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June 7th , 2009 16 Weeks Of Surf...But Who's counting?

"Three feet? Dude that's not 3'...three feet?" The know-it-all surf guru spoke."That's a foot maybe..." He continued from his high perch up on the cement wall. "Now wait a minute. I may not be a College Math Professor, but I think I know what 12" looks like. And that ain't it" I answered with an equal air of confidence. "I'm not talking about the conventional way of measuring. I'm talking about the way REAL surfers measure wave heights." He stammered. "Ahhh you see, we're off to a bad start here." I said quoting the infamous Jerky Boys line. "That's the problem with you people. You don't see things in the conventional state. You see it in some kind of twisted dwarf mentality." I added. "Look all I'm saying is...that is not a 3' wave." He said pointing at a longboarder riding a wave that was up to his shoulder. "I agree. It's slightly bigger." I quickly reply. "Are you f______g kidding me?"He asked with a look of pure incredulous disgust. "Yes I'm sure. I know the person riding that wave. He's at least 6' tall. 3 feet on him, would be at his waist or lower. If the wave was a foot, as you say, it would be below his knee. I'm pretty sure that wave face is at the very least 3' high."

"You don't measure the wave face!" He yells. "You measure the back of the wave." He continued with his rant as he jumped down off of the Wall. "You DON'T SURF THE BACK of the Wave Einstein!" I yell back as we get in each other's faces. "That's how you measure waves in Hawaii and California." He yelled. "Really, so they have a different measuring system than we do?" I quipped. "That's right!" he says. "So I'm guessing, it must be based on some ancient Macho Surfer Bullshit, that was designed to underscore the wave heights and power, to make the visiting white haole boy, tremble with fear, when he realizes, that these Big Waves are only half the size he thinks they are. What a crock of shit!" I erupted.

"Well that's just the way it is." He said as he walked off, uninterested in the waist to shoulder high surf. After all, it was only a "foot" in his mind.

I'm not really sure where this whole wave calling scale first originated. But my guess is, it was from the California boys surfing in Hawaii in the early 60's, and busting on their friends who just flew in from the Mainland. You know you can just picture it. "Holy Crap! How big are those waves?" They'd ask trembling with fear. "What? You mean those waves?" They'd say, pointing out to the blustery Sunset Beach peaks, that were easily 10-15'. "Those waves are 4-6'!" They'd answer trying hard not to burst out in laughter. "Gee really? They look bigger than that. " The scared out of his mind Haole would say. "Yea well, those waves are only 4 to 6 feet." They'd answer trying to be cool and macho. "I told you guys it gets big over here. Now you know." And so it began. The macho measuring system.

Sometimes that wave size thing can get you in trouble. Case in point.

About 10 years ago, I was standing at the Wall getting ready to head out, into what was legitimately head high surf. I was calling it 4-5' surf. As I was doing the final touches on my board and suit, a local Grom, who used to live around here, ran up to me panting. He was out of breath. His nickname was Zippy. He was a good little surfer. He had the whole surf look down. Blond hair, all the right clothes and stickers. You know the look. So I ask him why he's out of breath and he tells me. He ran out of gas about a mile up the road. "You ran out of gas?" I asked. "Yea. Can you give me a ride to a gas station so I can get some gas?" He asked. "Whoa whoa...give you a ride to get some gas?. I'm in my wetsuit here. I'm getting ready to head out." I stated. "Please Ralph. Besides, the surf is only 2'...there's no hurry to surf that small surf!" He blurted out.

