Stab Magazine | Jamie O'Brien and Kalani Chapman surf Jaws on soft tops
659 Views

Jamie O’Brien and Kalani Chapman surf Jaws on soft tops

I keep holding on. Screengrab: aclcinema.com / @acl_cinema Jamie O’Brien plucks the outermost realms of riding unconventional crafts in waves of consequence. We’ve seen him go over the falls at Pipe on blow-up toys. We’ve seen him at Pipe on a soft top longboard, trying board transfers mid-barrel. In fact, we’ve seen him on that soft top […]

Words by stab
Jamie_O_Brien_Insert_Resize

I keep holding on. Screengrab: aclcinema.com / @acl_cinema

Jamie O’Brien plucks the outermost realms of riding unconventional crafts in waves of consequence. We’ve seen him go over the falls at Pipe on blow-up toys. We’ve seen him at Pipe on a soft top longboard, trying board transfers mid-barrel. In fact, we’ve seen him on that soft top at both Pipe and Backdoor surfing the place like few could ever hope to.

Where does it end? Certainly not here. Today, Jamie, along with pals Kalani Chapman and the dazzling enigma that is Poopies, rode 25-foot Jaws on Catch Surf soft top logs. Stab absolutely had to discuss this activity with Jamie, via phone conversation moments before he boarded a plane from Maui back to Oahu…

Stab: Did your sponge hold its own?
Jamie: It went pretty good! Kalani Chapman and I caught a really nice one together, then I got a big one and went straight. I rode the soft top for a few hours in the morning, then I changed to my normal board for two more hours, then I rode the soft top for another hour and a half. It was probably 25 on a couple out there. Some big waves, f’sure. It was definitely really challenging. I must’ve looked like an idiot in the lineup. It’s kinda nerve-wracking ’cause you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, really. You just hope for the best, hope it’s gonna be everything you dreamed of (laughs).

Air-dropping like it’s nobody’s biz. Screengrab: Elliot Leboe/ACL Productions

Air-dropping like it’s nobody’s biz. Screengrab: aclcinema.com / @acl_cinema

Does it paddle like your normal board? It paddles really good, I caught the waves I wanted to catch, y’know? I mean, they’re just really thick, those Catch Surf boards. I was on a 7’0″, I got like a 15-footer on a 7’0″ (laughs). The only difference is that I sat on the West bowl with the soft top, whereas normally I sit out the back on the north bowl. Just ’cause my normal board is bigger and you get longer waves from the north to the west. You’d have to be pretty unlucky to get a big one on the head. You’ve definitely gotta be really aware of what’s going on, though.

Is the appeal all in the challenge of riding a really hard-to-ride board at a really hard-to-surf spot? Yeah. We’re just messing around, trying to take it to another level of, kinda stupidity, but also of having fun. See where can we push the soft top realm, y’know?

Do people look at you like, what the fuck is this guy doing? All morning. Kalani Chapman, Poopies and I walked down the Jaws hill and guys were laughing, shaking their heads, like, “You guys are crazy.”

Does it ever feel weird like, there’s guys out there taking it seriously and then you breeze past on this foam thing? Well I mean, it definitely is serious for us. But at the same time… I dunno, I just really wanted to do it, and we were filming it for our show, and we got it done. It was just for shits and giggles, and we got it done on a nice, clean, fun day at Jaws. It wasn’t too heavy, y’know? Though, there were some heavy waves.

Poopies

Poopies goes superman. Screengrab: aclcinema.com / @acl_cinema

How’d Poopies go out there? He, um, I pushed him into an eight or 10 footer at the end, ’cause he didn’t really want one all day, he only got two smaller ones. So I pushed him into one. We just saw the picture of him wiping out on the wave, it looks like Nazare. He’s about to hit the water in the shot and he looks like he’s flying.

Foamies can feel like they’re anchored. Can you describe what it feels like to ride a big wave on one? Over there, you kinda need to go straight, but on a steep one going straight it’s pretty critical, probably the most concentrated I’ve ever been on a drop. Or at least, in a long time. And once you put it on rail the fins start flexing out all over the place, it’s real, real strange. Then you jump back on your 10’6″ and it feels so insane. Y’know how they say, “Ride your longboard and then go ride your shortboard”? Well, go ride your soft top at Jaws and then go ride your 10’6″.

Can you please do a board transfer at Jaws? I dunno about that. We’ll keep that one on the cards for some time in the near future… Maybe (laughs). – Elliot Struck

JOB_Ten_Six

“Y’know how they say, ‘Ride your longboard and then go ride your shortboard’?” asks Jamie. “Well, go ride your soft top at Jaws and then go ride your 10’6″.” Photo: Nick Ricca

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Stab Podcast: An Event We Passionately Debated For The Past 12 Months

Feedback from the WSL Finals, slaps of justice, and a Russian SUP parade.

Sep 17, 2021

5:59

Joyride Board Test: The LSD Hammer

Amateur surfer rides Noa Deane's prized step-up at Kirra and The Box.

Sep 17, 2021

20:40

Red Bull No Contest, Mexico: A Surfer’s Guide To Scoring Like A Local In Southern Mexico

Inside Barra de la Cruz culture with Mateus Herdy and Rio Waida.

Sep 16, 2021

Fourteen World Titles Worth Of Wisdom, Unpacked

What we learned from listening closely to Mick and Kelly during the WSL Finals.

Sep 16, 2021

5:03

Watch: Jack Robinson Wastes No Parts Of The Buffalo

Five minutes from Western Australia's finest.

Sep 16, 2021

The Connection Between Growing Up Poor And Going On To Win World Titles

“The wealthier a town gets, the fewer really good surfers you’ll find in the water.”

Sep 15, 2021

WSL Finals Review: “I Don’t Condone (Most) Crimes, But A Helicopter And A Giant Magnet Would Make For One Incredible Heist”

Lowers was an absolute shit-show yesterday. A report from the ground.

Sep 15, 2021

Filipe Toledo May Or May Not Be The Ultimate Surfer

Episode 7 is a wrap, find out who's advancing to tomorrow's finale.

Sep 15, 2021

10 Questions With S.U.R.F. Winner Jake ‘Money Making Machine’ Vincent

How did Vinny blow his 10 G’s?

Sep 15, 2021

Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing

As it should be.

Sep 14, 2021

A King Amongst Medinas: Inside Gabriel’s World Title Winning 2021

How a former South Sydney demolition man helped mastermind Gabriel Medina's Title campaign.

Sep 14, 2021

2021 WSL Finals: Live Coverage And Updates

Leave the best comment, win a free surfboard.

Sep 14, 2021

The Best WSL Event You Never Heard Of

No electricity. No running water. No wifi and no pins dropped. The Namakwa Challenge was…

Sep 14, 2021

This Is What Happens When You Steal Surfboards In Portugal

"The best type of punishment for them is not by the law."

Sep 13, 2021

Where Are Wavepools Taking Us?

Spunk-riddled cesspools or gladiatorial entertainment venues that benefit surf culture?

Sep 13, 2021

Don’t Talk To Strangers 

The Misc: On nodding terms. 

Sep 12, 2021

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted To Know About Surfing In The Great Lakes

A Michigan-born surfer returns home and breaks it down.

Sep 11, 2021

Exclusive: Kelly Slater Reveals His WSL Finals Favorites

"I hope ____ takes it because he put in the work, but my gut says…

Sep 11, 2021
Advertisement