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Ralph Pic Of The Week

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week from past weeks click here.

March 25th, 2007

If I were to pick out just one line. One sentence. One bit of advice to share with all of you, it would be these simple words. DON'T GIVE UP. No Matter What. DON'T GIVE UP. No matter what you do in life. No matter what anyone else tells you. Remember those simple words. Especially in Surfing. If you find yourself stuck in the impact zone paddling out on a big day. Don't Give up. If you find yourself trapped in a treacherous rip with no board and a broken leash. Don't Give Up. Life lessons I've drilled into my own children's heads. DON'T GIVE UP. Simple, yet powerful words. You will look back on your life, and think about a time, when all hope seemed lost, when you could of easily packed it in, but instead, you hung in there, and beat whatever it was that was trying to hold you back.


What brought this on? Several things. Talking with close friends about marriage. Mending an old friendship that had gone sour. And finally, I was thinking about a time when a friend and fellow surfer, Mitch Hargraves and I started to paddle out at the Wall on a Big Day in the early 90's, or late 80's, and we were met by a series of waves, that seemed to be relentless, and was corduroy to the horizon. I kept yelling over to him "DON'T GIVE UP!"

I'm sure Mitch remembers this. We had to have paddled for over 30 minutes NON-stop. Duck diving into oblivion. The roaring, deafening sound of those waves pounding us, almost into submission. But we did not give in. Oh we wanted to all right. But we were both aware of each other. Side by side, taking each wave on the head, and getting completely giddy over it. We made it outside and were exhausted. But we both knew something special had just occurred. That we had faced insurmountable odds and beat them. We did not give up.

Now, there is NO shame in being beaten back by waves. We've all gone through it in our lives. Each and every one of us has had to at some point (usually early on in our surfing career) turn back and head for shore. And like I said. There's NO shame it that. In fact, it's common sense that you would and should. Especially if your life is in danger. But when it's not life threatening and more of just an inconvenience for you. That's when you pull out all the stops and dig deep and push forward. Mitch and I that day shared that feeling. I know there are many of you who read this column every week who has felt that same euphoria.

Jack Keefe and I did a carbon copy of the Mitch Hargrave story. This was during the insane Summer of 95. And, it was again, at the Wall. We looked at each other that hot summer morning as 6-8' glassy peaks were unloading a mere 50 yards from where we were spinning our wheels. We gave each other words of encouragement, as we struggled and fought for every inch of our battle. The reward was getting those perfect waves with no one else out. Talk about satisfaction.

I'm sure Mr Keefe remembers that day as well.

Like I said, we've all had them. And it's not just surfing. It's life in general. Like marriage. It's easy to just give up. Lots of people have and will continue to quit. The towns and cities we live in are filled with broken homes and single parents. The hard part has always been to try and make it work. Anybody can quit. Anyone. It's the easiest thing to do. I quit. I give up. I'm turning back. This morning I said these words to two friends who are planning on getting married in October.
My wife and I will be celebrating 20 years this coming October. Another friend, Angela who owns JB's and 931 said we should get a medal. I don't know about that. My parents were married for 50 years before my dad passed away. Lots of people stick it out. Frank and Ginny Grondin have been married for over 50 years. It can be done.

It's simple. You just Don't Give Up.

In the the Seacoast news department, we want to shout out to Angela at JB's and 931 Ocean who's having a birthday today. I believe, she's gotta be close to 21. She looks great and is doing great. Let's hope she continues to serve the surf community with great bagels and coffee in the morning at JB's and great dinners and spirits at nite at 931 Ocean. Also my youngest Noelle turns 12 on the 27th. Her birthday is the same day as my late father and late Uncle. It was fun when she was younger they were both around. We had quite the birthday party.

Last week after surfing those great St Patty's Day weekend waves, a couple surfers left the Wall and were on their way home, when they were involved in a serious auto accident. One of them Dwight Churchill got a few staples/stitches in the head. Talk about post surf session bummers. I guess the other driver blind sided them. They never saw it coming.
So from all of us on the surf scene, and especially from Cinnamon Rainbows, we want to wish Dwight a quick recovery, and hope he gets back into the water soon enough. Another reminder for all you young surfers (and Old stubborn types) ) to wear seatbelts.

Not that you needed one.

I also want to send another big shout out to longtime surfer Tony Beradini who was just released from LAHEY after a week long stay for the replacement of the hip. It seems like a lot of the surfers in the area have now gone in for these new parts. Which got me thinking. Would you opt for the new replacement hip, if it meant you could extend your surfing life? Hell yes I would! In fact, where do I sign up? I wouldn't mind being the bionic man. You know. A couple of knees. A couple of hips. Maybe a shoulder or two. Hell, turn me into the Million Dollar Man if you want.
If it means I get to surf longer and ultimately be happier... well, put me on that Titanium hip list.

Tony will be out of the water for a few months, however, he'll more than make up for it on the other end.

