Send your SURF Pics to me directly. (See link below) Just make sure they're 800 pixels wide. PLEASE NO smaller. Need photos by each Saturday at 12 noon if possible . In fact if you have any questions about the size, email me first and I'll write back. Start shooting my brothers and sisters!
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September 18th, 2011-The NEW RUN is 30 out Of 30 Weeks. Waist high or better, at least once a week.
The Surf on - Saturday was easily waist to chest high.

"What's the biggest hurricane surf you ever surfed?" A friend asked. "Surfed or seen?" I asked. "Either." he replied. "Well, the biggest surf I ever saw, was in the South China Sea. Off the coast of Vietnam, during a Typhoon." He looked at me funny. "Vietnam? Typhoon? I'm talking about hurricanes?" He said. "I know, Typhoons are me on this. They are deadly."

"Did you ever surf in Vietnam?" he asked. "No, but I've had friends who have. " I answered. "Some you even know..." I stated. Local surfer Tom Woods was one.
He and his buddy Ron Sizemore surfed during the peak of the war in 1968. I've seen the slides. It was pretty good too. My late best friend Joe Somogyi who saw some serious combat, also surfed up north near DaNang. But me personally? No
I never did...however, I did do something that was clearly related to surfing.

I skateboarded on the flight deck of a helicopter assault ship during that typhoon.

I was a "grunt " in the Marine Corps. And during the war I was doing what most grunts were doing. We went on long humps (walks) in the mountains, valleys, and rice paddies. As the war wore down, I ended up on a helicopter assault ship. Our job was to go up and down the coast and fly off into the bush where we could go
on more humps. The ship had a nice long flight deck.

All the CH-46's and CH 53 choppers were on the flight deck. Chained down and ready to move at a moment's notice. I remember looking at that deck and thinking..."Man if I had a skateboard I could skateboard on the flight deck." So I did what any 19 year old surfer would do. I tried to get a skateboard. Except this was
in the year 1970. There were NO cell phones. No texting. No Internet. No social media connections. There was a pen, and a pad of paper. So I wrote to my father.

"Dear Dad, I need you to do me a BIG favor. PLEASE go out and buy me a skateboard..." I explained to him as best as I could, that I was serious and really wanted a skateboard. I mailed the letter and waited for my skateboard. Or at the very least, his answer

Weeks passed. And we had been back and forth in and out of the jungle. We would spend weeks on end out in the bush, and then return to the ship. Then I saw my father's letter. "Dear Ralph...what are you talking about? A skateboard? I thought you were in the jungle...?" And so it began. A series of letters of me trying to convince my dad, that I was serious. I would write to him pleading for a skateboard and he would write back asking if I was serious. Finally, after a couple of months (literally) of the back and forth snail mail letters, a package arrived.

I opened it and there she was. A wooden (cheap) skateboard with clay wheels.

I immediately put it in my locker aboard the ship. I knew if any of the officers spotted that they'd take it without asking any questions. But I have to tell you, I was giddy with excitement. I had a skateboard! But when would I be able to ride it? During the day? Hell I'd get 20 feet before they grabbed me. I had to wait for the right moment.
Keep in mind, we were only on the ship for short intervals. We were mostly out in
the bush, there was after all, a war raging out there.

My friends all thought I was crazy. I was...I was a damn surfer, and all you surfers out there know what that means. You find a way to go surfing. Or find a way to simulate surfing. Skateboarding was as close as I could get..

Then that Typhoon hit. She was a monster. Typhoon JOAN. She killed thousands of villagers in Vietnam and throughout the Southeast Asia countries. The Philippines was particularly hit hard. We were ordered to go and help the villagers. Now what I did not know at the time was...the US NAVY send their ships OUT TO SEA during storms. I guess it's safer out there. That seemed crazy to me. Until I saw the surf.

In my entire life (including as of late), I have never ever seen ocean swells that large.

