Jamie O’Brien and crew went to Waimea River, Hawaii to surf a flooding river wave all day and night. Waimea is ‘The X-Factor of Fun’ because anything can happen there: from pulling into the shore break to getting weird with the winch and water skis.
At a head-high and pumping Waimea River – the body of water that empties into the world famous bay that occasionally “calls the day” – Jamie O’Brien took to the water and put on an absolute clinic. To be honest, it looks much more approachable than Jaws, Waimea Bay, or pumping Pipeline.
On a recent down day along the North Shore, that’s exactly what Jamie O’Brien, Kalani Chapman, Jack Robinson and team of local groms got to enjoy after having the sand ploughed out by tractors. We’ve still not quite got heads round the queuing system, but visibly the later you leave it the gnarlier the ride!
As you’re likely well aware, there’s been plenty of swell on offer across the Hawaiian archipelago the last few weeks. From Jaws to Honolua Bay, Pipeline to Waimea, professional surfers of all stripes have been flocking to the islands like moths to a flame – if they weren’t there already patiently waiting for their respective contest to be greenlit.
If you’ve been tuning in to any professional surf events over the last week or so, you know it’s been pumping across the Hawaiian archipelago (we’ve been screaming about it at the top of our lungs). But “pumping” apparently includes the island chain’s river waves as well.
Why is it that river surfing often just seems a bit wack (cue comments from half-a-million angry righteous German wave riders in defence of their beloved Eisbach) but when it comes to seeing groms froth all over Waimea Bay’s standing rivermouth wave, it all seems totally right! Actually, you don’t need to answer that question.
Despite heavy rains, Hawaiians prove, for the millionth time, that they live in the happiest state in the country. During winter, the river that runs through Waimea Valley floods and sends a heavy stream of water out into the ocean. The Waimea River is one of the longest rivers in Hawaii, stretching for 2.1 miles.
The Waimea River is a major river on the island of Kauai in the U.S. state of Hawaii. At 12.1 miles (19.5 km) in length, it is one of the longest rivers in the Hawaiian Islands, draining one sixth of the total area of the island. It rises in a wet plateau of the island’s central highlands, in the Alaka’i Swamp, the largest high-elevation swamp in the world. It flows south, passing through the spectacular 3,000-foot-deep (910 m) Waimea Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
“Waimea river was straight up firing today!!!” said Jamie in his post.
It hurts to see Jamie O’Brien and company fall again and again on the gigantic banks of Waimea
Not to be outdone by the ocean, last week the Waimea River absolutely pumped, too, and Jamie O’Brien was there to put on an absolute clinic. We teased the session last week, but here’s Jamie’s side of it replete with a few surfs up and down the Seven Mile Miracle for good measure.