He was on a roll. Jamie O'Brien had won three consecutive heats leading up to his Round of 32 bout at the Volcom Pipe Pro and they weren't casual, let-me-just-sneak-past-you wins. They were dominating wins. Commanding wins. JOB was a favorite heading into the event and he was performing like one. After all, he is arguably the best Pipe surfer of this generation.
Something funny happened in that Round of 32 heat. Jamie couldn't seem to find any rhythm. His wave selection was off, his timing was ill. That innate connection between him and Pipe seemed to have momentarily vanished. And when the heat came to a close, Jamie sat just .20 points of advancing behind eventual finalist Adriano de Souza. Sigh.
But not that big of a sigh. At this day, in this age, Jamie doesn't need to win contests. He's already proven himself. JOB is arguably the most entertaining surfer on earth. Nowadays, he just needs to keep on surfing Jaws on a soft top. He needs to keep on going switch-stance at Second Reef Pipe. He needs to make us laugh and he needs to blow our minds. He needs to keep on being Jamie O'Brien, and as hard as that might be, he'll never fall .20 points shy in that respect.