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October 25th, 2009 35 out of 36 weeks of surfable waves.

The surf at the Wall on Tuesday morning was a surprise. As in, a pleasant surprise. It was easily head high and bigger on the sets. Everywhere else was waist high at best. And this was Day 4 of this last Nor'easter. It was thumping. I had wanted to ride my Merrick 6' 6" for this session and couldn't wait to paddle it out. Of course, wanting and fantasizing about a good session on your favorite board, and actually doing it, are two different animals.

But I was unwavering in my approach. Hell, even Ed O'Connell was there with his 500mm capturing the action. I was stoked when I hit the water. It was not as cold as I had anticipated. I was in my 4/3 with hood, but really didn't need the hood. After all, we're not in California (where those guys wear hoods if it goes below 70 degrees.) No, this had all the makings of a good, fun session. Something to recharge my batteries.

I guess I should of guessed how the session was going to go, after my first attempt at catching a wave. Dropping in late on a set wave, I couldn't get into the wave fast enough, and as a result, I was behind the 8-ball. There's nothing more frustrating than watching a wave go, winding down the line, with you stuck in the white water. I can't recall if I cursed out loud or not. I may have. Usually when I do that, it's not a good sign. And then to add insult to injury,
I got caught inside by a significant set. I think I counted 8 waves on my head. By the time the 5th of 6th wave hit me as I was completing my duck dive, I knew that this was not going as planned. Duck diving a shortboard through a half dozen or more consecutive waves, in the Fall, is not conducive to a favorable session. And it was not. I was slowly unwinding and becoming increasingly miserable.

With each set wave, came another frustrating move and mess up. I can't really say I was "Kooking out" due to the fact, that the simple definition of a "Kook" is clearly a beginner. I am hardly a beginner. But I was struggling. And the more I struggled, the more I messed up. And if that wasn't bad enough, I had two friends (both of who were considerably younger than me) paddle up to me, and claim that I was an inspiration to them. One guy, my buddy Steve a Goofy foot who has young kids, actually told me "Hey, if Ralph can still ride a shortboard so can I!" I laughed. "Are you kidding me? Have you seen me get a good wave today? I'm dying out here" I yelled over to them. He and Chris laughed thinking I was kidding. I was not. I was having a terrible session. It was not a good feeling.

At one point, I actually felt like I was paralyzed from the waist down. It's true. I envisioned myself dragging my lifeless body across a dirty rug , to get to my cold bowl of porridge. And there on a dusty coffee table, was a whining old cat crying for food. OK, so I have an active imagination. But I was feeling just awful out there.

And then, just when I thought I couldn't do any worse, something happened.

A nice big glassy left popped up on the outside sandbar, and I was in perfect position. I was expecting to fully mess this wave up, as I had on the previous waves. But, I spun and swung into the wave as it pitched and heaved onto the shallow sandbar. Miraculously, I got to my feet and grabbed the outside rail, as I backsided in and under the lip. A few fleeting seconds under the lip, and I was rejuvenated. Then I hit a solid cutback. It was so solid, that my damn fins came out. And yet, I pulled it off, bouncing off the upcoming critical section in the hook. And then, I jammed another semi bottom turn, and shot back out into the face and did anther redirecting, freaking, jamming cutback and ...lo and behold, I hit it just right. I had completed that whole section, and then much to my surprise, (and really to anyone else who may have been watching), I did it again. But hold on, I'm not done here. I did one last big kick out and waved to the boys.

Three jamming cutbacks, with fins busting loose. I felt good again. I felt like I still had it going on with a shortboard, even though I only had this one good ride. But it was enough. I went in. The way I figured it, it's better to end on a good note then going back out and risking more embarrassing moments. I ended up going back out on my Longboard with Alex and his friend Dave at another spot. But, I could still feel the repercussions of that bad session.

OK, so I'm in a slump. A shortboard slump. Like other sports, Surfers fall into slumps. I have fallen into a slump. And I know how and why. And I also know, that the reality of me getting out of this slump is slim. Very slim. Why? Look there's a reason why other athletes retire from their game. It's just the facts of life. We get older. We get less limber. We get less quicker. In other competitive sports, there are younger, quicker, competitors that will eat you up. And while I am not competing against other surfers, we all are in a way. We're competing for position and wave choice. No one is judging our rides, but we are competing with one another out there. It's true.

But before you think this is a "woe is me story" you all need to know, it is not. If you look back, I said I was in a Short Board Slump. Not a surf slump. I can still ride my Longboard. And while this is not a put-down on Longboards, I just really wanted to be able to surf my shortboard like I used to.
I started surfing on a Longboard. And I guess I'll end my surfing lifestyle on one as well. It's just that, I still really have that desire to ride a board that is shorter than my 9'0". And not just shorter, but significantly shorter.

I love Longboarding. I do not SUP and I have no desire to. But I am still holding onto something that I know is slowly slipping away. Riding my short board. So what to do? Winter is coming...and it will be harder to get limber and loose enough to ride my shortboard. I've had enough time to think this through, and what I plan on doing is, riding my Longboard until I can get really back into shape, and then slowly, but surely, work my way back down to the shorter board. And by early next summer, I plan to be pushing it hard on my shortboard again. But if this all fails, and I really can't ride the shorter board, well, I will face this stark reality, and ride my Longboard only. And I will have fun.

Because, I have NOT forgotten what surfing is all about. It's all about having fun.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:
So it's true. The Balloon Boy was a hoax. The Parents did it all. They confessed. Those poor kids had to sit there and lie to the whole world because of their parents. Or rather, the dad. They wanted to get their own Reality TV show. I still don't get how having your kid go up in a Helium balloon, would land you your own Reality Show. Do any of you see how this would work? Am I that out of touch with the rest of the world? How do you get a Reality TV show by creating this wacky hoax, claiming that your 6 year old kid went 6,000 feet into the air in a freaking balloon? How does that equate with a reality show? What would the show be about? The crazy dad sending different kids into outer space each week? I really don't get it.

