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Send em off to me directly.
(See link below) Just make sure
they're 650 pixels wide.
NO bigger NO smaller.
In fact if you have any questions about the
size, email me first and I'll write back.
Start shooting crackie!!

Ralph Pic Of The Week

If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.

May 13th, 2007 Mother's Day

One thousand, five hundred and fifty three miles made all the difference in the world this past week. Huh? The massive extra tropical storm that formed off the Carolinas mid-week and then hit Florida with a four day swell is what I'm talking about. That thing sent waves into South Beach and beyond that looked like (dare I say it?), Backdoor. Or something like it. I mean the shots that were coming into my mailbox were downright disturbing. Check em out below.

Florida was getting unreal overhead surf while we were getting dribbly skunk. Piddly, little, weak smush. That's right, 'smush'. It didn't even warrant to be called mush, it looked that bad. It was hard to look at those photos from Florida. But, I knew I had a job to do, so I got them ready for you to look at. But I must warn you, it is very disturbing to see. Be careful. Make sure you have someone nearby, in case you start Jonsesing.

Trust me it's not easy to view.

The ESA's biggest Northeast Regional contest was in town this weekend. It was a very bitter pill to swallow. For me personally, I was stuck between a rock and hard place. My old allegiance to the Soul Surfers, was battling with my new allegiance with the contest surfers. I was walking the fine neutral line all weekend. One part of me was almost glad that there was no surf, while the other part of me was bumming, that there were no waves.

I wanted surf for two reasons.

I know how much work goes into these major contests. And make no mistake about it, our NNE directors work their asses off trying to make the whole thing go off without a hitch. Lenny & Arlene Nichols and volunteers like Bob McNeil work around the clock to get these events organized, and it's heartbreaking when the surf does not cooperate. It really is. There are so many behind the scenes volunteers working to pull this off. They do it without pay or fanfare. They do it for the kids.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. It's so hard to predict when the surf will be here. Like anyone of us has any control over the ocean and storms in general. I think there's going to be surf on Tuesday (of course the show has left town) of this coming week. Will there be surf? Hell if I know. Like I's a dam crap shoot.

I tell non surfers all the time when they ask me about surf contests. "It's not like any other organized sport you know, like Football, B-ball, Hockey, LAX and Soccer. You just can't count on the "field" being there on Sunday. Sometimes our "Field" does NOT show up. Or worse, sometimes too much of it shows up." That's surfing in a nutshell. And that's been the attraction for all of us, whether you surf in contests, or not. It's the never knowing, where and when it will be good.

Still, I wanted there to be waves for all the young groms. They wanted to perform in their own waves in front of their invited guests from down South. Instead, they had to grovel in the smush. Some of our Northern boys and girls did well, some did not. I will say that, I can't believe that some of those southern Jersey boys can surf the shit out of smushy, pudding waves. I think it was on Friday late in the day, when Anthony, Nick and myself were watching some OPEN heat. Some guy was absolutely killing it on a wave that couldn't have been bigger than knee high. We all looked at each other and shook our heads. "How the hell did he surf that wave like that?" we all asked ourselves. I think it was Rob Kelly. I mean the wave he was riding was a crumbling 1' smushymushyburpingfart of a wave and this guy was hitting the 'make believe lips', he was throwing mini buckets, and cutting back two or three times on each wave. It was weird to watch.

This guy could not have weighed more than 30lbs tops. I mean, he was a dam pencil in a wetsuit. I could only picture myself on the same wave, cursing and sinking up to my eyeballs. Yet, this guy was able to surf it, like it was a head high day at Rincon.

How do you compete against that? I mean really. How do you? It's like seeing future Kelly Slaters in our front yard. Remember, Kelly could surf anything. From 1' mush to 30' Waimea. Kelly Slater was a lifelong member of the ESA. He surfed all these contests. I remember the first time I ever heard about Slater. Kevin Grondin had come back from some surf contest in the 80's and he was talking about this Florida kid who could surf circles around everyone. And, he was doing it, in all kinds of conditions.

It was Kelly Slater. The ESA Surf Champ. The next time someone gives you shit about the ESA, bring up Kelly. That'll shut em up.


Hope you all remember your Mothers today. If you're one of the lucky ones whose mother is still alive, I hope you called her. Or dropped by with a card and some flowers. If your mom lives far away I hope you didn't call collect. And if your Mom has passed...well, I hope you had pleasant memories of her today. I know how hard it is on days like today. Hell, it's hard on most days I'm sure. But special days like today make it harder.

I also hope that if there are any of you out there who do not get along with your Mother that you will try and make an attempt to rectify things. Don't let these regrets haunt you after she's gone. If it's as simple as saying "you're sorry " then might I suggest that you do just that. Say you're sorry (even if she should be saying it to you!). Don't let these future regrets ruin your life. Do it.

