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Ralph Pic Of The Week

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

May 4th , 2008

There's a TV show that we all watch at our house every Thursday. You've probably seen it. It's called "My Name is Earl." It's all about this 70's looking guy named Earl who's trying to make right with his world by dealing with "Karma". It's really a funny show with lots of wacked out characters. From his simple minded, big hearted brother Randy to his ex-wife marrying his best friend Crabman.

The premise of the show is this: Earl has made up this list of people he has wronged in his life and he systematically goes through the list crossing them off as he makes right with the karma of each of his wrongdoing's. It's a brilliant half hour of TV and we usually hang around and watch the Office (another great show).

But the My Name is Earl show? Sometimes I feel like I'm living the "My Name is Ralph" show. Huh? Here let me explain. Last week I may have created some bad karma by saying how good the surf was and how uncrowded it was. Then I may have stepped over the "Good Karma" line, by stating that my work schedule allows me to slip in and out of the water throughout the day.

Of course, I tried to justify that comment by saying, that a lot of you have the same sliding schedules. Or so I thought. Because, as Earl would say..."That's when Karma caught up to me". I was unintentionally rubbing it in that I scored good waves during the week while the masses were at work and at school.

And boy did Karma jump up and bite me in the ass.

I woke up Sunday morning and felt like a dam truck ran me over (another Earl reference). Albeit, I did not end up in a coma. I did however, remain in bed all day long. Every muscle in my body ached, and I felt my stomach doing flip flops all day long. Oh was not pretty. In fact, it was down right nasty. All day long, I made the constant run for the bathroom. Cursing myself each time.

And the worse part? Hell you already know that. The surf was building. That's right, the surf was coming up on a weekend and I was going down for the count.

I did not leave the house for two days.

And I was keenly aware of what was going on down the street. Through the various phone calls from friends, not to mention, my son going back and forth to the ocean. Changing suits. And checking in on me every now and then. It was bad.

By Tuesday, I had finally arose from the world of Horizontal and could semi function on my own. My stomach was still making sounds like something out of a Stephen King movie, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or was it the tube?

Because that's when the photos started to trickle in.

The wind had switched on Tuesday afternoon and things were looking (on my computer) pretty dam good. Ed O'Connell sent in his first batch. I almost choked when I saw the first photo. Dam...that looked good. As a surfer, I was bummed that I missed surfing, but as a photographer/videographer, I was equally as bummed.

Then of course, the dam emails came in...and I swear, I don't know why some of you have to be so hurtful? I was getting heavy doses of my own medicine, and it was a bitter pill to swallow. But I'm a big boy and just like Earl, I realized that it was time to answer to Karma.

No I didn't make a list. But I did make a few mental notes.

So Wednesday morning (please don't be mad) the surf was still good. And there was hardly anyone out again. I know, I know, here I go again. Except, I did not surf. I shot video and some long shot digi stills. I did get out later on in the day, and actually got some decent waves.

But that morning session, was just me and Ed shooting at 10th was very nice. Mackey V, Jack Cadigan, Gretzsky, Steve Franson, and then the Surfing Nichols showed up. Actually it was only half of them. Lenny, Kai and newcomer Hoku.

Why were the kids there at 9:00AM? They were on vacation. That was a cheap and heavy score vacation trip. I shot some decent viddy, and shot the breeze with Ed, and finally after many hours...I went surfing.

I surfed the wall with a handful of total strangers, and then Adam Coates paddled out. Man he was killing it out there. Adam can get that LB of his rocking when he wants to. I was telling him that I had taken Mackey's gloves, when we looked over and saw two guys paddling hard for the beach.

They were not trying to catch a wave.

They were trying to hit the sand. Why? Neither one of them had gloves, or boots on. Adam and I looked at each other and shook our heads.

Now is that bad karma? Nah, That's just plain ole Comedy Karma.

Speaking of Karma. Both good and bad. This week we had a few reports of when Karma goes bad. I think because the schools were on vacation, and there was a new swell building, it made for a bad mix. No doubt when it gets crowded, things can get testy. And honestly, this is true all over the world. We are not unique to this kind of behavior.