I ran into Danny Miller's brother Sean and some of Danny's friends this past week. Sean told me they found Danny's boat the Lady Luck. She was 535' down and laying on her port side. According to the USCG there did not appear to be any structural damage. Also, they did not probe into the boat, so there was no sign of either Danny or boat Captain Sean Cone.

It's still a very sensitive subject for his friends and family, and indeed, the whole surf community. Until, they find his remains, there will be no closure. I know the Coast Guard and his friends and family are working day after day in trying to find out what happened.

Meanwhile, if you want to do something you can donate to the Landon Miller fund. Landon was Danny's young 6 month old son. There's info here on this page on how you can help little Landon out.

Say a prayer for the family of both Danny Miller and Sean Cone that they find them and bring them home.

Please Remember The Danny Miller Foundation.
Donations for Late Surfer Danny Miller's young son can be made to The Landon Miller Fund through ANY Citizen Bank.
Or send your donation to:
The Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862

Click below to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to
North By Northeast

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



Yesterday 1972 A Young Vince Cuts back on a 7'2" Single Fin

(Above) It's funny how some of you are riding retro boards like them FISHES. I've got one and I like it. There's one
Retro board that I don't think we'll see again any time to soon. That's the short mini gun single fin pintail. We rode
them because Gerry Lopez rode them at Pipeline. Hell, isn't the Wall the same as Pipeline? Let me tell you...
the only place that breaks like Pipe is Pipe. Those boards didn't work here in New England.
Video Frame Grab courtesy of SFOD R. Fatello

Today 2007 Yo! SUPb? Dude waaaaa-ss-s-s-s-s supb? S.U.P.B...
Stand Up Paddle Boards Spotted in New Hampshire 3-24-07.

(Above) Lenny Nichols SUPB-ing in New Hammy! Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Marky J Big man Big Paddle Big Board. SUPB in NH! Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above)Lenny, Johnny Reynolds, and Marky J . TEAM SUPB Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) If it looks big and heavy...that's because it is. Lenny Nichols hauling the SUPB.Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Kai Nichols a Little Big Man SUPB-ing in New Hammy! Photo by Arlene Nichols

(Above) Kai Nichols on a board more to his liking.Photo by Arlene Nichols

(Above) Those waves look perfect for Winter Surfer Kai Nichols age 7. Photo by Arlene Nichols

(Above) Gabby waxing the Gidget for an early Spring snow/surf session. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Birthday Girl Angela at JB's being interviewed by Fay and Company.Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

Today 2007 Pura Vida! It's the New Hammy Boys in Costa Rica!

(Above) Casey launches one while Jon prays he lands out in the flat and not on his head.
Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Look warm enough for you? Casey trunking a bottom turn in CR last week.
Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Casey going back for more juice.
Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Garret K snapping a cracker in CR. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Jon G, Casey L and Garret K wondering how cold it is back home in New England. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Garret leaning into a bath water warm bottom turn CR. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Garret banging a Costa Rican lip. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Was it big? No. Was it fun? What do you think? Jon G squirting the turn. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Jon Gozzo Getting Gonzo in CR. Photo by Matos Films

(Above) Jon G getting a little size to himself in CR. Photo by Matos Films

Above) Max Moody from Exeter angles towards local photog Jon Lyman.
Photo by Jon Lyman

( Above) Max Moody working on his tan and trying to get used to not wearing a 6mil wetsuit.
Photo by Jon Lyman

( Above) Max Moody long boarding his way back to New Hampshire.
Photo by Jon Lyman

( Above) Yo Max where did you get that shirt? Surf Free Or Die in Costa Rica.
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

( Above) Scott Lang and Max Moody. NH Posse in CR Photo courtesy of Max Moody

Today 2007 More St Patty's Day... From My Maine Man

(Above) A Pot Of Gold lands in Northern New England...Photo by Nick Lavecchia

(Above) This my friends is Northern New England...Photo by Nick Lavecchia

(Above)St Patty's Day in Northern New England...Photo by Nick Lavecchia

(Above) Clean and Grayish Green in Northern New England...Photo by Nick Lavecchia

(Above) A leaping Leprechaun in Northern New England...Photo by Nick Lavecchia

Today 2007 Some Mo New England Surf

(Above) Nice wave nice color. Photo courtesy of Chris Caccia

(Above) Goofy LB at that cement wall. Photo by Tom Joy

(Above) Evan Nunez North of where I'm sitting. Photo courtesy of Evan Nunez

Today 2007 a Few From The Other Side

(Above) Tony's wicked pissah vacation. Tony why you gotta be so hurtful? Photo by Tony Szabo

(Above) Tony are you trying to be hurtful? This looks like so much fun. Photo by Tony Szabo

Parting Shot 2007 Backdoor Man.

(Below)This poor guy is on the road to nowhere. Still, I bet it was fun while it lasted. Northern New England.
Photo by Nick Lavecchia










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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