The entire South China Sea was erupting like huge ocean volcanoes. 30 to 50 feet high. These large ocean peaks would rise up and spill over and just roll down like mini mountains. I was blown away by the sight. As we headed deeper into the
storm they sounded "General Quarters. " That means all Marines go below deck and get strapped into our racks. Strapped meaning putting seatbelt like straps across your chest and you would lay there.

The Marines slept in racks that were six high. And you had NO room. You laid there like sardines all stacked up, and just rolled with the ship. I hated it.

But then I remembered my skateboard. "Hey I'm going!" I told my squad. "I'm taking my skateboard out on the flight deck. This is the perfect time to do it."

Tony Beltran a Puerto Rican from New York looked down at me. "You're crazy!"

I just laughed. But he was right. That ship was rocking. But I also knew that NO ONE would be out and on the flight deck. So I grabbed my board out of my locker and made my way up and onto the flight deck. What I saw when I opened the hatch was complete insanity. The waves in the middle of the ocean had to have doubled in size. They were easily 80 to 100' high. It was the most breath taking image I have ever had looking at the ocean. How could this be so big? How could the ship sustain this kind of damage and not break up. I was scared shitless.

It was raining and the wind was howling. I did all I could to just hold on. I looked at the flight deck. All the choppers were tied down and the chains were making these insane creaking sounds holding the big birds down. The ship would rise up at incredible heights and then come slamming back down. It was a moving hill.

I mustered all the courage I could find and put the board down. I may have said a prayer, I don't remember, but thinking back I'm pretty sure I did. I mean we all
prayed over there. Every time something scary would happen we'd pray. There's that old saying "There are no atheists in foxholes." That's so true.

And it was true right then and there, as I took a breath and waited.

The ship rose up like the Titanic, and I shoved off. Taking a straight line down the middle of the flight deck. I was flying! I could see the huge waves on either side of me as I drove down the moving mountain. Going past the big CH-46 Helicopters that fly me and my fellow Marines into combat. Straining against the thick chains, they look like giant grasshoppers.

The wheels are chattering as I gain more speed. Going past the tower I look up.

There are men inside and they are pointing at me. "Oh oh... they know I'm out here."
I get to the end and actually do a sloppy kick turn and head back. As I start back there are men with weapons running up to's hard to tell who and what they are with the pelting rain in my face. But there's no mistaking their demeanor.

"WHAT THE F- -K ARE YOU DOING?" They scream.

"Please let me just finish this last run...!" I plead as they grab me and my board.

They look horrified as they are now in the same elements as I am. Looking at the monster seas face to face...I see one of them mesmerized as I was. I nod to him.
But they are NOT happy. They haul me back in the tower and call my CO (Commanding Officer ). He's a good guy, but he was miffed and baffled at how I was not only able to pull this off, but as to how on earth I got a skateboard. I remember him saying to me..."What is it with you and surfing?"

They gave me a long lecture about the cost of having to come back and find me if I fell off the flight deck. And they even said, that as a whole, I am only worth $1.29 cents, but it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to turn the ship around to get me. I knew I messed up. They grabbed my board and I thought I'd never see it again. I went back down to the bottom of the ship where all my buddies were waiting to hear what happened. They were all still strapped into their racks.

They all had a good laugh at my story..."man you are one crazy mother.."

When the storm finally subsided, we had to fly off into the villages, to help bring the people bread and medical supplies, and help find survivors. Those scenes of all those dead children still haunt me today. War and Nature are capable of doing terrible things to human beings.

Months later, as I was about to rotate "Back to the World" my CO called me into his hooch. "I've got something for you..." I was standing there thinking "What is it?" He reached into his sea bag and pulled out my skateboard. "I thought you'd want this."
I'm not going to lie...I broke down and cried. I thanked him and told him it was an honor to serve with him. I had all the guys in my squad sign the board. I still have it today. It's right here in my office. And then I went home. To go surfing...

*As we boarded the plane (FREEDOM BIRD) to head back to the United States, they warned us...DO NOT wear your uniforms in the airports. There have been many incidents of returning vets being yelled at, and even spit on. We were numb. What?
Thank God that has all changed today. Oh and the reason it changed? Was because we Vietnam Vets, would NEVER let that happen again, to a generation of
US Veterans. Thank God.