When you think about it, surfing is one of the only sports that is not regulated. And by that, I mean by any authoritative types in uniform.

And before I go on here, I am certainly not advocating militant authority out in the water. Hardly. I think there is a pecking order of sorts at certain breaks, and again, I'm speaking about all over the world. And I think there needs to be respect all around. Both young and old. Shortboards and longboards. And even the new SUPB's...there has to be.

I'm ashamed to say that in my (way) past, I may have said or did things out in the water, that would seem by today's standards, inappropriate. I'm not proud, or happy about any of them. I will say, that as of recent years, I have tried (and I think successfully) to be more tolerant of others. And I really believe most of you have as well. After all ..what's the saying? "You can't fight City hall."

And it's true. The sport, or lifestyle, or whatever it is you call it, is not going to go away. There will be more and more people surfing each year. I guess what I'm saying is, we will all need to be less aggressive. More easy going out there.

However, we do need to be clear here on the Laws in New England. Especially the one called assault and battery.

In other words, if you lay a hand on someone, or cause them harm, you could be prosecuted.

For what? Surfing? If we were in Hawaii, and you assaulted some local guy, or some local kid, you had better be on the first plane back to the Mainland, because there will be hell to pay (before the law gets involved).

That's just bad karma with a Capitol "K".

I would also hope, that some of the local surfers who happen to witness this kind of behavior against one of the locals, would step up and defuse the situation. There's just zero tolerance for that kind of crap. Absolute Zero tolerance.

I think when it gets that crowded and tense, we would all do well, if we were to, all step back, take a deep breath and just simply relax.

Or as the infamous Rodney King once said.."Can't we all get along?" Yes we can Rodney...yes, we can.

Happy Birthday to Jay Gould on May 7th! Happy Birthday to my man on west Tony Szabo (May 9th!) And a SPECIAL Happy 18th Birthday to Leah Grondin May 8th and Happy18th Birthday to Gabby Fatello May 9th! I don't remember how old Jay is, but I can't believe that Gabby and Leah are turning 18! Wow. With Gabby and Leah turning 18 it just blows my mind at how fast the time has swept by. All you parents with babies and toddlers believe everything that other parents tell you. In the blink of an eye, they went from cute babies to 18yr olds driving cars and heading off to college. It's true. But Leah and Gabby...I Hope all your dreams and birthday wishes come true.

Speaking of Birthday Girls, I just now got back from the NE Regionals in Montauk, LI in New York and was witness to Nohea Nichols placing 1st in the Women's Division. In fact, there were quite a few local NNE members who went and placed in the Finals. Starting with young Kai Nichols who was a finalist in the Menehunes. While Colby Pearson made the finals in Mens LB. And the old guard did well too. Kevin Grondin, Lenny Nichols and Bob McNeil all brought home trophies from the contest.

I have to tell you all, that the ESA is truly a fun family experience. It is. Now I know some of you are saying that's BS, I'm telling you otherwise. It's fun. And although I do not compete, I have fun watching the kids surf and I am blown away at some of the talent that comes out of the East Coast. Now before you start scoffing at that, think about a certain individual who came from the East Coast and competed for years in the ESA and then went on to accomplish something that no other living surfer has ever done. How does 8 world titles sound? You know who I'm talking about. Mr Kelly Slater. It all started with the ESA.
Just ask Kelly.

Check out JIMMY DUNN at the Winnacunnet High School in Hampton this Friday Night May 9th. At 8PM.
Doors Open at 7PM and tickets are $20.00.

This is a benefit for the Friends of Winnacunnett Foundation. Call the Shop for details! (603) 929-7467

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

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


Yesterday 1990's Happy 18th Birthday to Gabby & Leah!
(Below) It seems like yesterday. Gabby & Leah at the beach. Our kids have grown up around that stretch of
cement, sand and surf. Remember what I mentioned earlier. In the blink of an eye. They go from toddlers like
this on the beach, to 18yr old women. Happy Birthday Leah May 8 and Gabby May 9th. We all love you.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) This photo of us at the Wall was the one I was originally looking for to post for Gabby and Leah's 18th
Birthday Wish. The reason why is obvious. But what you don't know is our friend Jay Gould took this photo.
I handed the camera to Jay and asked him to take a photo. Jay's birthday is the 7th, Leah's is the 8th and Gabby's is the 9th of May. Now you know the rest of the story.
Photo by Jay Gould courtesy of The Fatello Family.

