Senior Editor

The Inertia

Jamie O’Brien has surfed a million and one waves at Pipe. That’s an estimate, of course, so give or take a few here and there. He’s one of a very small group of people who count as a Pipe specialists. He has a Pipe Masters trophy to prove it, but even more than a trophy, the proof is in the multiple puddings. When it’s big and scary out there, Jamie is often on the wave of the day — which is saying a lot, because when it’s big and scary, the best Pipe surfers in the world are there too. But one stands out from the rest, and in the installment of Best One Ever, Jamie breaks down the best wave he’s ever caught at Pipeline.

“It was a scary day,” he said. “It was sunny. It was beautiful. It had everything that makes Pipeline even more scary. Ten-to-twelve feet, waves are pumping, it’s crowded. All the boys are out. It was the most packed lineup you’ve ever seen.”

As Jamie was paddling up a big face, he realized it was going to be a good one. So, as Jamie is prone to doing, he didn’t think twice. He just turned and went.

“I was taking off at the top of the wave and I’m like, ‘oh no, this is gnarly.'”

And it really was gnarly, but like all things great, the risk was worth the reward. Jamie’s video is part of a series created in partnership with Inherent Bummer and the World Surf League for the 2023 Billabong Pro Pipeline that showcases a few people committed, skilled, and just plain old lucky enough to have caught a wave that they’ll never forget at Pipe. Here’s John John Florence’s, just to pique your interest a little more.


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