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Ralph's Pic Of The Week

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week from past weeks click here.

September 21st, 2008
Last Day of Summer

Ok this was a week we'd all soon like to forget. From the Wall Street collapse, to the collapse at the Wall, to the collapse of the Patriots. What a wacked week.

And if that wasn't bad, today was the last day of Summer. It's not like we didn't know it was coming. Hell we all knew that. But I don't think any of us were truly prepared for the chill in the air on Friday morning. It was stunning. But par for the course this week. The whole Wall Street fiasco was unnerving to say the least. It was strange to see it all unfold the way it did.

I do hope that none of you lost your shirt.

Then, the bitter brisk chill on Friday only added to the chaos. From the Freddie Mac, Fannie May and the Lehman Bros turmoil to the newly wind swell on Saturday that lasted into today. But with that swell brought record crowds.

Now, I really can't complain about crowds, seeing how I am part of the problem. This weekly column/blog feeds into the masses as much as the other guilty parties.
And by guilty parties, I do mean the advent of modern technologies. Wave cams, cell phones, computers etc etc. I am part of the machine that feeds the masses.

So, I really have no business bitching to you guys.

However, I was out early Saturday morning and I was riding my new shortboard. The "Magic" board I wrote about last week. I was stoked to have surf again and although my inner gut feeling said this day was not for that particular board, I threw caution to the wind and paddled out on it anyway. Turns out, my gut feeling was right. The waves were waist to bellybutton high, but they were weak. And weak is not what that board is all about.
I should of had my other "Magic" board.

That being a longboard.

I was so frustrated that only those of you who ride shortboards can relate to. When every single person sitting out in the line-up is on a longboard it just makes for slim pickings. I realized (albeit too late) the reason why we ride longboards round these parts. You catch waves easier when the waves are gutless.

And trust me. The waves were gutless yesterday and today. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back to yesterday. So I'm sitting there, or rather, I am paddling all over the place, trying to snag a peak before someone else does. Or to be more specific, a longboarder.

And where I was surfing, there were a couple of kayakers. Now for the record, I really don't care what anyone rides. It's none of my business. Longboard, shortboard, boogieboard, Stand Up Paddle Board and yes...the Kayak. I don't care.

Whatever floats your boat.

I do care if you are getting more than your share of waves and not willing or conscious enough of giving any up for anyone else. Case in point. Saturday morning. I was sitting there watching these two kayakers get wave after wave. A nice set loomed on the horizon and the first Yakker got a wave and the second Yakker paddled for a wave. And much to my surprise, there was a third wave.

My wave.

And it was bigger and better than the first two. I paddle for it and catch it with surprising ease and make a few turns as I head into the inside section.

I think you all know where this is going.

I get to the inside section and the Yakker who went for the second wave decided that he is going to catch my wave as well. I did the proverbial..."Hey hey hey HEY!" But it was all to no avail. He dropped in on me, and I had to straighten out. I was admittedly pissed.

"What the...?"

The guy, who was probably in his twenties, looks at me and says...'You do NOT own this wave!" I detected an accent. But honestly my friends, he could of been from NH, Maine, or Mass and I would of been just as upset.

"I do own the wave." I said. "I bought it back in 1964, and I'm still making payments on it."

At that point, his partner yells over to me. "I don't think he understands the rules, I will tell him." I shake my head in acknowledgment. Maybe he's gonna figure it out before the day is through. I hope so. Meanwhile, I'm thinking that some of the Magic in my 'magic board' has evaporated.

I cursed myself under my breath..

The crowds today were just as bad. Except today, I had the board of length. And even though it was crowded, I was able to snag a few good waves. And I might add, I gave up a few nice ones to some shortboarders. Why not? It's the least any longboarder can do.

Take a few, and give up a few. You know, The Yin and the Yang of surfing in a crowd.

And although I did not ride my fave new board, I did have a good time. I think everyone who was out there with me will attest to that. There were almost enough waves to go around for everyone.










Although I did have one tense moment. I was paddling back out into the lineup when a chest high set came in. As I was preparing to duck dive through them, I noticed a beginner paddling harder than anyone has ever paddled before. He was determined to catch this wave. The only problem was, the wave had broken about a minute before, and so he was in all actuality, paddling for the white water. And, I was directly in his path.

There was no time to yell out a warning. Besides I don't think he would of understood the reason for a yell. No, I had a split second to push my board under his board and dive for the bottom. Somehow I popped up unscathed. But I was tangled in my own leash. And my ear plug had popped out. As I was trying to put it back in, a second wave hit me and I lost the plugs.

They are the clear "Doc Plugs" and so it's virtually impossible to see them in the water. But I can't surf without them. So I began my search. My buddy Skip was heading in and asked what I was doing. When I told him he laughed and shook his head. Now I knew it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. After all, the doc plugs are clear. I knew it was hopeless. But I searched anyway. And just when I was about to give up I looked in the sand about 20 yards away and spotted them. I hooted and yelled to Skip who hooted back.

Life was good again.

Then I went home and watched the Patriots game. And just as quickly, life was a topsy turvy mess. Look, I have mentioned several times over the last few months, that I am not over the loss we suffered during the Superbowl. That game took so much out of me. And I know it took a lot out of you other Pats fans. And I also know, that if we were still hurting from it, the players and the coaches had to still be stinging from it. Sunday's game was proof of that.

