Coming NEXT WEEK! Photo by Ben Ginsberg
(Above) Geoff Moysa rips the snot out of this 28th Street burger. Coming NEXT WEEK! Photo by Ben Ginsberg
*Click masthead above to read the original
(Above) Put the cursor over the image to
see happens when you DROP in on someone. You
become Invisible. Put the mouse over the image
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
2010"Look at me! I'm Butt Surfing!"
(Above) OK so he never meant to do this. Ryan gets caught sitting on his butt when he should of been ripping (in the water, not in his suit). Photo
by Ed O'Connell
on Wave to return to top of page
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