Because I was up north (again) I missed the Big Day of NESTOR. October 23rd, 2019 was the biggest of the two days that NESTOR came to town. However, I did manage to get up early on the 24th and shoot both stills and video of the last gasps of NESTOR. And surprisingly, it was pretty damn good. I felt redeemed that I was able to somehow get the best of this latest swell. And speaking of swells, this Fall has been nothing short of spectacular. I mean Good Lord, we've had storm after storm after storm.
No sooner do we have one Tropical system blow threw the region, then we get another coming up the pike. It's been one Hurricane, Tropical Storm , and Nor'easter after another. And when you throw in the Bomb Cyclones or Bomb-O-Genesis it's like Disney World out there.
In fact, I've seen more New Jersey and New York license plates this October than I have in the last 5 years combined. These guys (and girls) are making Northern New England their second home. And really? Who could blame them. It's no secret that the Northeast is home to some world class surf breaks. And to score our waves when the weather is this warm? Hell you bet your New York asses they're leaving the city and heading north.
North to New England. Where the water's still warm and so are the air temps.
Is this some Jersey surfer hiding from the cameras? No it's local Goofyfoot Crowley Gentile in yet another round rabbit hole. Did he make this? I'm not saying. I will say this though, this pic is from a long sequence. Yes it's down in the galleries. And...I actually used some of the sequences in the NESTOR video. So be sure and check that out.
This my friends is Markey J. You remember him from that nasty gash he got in his skull a couple of weeks ago. Well, his stitches came out of his head on Monday, and Thursday he was out surfing with his mates. Talk about getting back on the horse. I'll mention Markey down in this column when I bring up the Halloween Horrible Head Injuries. Meanwhile, take in these pretty images of NESTOR. Like this pine tree line-up below.
If you look close enough you can see that there's a group of surfers taking in these warm October conditions during NESTOR. You don't get these kinds of line-ups in Jersey or NY. Only in Northern New England. How lucky are we?
I took this photo below on my late sister Evamarie's birthday. October 19th, 2019. I have been coming to this place for close to 30 years now and I have never seen a rainbow here. Not saying there's never been one, I'm just saying that for all of the October's that I've come here, I have never seen a rainbow.
For those of us who believe in something greater than this earth, this was a sign. Not that I needed any signs to bolster my beliefs in God, but the irony of this day being my sister's birthday, did not escape me. I mean rainbows don't last long. My buddy Rich and I were deep in those woods when we emerged and saw it. We both rushed to this place on the ridge that offered the best view of the mountains and valley below. And we both fired off a few pics before it faded. Happy Birthday Evamarie. We miss you and love you.
OK so two weeks ago when I posted that horrific gash in my buddy Markey's head it got me thinking. I know I preach the mantra of "SURFING HEALS ALL WOUNDS" But, let's face it. It also causes a lot of wounds. Particularly head wounds. You all know the old saying "Kill the head and the body will die." You don't know that one? Hmm, it was popular in the Marine Corps. But the truth is, as of late too many surfers have been whacked in the head. And here's the kicker. They've been getting hit by their own boards!
This pic of me below was caused by my own board. Another inch or two and I could have easily lost an eye. This happened during my "Catch a Wave For Molly" campaign in 2010-2011. And as bad as this injury was, some years prior to this accident, I had the pointed nose of my board go right through my face resulting in 36 stitches. That injury knocked me out cold. I was unconcious underwater. The voice in my head saying to me over and over again "YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP" is what woke me up. Otherwise, I could have drowned out there. Oh and that voice? It was my own voice. Like I was dreaming. I remember when I opened my eyes, I thought I was home in bed.
This injury (below) was not as bad. I was stunned when my board hit me in the head. But I was not knocked out. But it warrants repeating. Both of my head injuries
were caused by my own board. Not someone else's. Not the rocks or reefs. My own boards tried to kill me.
How many times have I said to surfers that when you fall off your board to always come up with your hands in front of your face. Suffice it to say, I've said it hundreds if not thousands of times. And it really makes no difference if you're a beginner, an intermediarte surfer, or a freaking pro! That surfboard dosen't care who, or what you are.
Case in point below. Kyle Linseman caught the nose of his board into his nostril after pulling into a big closeout. His baord came back and hit him square in the nose/nostril. That's some serious damage there. It required multiple stitches and plastic surgery.
And I'm sure it hurt when he got whacked. If you've ever been hit in the nose you know how bad that feels.
Having your nostril ripped apart like this had to sting. Looking at Kyle today, you'd never know this happened. But it did. As shocking as it was.
But seriously, his own board did this to him. Same with Johnny Meehan below. Another injury to the head caused by his own board. I remember when this happened to Johnny. He was stunned by it. I think anyone who gets hit in the face or head is typically startled and stunned by it. It's so shocking when it happens to you. It takes some processing to let it all unfold. And then you go into survival mode. One thing I can clearly say, and all of these surfers will agree, and that is, to NEVER SURF ALONE. The risk is too high.
