Jamie O'Brien gets a  perfect score in his Quarterfinal heat of the Volcom Pipe Pro. Photo: Zak Noyle / Red Bull

Jamie O’Brien gets a perfect score in his Quarterfinal heat of the Volcom Pipe Pro. Watch the clip here. Photo: Zak Noyle / Red Bull

The Inertia

Unless your boss is looming over your shoulder, suspiciously monitoring your output and prohibiting any procrastination, then you’re probably watching the Volcom Pipe Pro. If you aren’t, get on your iPhone and head to the restroom. Say you had Chipotle for lunch…it’s gonna be awhile.

The waves are absolutely pumping at Pipe right now for the second day in a row. Yesterday was sunny and flawless. Today has seen clouds and wind but it’s arguably just as good, perhaps minutely less immaculate. The boys are putting up huge scores like another round of pocket 9s from JJF and some cat-like reflexes from Mr. Slater.

Staying uncharacteristically quiet during his Round 4 heat, Jamie O’Brien waited until the 10-minute mark to catch his first wave. But his patience was rewarded.

With priority, J.O.B. dropped in backside on a Pipe bomb, pig-dogging his way into a Range Rover sized tube. He was deeper than deep can be, making most people watching (myself included) look away from the screen, believing the wave to have clamped. But no. Jamie grabbed his rail, pumped like a gazelle outrunning a lion, and catapulted himself out of a loogie-spitting tube. Even Jamie, perhaps the most slotted surfer to ever surf Pipeline, was surprised.


“I was trying to be patient and wait for a good one,” J.O.B. said in a post-heat interview. “I thought I was too deep. I pumped, I couldn’t see anything, then I came out. I was so stoked.”

He gave credit to his board as well, which, compared to most surfers is relatively small for 6 to 8 foot Pipeline. He rode a 6’5″ and Jamie is no short-statured guy. He then attributed the board’s channels to his freakish acceleration.

With waves like that, J.O.B. seems like a shoo-in for the finals. Reigning champ and human Gumby impersonator John John Florence just went down in the Quarterfinals. But Slater is looking deadly. Imagine that final – Jamie versus Kelly, WSL champion v. free-surfing superfreak.

“I haven’t got a 10 in a while,” said Jamie. “I’m stoked. We couldn’t have asked for better waves.”

And Ian Foulke of Electric Sunglasses was on the beach with a giant $1,000 check for anyone who scored a Perfect 10. Not bad for playing around in your backyard.


Watch the clip here.


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