Surfing Heals ALL Wounds...

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:

So another week and another Air Show disaster. What is this the third in less than a month? What the hell is going on? Air Shows and Car races...I never really understood why so many people love em. There must be something about seeing a potential disaster that is on the backs of everyone's mind. And I guess there's really no safe place to sit at these events. Damn. No thanks...

I see the Libyan liberators are still closing in on Kadaffy Duck's last stronghold. It's funny how there are some places on the planet that are still embroiled in a major civil war while we are home bickering about politics and other mindless news. It's all in one's perspective of what's important and what is not.

This is important. Sgt Dakota Meyer 23 a US Marine was awarded the nation's highest award, The MEDAL OF HONOR by President Obama for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.
Click here for the true amazing story. MEDAL OF HONOR.

The New England Patriots are off to a very impressive start. Are you kidding me? They smoked the helpless Dolphins last week and set all kinds of records. Damn that was impressive. My wife and I are attending today's home opener...look for some pics next week along with my take on the 2011 Season opener.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jacko Keefe turning 50 on September 21st, 2011 !
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lori Haenn September 22nd, 2011 !
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Matt Evans September September 22nd, 2011!
GOOD LUCK to ALL ESA-NNE Surfers! down in Hatteras!

Don't forget to go back and read the whole DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDED July 26, 2011. A Wave a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.

beyond Surf Pics!
*NEW PICS added each week!

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING IN ON
RALPH blog Section.
It's coming soon (I promise).

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
week for the last 8 years. **Think about BUYING a Photo from any of the weeks
on RPOTW as a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer!

Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Yesterday- Summer 1985. Jacko on the 50/50 who's turning 50!
(Below) I remember shooting this. Jacko coming straight at me and then going past me as I stood in the water with my old super 8mm movie camera. Happy Birthday Jacko!
Video Frame Grab by RALPH SFOD

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today- Oh MARIA.... SEPTEMBER 17th, 2011 Photo By RALPH

(Above) OK so she was NOT the biggest Hurricane swell ever. In fact. she was anything but. Still the water was warm and there was surf. See above. I personally had a great session after shooting the surf, with Brian Nevins. We had an out of the way spot, all to ourselves. For two hours. Yes, I said two hours...and just he and I. Hiding in plain sight.
Saturday September 17th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Unknown at the Wall. Saturday September 17th, 2011. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Emptiness at the Wall. Saturday September 17th, 2011. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Another Unknown at the Wall. *This guy may have a paddle in his hand.
Saturday September 17th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.
Today- SEPTEMBER 17th, 2011 Photos By Cory and RALPH

(Above) OK after surfing the gutless waves of Maria, my wife and I drove down to Massachusetts to watch our son's college football game. Their team is pretty good.
They are's a few pics from the game. Saturday September 17th
, 2011.

Photo B
y Cory * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today- SEPTEMBER 16th, 2011 SNOB Film festival
Photos By Cory and RALPH

(Above) It was funny seeing some of my Ralph's Pics up on the Big Screen. That's a
John Carden pic of MVF at the Wall. Friday September 16th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Why were my films here? Good question. I guess they liked them.
Friday September 16th
, 2011.
Photo By Cory
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

BELOW is the FIRST EVER GUEST EDITOR Piece by another writer /photographer/surfer. Look for more Guest editor's in the coming months. This is from the PHANTON. I've known the Phantom for many many years, and the one thing I can tell you about him is...he does not adhere to the common rules of surfing. He is anything but. Adventure is what he lives for. That's just the way he rolls. This blow by blow account and following gallery is from his recent foray into the great unknown in Western Canada. But look the whole story is here, you don't need my babbling on. Plus he has some great photos. Check it ALL out!

P e n e t r a t i n g   T h e   G r e e n   V e i l

by the Phantom
Every now and again, a certain surfing location gets wedged into your subconscious….such that you fantasize, plan, and organize your life around the possibility of returning again and again to the place.