I looked over and down at him ,with a total look of scorn. Now for the record, Zippy was a very short human being. He couldn't have been more than 5' 3" or 5' 4". The surf was clearly over his head. "So it's only 2 feet out there huh?" I said. He shook his head yes, as he stared at each set that unloaded out in front of the Jetty. "And so you must be, what...about a foot tall?" He looked up at me with a look of disdain. "What?" Has asked. "You heard me. If that surf is only 2' then you must be about a foot and half tall." I laughed. He was getting upset with me now. "Look I need a ride can you PLEASE help me?" He pleaded. "OK I'll give you a ride on one condition." I answered. "What's that?" He asked. (Remember I said that calling wave sizes with the macho scale can get you in trouble). "You have to ride in the crate." I told him. The "crate" for you non pet owners, is where I have my dogs ride. It is in the back of my vehicle. It is called a Crate. "What??? No way I'm riding in a dog cage!" He yells looking for someone else he might know who would give him a ride.

Just then my friend Johnny Meehan heard the conversation and said "I'll give you a $10 dollars if you can get him in that crate." I laughed and said "Keep the money, if this guy wants a ride bad enough, he'll ride in the Crate." Just then, a solid head high (or better) set broke and we all hooted. I looked over at Zippy. "Well...? What's it gonna be? I want to go surf that 2 foot swell." Zippy looked at the surf and then back at me. He took one more look at the vehicles parked at the Wall, and realized I was his only hope. "OK...I'll do it."

I walked to the back of my vehicle and opened the door. I opened the crate door and gave him the command "KENNEL!" He looked at me with a look of disgust. "What?" he asked. "KENNEL!!!!" I yelled again pointing to where he should jump in. Reluctantly, he crawled into the Dog Crate, and I locked him in. Johnny Meehan was giddy with laughter and I have to admit, that this had the makings of an all-time surf story. I of course did not take him directly to the service station. I drove him around for a little bit, showing him off to certain friends. I even drove him to Doc's house where we took several photos of him in the crate. Because it locks from the outside, you can't open it from inside. And why would you? It's for dogs.

Yes he complained, and said it "smelled like a dog had slept there". "Not just any dog," I said.
" My dog Gunny is a purebred and an excellent bird dog. You are sitting in a place of honor. Gunny is one of the best in his field. You're lucky." We ended up getting gas for his vehicle. But not before I threw in a couple of more digs. "I don't know why you're all uptight Zippy. I mean after all, it's only two foot out there." I said as he sped off to get his board and wetsuit. That was one mad Grom. That story took on a life of it's own. But what I just shared with you, was how it really went down. And Zippy, if you're out there, drop me a line sometime. I always liked you and thought you were a really good surfer. I hope you're still surfing. Or at the very least, working with bird dogs.

Speaking of surf and wave size.

Today, Sunday June 7th, 2009 I sat on the Wall and shot a handful of photos. Hell I shot a couple hundred photos. And I'm standing there watching chest high surf pour into the beach and casually said..."I'm calling this 16 weeks of surf." A few nodded, but a few did not. "What you don't consider this a swell?" "Not really" one of them said. "Wait you don't think a chest high swell is not a swell????" I asked. "Well" he said, "not compared to some of those big swells in March and April and even in May." "I agree" I said. "But since when, did we get so jaded, to not call a chest high wave a swell?" I then went on to point out in certain places on the planet that this swell would be all time! Certain places like the Great Lakes, or down in Florida and the Gulf Coast. I mean my brothers and sisters when we start scoffing at chest high surf we have lost touch with our very own reality.

A waist to chest high wave is a fun wave on any freaking coast.

The funny thing is...I got some great shots of this guy today. He was killing it. Hitting the lip and doing some really aggressive carves. And I know he was stoked doing it. But he let that Macho wave scale enter his blood stream, and he just couldn't shake it. He couldn't bear to bring himself down to the real world of measuring. The real 12 inches equals a foot scale. The Macho scale calling is everywhere. Not with me though. I'm 5'10" tall, and when I stand on my surfboard, and the wave I'm facing is over my head...I'm calling it what Einstein would call it. Six foot plus.

We should all do the same. A foot is a foot is a foot.. Case closed.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

I see that North Korea's Kim Young Ill, has named his son as successor to the throne in North Korea. You know the old saying of the "Apple does not fall too far from the tree..."well my friends, my fear is that we will be getting more of the same with Junior. At least the rest of the world is on board. Lunatics in North Korea.

