The king of switchfoot is looking to add yet another title to his laundry list of accomplishments at Pipeline when he competes in the first stop of the IBA Mens World Tour at Pipeline…on a bodyboard. Yes, a bodyboard. We caught up with Jamie O before he took off for a few days in Panama to find out why he just can't get enough tube time at Pipe – even if he has do it lying down.
SURFING MAGAZINE: HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET A SLOT INTO THIS CONTEST?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Well, I used to boogie board when I was little and I've been watching these guys in the contest my whole life just getting so shacked every year. So, I was like, 'I gotta get in that contest.' I have boogie boards lying around here at the house all the time that I'd find on the beach and I'll take them out sometimes and get a couple good ones. I'd go, 'Whoah, I can get barreled on this thing.' Then I was talking to Mike Stewart a little bit and he was like, "I'll hook you up with a board and we'll get you a slot in the contest.' So I threw in my entry and Mike got me a slot.
SO YOU"RE GOING FOR IT FULL ON?
Yeah, I'm right in there. I'm kind of nervous, actually. But I was at Chopes last week and got a nice four-footer and I was like, 'OK, I got this, I'm doin good.'
SO YOU'RE NOT DOING MUCH BODYBOARDING AS A WHOLE?
No, not much at all.
FINS OR NO FINS?
[Laughs] Nah, I'm gonna wear fins. That'd be like surfing out there without fins on your board.
AS FAR AS STRATEGY GOES IN A BODYBOARD HEAT, DO YOU APPROACH IT LIKE A REGULAR HEAT?
My theory is that I'm going to shoot for 10s only. Nah, I don't really know, because I mean I know I can get myself in the best possible spot and know I'm going to be deep because I don't have the extra drive that some guys can get out there. I just hope I come out after the spit.
SO YOU WOULD SIT IN THE SAME SPOT OUT THERE AS WITH A SURFBAORD?
Yeah, I'm pretty much going at it exactly as I would with a surfboard. I have no moves, though, so it's just going to be barrels. I was thinking about what I'm going to do when I come out and I might just have to get some sort of claim going because I can't do anything.
ANYBODY HECKLING YOU SO FAR?
I heard a bunch of bodyboarders are all pissed, actually, going, 'How the hell does he get in the contest!' Bodyboarders who are out there all the time are bummed, but that's my home break. Just don't expect too much out of me out there.
OH, WE'RE EXPECTING.
Actually, this is my plan: This year is just my introductions and next year –– depending on how things go –– I think I'm gonna make the finals next year.
SO YOU COULD MAKE THE FINALS AT THE PIPE MASTERS OF SURFING AND BODYBAORDING.
I'm crossing over like Kainoa McGee, but the other way.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AS FAR AS STAND-UP SURFING GOES?
I'm thinking about quitting. Nah, I'm working on a new movie –– another profile video. I'm actually thinking it might be my last profile video too. Oh, and it's going to have a whole extra part — just me boogie boarding.
[Make sure to watch Jamie O'Brien temp fate at the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro. The waiting period is form February 17-February 27th. Catch the live webcast at www.ibaworldtour.com/live ]
Jamie O's Future?