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Start shooting crackie!!
Ralph Pic Of The Week

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

September 23rd, 2007

I think one of the hardest parts of writing this weekly column and posting these photos every week is, coming to the realization that my days of surf travel, are for the most part, behind me. Let's face it, this Summer was not a summer of Big Surf. So a lot of you packed your trunks and boards and hit it to other surf destinations.

Surf locales that virtually guarantee you waves.

I've had several close friends over the last few months get on powerful jet planes and fly halfway around the world to surf destinations that we all have seen in the mags and other surf DVDs. And if you're thinking that these friends of mine are young and have no real jobs to speak of, well that's just not true either. Some are my age and older.

So why are my traveling days behind me?

Well, working for yourself has it's bennies and it also has it's downside. The bennies are obvious. I can surf locally whenever the surf comes up. And trust me, that's a big one. But, there are the negatives. Taking surf vacations is one of them. Oh, and having three teenagers is another reason why my traveling (currently) is behind me.

Look my wife and I were not born yesterday. We're not about to leave three teens alone at home, and expect them to get along, and do their homework, and go school, and do what teens are supposed to do.

Especially, teens who surf.

So, it's especially hard for me to see and hear of my friends and their wonderful surf trips. I look at the photos of these beautiful waves and think to myself, "I wonder if I could of handled that wave?" Clearly, there were times in my life that I could. I'm no Kelly Slater, not even close. But, there was a time, when I could handle my own out in the tropics and beyond.

I don't know about nowadays.

I think my surf travels as of the last few years, have been more about introducing my kids to the foreign surf. I live my surf dreams through them. And occasionally, I'll get a wave that causes me to put it all together, and for those brief moments, I find myself getting stoked about the simple act of surfing. And honestly, it adds years to my life. Or it does mentally. Here's a secret for you all. In case you have not yet figured this out.

Surfing is the fountain of youth.

My friend LtCol Jay Hammer who grew up surfing the waves here in New England, more specifically, he mostly surfed here in New Hampshire. And make no mistake about it. During his reign here, he could surf as good and as stylish as anyone. Well Jason called me today from Hawaii. He proceeded to tell me of beautiful head high days at a well known spot on the North Shore that he shared with just 6 other people.

I was jealous.

I mean, Dam. Here's my buddy Jason "Rat" Hammer still getting tropical waves, while I was home groveling at the Wall this week, during that two day, mini swell, with about 60 to 100 other surfers, all banging rails and surfing like rusty old stick figures.

Rusty? That's right. Rusty, because we don't get to surf good waves enough around here. We are rusty and "kooking out" on every other wave, because we just don't surf enough. It only stands to reason. If you don't get good waves, you won't get to be a good surfer.

Then I thought about next winter, and made a decision.

I will go on a surf trip to some tropical destination if it's the last thing I do. And I'll have the photos and video to post here for you to all see. And maybe, just maybe, one of you will think to yourself, "Dam that Ralph, he's got it made, getting to go on these cool surf trips."

And somewhere, I will be smiling and shaking my head.

So we are officially in the months of Autumn. Although it does not feel like Fall. I do hope that you all got some of those waves on Wednesday and Thursday. It might not have been big, but it was something to push you along. And...the water was still very warm. Was it worth skipping school or work for? I don't know. Maybe. It's hard to tell what kind of surf we're going to get this Fall. I mean hell, the dam forecasters are now going back on their Hurricane predictions for this season. No shit. Like we need you experts to tell us that there's been no significant storms in the Eastern Seaboard? Hello?

It's been a lackluster first month of Hurri season.

But don't feel too bad. The boys on the west coast are suffering too. They have had a rather smallish summer as well. Maybe Al Gore was right. Maybe this Global Warming thing is for real? Nah...

There has been surf in Hawaii this summer. Yep. The 50th state has been pumping on the south shore all summer. In fact, both the North Shore and the South shore have been sharing different swells these past few weeks.
Might I suggest a trip to the Islands? If you have never been to Hawaii, you really need to think about going at least once in your life. Especially the North Shore. I have been many times in my life, and each and every time, it has been an experience that you cannot find anywhere else.

The Aloha state has it all.

Speaking of which. Last night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing and hearing the super talented Makaha Sons and Friends at the Meehand Center for the Performing Arts in Stratham, NH. It was a night of Aloha as the beautiful voices of Louis "Moon" Kauakahi, Uncle Jerome Koko and little brother John Koko sang and played their instruments, in a rich and lush traditional Hawaiian style.

They were joined by soloist Hoku Zuttermeister, Andy Wang and local (up and coming superstar) Margo Reola.

Credit the Savastano brothers, Rick and John for bringing this night of Aloha to the seacoast. It was truly a night to remember. And the Makaha Sons sang the National Anthem at the Patriots Game today in front of 68,000 fans.

