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Joel Parkinson – Where’s north from here?

This Monday, Joel Parkinson will board a plane on the Gold Coast and fly to Hawaii, land at Honolulu Airport, and drive to the North Shore. It’ll be the 12th time he’s made the trip as a WT surfer. And, maybe the last time as a man who doesn’t own a world title. He’s been close. He’s finished second in the world four times. Twice to Andy Irons, once to Mick Fanning and once to Kelly Slater. He now faces the latter two in a Pipeline decider for this year’s title. But Joel is relaxed. Consistency is a warm blanket. He’s had a quarters-or-better for every result of the year (counted, that is) and, if all falls into place, that’s where he’ll be at Pipe. And probably, so too will Kelly. And then it’s the battle of the highest placegetter! Does Joel deserve this title? Can a man win a legitimate world title without a contest victory? Is he worried about the greatest surfer who ever lived? These are the things Stab had to know. So, we called and found Joel driving through Coolangatta with his son.

Stab: We’ve spoken with you a few times this year and you’ve said you’re not thinking about the title. You have got to be thinking about it by now?
Joel Parkinson: Oh, for sure, a bit more. It’s hard not to, but I try to just think more about the event coming up, like I have all year. Thinking about doing well in the event. You can’t win the contest or the title in the third round. But, the earlier rounds at Pipe are the hardest rounds. You’re up against all the local wildcards and you’re not sure how the waves are gonna be. But those guys at Pipe, they’re Pipe specialists, they know the wave inside out. You’ve gotta be wary of that. You come up against Jamie O’Brien, it’s… pretty radical.

Loosened fins always look better in golden French light. ASP/Cestari

Do the Pipe scenarios keep you up at night? Not really. We all understand. For me, I don’t care about the points and scenarios, it’s just about the result. We all know what we’ve gotta drop. You just worry about th–

(Some commotion is audible in the car.)

Oh, I just hit a bird while I was driving! Rasta will be off me, I just hit a bird! Sorry…

Is it just as sweet winning a world title if you don’t win an event all year? Yep. I don’t care. It’s been done a lot, f’sure. I wouldn’t care at all. The guys that are in the race have been amazing at some places, and ok at other places. I’ve been really consistent and I’ve been happy with that. If you don’t have any wins, it’s much of a muchness. Hopefully the year of consistency prevails, and not just the coupla wins and coupla ok results.

Pressure-wise, where does this decider rate compared to previous years? I definitely think this is the most relaxed I’ve been. In ’09, when I came in with Mick, I had my ankle injury and felt like I’d just got my surfing feeling right. I only starting surfing without pain two weeks before Pipe. Surfing with pain for those few events just killed my whole thought process. I’m also more used to being in this situation. It’s a bit easier to prepare for, and I feel better prepared. If I win, I win and if I lose, I lose. I’ll still wake up and go surfing. If I win, it’s not going to change me. I’m quite content in my life, with my family and stuff. It’s definitely a dream I’ve always had, and I always want it, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Switch the rubber for trunks and this could be small Backdoor. Third in Portugal, another notch on Mr Consistency's belt. ASP/Cestari

This could potentially be runner-up number five, the most in surfing’s history. Does that thought wear you down? Nah.

Do you feel like you deserve this title? Yeah, for sure. I feel like I’ve worked hard enough and put enough in to deserve it. I’d love to think that it’s my turn.

Why head home for so long, rather than going straight to the Rock and getting in the rhythm of Hawaii? I’m glad I didn’t go over straight away. It’d kill me if the waves pumped. Actually, if they pumped I’d probably jump on a plane and fly over there, but with the waves not pumping… a week in Hawaii feels like a month when it’s flat. Most people might not think that’s true, but you’re there to do a job, not sit by the pool and drink cocktails and have a great time. I mean, if I was there for a week and it was flat and I could do that, it’d be unreal. But you’re there for a reason. So I’ve been at home training, spending time with my friends and family. You don’t get that pressure that you get on the north shore. At home I’m just Joel, and it makes life easier.

But Supertubos wasn't all tubes. Could this wheelie be any more likeable? ASP/Cestari

Mick’s a threat, but ratings and history would suggest Kelly’s the biggest concern. He’s competing in the Triple Crown, which is unlike him. Do you think about that? It doesn’t bother me what Kelly does. But we’re all in with a shot. Mick could easily win it. It’s mother nature. At Pipe, there’s not always a lot of really good waves in half an hour. You get one and a back up one. One wave can make a heat out there.

