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October 4th, 2009 32 out of 33 weeks of surfable waves.

The thing that really struck me as being odd on Monday, September 28th, 2009, as I drove down my street, and then along the 2.5 miles of Cement, was the lack of vehicles. "Where the hell was everyone?" I thought to myself. The skies were bright blue, and the wind was blowing straight out of the west. There had to be waves. The day before was as nasty as it gets. Full on Northeast winds howling all day and night. Clearly there were waves. But the lack of vehicles that should of been parked along that infamous stretch of manmade cement, was almost void of those who surf. Huh?

If not for the occasional glimpse between the openings, I would of thought that the swell was gone. But I saw the telltale signs. The big, gusty plumes of spay and mist, blowing off the tops of these big beasts, left me with no doubt that the swell was here, but so were the lack of crowds. When I stepped out of my vehicle and took those first two steps to look, I raised my NIKON D-90 and fired off two quick shots.

Oh it was here all right. But there were only a handful of black dots out there.

OK, so it was early. 7:00AM. And I get that the tourists have gone back to wherever it is they came from. And I get that the kids are back in school. I even get the fact that most surfers have real jobs. But this swell, and the conditions that followed it, warranted a little more attention than what I was seeing. I tell ya it was weird. The lack of participants.

A few miles away in the opposite direction, Brian Nevins was experiencing the same thing. Only where he was, it was completely devoid of rubber suited piranhas. I later ran into him at another Northern New England spot and we both couldn't understand the lack of crowds. It's not that either one of us were complaining. But honestly? I've seen it twice as crowded in shittier waves, in the dead of winter. The other thing that really surprised me was the all "natural forecast" of heavy Northeast winds the day before. I mean hello???

I've been around long enough to remember the days before the Internet and wave cams. And I know a lot of you have as well. Back in those days, we went on local ocean and wind knowledge. If it blew 20-40 knots out of the Northeast for a lengthy period of time, we would get decent surf. That has not changed. So to be perfectly honest. I never looked at a wave cam Monday morning. I knew there was surf. So did Nevins and a few others.

But for the most part. This swell caught many off guard.

I was calling it the BIG MO Swell for Big Monday. It was that good. It was overhead. It was as clean and green as it gets. Big wide open barrels. Lots of entertaining wipeouts. And to be fair, there were lots of good surfing. Albeit, there were some notable faces missing in action. But for the most part, it was an action packed morning from daybreak to midday.

And not to rub it in, but this swell lasted 3 days. The day after (Tuesday) was kind of funky, but the third day was actually fun. But it got cold. I was still wearing my 3/2 with no boots and gloves and's time for the 4/3. Tis the season. Something happened to me on Tuesday that I wanted to share with you. The reason I want to share it is, this was a first for me. I wanted to get some empty wave shots. And not just empty waves. But the ultimate classic in the barrel looking out shots. Nevins was showing me some of the shots he had taken in the morning, and I was stoked to swim out and get a few myself. But I got burned on Monday. Because,
by the time I got ready to swim out the wind got on it. The size was still there, but the clean, hollowness was gone. So I waited all day and nothing. The next day was glassy but small. I had my gear and thought I'd give it a shot (pun intended).

So I swam out at around 8th street. I found a good spot where the rights were hitting one of the sandbars, and throwing out pretty good. I had fins on, so I was comfortable in staying in the right line-up. That's when I noticed the rip.

Don't get me wrong, I've been in plenty of rips. Plenty. Some pretty forceful. But most times I'm in the rips, I'm on one of my boards. Swimming in a rip is a different experience all together. Now before I go any further, you all need to know, that in no time, did I ever think I was in any kind of trouble. I was not. But, I was caught in a rip that pulled me all the way down past 18th Street. I was thinking to myself, as I watched all the homes go by...this is how swimmers drown. They panic and fight their way back. They eat up all their energy, and eventually drown. Plus, they are not wearing wetsuits, and or fins. I was impressed with the rip. Was this my worse Rip experience? Hardly. It would be hard to beat the day, me and Kevin Grondin got caught in a fierce rip at Laniakea on the Oahu's North Shore in the early 80's. That day was insane. Huge, massive, long walls, unloading on the reef. The rip was sucking us out, and over to Himalyas . We were freaking out. And Himalayas? Oh it was all of 30' plus wave faces. On the souls of my parents. Those waves were HUGE! That was my worse Rip experience. Hands down.