And honestly, I don't get half the damm Reality shows on TV. The Real Housewife series for instance. I know plenty of people watch them. I just don't get it. I guess I can't get beyond the mere fact that, these people play and act for the camera. They all seem conscious of the camera. Is it reality if they are playing for the camera?

Hell, I could come up with a series of Reality shows that would have em talking.

The REAL SURFER HOUSEWIVES OF NEW ENGLAND. Ahhh on second thought, maybe not. How about the REAL SURFERS of NEW ENGLAND? Now that might fly. Though, who really gives a rats ass about surfers? But are you like me and just a tad curious, as to what most surfers seem to do for work? Seems odd to me, that there are so many people who have jobs with a flexibility schedule like most of us seem to have. Be an interesting concept. Seeing surfers get out of jobs, commitments, and other important events just to go surfing. The question is, would the general audience out there, care to watch such a show.

My guess is no.

I will say, that I've always wanted to do a reality type SURVIVOR Show. Where you are stranded on a deserted Island with man-eating animals and serpents, and are completely surrounded by armed pirates or Insurgents. Each contestant would be armed of course, and the stakes are obvious. There is no Million Dollar pay-off. The payoff is, you get to go home. I'll call it SURVIVE OR DIE. I'd be gearing this for the UFC type crowd, ex military and law enforcement types. Think there's an audience for this? Nah...probably not. Maybe some day. about them Patriots? Whoa! The shellacking they gave TENNESSEE last week in the Snow Storm was unbelievable! 59-0? Tom Brady hooked up with Moss for three, Welka for two, and Falk for one. It was insane. But were you pissed like me when the Refs turned a blind eye to the obvious Safety in the 4th Qtr? I mean come on! That was a 2pt Damn Safety. Should of been 61 to 0. The winless Titans did not want to play.
Sunday they play another winless team in of all places Great Britain. Or...England! Hey it just dawned on me...New England is in England!

Remember my old coaching motto
If you're losing - Don't Give Up. If You're winning -Don't let up!

This just In. President Barack Obama wins TRIPLE CROWN of SURFING after Playing Surf Video games on TV. His awesomeness continues.

Good Luck to the local Seacoast High School Football team the WHS WARRIORS
this weekend. Beat Merrimack! Friday Oct. 30th!
Happy Halloween October 31st!

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Tony and Lynne October 31st!
Thanks to all who came out and saw my band last Thursday.
It's always fun playing for friends.
Finally GET WELL soon and a speedy recovery to my close friend Lenny Dunn, drummer for the Nor'easters.


*Check out the updated DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section.
*Molly Video by Joe Carter has been moved to the Community Page.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
every week for the last 6 years.

Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Yesterday- Alex Deconstant's 1979 Surfer/Skater style.
(Below) In the 70's, we skateboarded like we were surfing. It was an extension of our surfing. Like Lopez at Pipeline, we all pretended that we were surfing big hollow waves when we shot down the streets of Hampton and beyond. Then when the surf came up, we went back to pretending we were Lopez at our home breaks. Those were fun days. If you look at the photo that Ed O'Connell took of Alex last week, you will see a strikingly close similarity. This 1979 pose helped mold Alex's style that is prevalent today. '
Photo courtesy of Alex Deconstant.

Today- 2009 Monday, October 19th, 2009
*Click on Photos Below To See Photo Galleries

(Above) Unknown lip dance. Monday, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Chowda Heads. Monday, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Nutha Empty Chowda Heads. Monday, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Unknown in the Sweet Zone. Monday, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Bobby Morgan visiting an old friend. Monday, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Perfection, October 19th, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.


FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. Shot on Monday October 19, 2009 by Michael Sander



New Hampshire - October 19. 2009 from Michael Sander on Vimeo.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The Week. 10-19-09

(Above) This week's Blatant Drop-In dealing with the obvious. Check out the Perp looking straight at the victim. It's all there. The whole damn crime. Just click on the damn image and see for yourselves. Click on the image above to see the complete DROP IN Sequence. Photos By RALPH

Today- 2009 More Images from October-2009
(Above) The October Snow. Friday October 23, 2009
Click on the image above to see More.
Photos By Brian Nevins

(Above) Big Handsome Daddy at Rudis in Portsmouth.
This past Thursday October 22, 2009
Photo By Bob Consentino
(Above) Alex Deconstant , Tuesday, October 20th, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Tim O'Shea slotted again. Tuesday, October 20th, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Nice Empty Barrel...October 2009 in New Hampshire.
Photo by Jackson
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

Today- 2009 From The Tropics... October 2009

(Above) Love Boat Barrel. October 19, 2009 Oahu
Photo by Bernie Baker
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Felipe Pomar in Indo. October 19, 2009
Photo by courtesy of Felipe Pomar
Click on the photo above to see larger image

(Above) Felipe Pomar in Indo. October 19, 2009
Photo by courtesy of Felipe Pomar
Click on the photo above to see larger image

(Above) More 54th Street Madness from Ben Ginsberg. COMING NEXT WEEK.
Photos By Ben Ginsberg


(Above) Josh Hoyer roof slider. COMING NEXT WEEK. Photos By Ben Ginsberg

Invisible Surfer visits Seacoast For Halloween

(Above) *Next week. The Full, True Story behind the Invisible Man.
*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.



Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- Rejoice ye Rebels!!

(Above) The question is, why aren't these kids in school? Oh oh...they got busted.
by Brian Nevins


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