Losing Tom Brady the first game of the year was the final nail in the coffin. Yes I said that Cassel had a chance and that the defense would come together, as would our running game. And of course there's the Belichick factor.

And no self respecting Pats fan would argue that we would beat the Dolphins today. And not just beat them, but have a field day with them. Today was supposed to be the day that Cassell and Moss started their love relationship while a jealous Tom Brady would be steaming mad at home.

Only to have Giselle rub his sore knee and tell him how handsome he was cooing "Don't worry Tommy, they will all welcome you back next year." Well, none of that happened. Someone forgot to tell the Dolphins that they sucked and that they were supposed to lose.

Well, at least we can stop stressing over the "Perfect Season" monkey. The Bills, Cowboys and the Giants are 3-0 and there might be another team or two. But your New England Patriots are 2-1. And things look bleak.

Oh well, it's only a game. Besides, there was surf today. So whenever there's surf on a Sunday and the Pats are know where I'll be.

Surfing with 300 of my close friends.

Hey last night I saw some serious talent. The Makaha Sons were in Exeter and they put on a hell of a show. Credit Rick Savastano for bringing these talented musicians and recording artists back to NH. The Makaha Sons always bring some super talent with them. And last night was no different.

Guitar virtuoso Barry Kimokeo blew everyone's mind with his mind numbing playing. Really a pleasure to listen and watch these talented musicians. Daniel Ho was also a treat with his Slack Key guitar playing and his ukulele soloing. And of course local vocalist Margo Reola brought the house down.

So a big "Mahalo My brothers" to the Savastanos and the Makaha Sons. On a serious note. Last night's proceeds (or a portion of it) went to benefit the Peasegreeters. They are a non profit organization that is made up of war Veterans and civilians who greet every flight to and from the Global war on Terrorism. Having been to many of them myself, I can tell you all first hand that it is right on par with what we did with the Wounded Warriors project this summer.

Truly a rewarding experience that everyone should try.

These men and women don't just say they support the troops they actually TELL The troops how much they support them. Go to and find out when the next flight is either leaving or coming home.

Local Rye NH surfer transplant Oakley Clark wants all you NH surfers and beyond to know that he is working with a a surf film festival in New York at the the end of this month. You can find out more info at the website.

And don't forget to check out Chris Shipley's 2009 Calenders. They are in all the shops

* Happy Birthday to Jacko! September 21st, 2008 and Happy Birthday to Lori Haenn.

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











Yesterday-Summer 1985- Jacko on the Hansen 50-50
(Below) Happy Birthday Jacko. This frame grab was originally shot on Super 8mm movie film.
This ride appears in the SFOD movie "Surfing The Soul". I think Jack still has this board.
Video Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD

2008 Today-September 20, 2008

(Above) Saturday morning lip carve by...dam if I know. But I do know that someone will recognize this
"dude" and let me know. 9 out of 10 times I end up knowing who it is.*See I just found out. It's Tom Hay!
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Jamie Wade used to shoot a ton of photos for me. Then he disappeared. Turns out, Jamie went
out west to LaLa land. Don't know if he's back for good. But it's great to see that he can still pull the trigger
on our local surf scene when he wants to. Saturday morning lip smack by UFO.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Wait is this Casey? Saturday morning white water bouncing.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Saturday morning glass.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Jon Gozzo. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Jon Gozzo again. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Jon Gozzo kelp glide. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Jon Gozzo cut back. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) I think there's a board under his feet. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

(Above) Making the best of the weak swell. Saturday morning 9-20-08.
Photo by Jamie Wade

2008 Today-TS Hanna Revisited- New England September 7-8, 2008.

(Above) Like father like son. Max Fatello in the spot where his dad used to play.
Photo by Ed O'Connell


(Above) Max Fatello's dad going the other way. (Hey I still like to play under the lip.)
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Max coming in for a landing during Hanna.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Me and my Magic Board. TS Hanna. Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Sunday evening when the magic was still fresh.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Gareth Dickens on a Monday morning floater at the Wall.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) North of the cement wall and south of Canada. Hanna pours in.
Photo by Bryan Nicholson

(Above) Mark Henschke finds a glassy Hanna wall.
Photo by Emily

(Above) Is it wrong to post photos of myself? Yes. But hey, it's been so long since I was able to ride a shorter
board, that I can't help myself. Besides, what are you gonna do, fire me?
Photo by Ed O'Connell

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of this INSANE Reef McIntosh Clip at Cloudbreak.
Video Frame grab by Dave Cropper

2008 Today-New England and beyond September 2008.

(Above) OK. Truth be told, I never understood the attraction to this sport. However, I have several close
friends who love NASCAR. Now I have one of my all-time favorite photographers sending me photos
of NASCAR. So for all of you true NASCAR fans, and all you Brian Nevins fans. Enjoy the rush of Nascar.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Pit stop .
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Local crew. And I do mean crew.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) This is an arena. I've heard how loud it gets.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) I hear that brother. Rowdy.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Whoa. Check that speed blur. Can you hear it and smell it?
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Think Brian's digging this?
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) That's a hell of a sponsor.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) OK, if Nevins says this is Insane and a rush, well, it must be. He ought to know.
He's been everywhere and seen it all.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) The rush of NASCAR.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) This was Southern Cal during our Hanna swell.
Photo courtesy of Phil B.

Today 2008 PARTING SHOT Leash Test at the Wall

(Above) Which came first? The board or the body?
Photo by Jamie Wade













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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