And how about them Patriots? Oh baby! Now you all know I am a fan of the team, and you all know that I'd be saying something about last week's destruction of the San Diego Chargers and today's Massacre of the Buffalo Bills but did any of you think that they would be this good? I mean come on! Are you kidding me? Three consecutive weeks they score 38 points? Huh? Who can beat them? The Colts? Maybe. The Steelers? Possibly. The Packers...who knows? All we know (and I say we, because they are called the New England Patriots, and the reason you're reading this shit is because you have some kind of tie with New England), they look unbeatable.

And with all the negative BS that went on the last couple of weeks, this is exactly what we all need.

Hey...the Red Sox clinched their spot in the Play-Offs too. Oh yea, it's all coming together. The Sox, the Pats, the Surf...oh right...there is no surf. Hey who cares. It's Sunday, and Red Sox nation and Patriots Nation is celebrating.

Let's all feel good about ourselves.

In the upcoming weeks we'll be posting info on the GARY RITCHIE Fundraiser. *Gary is doing better and thanks all of you for your positive thoughts and prayers.
***My column will be late next week. due to my participation in Vietnam Veterans Memorial Surf Paddle

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 1983 Hampton Surf School
(Below) I watched my son and his friends teach people of all ages and sizes how to surf this summer. I could not
believe how many people learned how to surf this summer. It almost frightened me to think that there will be that
many new surfers in the water. Then I got this in my email box. I guess this is nothing new to the area. Look closely
at this photo, you may recognize some of the instructors.
Hampton Union Newspaper clipping courtesy of Erin Keenan.

Today September 22, 2007 The Makaha Sons & Friends

(Above) They started in 1976 and 22 albums later, they are still performing beautiful Traditional Hawaiian music.
Last night at the Meehan Performance Center for the Performing Arts. Left to right John Koko, Jermone Koko
and founding member Louis "Moon" Kauakahi.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) At the Meehan Performance Center for the Performing Arts. The Makaha Sons with Hoku Zuttermeister.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Local singing sensation Margo Reola opened up the show. Look for big things to happen for Margo.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) A Night of Aloha in New Hampshire.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) A night to remember. The night was sponsored by Cinnamon Rainbows and the event was put together by
The Savastanos, Rick, Janet, John and Barbara. Aloha and Mahalo.
Photo by John Carden

Today 2007 September Bernie Baker's Hawaiian Billabong Girls Contest

(Above) Being a Local and surfing in Hawaii has it's advantages.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Who says girls can't surf?
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Clean and tropical green.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) In your face homer. Jamming a cuttie.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Check it out boys. This is called style.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Once again...power and style and oh yea, beauty.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Some of you wish you could surf this good.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) I wish I could do this without breaking my back.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) A combination of power flow and turns.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Somebody had to win. That little goofyfoot could certainly carve. Congrats Alessa!
Photo by Bernie Baker

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of Zach Humphries ABOVE FOR a SHORT WINDOWS MEDIA
FILE VIDEO CLIP of Cape Hatteras ESA 2006 Championships from
VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

Today 2007 Surf Images from the NH Surf Crew in the Tropics last week

(Above) I'm not sure who this is...but it might be Demetri Valhouli. These are from the Boat Trip the NH crew
took last couple of weeks.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) This is Demetri Valhouli. Demetri is one of the 3 Valhouli brothers from NH who grew up surfing here
in New England. They are part of our extended family and we always love to see Demetri when he comes home.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) Demetri Valhouli cutting back to New Hampshire.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) This could be Zappy, Christos, Demetri or Kenny...but because NO one sent me any info, well,
we'll just have to guess.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) That's a nice wave. Lucky SOB's.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) I believe I could handle this wave. I'd like to at least try. Demetri Valhouli not missing New Hampshire.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) Big beautiful and hollow.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) I'm sure this wave is a difficult drop and not for the feint of heart.
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

(Above) How bad do you want it? Push yourself over the edge and go...
Photo courtesy of Demetri Valhouli

Today 2007 Surf Images from the Tropics

(Above) This Left in Indo can get big. Photo courtesy of Bruce Young

(Above) This Left in Indo can also get clean. Photo courtesy of Bruce Young

Today 2007 Last Week's Phantom Mission

(Above) The objective. Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) The players. Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) The Master Longboarder Tom Craig on his knees looking a lot like the old poster from the 60's of a
longboarder paddling out in the same neck of the woods on his knees. Photo courtesy of the Phantom

Above) Tom Craig comes from a long line of surf legends and his son Cody is one of the best on the planet. Take
note of this stance Cody...that's your daddy!
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Up close and personal.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) OK, let me get this, hood and no gloves? What's up with this look?
Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) Green fishes! Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) The Phantom Crew. Photo courtesy of the Phantom

(Above) No one said it was going to be easy. Photo courtesy of the Phantom

Today 2007 Local Comedian Jimmy Dunn is Opening a New Comedy Club
in Portsmouth, NH. Check it out!

(Above) Attention surfers: Put your cursor over this poster to check out Jimmy's ultimate surfpad in Hampton
that's he's selling. Walk to the ocean from here.

Today 2007 Parting Shot...Nice Aloha Shirt...wait look closely at this who would wear something like this? Ha!

(Above) From last night's Makaha Sons concert, a unique Aloha Shirt for Marines Only.
. Photo by John Carden
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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