So much can happen out there. And when you are falling off your board there's a lot going on. You've got to be aware of your own board, and also other boards. Not to mention the rocks and reefs under the surface. The bottom can be just as dangerous. So aside from wearing a shield with a helmet, you need to be focused on protecting your head. Johnny and Kyle were lucky. As you can plainly see, if Johnny's wound had been just a few inches higher in either direction, he could have been hit directly in the temple, or in his eye. Both of those scenarios could have devastating results. Thank God it didn't.
Like what happened to Erica Nardone. The nose of her board hit her eye.
You can hear all about Erica's accident in the GRANITE GIRL'S movie.
She goes into detail how it all happened. One of the things she does bring up is putting a nose guard on those pointed noses on most shortboards. Having a nose guard might have prevented some of the serious damage she suffered on that day. Though there's no way of knowing that for sure. One of the things that would have helped is, if she had her hands in front of her face, but then again, it was one of those freak accidents. It was not a big day. And to hear her describe it, it was one of those moments in surfing that happens dozens of times each day. There's no way of predicting these things. The key is to try and remember each time you fall, to come up out of the water with your hands in front of your face and head. It's imperative to protect your head.
And of course we're back to Markey J to close out this section of HORRIBLE HALLOWEEN HEAD WOUNDS. I know this is a graphic image to look at, if you can't stomach the sight of Marky's brains and skull I don't blame you.
Believe it or not Markey was not knocked out. He was not wobbly or stunned. Clearly the man is one strong individual. So Markey is not the norm when it comes to head injuries. Still, that is one nasty gash. Anyone else would have been in loopyland when that board hit their head. Markey was lucky. Again, it's only a matter of a few inches in either direction and this story would have a tragic ending. The potential for serious harm in all of these injuries are abundently clear. The head must be protected.
Sam Vokey wears protective head gear. Aaron Buell wears protective head gear. Surfer Crow has always worn protective head gear.
And the more crowds, and the desire to surf bigger and more dangerous waves, are all consideration for taking proper precautions. Protect your head people!
"Surfing Heals And Sometimes Causes Wounds."
Aaron Buell wears a helmet to protect his head. I'm thinking of getting a helmet when I shoot in the water. Why the hell not? October of 2008.Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local, National and International News
You know for as many times as 45 says "Witch Hunt" maybe he should dress up as a Witch for Halloween. Can you imagine?
Hey it's Halloween. Lighten up you 45 supporters.
The Genius behind this meme should get a raise. Brilliant.
These are the kinds of images that make the Internet so good. This is something to be proud of. Whoever did this deserves a raise. I mean come on people, this is funny.
This is something to smile about. I can remember like it was yesterday when Nohea was this size. The babies are having babies. And that can only mean one thing. Us granddaddies are getting old. Somebody slow this bus down.
Congrats to the whole Nichols Ohana. New babies are the best!
ESM (Eastern Surf Magazine) using a READY MAG format did the Best of Ralph's Pic. And while they couldn't possibly use everything thing I've ever done, they did manage to put up some 50 pics of mine, plus two videos. And I was truly humbled by their intro. Mez said some nice things about me. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE WHOLE Spread.
COMING FATHER'S DAY 2020.
While I was making the GRANITE GIRLS video I came up with this project and concept. It's never been done before. As hard as that seems to be. I'm onto yet another never been done before Surf Movie concept. This will be an overview of Surfer dads and their sons. It's a work in progress and I'm hoping to get as many dads and their sons as possible in this movie.
The DVD's are available at all the local surf shops. Or by
sending me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check for $20.00 made out to ADLANTIC and send it here:
c/o OC Studio Suites
703 Ocean Blvd Suite C-4
Hampton, NH 03842
Or RENT or BUY it Online. You have spoken and I have listened. You don't have a DVD player so I made it available Online. Watch it on your Smart TV, your computer, or your cellphone! I can't make this any easier my friends.
GRANITE GIRLS and The RIVER WOMEN from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.
NOW AVAILABLE on VIMEO ON DEMAND.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
This was a no brainer. it's Halloween who else would KSM be
for Halloween? Of course he would be John Belushi. Hey even Kahliddy has a sense of humor. I will say this, I miss Belushi. He would have made a fortune doing bits as KSM. So sad.
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of ANIMAL HOUSE VHS Tapes at Home Depot this week.
Below 41 years ago last night (October 26th, 1978), my band opened for the POLICE. It was their very first show in America. It was a show for the ages. Lots of fond memories from that night.
We were all young once. And boy could we ever Rock!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Eva Fatello October 28th, 2019 RIP
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JoEllen Bunton October 29th, 2019!
HAPPY (belated) 60th BIRTHDAY Johnny Meehan October 12th!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN Everybody! Please Be Safe!
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
Lenny Nichols & Colin Madden
Co-Directors, NNE District
Eastern Surfing Association
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 13 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.