Got good surf pics?
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.

October 3rd, 2007

I thought I mentioned I'd be late this week. I didn't think it would be this late. But better late than never. Lots to talk about kids. First and foremost, I think there's waves down the street. I say think, because I can't see through the fog. Man that is some thick stuff. Just as well, the last I did see through a break in the fog, it was crowded with all kinds of crafts out there. And the surf was minimal.

What the hell is going on? Are we really going to get skunked? Dam. We've had, swell after swell potential, fall apart in front of our very eyes. It truly is disheartening. And there's really nothing we can do. Unless you can afford to leave and go somewhere where there is surf. I mean, real surf. I just came back from California and there was some surf, but nothing to write home about. Or in my case, to write about here. I will say, that the trip I just took, was well worth the effort it took for me to get there and for those who put me up over the weekend.

It was that good. Not surf wise. Soul wise.

A few months ago some guys on the West Coast came up with a Memorial Service that caught my attention and the attention of other like minded surfers. And that was, a Surf Memorial Paddle for Vietnam Veterans. Or more specifically, Vietnam Veterans who surf. When I first read it, I had to go back and reread it just to make sure I was not seeing things. But it was true.
Dam, I thought, what a novel idea

There was an article in the last Surfers Journal that was about these guys who surfed in Vietnam. There was also mention of a new movie coming out called "Between The Lines". My friend, and fellow surf movie maker Joe Carter sent me an email a few months ago, tipping me off to these guys. One thing lead to another, and the next thing I knew, I was in constant communication with them.

Ty Ponder is the guy making the movie. He's got a company called Pure Frustration Productions on the West Coast. He's made a few movies one of them being SEA LEVEL PRESSURE. But this idea about making a movie about Surfers who surfed in Vietnam and still surf today, is unique in so many levels. I know there's a bunch of you who's dad's served during the Vietnam War. And maybe, some of them actually surfed. Not in Nam, but somewhere else. Maybe around here.

Ty's movie caught my eye to say the least. And this paddle? Well, I was all over it. I flew out on Friday night and returned on Monday AM. It was a whirlwind tour that I still have not fully recovered from. Both physically and mentally. It was for me, a true cleansing of my soul. As I was in company of others who share this special bond of War and Surfing. It's something that only War Veterans who are Surfers can fully understand.

Imagine a surf paddle much like the one's you've all seen around here. The last one being for Danny Miller this last Summer. Only this, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle Out was for the 58,000 plus who were killed during that 10 year war. It was unbelievable to be part of something like this. I met Vietnam Veteran Surfers from the East Coast, from Hawaii, the Gulf Coast and of course, from the West Coast. It was a trip.

And, I met a fellow Vietnam Veteran Surfer who lives right down the street from me who I never met until the day before we both flew out. Tom Woods. Granted, Tom has only been living here for a few years, but it's amazing to think, that there was someone else out here who shares the same background as me. New England Surfing and being a War Veteran. It made me think how we live our lives sometimes. How's that? Well, there's so many surfers around these parts, that it's easy to slip between the cracks. I'm always joking that I don't have room for any new friends, because my friend quota is already overflowing. I guess I'm only half joking. I'm as guilty as the next guy, when it comes to keeping a low profile and not looking to start a conversation with some stranger in the water.

Although, I have more than I let on.

Imagine how surprised I would of been, had I met Tom through a shared surf session here in New England? That would of been insane. Instead, I met him through this special paddle on the West Coast. What's the motto of this story? I don't know. Give a wave-Get a Wave. Share your thoughts with those sitting next to you.

You never know who it might be.

The other good thing about going to California this last weekend was hooking up with my old friends. Robin Rowell is like a long lost brother to me. We go back a long way, and share a lot of memories together. Some good and some bad. It was good to reconnect with him. We stayed at his nephew's house. Corey Howard. Another East Coast transplant. He and his brother Kyle Howard (yes he's from Hampton too) live out there and send a big shout out to all their Hampton Peeps. It was good to see those guys.

We shared allot of laughs and a few waves in the short time we spent together. We even got to check out RICK GRIFFIN'S Art exhibit in Laguna Beach. Rick was my main influence growing up as an artist. His stuff is still mind blowing after all these years. It was good to share his art with Corey, who's an up and coming artist himself.

The crew is back from Cape Hatteras. I don't know exactly who did what, but from what I can gather, The elders did fine and the youngins, not so good. It's a very difficult contest scene down there for our team. Not that we can't take home the hardware, we have in the past. It's just that, some of those kids can surf their collective asses off. Some of them are home schooled, and winter in the tropics. Imagine living in places like Costa Rica and Puerto Rico all winter? And home schooling? What is that? Especially for a surfer? Are you kidding me? They must be laughing every time they paddle out. Talk about having it made in the shade.

It's easy to get good at surfing when you're constantly in trunks and surfing real waves. Every single day. Our local kids get a handful of real waves each year. The rest of the time, they are groveling in the slop with everyone else.

It's not easy being a competitive surfer round these parts.

Still, the ESA-NNE is a great organization for the New England kids and adults. It's been like a family for most of us since our kids were young Menehunes. Besides, how bad can surfing in waves with just a handful of others be? Heck that's worth the entry feel alone.

OK can we talk about the Patriots? Are you kidding me? Now I fell asleep during the game the other night, but not before I saw some amazing offensive and defensive wizardry. I mean Tom Brady's first TD pass to Randy? Helloooooooo? That was Michael Jordan like. That shit is fo real boy! I mean your New England Patriots are the team to end all teams. Are they as good as the 72 Dolphins? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not.

The 72 Dolphins were special.

