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North Shore’s Surf Row: Where The Pro Surfers Live

We road-tripped to the North Shore of O‘ahu to take a neighborly peek over the surf world’s most expensive fences.


(page 5 of 8)


Jamie O’Brien’s Dad’s House

There remain a handful of residential properties nestled among the imposing surf houses and rental estates of Ke Nui. Among them is a former sugar mill house, which has been converted into a confusing constellation of rooms and apartments. Professional surfer Jamie O’Brien lived here, and, if you assumed from the beach the house was serving as the headquarters for Red Bull, you could be forgiven. It’s certainly what the awning, beach umbrella, bar tables and custom-built Red Bull Jacuzzi—all gifts from O’Brien’s sponsor—imply.



Though O’Brien has since moved up the road, his dad still lives here, and the house is still decorated in promotional jetsam. Despite not being a surf house, the residents here report all the same problems: strangers at the gate, theft, crowds on the beach and in the line-up.



The place itself feels like the product of an obsessive collector. It’s like being in an antiques shop. The O’Brien artifacts continue inside, along with actual flotsam (old signs that have washed ashore) and stuff bought during movie set liquidations (everything from fake fruit to furniture).



There’s happy-birthday bunting hanging out back, and we ask whose big day we’ve crashed. “We hung it for Jamie’s dad last week, but come back in a year. It’ll still be there.”



Signs threatening trespassers with dog attacks: 1
Dog attacks: None
Attack dogs: None
Pets:  2, a small adorable dog called Gizmo and his much larger, much sleepier companion
Oil paintings of Jamie O’Brien: innumerable


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