But this rip trip on Tuesday? Well that was an eye opener. I finally came in when I saw some elderly beach walkers starting to freak out, thinking I was in trouble. The more I waved to them trying to let them know that I was OK, and that I was just trying to get a photo, the more they panicked, looking for a cell phone to call for help. I had to come in, and let them know that Uncle Ralphie was OK. We all had a good laugh about it. But the long walk back to my vehicle was sort of a wake up call. I mean damn, that rip was real.

Oh...I only shot a few waves. And I never got close to the shot I was trying for. And to make matters worse, the wind came on it after I swam out. Oh well...

Hope you all got to see the new The Surfers Journal. Our own Brian Nevins has a nice piece that he both wrote and shot about some spots in Maine. He shares the photo duties with Nick LaVecchia. It's really well done. And good luck trying to find out where any of these spots are in Maine. The Pine State is a big place, and with all the many potential coves, points and reefs that are there, well good luck trying to find one. Maine is the only state in New England that has not been scoured from one border to the next. Forget Rhode Island. Forget Massachusetts. Hell New Hampshire only has 13.5 miles...nope, Maine is the ONLY frontier left in New England. And it is as fickle, as anywhere on the planet.

There are perfect waves out there my friends, and some of them may be closer than you think. While others require a bit more adventure and planning. But surfing has always been about the adventure. I used to sign my letters, in the my early days of surf travel...
"Life to me is a bold and daring adventure".

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

Our world has gotten sadder this day. On Friday I watched the events unfold on the Tsunami that hit Samoa. Knowing that there are surfers there, I sat down and prayed that there was no one that I personally knew. Not knowing, that a good friend of our community Stan Chew lost a relative. Below is the link to the email exchange from Stan to me, and the email from his nephew who lost a young daughter. Please read this story. And especially read the first hand account of this one little girl who was saved by an angel.
This is a TRUE story.

This was a story that affected all the surfers down in Samoa and Fiji. Imagine being on a surf trip and having a Tsunami hit. Oh my God. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our brother Stan Chew and his family.

Click this link to read the Tsunami Story involving Stan Chew's nephew.

In today's Boston Globe there is an article about about IRAN's Nuclear Facility. They said that IRAN could build an A-Bomb. Feel safer yet? I hate to sound like a doom and gloom guy here but, I am almost 100% convinced, that we will see a nuclear device go off in our lifetime. And it makes no difference who's sitting in the White House. Terrorists and radical regimes like IRAN, are not impressed with America, or our current president. As much as some people still think that President Obama is the anointed one, there are others who feel the complete opposite. Case in point. Obama and his wife Michelle, along with Oprah Winfrey, had little or no pull, in getting the Olympics to Chicago.

How embarrassing was that? What a colossal waste of time and money that was. He can't sell the Health Care bill and he couldn't sell Chicago. And while this whole Olympic fiasco was going down, our TOP Military Commander in Afghanistan was waiting 70 days on an an answer, about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Americans are dying every week on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and Obama is trying to sell his hometown of Chicago to the Olympic Committee? Give me a break.

He finally sat down with General Stanley McChrystal after his failed Olympic attempt. This is crucial stuff here. If we lose Afghanistan we face more Terrorist attacks by a newly emboldened Taliban who would offer a safe haven to Al Qeada. Remember them? This is serious stuff here kids. More serious than Chicago and the freaking Olympics!

Look, I support the office of the President of the United States. I just wish he'd put more effort into the things that really matter. The War, our economy, and the OUT OF CONTROL spending. Oprah Winfrey? Puhleeeze...

OK in the other BIG loser department. What the hell is up with the FREAKING Loser celebs who are supporting Roman Polanksi? Are you kidding me? That little sex midget raped a 13 year old girl. He fed her Quaaludes and got her drunk, and then he raped her. If Polanksi was a priest, the world would be crucifying him right now. Guess what Roman? You are not immune to the law. I don't give a rats ass how many good movies you made. You raped a 13 year old girl. You are going to jail, and you, my little Sex Dwarf, will be Raped by some of the locals. The only thing is, you won't be fed Quaalude to lessen the pain. You'll have to man-up and take it like a man. Loser. But to those celebrities who are supporting him, the world should take note of who they are, and chastise them, every time they appear in public.

Speaking of Sexual predators, How about David Letterman? Are you kidding me? Look, the guy who tried to extort money from him, is an equal loser. But for Letterman to make light of the fact, that he's been sleeping with half of the female staff during his monologue, just goes to show you, how out of touch some celebrities are with the rest of us. Losers.

The Patriots host the RED HOT Ravens today. We looked great last week. Let's hope we can continue the trend. Go Patriots!
The SOX are in the Play-Offs as the Wild Card contenders...who knows...? The Bruins got spanked on their home opener but saved face last night against the Hurricanes. Walloping them 7-2! That's more like Bruin Hockey. Win one for Fred Cusick!

