The Freak’s Dad

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 14, 2005
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Current Pipeline master Jamie O'Brien racing the barrel at the Pipe
Current Pipeline master Jamie O’Brien racing the
barrel at the Pipe

Howzit, surfers and beach-goers?

Wow, did we score or what? Our “New Zealand Express” sent delicious 6-foot surf to all our southern exposures. In October? Rare! Stories poured in as epic waves were ridden. For example, Reid Inouye from Billabong Surf TV scored 3’s - as good as it gets. Perennial shaper/surfer Glenn Minami dropped in on close-outs at Big Rights! While GQ got “dropped-in” on most every wave he caught at “Bowls” with photographer Bernie Baker on hand to laugh and photograph. Yet, somehow it’s always worth the paddle out. Rarely does a surfer think “I wish I never went out.” More often they’ll say “I wish I went somewhere else”! Like me ... I wish I was at Big Rights with my buddy Glenn. We always want more than we have.


Well, what do you know? By the time you’re reading this (that’s every Thursday or Friday!) we’ll be getting our second northwest swell of the fall season! Should get up to 6 or 8 feet Thursday and slowly decline into this weekend. This swell will get the pros practicing at Sunset Beach for the 22nd XCEL PRO. Its holding period is Oct. 27 through Nov. 5 - less than two weeks away. Call the official surf line to know on/off at 596-SURF or 638-RUSH. The XCEL PRO is the official “kick-off” event for Big Waves and Big Pros. Right after this first contest, we get into the Vans Triple Crown. It’s upon us already ... Merry Christmas!

Did you catch my interview with “the Freak” Jamie O’Brien in last week’s MidWeek-the Weekend? If not, you really missed it, but now you can read what you should’ve read at the all new SURFNEWSNETWORK.com ... just click your way to the article section and enjoy. But don’t miss another issue of MidWeek!

I not only had the privilege of speaking to Jamie, I also got to talk story with his dad, Mick! So the series continues with Dad O’Brien. He opened his home to me a decade ago, and we lived the North Shore lifestyle - on the wild side. Lots of energy poured in and out of the house that Jamie grew up in. Everyone knew Mick and loved both him and his son. The O’Brien house at Pipeline defined the North Shore culture - and defined the phrase “surf central.” There were more surf pictures and videos and stories than the walls could hold - and more people than the floor could hold. Now look at these two O’Briens - still on Pipeline’s doorstep, only now its resident is the current Pipeline master.


GQ: Last night was Lulu’s and tonight it’s Haleiwa Joe’s?

MO: Yeah, we’re doing the bling-bling.

GQ: All right! Is Jamie there? MO: Naw, he’s at home fat and happy. I’m with my video, promo, manager guys ...

GQ: What are you up to these days?

MO: We’re working on Jamie’s next video, which is gonna be 10 times better than the first one ... tons of backing from the industry ... heading off to ‘Cali’ for meetings and another surf festival and trade show ... and we’re just trying to put something together that’s really good!

GQ: What’s the title gonna be?

MO: Freak Side! And, at another trade show, Kelly Slater said that Jamie’s part in the new Taylor Steele video was just unbelievable ... some of the best surfing he’s ever seen!

GQ: Oh my God! And, how does that make you feel?

MO: We’re pretty blown, man. That’s the second time Kelly’s ‘kudoed’ us this year.

GQ: Is Jamie in the World Qualifying Series? Trying to get into the World Championship Tour?

MO: Our focus is getting him out into quality surf and doing videos right now ... he’s off to Tahiti soon ‘cause a big swell’s coming.

I’ll see you in the surf and here next MidWeek the Weekend! GQ Dropping in 4 U!

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