There’s no greater stage than Pipeline. And there’s nothing like watching it live, standing on the beach right in front of the Volcom house. However it’s surfings’ jester of the North Shore, Jamie O’Brien, who can’t help but steal the show.
This afternoon he produced another curtain raising act. The lineup resembled a cluster of scrambling spiders, each jockeying for position playing roulette with The Banzai. And there he was, atop a fluorescent pink foamie parting the lineup, scanning the horizon for a bomb.
As six-to-eight foot Teepees rose suddenly out of nowhere J.O.B steered his oversized foamy over the ledge, threading impossible tubes, before being spat out into the channel in front of a beach crowd that laughed and clapped like they were at a stand up comedy show.
What makes this effort more ridiculous is the number of broken boards I saw in the two hours I stood watching Off The Wall and Pipeline. A total of nine was my final count.
The best surfers in the world converge on Pipe every winter to win over sponsors and fulfil lifelong dreams. But Jamie O’Brien has fun, toys with Pipe and makes others look like foolish dreamers.
“Yeah I was just having fun out there and there were good waves so I decided to paddle out on something a little lazy,” he explained while strolling back to his beachside crib.
I put it to him that it must be quite humbling for everyone else seeing him take such a casual approach while they sit out there with shrivelled up balls resting on their rounded pins.
“It’s pretty funny, I can catch the waves really early and I think everyone must be bummed and discouraged, but then I just go,” he laughs.
And for those board geeks out there that want to know what your foamy is missing out on?
“This one is 9 foot long and it could catch a 30 foot wave.”
Whether or not Jamie O’ makes it through the trials to the main event of the Pipe Masters this year, his antics are guaranteed to be entertaining. Stay tuned for the Jamie O’ show.