Jamie O'Brien is no stranger to doing things his own way. After stunning the surfing world by winning the Pipeline Masters in 2004 at the tender age of 21 he would have been expected to compete at the highest level for years to come.
Instead, O'Brien walked away from competitive surfing and fashioned his own genre, 'freesurfing'. He felt competing just wasn't fun anymore and was more interested in travelling, surfing and filming his exploits along the way. He starred in the 2010 film Who is JOB which captured the essence of what freesurfing was all about.
In 2012, Jamie made a deal with RedBull.TV to turn Who is JOB into a web series. The show sees Jamie travel all over the world and tackle the best waves on offer, while also taking the time to try some unorthodox stunts with his sidekick 'Poopies'. Among others, the show has seen Jamie attempt mud puddle surfing, riving surfing, riding softtop surfboards at Jaws, and even 20-foot waves on a blow-up raft. Oh and he also set himself on fire as he surfed in Tahiti.
Four years on, the Who is JOB crew are in Ireland filming material for the fifth season of the show. Having spent filmed in places like California and Hawaii thus far, how does Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way compare?
"It's really cold here. Or at least it's cold for us. The waves are world class here. Obviously that's what we came for but as they say the weather is unpredictable in Ireland."
Indeed after a weekend that saw all sorts of weather attack Lahinch, Co. Clare it's fair to say Jaimie learned the hard way that he was a long way from his native Hawaii as he surfed 'Aileen' the world famous wave located near the Cliffs of Moher.
"In one day it was rainy and then it was hail and then it was sleeting. The winds were 75mph off shore. It was some hectic weather."
That one day proved to be very fruitful for surfing but Ireland's unpredictable weather meant the days following it were quite flat.
"You know it's not all about surfing. We got ourselves into some river surfing and we're just after anything that will build content and have fun."
One of those things involved his sidekick 'Poopies' sliding down a Clare sand dune wrapped up in a mattress. Just a hint of what you have to look forward to in Who is JOB 6.0.
During his time in Clare, O'Brien had the opportunity to survey the local surfing community and was impressed with what he saw at one of the surf schools.
"The kids here are like hardcore. You gotta be hardcore to go surfing in that cold water. We went down to one of the local surf contests and we hung out with the kids, signed all their boards and they were all stoked. I asked my buddy which one did he think was the most improved out of all of them and I gave my board to that kid."
The surfing scene in Ireland is still in it's relative infancy but O'Brien thinks everything points towards the growth of the surfing culture on these shores.
"It's turning into a surf community down there. Which I think is insane. When you ask the locals, some of their best spots were only just discovered 8 or 9 years ago. This is just the beginning of Ireland and surfing going to the next level. You've got world class waves. You got the heavy waves just as heavy as Hawaii. You got everything it takes. It takes a strong individual to lay it down over here. You know it's cold weather, it's unpredictable. You gotta be committed. I think the next generation of kids in Ireland have got a bright future in surfing."
Red Bull Athlete Jamie O’Brien is in Ireland filming for his TV show, ‘Who is JOB 6.0’. The fifth series will be launched on RedBull.TV this July.
You can learn more about surfing the Wild Atlantic Way here.