Look, she carried your lard ass around for 9 months. She nursed you and fed you. She cleaned your stinky diapers and loved you every step of the way. She fed you and clothed you and loved you like only a mother can love a child. She drove you and your loud ass goofy friends to the beach every day. You owe it to her and to your fond memories to make up and say your sorry.

You can do it and you'll feel better doing it.

Hey last week I might have ruffled a few feathers with my column. And while I hate to keep repeating myself, I feel that I might have to here. This column is my own personal opinion. I'm not trying to convert any of you. I'm not trying to Change The World. I'm just sharing my opinions with you. Most of you agree with what I have to say. While a small percentage of you do not. But that's cool.

While I get about 95% positive feedback from you guys, there's that 5% that don't seem to like some of my babbling. And look, while I'll be the first to admit this, I'm not afraid to reiterate it again. My writing is based on my personal opinion and my personal experiences. Or from firsthand accounts. If it's surfing, politics, or's just me saying this shit. I'm not pontificating. Just giving my two cents worth, as it were. Me, "Ralph." That's my name.

Last week, someone wrote me and went off on some of my talking points in last week's column... While I respect the opinions and feedback from most of you, I have a hard time respecting anyone who hides behind some fake email address. Now Look, I'm not saying that all the phony ID's out there in cyberspace are bad. Hardly. The surf forums for instance. I find them to be mildly entertaining. I get the humor, and the phony handles, on the daily blogs and message boards. What I'm talking about is, when someone singles me out personally, with a direct email to me. And how they don't have the balls to use their real name.

I don't have much respect for that kind of feedback.

If you have something to say, whether good or bad. Use your real name. Don't be afraid. I won't bite (much).

And one more thing, if you don't like what I write...Don't Read it. Just look at the pretty pictures.

The NOR'EASTERS played the other night at the ESA Banquet/Award ceremony. It dawned on the band that night that the Nor'easters are turning 20 years old next Fall. Whoa! How did that happen? Me and my brother Johnny and bassist Whitey and Lenny on drums have been playing this guitar driven sound of Stevie Ray meets Jimi Hendrix for dam near 20 years. We had so much fun rehearsing and playing on Saturday that we're thinking of recording a new CD. The Nor'easters 20 years later.
What do you think?

Happy Mother's Day again to all the Mothers. Both living and those who have passed. A special prayer and positive thoughts to John Bocko. John you are completely surrounded by love, and that will help you here, and on your next journey. Love will help you...

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 1955 Eva (Mother of 7 kids) on a North Shore Beach
We always went to the beach when we were kids. I mean always. We walked from our house. Packed lunches
No sun screen. Nothing. Any kid who grew up near the beach is lucky, my mother loved the beach. Happy Mothers
day Mom, even though your days are still look beautiful to all of us.
Photo by Gus Fatello

Today 2007 THE ESA NERSC Contest at the Wall *Note you will NOT see
any Surf Photos from SFOD here.

(Above) Eva's grandson Mackey V. Striking a pre contest pose. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) The SURF Gel brothers. Check out these local boys product at SurfGel .com
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) NNE Team Director Lenny Nichols with 1st Place Winner Garrett Krapf
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) NNE Team Director Lenny Nichol's kids with 1st Place Winner Nohea Nichols getting a hug from little
brother Kai while sister Julia smiles with her 2nd place trophy
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) NNE Team Rider and never aging competitor Kevin "Doc" Grondin (1st Place) with his wife Kim who placed
in the top five again this year for the Best Beach Moms on the Coast.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) 20 years later and The Nor'easters are still burning up the guitars. At the ESA Banquet.
Photo by SFOD C. Fatello

Today 2007 This week in Florida...DON'T LOOK. REPEAT. DO NOT
LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS...too looked didn't you? Damit!

(Above) Florida this past week. Photo courtesy of The Internet

(Above) More Florida this past week. Photo courtesy of The Internet

(Above) South Beach meets Backdoor. Florida this past week. Photo courtesy of The Internet

(Above) A little bit more. Florida this past week. Photo courtesy of The Internet

Today 2007 The Phantom asks "Guess where?"

(Above) The Phantom asks "Hey Easties...can you guess where this is?"
Photo courtesy of The Phantom

Today 2007 Hawaii in May

(Above) Pipe in May? Well that's what you're looking at crackie!
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Spreading Don Ho's ashes. In celebration of a true Hawaiian Icon.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Super Grom Kalani David age 9.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Kalani David looking like Ricochet Rabbit. Ahhh to weigh 30 pounds again....dam!
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today 2007 Parting Shot....Local Groms Working Together

(Above) Kai Nichols and Phil #2 Manzi carrying a board of length down the beach on Saturday Morning.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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