David Carradine was found dead this week in Thailand. His family is not convinced that he took his own life. It does sound fishy. David Carradine as you know was an actor who was famous for his role in the TV series KUNG FU and more recently in the cult films KILL BILL.
If it was by his own hand, there's speculation that he was involved in the risky auto erotic asphyxiation. But family members are thinking he was murdered. In either case, he is gone from this world. "Rest In Peace Grasshopper..."

Yesterday the whole world remembered the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy France. Our own President Obama gave a very good speech honoring the thousands who gave their lives defeating evil. Now if only the world could come together today, and defeat the NEW evils that threaten our world, I would personally feel a whole lot better.

Just when you thought it was safe to fly. The Air France JET that crashed out to sea after leaving Brazil to France has only heightened our fears of flying again. Talks of everything from Lightening strikes, to simple truculence seem to be the cause. It just goes to show you, that life is too short. Don't leave behind any regrets. If you're having problems with someone, don't wait until it's too late to make things better. Step up and say your sorry today. Life is too short.

Our local boys Jimmy Dunn and Drew Cropper who were nominated for an EMMY did not win but they had the time of their lives in Boston. Especially little Drew. Click here for the full story in today's Portsmouth Herald.

On a more serious note. Lil Miss Molly has had a minor setback. And because of this latest news, we are calling on all able bodies and souls to pray for her recovery. There is a a legit power of prayer and positive thinking and WE NEED ALL OF THAT and MORE. Please send your prayers and positive vibes to the Rowlee family.

Don't forget All the shops are STILL collecting cards, gifts, and other provisions for the Rowlee family. PIONEERS , CINNAMON RAINBOWS, BRICKHOUSE, ZAPSTIX and many more shops are drop off points of interest for Miss Molly. Skip Brunette has opened a Little Miss Molly account at the SEACOAST CREDIT
UNION on 887 Lafayette Rd, Hampton NH
. (see poster below for info). There are several more fund raisers in the making as well. There's still plenty of things going on for Lil Miss Molly and you can find out most of it on the
Ralph's Community Page.

Little Miss Molly Fund Auction

Check out the Classified and the DROPPING IN ON RALPH Pages.
Check out. Cinnamon Rainbows SurfLine.

Congrats to Leah Grondin and Marcus Davidson for graduating from High School!

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.

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


Yesterday- June 6th 1944 D-DAY OMAHA BEACH.
(Below) This is one for the history books. Imagine how many surfers were never born because of this battle. Huh? Think about it. We lost thousands of Americans in this one battle on Normandy Beach in France on June 6, 1944. 65 years ago yesterday. Imagine if you will, all of the potential Surfers who were NEVER born, because their fathers died there. And who's to say, that there were not a handful of surfers, who did die there? Surfing might not of been as popular in 1944, but there's pretty good chance that some of those men, actually tried surfing, and were looking forward to going home, and buying a surfboard, and live the surfing lifestyle. Why not? In any case, yesterday was the 65th anniversary. It was the beginning of the end for Hitler and his Third Reich. Photos by Robert Capa and UPI

Today 2009- Sunday June 7th, 2009

(Above) Brian Taber popping loose on a fun looking little wave at Cementland.
Sunday June 7, 2009.
To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Mattie Evans is home from college in California. It's a good feeling to get waves when you get home. This wave at Cementland is as fun as it gets.
Sunday June 7, 2009.
To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Rick Evans is glad to have Mattie home from California. And he's glad to be able to share the surf with his oldest son again too. Sunday June 7, 2009.
To see more click on Photo. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above)Kai Nichols. Kai does not miss many swells. Especially the ones that fall on a weekend. He surfed with his sister and father today and you can see it all by clicking on his photo. Sunday June 7, 2009. Click on image. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Mackey V blasting another sudsy lip. Sunday June 7, 2009.
To see more Click on MVF. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Sunday June 7th, 2009 Blatant DROP-IN

