What's It REALLY Like Surfing In The Vans Pipe Masters? - Stab Mag

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What’s It REALLY Like Surfing In The Vans Pipe Masters?

JOB and Nathan Florence’s Vans Pipe Masters POV footage.

elsewhere // Dec 20, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Content kings Jamie O’Brien and Nathan Florence were the only competitors who stuffed cameras in their mouths during their heats at the Vans Pipe Masters. 

The Hawaiians’ comfort level with lenses literally in their faces begs the question: When was the last time a competitor in a jersey mouth-cammed during a heat? We’ve seen guys slap GoPros on their boards or helmets, especially in XXL events. But what about a WSL-sanctioned, spitting reef break barrel and air fest? I’m stumped. 


Jamie started his saga filming the warm-up, and oddly enough ran into his fellow POV compatriot in the lineup. He then chronicled the first heat of the event with Rasta Rob, Koa Smith and Rio Waida. Based on the brief interaction, it seems like Rasta and Jamie had never formally met until minutes before their heat. I kinda wish the introduction had gone more bluntly, such as, “Nice to meet you. This is my spot.” But despite the rookie vs vet status, the two say they’re going to do some sort of collaboration next month. No doubt it will involve weed and inner tubes. 

Nathan’s clip is from his Round 1 heat with Josh Moniz, Eithan Osborne and Harry Bryant. With the shifty sand-laden bathymetry, Nathan got the only legitimate ride in those 30 minutes, a head dip going left and a foam-clogged Backdoor right. 

Both Nathan and Jamie’s board choices popped on camera. Nathan’s bright red Pyzel supported that growing beard and the cans of corn he’s been downing. Jamie opted for a 6’9 pink Tokoro in his first heat. But with the mix of wash-throughs and double-ups on day 2, he stroked in early on his signature 8’0 Catch Surf soft top, another first for the Pipe Masters.

“They’re on the traditional boards and I’m on the board nobody thought was cool back in the day,” Jamie says. “We’re trying to change it.”

Watch the vids above for your weekly dose of POV.


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