2008 Photos BELOW taken This past Tuesday & Wednesday 4/29 & 4/30/08.

(Above) This unknown lucky SOB snags a nice right on Tuesday while I was in bed snagging the peptobismal.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) I know someone will see this and say..."Hey man that's me!" Tuesday afternoon.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Jared Hay streaking across a foam blown face on Tuesday.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Yona Belforta grabs a rail and drags a hand. Tuesday in the rain.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Unknown on a nice righthander. Tuesday rain session.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Jon Gozzo at a not so Secret Spot. Tuesday 4/29/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Local boy Nick Africano on a cement wall grinder. Tuesday 4/29/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) The next morning. The last day of April. Michael Taylor before work session. Wednesday 4/30/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) It was so glassy early in the morning. Then the wind came up strong. Unknown. Wednesday 4/30/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Becoming one with the seaweed. Micahel Taylor. Wednesday 4/30/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) By 9:00AM the wind picked up. Mackey V enjoying his Spring vacation. Wednesday 4/30/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Mackey V pulling in before pulling out for Montauk. Wednesday 4/30/08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) The Line up on Wednesday morning. Once again, check the crowd action.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) It was not long after I shot this photo that I decided that I had enough of the stomach virus and went
surfing. Wednesday morning perfection.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Wednesday morning. April 30th, 2008
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) That's Jack Cadigan heading out on Wednesday morning.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) I can't help myself. I love the empty line-up shots. Wednesday morning.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Jack Cadigan paddling out. Wednesday.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) And that's MVF paddling back out. Wednesday morning.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Then Lenny and the kids (Kai & Hoku) showed up. It's a family affair. Lenny waxes while Hoku yanks
on a stubborn sleeve.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Lenny up on the nose. Heading south to Montauk. Wednesday.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Jack Cadigan gets a few before work. Wednesday.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Kai acting his age. Hopping around all over the place. Wednesday.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Mackey V practicing before the big trip. *Max got through his first heat, and then got bumped in the semi finals. The Junior Men division is a tough run. Some of those kids can surf circles around most surfers we know.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) The good news is MVF qualifies for ESA Championships in Hatteras in September.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) MVF backside slap. Last Wednesday 4-30-08.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Looks like Dougie Fresh was out there too killing it.
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) Dougie bouncing from one lip to the other.
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) Fresh pushing the envelope.
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) One Wraparound to go for a Mr Dougie Fresh!
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) A pulled back dark and cold look at our world.
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) Ed did you shoot this for me? Thanks man. Last Empty wave on Wednesday.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Wednesday was as warm as this looks.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD


(Above) One last shot before calling it a day. MVF at 10th Street.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Mackey V done for the day, reflects on his homebreak perfection. Wednesday.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) My Buddy Jeff Crawford sent me this from down on the North Shore...of Mass
Photo by Jeff Crawford

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of Kai Nichols from Wednesday April 30, 2008.
Video Frame grab by R. Fatello SFOD


2008 Hawaiian Spring Pics from Bernie Baker

(Above) Hello. I don't know about you but I can feel the gut wrench from here. Bodyboard madness.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Yea baby I told you I could fly. Hawaiian flying kick out.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) That's some warped out looking warble there...still it's mesmerizing.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) And you thought last week was warm and tropical here in New England.
Photo by Bernie Baker


(Above) Good night.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today 2008 Parting Shot...Summer's coming...LOOK OUT!

Above) OK if this shot does not remind you of things to come this summer, nothing will. Check the leash action
on the Kung Fu dude. The reality of this fun loving sport we call surfing. Lord help us all.

Photo courtesy of Jim Kraeutler




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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