You make it to the business end of Pipe, it’s finals day, and it’s 15 foot. What do you eat for breakfast, what board do you grab, and who do you least wanna draw? I get up and have eggs. Then I grab the biggest fucken board I’ve got. I’d grab my 7’4″ quad. I’d love that, that’d be so sick. And on that day, I would not wanna draw Kieren Perrow. You ever see the guy out there? He’s unbelievable. He would take off under the lip and… any of the Pipe guys would be bad to draw, but I just know that guy goes like you wouldn’t believe. – Elliot Struck

Never mind the big stuff, either. Y'gotta think that a man who shines in Cloudbreak like this knows his way around Pipe. ASP/Robertson

  • Dre

    Its your to lose !! good luck man, champ or not… still a king!!

    • Dixie Normiss

      Actually, it’s Kelly’s to lose. Kelly holds a slight edge on adjusted ratings. Go Parko!!!

      • Mark

        No, 53,900 for Parko is his adjusted points. Kelly has to get a fifth or better to catch him. Parko has to get 3rd or better to increase his score.

      • 12

        GO KELLY

        • Chris Hannah

          This could be the last time. I don’t know. All i know is no one will watch footages of this man if he wins his first and only title..
          I rather watch Dane surfing 2 minutes long… than watch 10 minutes of Joel Parko “First Winning Title Footages.”

  • Eric

    Yeh Parko. Bring it home fella

  • Dez Snipes

    My prediction, now that you ask is thus: Mick wins Pipe, the title, Kelly loses early in the contest and does his passive aggressive thing in the booth. Joel?

  • Turd

    Good luck pumpkin!

  • #5 must be a homo

    go parko

  • L

    The guy has happy healthy kids, a spanking hot wife and gets paid to surf the best waves in the world – he’s already won.

    • Mick

      Joel was never married, he’s a professional brides maid. I’ve seen it

      • FuckYouCunts

        Yeah yeah the bridesmaid jokes n all that shit..what the f*ck evers. I hope “the mongrel” comes out in Hawaii and he tears their f*ckn throats out!! Some of you lame ass snickering pack of bitches on here wouldn’t go and you know it. No more shithouse waves to be scratching through anymore..its pipe…thats his shit!!!

      • 12

        very good!

    • The sandman

      Oh that was just a lovely thing to say L.

    • Rob

      The best comment I have ever read in this site. Cheers guy “L”
      Although I am a team kelly and expect him to bring it…

    • daniel

      u know it L

  • pam ans rancid pussy

    ive kinda hated on parko for not busting huge airs the past years in ct contests… but after this atricle, i realize that i hope he wins the whole fucking thing. if anyone deserves it.. its joel. the guy rules sunset.. id rather him win than mick .PSYCH im american i want slater to pull a mid 90’s-esque comeback and take it down. make parko fucking earn it. NOT TO MENTION SLATER SHOULD HAVE 4 WINS SINCE GET ROBBED AT BELLS. that shuld be a world title alone… like any other sport.

  • kelly Slater

    Parko will eat my eggs in the breakfast kkkkk second place forever!!!!!! kkkkkkkkkkkkkk #kellyking

  • adolf

    Id like to see him win one. I think he deserves it

  • fandango fan

    I’ve got a feeling, and I very well could be wrong, that Mick’s going to put on the clutch performance of his career and win pipe and the title in one foul swoop.

  • Dave Rastavich

    You killed a bird?? Fuck you Parko! You’re off my organically sustainable Christmas card list…

    • Mrs RastOvich

      You can’t spell your own name Rasta?

  • Lee Walker

    Hope you do win the title and the event Parko, your consistency should get you there.. Yeah Mick may pull it off but think it’s your turn to WIN which will give you the title.. Kelly, well what can you say, never right him off but makes me woder how many M.P should of got. There is alot of surfers from all over but some just choose not to do comps..Time to bring it back to the Cooly culture Go hard Parko..

  • Kai Hurst

    I hear Bruce is signing with Speedo

  • Rover

    Parko already accepting defeat. Just doesn’t have the champions animal. Think of AI…. he wanted to kill Kelly at pipe not just get one round further.

    • frothdog

      Agreed. I’d like parko to get 1 but maybe he’s just too cruisy.. and then there’s sla12er to beat and a whole pack of wild cards. If he can get 2nd to john john in the final and win the title he’s done well. GO parkO!

      • Gravy

        Who’s Slaizer?