Local Surfers Jesse Gould and Max Fatello played Friday night and whooped the snot out of Concord High School. 42-14. There's a photo of Jesse running one back for a TD in the PORTSMOUTH Herald. High School Football is so much fun.

Congrats to NEW Grandparents (Oh Yea) Billy and Alex Ritchie as their daughter Sarah gave birth to a new baby Boy (Nolan) Whoa Grandparents! That's Great News!
Happy 22nd Wedding Anniversary to Cory and Ralph! October 10th!
Happy 50th Birthday to Johnny Meehan!

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- October 10th, 1999 10 years ago this week.
(Below) Taken on my exact 12th wedding anniversary 10-10-87. At the Wall.
Photo By Jeff Winterton

Today- 2009 Monday, September 28th, 2009
*Click on Photos Below To See Photo Galleries

(Above) Dr Brett Reinheimer fresh back from Hatteras slips into a beauty on Monday Morning.Unreal surf all morning long. Monday, September 28th, 2009. Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Mike Stanek embedded in a back lit grinder at Whale Rock in Maine.
Monday, September 28th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Scott Campbell drops into a clean and green yet beefy lefthander on
Monday, September 28th, 2009
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Wave the very first photo I shot on Monday morning.
Monday, September 28th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Dig deep dive deep. Beautiful surf all morning long. Monday, September 28th, 2009. Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Only a handful were on hand to sample these. Monday, September 28th, 2009. Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Look at this wave. Look at this photo. You need to see the rest of these amazing water shots and more. Click on this image. September 28th, 2009 Photo By Brian Nevins
Click on the photo above to see the whole Nevins gallery.

(Above) Brian was all alone out there. Click on this image too see the rest. September 28th, 2009 Photo By Brian Nevins Click on the photo above to see the whole Nevins gallery.

(Above) This is young Kai Nichols. I'm calling this the best photo I've ever seen of Kai. You guys should call Ed and order a high res version of this. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE MORE. September 28th, 2009 Photo By Ed O'Connell
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Phil Carey slipping into a nice lime green faced left. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE MORE. September 28th, 2009 Photo By Ed O'Connell
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.


FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. Monday September 28, 2009 by Michael Sander


Sept. 28 - New Hampshire from Michael Sander on Vimeo.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The Week. 9-28-09

(Above) This week's Blatant Drop-In is dealing with fellow Longboarders. Is no one sacred out there? I hope not. You know the drill, to see the crime you must do the time (by clicking on this image). Click on the image above to see the complete LB DROP IN Sequence. Photos By RALPH

Today- 2009 More Images from September 2009
(Above) Do you know this person? Click on the image above to see who it is?
Photos By RALPH

(Above) My only decent water shot from the Caught in the Rip Session. Click on Image to see the other 3 pics. Photos By RALPH
Today- 2009 More Images from September 2009

(Above) There's a lot of Red and Orange in this pic. Check out the awesome set-up Dave had last week in Mex. 9-28-09. Click on the image above to see the whole Gallery.
Photos courtesy of Dave Cropper

Today 2009-Surf Community Video
*Below is a video made by Joe Carter of the Lil Miss Molly Paddle on August 22nd, 2009. Watch's really something special.

Molly's Send-off Party from Joe Carter on Vimeo.

Today 2009-WEST COAST ACTION from 54th Street in Newport Beach, California
*Ben Ginsberg has placed himself front and center to capture some of the Hottest Surf Action to come out of the Left Coast. Check out his Gorkin pics from the Lost Star that he shot on Friday, October 2, 2009.

(Above) That's Aaron Cormican of LOST Fame at 54th Street doing what he does best. Blasting Caps. All day long. 10-2-09. Click on the image above to see the whole Gallery.
Photos by Ben Ginsberg

(Above) That's radical. That's Gorkin. That's Aaron Cormican of LOST Fame at 54th Street. 10-2-09. Click on the image above to see the whole Gallery. Photos by Ben Ginsberg


From Lenny and Arlene Nichols Cape Hatteras ESA Trip September, 2009
From Lenny and Arlene and Kai Nichols Cape Hatteras ESA Trip September, 2009

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- Yet another Incredible Invisible Surfer Photo Captured at The WALL!
Oh my dear Lord...

(Above) This is some wild stuff...I can't believe I'm actually capturing this stuff on film. I should probably try and sell this to some news station. I mean...come on...Invisible surfers at the wall? That's Big news. *To see what you might of seen, put the cursor over the photo. Photo by RALPH


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