What's It REALLY Like Surfing In The Vans Pipe Masters? - Stab Mag
"One log to rule them all, one log to find them, one log to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them," J.R.R Tolkien.

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.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory

Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…

Feb 3, 2023

Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich

Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.

Feb 3, 2023

Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches

The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…

Feb 2, 2023

Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year 

Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…

Feb 2, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: The Stab Premium Vote

Day Ten: You voted, we counted.

Feb 1, 2023

Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More

A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.

Jan 31, 2023


“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”

Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…

Jan 30, 2023

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023


The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023