Jamie O'Brien: a Pipe master, even on a boogie board | Photo: APB

Jamie O'Brien has been invited to compete at the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational 2016, in Banzai Pipeline, Hawaii. So, what does a surfer in a bodyboarding competition?

O'Brien is widely regarded as one of the best wave riders of all time in the world's most famous surf break. He is the ultimate tube specialist and a Pipeline Master.

After being given a wildcard into the main event of the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational, there were many voices out there criticizing the organizers' decision to give a surfer the chance to shine in the opening event of the season.

However, Mike Stewart, the nine-time world champion and the host of the first contest of the 2016 APB World Tour, made clear he had the last word on the subject.

"He got voted in by ten of the world's top bodyboarders, Well sort of. Jamie was actually just outside the bubble on everyone's list. However with GT, Player, Andre and Hardy removed late as APB wildcards - and Jake Stone injured - Jamie was the fifth alternate and just made the cut," Stewart explained.

"Pipeline is - and has been - about the barrel. Sure there are massive ramps, but you can get a 10-point ride going straight through a pit if you can find it. Jamie can bodyboard. Jamie can find barrels. Jamie would have, arguably, more experience at the peak than 99 percent of the field. The world's best bodyboarders know these facts."

This is not the first time Jamie O'Brien participates in a professional bodyboarding competition. He got wildcards into some IBA World Tour events, and he occasionally rides bodyboard all over Hawaii.

"I have no idea how he will do, but with this being an El Niño year I wouldn't bet against him turning more than a few heads. I guess a lot will depend on the waves that day. One thing for sure, though: it will be interesting to watch things unfold," concluded Mike Stewart.

Let the show begin. The Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational 2016 runs from February 21st through March 4th.