Six hundred lovers, by our calculations! But, still, no love!
It was lunchtime on a Sunday when the simpering of Jamie O’Brien’s Katie Perry ringtone (Firework) indicated BeachGrit was calling. Jamie, we soon found, was in the town of Kahuku, not so many miles from his Pipeline house, the new Pipeline house behind the old Lopez joint and not the rental he occupied most of his life and that fronted the Pipe reef, getting his grinds, the very Hawaiian dish called Poke, deboned and sliced yellow fin tuna deposited amid shards of seaweed and candlenut and spritzed with soy sauce.
Jamie was sharing his company with Damien Robertson, a man employed to film his myriad exploits, both water and in the jungles, as hunter.
It was a roundabout conversation about Pipe, the wave, that reminded us that we hadn’t lit up Jamie for…what… six, seven years? And, suddenly, amid a thunderstorm of mental calculations, we figured, ain’t Jamie O was now over 30? The kid that was never going to get old? And, now he nearly is?
Talk to us Jamie boy!
BeachGrit: Oh my god, how does it feel to be over 30?
Jamie: Oh fuck, I know, right? I’m fucken halfway to 60. But it’s all good. I’m only getting better.
Life goes so fast don’t it!
I know, right! Fuck! You know what freaks me out? That it ain’t a joke and that I’m actually halfway to 60. Fuck!
How about your Dad? He’s 60 plus…
…and he’s doing okay…
Yeah, he’s good. But, you don’t feel like you’re getting old until you start to bald. Then y’think, I’m old now, I better start combing this shit over.
Are you balding?
I remember you with the greatest mane of reddened hair.
A big fucken mane of hair.
A big fucking mane of red hair. Like y’pal from Maui, Cheyne Magnusson.
Fuck you. I ain’t red.
How about we compromise and call it strawbs blond?
Brah, easy, easy. Cheyne’s all red.
You never used to drink, now you do, what’s life like, pre and post drinking?
You started drinking in 2004 after winning Pipe, yes!
I had to do it. I told ’em, if I won, I was gonna drink. I won and I remember doing an interview lying down. Everything was spinning and I couldn’t go to sleep because of the sugar-beer buzz.
Is life better with alcohol?
I don’t know. I gotta stop drinking. It’s fun. It’s social. I don’t know. It’s always your friends, they tear you down. It’s always, “Let’s have a beer!” There’s always someone coming and going. There’s always an excuse to drink. Good times. Good people.
Booze stops boredom.
Yeah, it does.
Does that Pipe win feel like a lifetime ago?
Yeah, too long ago. It’s a long time ago. Fuck it pisses me off.
Because it was so long ago?
No, just cause I surf there everywhere day, but those contests, you win, you lose, you win, you lose. Unless you’re Kelly Slater.
Surfing contests can be extremely frustrating.
Yeah, but then, at the end of the day, everyone eventually eaves the North Shore. It’s so crowded, so many people. It’s too hectic and then it goes away. So, the actual contest? I don’t care that much.
It gets a little hot out there on the North Shore?
For me and John John, everyone’s got their head over our fences, yelling, no one calls you up, everyone just pours into the yard. But, like I said, I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.
Before this Pipe house, the one behind the Lopez joint, you had a crib at V-Land. You ever live there?
I never lived there. I couldn’t do it. I’m addicted to Pipeline. It’s where I grew up, that’s where I’m born and raised. That’s where everybody wants to be… and it’s my home. If a kid grows up at Pipeline, there’s a connection and he’s going to be a really good surfer. It’s the ultimate place to grow up. That’s why I want to live there, to keep the generation going of weasel Pipe surfers. I moved into my new house last year. At our beach house at Pipe I was so sick and tired of these rats and cockroaches. That was the dream pad on the beach, now I’m 20 feet from the beach. But, this place is clean and nice and not a rundown beach house. That thing was savage.
Who is the best surfer in the world?
John John, Dane and Kelly. John John. He’s gnarly, brah. His surfing is so good. John is 20 and charging Jaws with his brothers and shit. John is always going to be that one step ahead. And, he surfs more than anyone alive. He surfs all day long. He wakes up in the dark and surfs until dark.
How’s your relationship with John John?
Me and John? He’s like my little brother. We’re tight. I dunno. Fuck. He’s still a little shithead grommet.
You got him into his first contest, pushed him onto his first wave. Is the story true that you’d toss turds at the kid?
Aw, you gotta give him shit, beat him up, tie him to a tree and throw shit at him. It was all in good measure.
How’d his ma Alex react?
Alex? Oh, she snapped! But they were dog shits. It wasn’t that bad.
How many Bulls y’taking down every day?
Two or three. Sometimes I take six or seven.
You must feel like an eagle after half-a-doz Red Bulls.
Oh, I do. Very energised. I just do it. My fridge is pretty much empty. There are so many scavengers coming and going around my house. And, all that’s in the fridge is Red Bull, so when they’re hungry, I tell ’em to grab a Red Bull. I grab one, go surf, then have a food attack and eat poke, drink some more… fuck.
Most Red Bulls in a day?
Very difficiult to quantify. It has been a beautiful 15 years together. I love it. It’s a good relationshp. I can’t keep a girl around for two weeks.
I was wondering, how many gals y’think you’ve pounded in the last 10 years?
Fuck, I don’t know. Fuck you!
I ain’t asking for proof. Just a ballpark number.
Let me calculate for you. Say, 30 every winter, 20 during those long summers, over a dozen years. Does 600 fucks sound about right to you?
This is a very strange interview.
How about this. Out of the 600 ladies, or maybe they weren’t so much ladies, how many were real-life squirters?
Haaaa! You’re fucking out of control.
My colleague wondered this: do gals suck y’dick harder cause you’re the man at Pipe?
I’m not the man at Pipe. I reckon we get less chicks cause all these guys all around the world come here and bone all our chicks, it wigs ’em out and they don’t want to hang out anymore. They’ve been trampled by the whole CT and QS. We’ll say, something like, “What’s up, you should come on down to my house at Pipe.” And, they’ll be, “Oh my god, I don’t want to go to the North Shore, it’s so gross!” Thanks to the surf world for making us look bad.
I believe women flock to your top-floor studio bedroom. You are a very popular 30 year old.
It’s not all it seems to be.
Have you discovered love?
Oh brah! The chicks are all savages here! There’s no love around here.
Who was the last person to say they loved you?