All I know is, the Patriots are so much fun to watch and it so less stressful to watch them now, than they used to be. I look forward to each week with glee. Like a kid in a candy store. Four consecutive weeks they score over 30 points! There's a few teams out there who can rattle their cage. The Colts, The Packers and the Cowboys. Then there's the trap games. Like this weekend against the Browns. I don't care if they beat the 72 Dolphins record. I just want to see them go deep in the Play-Offs.

And oh yea...Rodney's back! And he's off the juice!

The Red Sox play tonight and all eyes are on FENWAY as they host the Angels. Could this be a repeat of 2004? When both the Pats and the Sox take it? Can you handle that kind of excitement again? Hell yea we can!

Please check out Jesse and Return To Zen at 931 Ocean every Thursday. His music is so happening it must be seen and heard to believe. Truly a unique talent that is playing in our midst. Check Jesse and Dennis out!

In the upcoming weeks we'll be posting info on the GARY RITCHIE Fundraiser.

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
Danny. North By Northeast

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



Yesterday 1968 South Vietnam. Hampton's Tom Woods Get's One.
(Below) This photo is amazing if you stop and think about where and when it was taken. The year was 1968 and the
place was Vietnam during the peak of the war. This is local Surfer Tom Woods sliding along at a secret spot south
of Saigon. Tom was with me in California this past weekend at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle.
Photo courtesy of Tom Woods

Today September 30, 2007 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle

(Above) Tom Woods left and yours truly right standing in front of the display board just prior to the paddle.
Two Hampton boys on the West Coast Representing New England.
Photo by courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) The first meeting at Swamis. Left to right: (standing) Ron Sizemore, Tom Woods, Jerry Anderson,
me and Joe Giannini all Veterans of Nam. Kneeling in front is Ty Ponder (film maker).
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) I paddled in memory of the late Joe Somogyi. A local Hampton Surfer.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Some Hawaiian Hula Dancers before the main event.
Photo courtesy of SFOD

(Above) The Beach Color Guard just prior to the paddle.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Beach Firing Squad just prior to the paddle.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Vets enter the water at Oceanside.
Photo by Robin Rowell courtesy of SFOD

(Above) There was a slight swell running. But these guys could handle it.
Photo by Robin Rowell courtesy of SFOD

(Above) My new friend Joe Giannini from New York with a handful of flowers heading out to join his brothers.
Photo by Robin Rowell courtesy of SFOD

(Above) "Diki Dow" with Longboard and the original China Beach guru with SUPB.
Photo by Robin Rowell courtesy of SFOD

(Above) The paddle begins.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Vets getting it together. Having done a few of these, it's hard to stay lined up in a circle
especially if there's any kind of surf.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Marine Corps Firing Squad prior to the Rifle salute and playing of TAPS.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Paddle Circle at Oceanside Pier. Sunday September 30, 2007.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) Then it was time to head in...we all caught a wave in.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) I'll bet anything this Vietnam Vet never figured he'd be doing this almost 40 years later.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) Some of these guys were good longboarders.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) Most were just stoked to be there.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The surf was not that good, but then again, it wasn't about the surf. It was bigger than that.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) No one was going to just paddle in.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) There was plenty of hooting going on out there.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The Beach met the Vets with Fresh Lei's.
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) Everyone got a Lei...(wait did I just write that?)
Photo by Jim D. Babwe

(Above) The outdoor stage and shell. Check out those old woodies. (The cars not the old dudes).
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Nice Woodie.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Tom on the far right wearing his colors GO SOX!
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) My friend Joe Giannini was the last one in...
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of Bruz Bowden ABOVE FOR a SHORT WINDOWS MEDIA
FILE VIDEO CLIP from 1968 in New England VIDEO clip courtesy by SFOD R. Fatello

Today 2007 September, More From This Weekend

(Above) Corey, Kyle and Robin at Trestles.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Knee paddler
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Styling on a small Doheny Wave.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Kyle trestles walk. *Kyle's been surfing good boys. He'll be back next summer to show you.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Salt Creek...just not big enough.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) At the Rick Griffin show.
Photo courtesy of R. Fatello SFOD

Today 2007 September, BIG ROCKY Tiny Boaty

(Above) Somewhere in California, Big Rocky takes it easy, as the Boys of Phantom Land take him on a nice little
boat ride to places of unspeakable pleasures.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Like this...
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) That it is one nice looking peaky bowl. I think Rocky likes it!
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) This is a little boat for Big Rocky.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) But check out that little hole, that the little boat can get you to. That's nice. Eh Rock?
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Doug shows us the pink buoy as Rock shows Doug his backside.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) These are the kind of locals you don't want to piss off.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Surfing the shoreline. Yikes that looks close.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) "Wait? Was that a missile launch I just heard? Dam...we's in trouble now boys!"
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Everywhere in this wacked out surf world we all live and surf in, there's a crew of friends that score unreal
waves and create memories that last a lifetime. The Phantom and his crew are no different than you and I.
Mr. Hair, Wheels, Doug and Rocky.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

Today 2007 September, Bernie and the Groms

(Above) Little guy, little board and BIG Confidence.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Nice! This kid can surf!
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Grom 2 heading for the mature zone.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Check it. This is called hitting the lip.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Big board, big man, big confidence.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Above) The Stand Up Paddleboard.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today 2007 Parting Shot... This has been a Vietnam Veteran and Hawaiian
theme the last couple of weeks. Why not end it with John McCain (Vietnam Vet)
doing the Shaka with some local surfers?

(Above) Photo courtesy of Jimmy































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Click On Wave to Go Back to The Top.