For me, Canada was that location.

I’ve been up there on two separate occasions, trailering the boat(s) all the way from California up through Oregon and Washington, and in those ultra-lush fjords and calm northern waters, I’ve found a type of adventure that seems far more alluring than any wetsuit-free tropical vacation?

I have no interest in pre-packaged trips to ‘surf camps’ and mosquito infested, sun blistering southern beaches?

For me, Canada offers an incredible display of nature at her most active; the bio-mass along the coast is reputed to be denser even than the Amazon, and after three trips, I can believe it! North has always been my favorite direction, and in Canada, I find the purest example of that sort of wanderlust.
And while it’s relatively close, I still find it thoroughly ‘foreign’…? The culture, the people, it’s all a lot more ‘different’ than I first envisioned it would be? And all in a good way. The Canadian people are down to earth, welcoming, and a pleasure to interact with. They’re curious by nature, and on one than one occasion out in the outback I’ve had an inquisitive Canuck ask, ‘Surfing? Up here??? You drove all the way from California? We don’t have anything that good, do we?’

Surfing is still relatively new in Canada, and being a California native with a life-long exposure to a surfing culture on OVERLOAD, I find the Canadian dis-connection with surfing as a major cultural force damn refreshing.
And are there waves worth traveling to in Canada? Well, yes, and no. There are quality venues in Canada, but they’re very difficult to access and require a boat in almost every instance. In a country where there is little road access to vast stretches of coastline, travel by boat is the civilian norm, and there are facilities and fuel availability most
anywhere you go.

Per square mile, they’re a bit light on quality reefs, points, and beachies, but they are there, and with a well rigged skiff, a new GPS card, and a healthy regimen of constant alertness, it’s all one big possibility.

If you ever went there by car only, you’d have to hire a bunch of Water Taxi’s or float planes to get out to any of the truly worthy stuff? But that said, the coastline loves south swells, the winds are generally light, and with all the thousands of miles of inward-penetrating fjords, the marine trail to many of these surf spots are protected for the most parts, negating the need to travel out on the open ocean until the last portion right before your intended day’s stay. Many areas along the coastline have already been ‘mapped’ the Canadians, but even today, there are vast tracts of ‘potential’ areas that have been lightly explored or remain true wilderness.

For a guy like me, who prefers surfing out of a boat to walking to the surf off an asphalt parking lot and through a crowded beach, Canada offers the purest form of the type of surf adventure I’ve come to value.

What we found on this trip was some of the best surf I’ve had so far up there. We based out of small harbor towns for much of our exploring, but we also traveled down hundreds of miles of Canadian logging roads to access remote ports of call, and left from there to penetrate further north and live out of our boats for a week or so while we scouted some areas that had been high on our list.

Our boats are small, just seventeen feet, but they’re built for just this sort of exploration, and can be ‘lived out of’ for short periods in a semi comfortable fashion.

On this trip, we got luckier than normal with the weather, and the weather trumps all on every Canadian trip I’ve ever made. It can rain for weeks on end, with the attendant surf-destroying south winds that seem to blanket this coast whenever a storm blows through? And that’s always the unknown wildcard, the true factor that controls the success or lack there of any planned surf trip that far up north.

Get good weather, and you’ll be loving life, finding surf, and telling stories for years. Have a three week storm drop 10” a day on you, and you’ll come away with an entirely different experience and memories.

For us, this trip was as successful as anything I have ever planned. We spent a lot of time pre-trip prepping the boats, our camping gear, planning our itineraries, readying the vehicle, etc, but in the end, all the pieces came together, and the payoff was off the charts.

Canada, thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all that you are, your people, your country, and your environmental stewardship of one of the truly great places on earth.
The Phantom


(Above) CANADA. Photo By The Phantom
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today- GWOT Observance SEPTEMBER 11th, 2011
Photos By John Carden, Cory and RALPH

Our small community came together to remember 9-11...
Sunday September 11th, 2011. Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) We added 8 new names to our monument 9-11...
Sunday September 11th, 2011. Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

The local Surfers came out to support and remember 9-11...
Sunday September 11th, 2011. Photo By Cory
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Check out the cross in the flag...whoa.
Sunday September 11th, 2011. Photo By Pam Bates
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.