(Above) This Week's Blatant Drop-In. Sunday June 7, 2009.
To see more of this Blatant Dropin . Click on Crime Scene Photo.
Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Sunday June 7th, 2009 Mike Moran Sequence

(Above) Mike Moran . Sunday June 7th, 2009. He's one of the best Longboarder's in the world and he lives here in Hampton.
To see the sequence click on image. Sunday June 7th, 2009.
Photo by RALPH Click on the image above to see more.



(Above) Click on this image of Mike Moran Footage shot TODAY Sunday June 7th, 2009 Clip from SFOD RALPH Movie.

Today 2009- Saturday June 6th, 2009 Kite Surfer

(Above) Unknown Kite Surfer blasts the lip during the 65th Remembrance of D-day
Saturday June 6th, 2009.
To see more of this INSANE Kite Boarder- click on image.
Photo by RALPH

Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) That's a ripping turn in shallow water. Unknown Kite Surfer on the 65th Remembrance of D-daySaturday June 6th, 2009. To see more of this INSANE Kite Boarder- click on image. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Unknown Kite Surfer looking for a soft landing. Saturday June 6th, 2009. To see more of this INSANE Kite Boarder- click on image. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Monday June 1st, 2009 "CropStock"

(Above) Lisa Anderson raised the bar on Women's competitive surfing back in the 80's and 90's and even today. EVERY single woman surfer owes Lisa a HUGE Thank You and a ton of respect for doing what No other woman surfer has ever done. The Former World Champ was in Hampton on the Quiksilver Tour last week. Monday June 1st, 2009. To see more - click on Lisa's image. Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) King's Highway...they keep getting better every time I see them.
Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Skip from Todo Bien tries to hide from the pesky Paparazzi. But it's no use. They
are relentless in their pursuit for the ultimate photograph.
Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Sunday May 31st, 2009 "Quiksilver Tour"

(Above) Mark Healey has surfed HUGE Pipeline. And now he has SUPPED in Hampton. Photo by RALPH Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Bart finds a wave that I would of called Week number 16 if I didn't see today's swell. So wait, does that mean today's swell is week 17?
Photo by RALPH
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Week number 16 is good enough for the Quiksilver Boys.
Click on this image to see more.
Photo by RALPH

Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- Saturday May 30th, 2009 "EMMY Night"

(Above) Drew Cropper and friend Tom Bergeron at the EMMYS.
Photo by Mike Cropper
Click on the image above to see more.

(Above) Congrats to Leah Grondin. Leah Graduated from High School
Today June 7th, 2009.
Photo courtesy of the Grondins

Today 2009- May -June 2009 "INDO"

(Above) Kenny Linseman said this INDO trip was the trip of a lifetime. We believe him. Just look at this wave. Photo Courtesy of KLinseman
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- May - 2009 "Lopez Clinic"

(Above) Master Shaper and surfer put on a clinic last week in California. Check it out. Photo by R. Freeman
Click on the image above to see more.

Today 2009- April Leftovers

Above) John Carden misses getting his photos in to me due to work. But he did want to share with you these little leftovers from April. ENJOY Photo by John Carden
Click on the image above to see more.

Today- 2009 Bernie Baker May 30-June 6th 2009

(Above) The Grom's in Hawaii must love Bernie. I mean to have one of the World's Best
Photographers shoot your heat? Come on! This week in Hawaii May -June, 2009.

Click on the image above to see more.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Girl Grom's in Hawaii are some of the best in the world. This week in Hawaii May -June, 2009. Click on the image above to see more.
Photo by Bernie Baker

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- Board Crunches

(Above) Nothing wrong with getting a little workout while your surfing. This is great for the abs and flattening that stomach. Sunday May 31st, 2009 . Photo by RALPH

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