Stab Magazine | The Jamie O'Brien x Catch Surf Keiki Shorebreak Invitational
689 Views

The Jamie O’Brien x Catch Surf Keiki Shorebreak Invitational

Words by Jed Smith | Photos by Catch Surf Kalani Chapman cut a stoic figure on the shoreline at Keiki beach. As 10 feet of pure crystalline agony punched the sand in front of him, he stood, motionless, staring it down, like so many great Hawaiians before him. It’s become an iconic image, that of the […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Words by Jed Smith | Photos by Catch Surf

Kalani Chapman cut a stoic figure on the shoreline at Keiki beach. As 10 feet of pure crystalline agony punched the sand in front of him, he stood, motionless, staring it down, like so many great Hawaiians before him. It’s become an iconic image, that of the lone man on the sand staring out at as the North Shore throws all it can at him. But there was one difference today. It was the board under Kalani’s arm. Not a 7’6 tube shooter, but rather five feet of flaming hot pink soft-top. It was to be the weapon of choice on this famous day of surfing.

Catch-Surf-Keikis-Pro032

Event winner Jason Frederico, nearing the start of one in many beatings.

The event belonged to Jamie O’Brien and his new sponsor, Catch Surf. Catch Surf make the best soft-tops in the world; sleekly designed, slick-bottomed, high performance foam surfboards that not only give surfers the ability to beat the Blackball flagging situation in Southern California and parts of Australia, but also get fully pitted and jamming turns and sick little punts. They’ve broken new ground in soft-top design and performance and to prove how good they are they’ve had their number one team rider and all-time Pipe legend, Jamie O’Brien, ride them at 10-foot Pipe. Initially he’d been riding soft-tops from the American supermarket chain, Costco, but they banned him after he took the piss out of their 90 day no-questions-asked refund policy (Jamie had been dragging mangled lumps of foam off the back of his pick-up to the front desk and handing them with a soggy receipt).

Catch-Surf-Keikis-Pro047

After riding the biggest Chopes bomb ever a while back, shorebreaks like this aren’t so scary for Koa Rothman.

It’s pretty fucken mental when you think about it. While crew are dying on the reg at Pipe just doing their best, here’s JOB pulling mid-face soft-board to short-board transitions on a potential Wave of the Winter.

It turns out Jamie’s mates aren’t too shabby on the soft-top, either. Koa Rothman, Koa Smith, Kalani Chapman and Poopies were among a dozen or so local hellman who turned out to throw themselves into oblivion at Keiki (John John Florence was a notable absentee). Manning up in the middle of cartoonish shorebreaks has become a favourite Hawaiian past time of the last 20 years. The images of Clark Little and Bruce Irons doing exactly that have been some of the most iconic to come out of the North Shore. On the day of the soft top Invitational, with the buoys reading 10 to 20 feet, Waimea popping off at 15 plus, and Pipe a mess of third reef wash-throughs, a dozen more legends were made

Catch-Surf-Keikis-Pro050

The event was won by North Shore heavy, Jason Frederico. The hulking Pipe specialist with the wildman beard, gap-toothed grin, and fearsome reputation took home $700 in prize money for a series of the worst beatings imaginable plus a couple of expertly navigated runs down the marble staircase and into the guts of 10-foot closeouts. He cut a comical figure on the winners podium afterwards surrounded by all kinds of 90s-kitsch iconography; a pink lei around his neck, pink soft-tops, and neon-lycra clad beauties spraying cheap champagne all over him. “I’m sober now! This stuff better be Apple Cider and Vinegar,” he chortled.

Catch-Surf-Keikis-Pro088

Jamie’s pigdog skillz really do pay the billz.

But it was the man himself, Jamie O’Brien, who stole the show. Paddling out last, the soft-top specialist put on a display that will live long in my memory. His best effort came last, an under the lip take off on a treacherous 10-footer. He descended with the crumble before somehow finding a rail at the bottom, grabbing it, and dropping his knee into one of those classic under the lip JOB bottom turns. With 10-feet of pure closeout behind him and below sea-level drain-off in front, he rode the flexing foam and plastic beneath him expertly, guiding it up and into perfect position for the finale: a stand-tall salute-to-the-fans before the Keiki curtain closed out a special day.

Follow Jed on twitter, here.

Catch-Surf-Keikis-Pro122

Can’t touch this.

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

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022

Albee Layer Discusses His Not-So-Budding Acting Career And The Upcoming Film “Sweet Adventure”

"Matt and Nora were tripping a little harder than I was just because they weren't…

Aug 8, 2022

Zeke Lau & Bettylou Sakura Johnson Win The Vans US Open Of Surfing 

Hawaii dominates HB.

Aug 8, 2022

How A Former CT Surfer Gets “Absolute Beginners” Barreled In A Matter Of Months

Luke Stedman elaborates on his Blackball surf programs.

Aug 7, 2022

5:50

Sweeter Than Stolen Honey 

A versatile Haydenshapes x Dylan Graves HP (and soft board) tested in weird waves.

Aug 7, 2022

15-Year-Old Ladybird Erin Brooks Makes Final In All-Men’s Tuberiding Event

And Clay Marzo takes the dub.

Aug 6, 2022

Are We Looking At Reef Sculpting The Wrong Way? 

The pros, cons, possibilities, and mechanisms of changing reefs to suit our surfing desires.

Aug 6, 2022

The Gudang Trio Discusses Brotherhood And How To Make It To The Mountain Top Together  

Positive sibling vibrations we should all aspire to.

Aug 6, 2022

9:03

Everyone’s Local Zone Has A Mythical Wave

Kai Lenny, Imaikalani DeVault, Eli Hanneman and friends get to surf theirs.

Aug 5, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: Harry Bryant Vs. The Wedge

A lot of swell, stolen identities, surf masochists, mutilated noses, The Wedge, skull-crushing pylons, and…

Aug 5, 2022

When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In

Tahiti wildcards named.

Aug 5, 2022

First Look: The 2022 Electric Acid Surfboards

Did our questionable EAST gamble pay off for Mick Fanning's Maldivian quiver ?

Aug 4, 2022

How Boardshorts Work

They are your one chance to look cool while actually surfing. Don’t blow it.

Aug 4, 2022

A Surf/Snow/Music Fez In The Heart Of Melbourne 

URBNSURF is throwing an action-sports/live music DOOF this month and Stab Premium members are getting…

Aug 4, 2022

Peace, Love, And Mung Beans: 7 Things I Learned From Mick Fanning

Ranging from surf travel hacks to philosophy to jingle lyrics.

Aug 2, 2022

The Three Million Dollar Chinese Storm

500 board orders, coaching armies, and trips around the world — here's how China’s Olympic…

Aug 1, 2022
Advertisement