(Above) Beautiful Sunrise from Maria...
Saturday September 171th, 2011. Photo By Stephen Avola

(Above) Maria's waves in Maine. Saturday September 171th, 2011. Photo By
Tom S.

(Above) Maria- Maine. Saturday September 171th, 2011. Photo By Tom S.

(Above) Check the crowds...Maine. Saturday September 171th, 2011. Photo By Tom S.

now the ESPN website too! Wow!

To see it on this site go to the Molly Page.


KATIA September 9, 2011 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

OK so she wasn't she biggest and cleanest Hurricane swell we've ever had...but she was not bad. I saw some pretty hollow waves out there. And I saw some serious crowds too. Boy did I ever.

There's a few BDI's here that I just so happened to catch. Hell I just pointed my camera out in the line-up and pulled the trigger.

All in all, I'd give KATIA a "B"...and really? I'll take a "B" storm any day
of the week, and so wouldn't you.

The song is DogMan by King's X.

Hope you dig it...




Ralph's Clip of the Week from 1986 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

This was the first ever video on MTV that showed Surfing. I shot this with a Super 8mm GAF movie Camera. My then girlfriend Cory helped me every step of the way. We shot in Hawaii and Cape Ann. It's really grainy looking and real low budget. Still, the Surfing is real. It's me at Pupekea on the North Shore of Oahu.

I sing and play guitar. I wrote this song "Maria" about one of my old bandmates from another band VINNY who fell in love with this girl in Latin American in 1983, when our band toured throughout Latin America.

The woman in the video playing the part of Maria was Miss Philippines in the early 80's. I forget her name. She had a boyfriend who was 6'5" and a Black Belt in Karate who wanted to kill me every time I had to get close to her. Even though it was my girlfriend Cory who was shooting all those scenes. I was like "Dude it's all make believe. Lighten up."

The bass player Rich, actually lives here on the Seacoast, and I still see him. The other two, Eric and Greg have gone their separate ways. The tape was produced by the CARS drummer David Robinson, who also produced my album.

It's hokey, it's the 80's, but it's all 100% original.

Hope you like this blast from the past.


Do You Like Barrels ??? Hugues Oyarzabal from Biriatou's production on Vimeo.

this 4 min clip is about Hugues Oyarzabal's camera work while surfing , all those footages are coming from "Peace and Left II"
the movie is available/downloadable at this link feel free to share this clip , its made for that

check here the "U-shot" pole that Hugues has been using for shooting most of those clips ;



(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge RALPH presiding. CASE #127 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-
another KATIA BDI! CLICK and SEE this Surf crime and the verdict.
Photo by RALPH



Click above graphic for The Daily BLOG I wrote from July 26-2010 to July 26-2011
Yes you can STILL
DONATE to the Fundraiser.



(Above) Kevin Grondin 1995 New England -COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) My favorite Gabrielle on September 13th, 1989 and then whenever Felix came along and they fell in love, and mated...whoa! It was Fireworks for days on end. -COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) Hurricane Gabrielle 1989 the Best ever? Some say...New England -COMING NEXT WEEK!

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to see happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Simply put the mouse over the photo to see the
original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal
invisible.*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photo by RALPH

Today 2011
" It's all about how we look..."

(Above) Hey this works for me...I'm happy to shoot this stuff every summer.
Photo by RALPH

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CLICK ABOVE to read the WHOLE DAILY"Catch A Wave For Molly" BLOG. I started the campaign on July 26, 2010 and Ended July 26, 2011. I kept a daily digital blog, of each and every day. There's tons of photos too! It was an amazing adventure. Click it.

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Hear BEFORE The CRASH in the NEW RUN REDUX movie

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Cape Hatteras Wounded Warriors
Vacation Project gets underway
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