September 5th, 2005

I'm sure that many of you feel like I do about the devastating mess in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. It has been one sobering year for us. By us, I mean Surfers. Think about it. Two of the world's biggest Natural disasters that have occurred in our lifetime has Surfing ties. How? The Tsunami last Christmas, and now this Hurricane. Where are the Surf ties? A Tsunami is a Wave. We all want waves. We all want Big waves. That big wave last December killed over 300,000 people. This latest disaster was caused by a Hurricane. We all LIVE for Hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina may very well have caused the biggest loss of life in our country's history involving a Natural Disaster. They are throwing out figures like 10,000. That is staggering. I can't fathom the misery those poor people must be going through.

It's hard to watch the news. But it's harder not to watch.

So...what can we do to help? The people need money. Pledge to the Red Cross. they will direct your pledge. And say a prayer. Say lots of prayers.
I did and will again tonight until the suffering is over.

I heard an interesting concept on why these new Monster storms are gaining strength in the last few years. Global Warming. Hurricanes only happen in August and September. When the water temp is at it's warmest. They Global Warming affect may very well have something to do with these Hurricanes on Steroids.

Speaking of Canes...there's one coming that looks good for us. In other words, we get surf and no one dies.
Nothing to feel guilty about. Unless, you blow off work or some other important family gig to go surfing. (See this week's tip). Her name? Hurricane Maria.

I went down to the Wall to see everyone surf the remnants of Katrina. It was strange watching all the Groms having such a good time. I don't blame them. They're just kids. They were surfing. And Surfing has always been the healer in times of trouble for most of us.
Maybe these kids are smarter than I give them credit for. Maybe they instinctively went surfing to soothe their pain. It's possible. I recently told one of my kids that Surfing has always been my ace in the hole for any sad times in my life. And lord knows, I've had my share. Maybe they figured it out on their own.

The only bummer for the surfers out riding the small Katrina Remnants was it was FREEZING! It was too.
Oh my God was it cold. I saw people wearing boots and gloves. These were the same people who were trunking it the days before. This my friends is New England.

Warm one day, freezing the next.

A few weeks ago I mentioned my movie WINTER 05 and that I would give you all a tip about something to do with that movie. Here's my tip. Labor Day Monday. 10th Street. North Beach...The Wall...1935hrs...

Figure it out. It's FREE.

Got good surf pics? Send em off to me directly.
(See link below) Just make sure they're NOT huge files.
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. Archives

Yesterday 1980 The Gremies...NO SURFING in Dorchester Bay
I played in Rock bands throughout the 70's and 80's. My buddies in other bands and myself put out a single. We had fun making this corny record. I had to pose young Richie Parsons here. He had no idea how to stand on a surfboard. Not bad pose eh?

Photo courtesy of Rich Parsons

The early reports on the New Cropper baby Veda Day are all good. She's beautiful and both mother and baby are doing fine at home. Life is good here on the Seacoast.
Speaking of babies and kids. If you're a surfer and you have young children you might want to check out the annual beach party at Bicentennial Park (across from Cinnamon Rainbows), it's called Surf family Robinson. It's a blast if your kids have an active imagination. It's happening Monday (Labor Day) from 10AM-4PM.

All the tourists go home tomorrow. Hope you had fun surfing our waves this summer. See ya next summer. Hope you all winter well. Until then...Be good.

OK kids, it's time for the 12th Summer Installment of:
"Ralph's Tip of the Week".
The last 11 weeks we've talked about Holding On To
Your Board,
Paddling Common Sense, DROPPING IN, Knowing a Left From a Right, How To Use That Leash, How To Wax Your Board, HOW TO TALK TO A LOCAL
HOW TO GET BARRELED, Which Board Is Best For You?
Which one is best For You? and How To Surf A Hurricane Swell.
See archives for past Tips.

This week's Tip: How To Come Up With A Surf Excuse.
Going Surfing should never be something you need to feel bad about. However, having said that, sometimes you need to bend the truth a little. Let's face it. The non-surfing world just doesn't get it. Thank God. But in order for us to survive in the non surfing world we need to have some fail proof (lame) reasons why we can't go to work or meet your girlfriend's parents or go shopping with the wife. For work. There's always the old stand by. "Hey boss...(cough sniff sniff) I'm not feeling too good today I think I better stay in bed." Depending on what you do for work, you better make dam sure your boss, or co-workers don't take lunch breaks near the ocean. A good rule of thumb is...never let your boss know that you surf. There's no need to bring that up. If you have an office job and you need to meet with a client but the surf came up overnight, I like to use the " I have a Board Meeting this morning need to reschedule." You're not really lying. You do have a board meeting. Your surfboard needs to meet those glassy waves. Whatever you do, don't make up some bad karma excuse. Those only come back to bite you in the ass. Be smart. Be sick, or use some innocent excuse. Or better yet, make up for the lost time with your boss, girlfriend or wife. If they know you, and know that surfing is so sporadic, they'll understand. Except this last winter and summer. I bet lots of you lost your job and or girlfriend this last year. But hey, you still got the surf thing going on. How bad can that be?
I once had a young graphic designer apply for a job with my company. He asked me on the phone, "Would it help me get the job if I told you I surfed?" "HELL NO!" I answered. "What are you kidding Me? I don't need another dam surfer working for me. I know all the excuses!"

My late father used to shake his head at me when I showed up late for all kinds of family gatherings. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Weddings, Baptisms, Graduations...birthday parties. You get the picture. I can remember bending over and have the salt water come pouring out of my nose. I'd look over at my dad and he'd shake his head and say "Surfing." I could only nod and smile.

Next week's Tip: How To Take a Surf Photo.

As always my friends...

Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Click On Wave to Go Back to The Top.

Today 2005 Hurricane Katrina Hits Hampton
A bittersweet swell. Cold water and the cold hard facts at what this storm did to the South.
Photos by John Carden

Below: Casey banking on the cold water holding off until his morning brew kicks in.

Below: Thomas Hay against a beautiful golden backdrop.

Below: Katrina looking good in our front yard

Below: Casey throwing early morning spray at the seals

Below: Tobey is that you? Floating the boat..

Today 2005. Ocean Front Property
Jeff Chamberlain's front porch has a beautiful view.
Photo courtesy of PAYC