Responding to an Instagram fan’s dare to surf while on fire, Jamie O’Brien accepted the challenge and involved an entire production team to film this most blazing, dudular event.
To help capture this insane dare, O’Brien solicited the help of a sponsor and a pyrotechnical expert. “I got a direct message on Instagram that said it would be cool if you lit yourself on fire, and I kinda thought, why not? So I went to Red Bull and said, ‘Hey, I want to light myself on fire and get barreled at Teahupo’o.’ They looked at me like, “Are you for real?” and I told them I was and that I knew the right guy, and that’s when they called Riley Harper and his team.”
The tech behind O’Brien’s fire surfing theatrics
In an interview with Red Bull, O’Brien goes on to explain the process of setting himself on fire, surfing, and of course, not getting scorched to death:
I had a thermal setup underneath everything, then threw a wetsuit on and had another layer over the top. Then I had a hoodie on and a Body Glove wetsuit on top of that, and I was just right there ready for fire! I thought the buoyancy would be a lot worse. They put about 15 pounds on me before I was even in the water, and I knew once I was in the water that I’d be even heavier. So there was that side of it to understand, like, I still really need to float, you know! But the crew worked everything out and we did a test and I was stoked on the buoyancy; I was really surprised and that definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable.
As crazy as this stunt might seem, O’Brien is a professional surfer and had the help of experts in the field of fire surfing (not quite, but they knew how to pull of this challenge accident free). So kids, please don’t try this on your own.