    • billy bunter

      let’s face it though back then AI was fucking crazy

  • meatpie

    I want Parko to win… it feels like its his last chance… But that dirty olde world champ jimmy slade is a certified legend at Pipe.

  • L8drop

    yes, love KP at big, wild pipe, yeeewwwwwww

  • JOB

    Sorry skinny chicken legs an pipe dont mix!but on the bright side Parko, history says a balding melon does!

  • joel

    surfed w KP ripping 1-2 foot tubes to bits & broken head going nuts… KP could take it again, i’m manifesting KP another win at pipe,parko 2nd and taj 3rd… an all out oz final..

    • The sandman

      I like to have a punt on the surfing and I stupidly had the blinkers on with KP last year.
      He has been runner up and winner the last two years and seems to be a bit forgotten about again sitting in at around 35-1
      I hope there are no bullshit judging calls at pipe because if some one wins a title on a clearly lost heat the ASP will loose the last of it’s credibility.
      Social media circus is watching with baited breath.

  • Shen

    Joel, its yours…

  • Surf heck

    Parko looks good to win it he surfs Pipe and Backdoor well and i
    Most considtant. ffor Buce, his Mexio death masks among most rad of the year, he will be sponsored.

  • Johnny Apples

    as if this doesnt keep parko up at night

  • Poel Jarkinson

    he doesn’t want it enough. hell i think i want it for him more than he does!
    His mind is ripe for a fucking by Kelly

    • Onestraycat

      I second that. Where’s the fight? Handle the scandal KE12Y!!

  • Aldous

    word is Parko takes the Triple Crown and Pipe, signs to Volcom and moves family into pipe house.

  • Mark Otto

    Great Attitude Parko. You’ve been that way since you won you’re first ASP title @ J-Bay. Go for it son, you deserve it…

  • Tom

    Just another loser from downunder! Go Kelly! Go USA!

    • Josh

      Lucky kelly is from the states cause use havnt had much other talent come out of your financially fucked country

      • uncle aussie

        Hawaii Is a state you Moron. Lots of talented mainland transplants who rip as well and lets not forget the States born locals too. Other than our Fucked up psycho Corrupt Government this country has produced more talent from so many different things than all the other countries in the world. Quit hating and swallow your insecurities

        • Shoredump

          No, all the world, except Americans, who don’t understand the world, know that through history USA have bought their talent. Ha! I bet u don’t even realise your own country is founded on more convicts than Australia. Explains your countries terrible violence record.

  • name name

    did anyone else read parkos book and hate him afterwards? boasting about snaking at snapper etc, hope kelly rolls him

  • dewgun

    call me crazy,but i’d rather win it witha couple of wins and couple of ok results than win it with a year of 2nd’s,beating no one the whole year

    • joel alzeihmer

      yeah, and even better is winning it with just wins… but it´s definitely better a title with no wins than no title , so fuck you all, and specially you

  • Le Coq

    Sorry for him and all those style lovers. He’d lost already. Not that he doesn´t want, actually he does, but his nerves betray. He is a chicken, a stylish one.

  • response to #13 by a pedant
  • Runs again

    I need a shit

  • Slater hater

    Quarters as a worst result…. How much more consistent do you want

  • Rob

    I learned to love parko´s style, he blows my mind whenever he stands on a surfboard, whether is pipe, snapper or fucking Rio. But I have to say that kelly might take the 12

    • Rob Blowe

      “I learned to love parko´s style, he blows my mind whenever he stands on a surfboard”
      Yeah, you blow him all right, you fuckin faggot.

  • Rogane

    slater cant even grow a head of hear. Parkos got a full head of hair. I bet slater would trade a title or too for a full head of hair.

    • Rub My Head…No the other one.

      Slater has single handedly made ‘bald’ ok for white men outside of surfing. Another illustration of his complete dominance and leadership of trends and influence. The King. Period. No one ever has had that kind of effect on a sport and culture.

  • Ron Burgundy

    Parko is a pompous bastard. Fuck him and fuck Kelly. Go Mick!

    • 13

      perfect comment

  • Dave

    I want Mick to win title number 3 and Any Aussie who comes up early against Kelly make a point of sitting on top of Kelly clash rails in the line up paddle behind him and keep pulling his leg rope and give him hate stares all heat…Then shake his hand after you beat him and say GOOD heat don’t you reckon mate!!:)

    • uncle aussie

      You hate him for making our sportwhat it is today and being the BEST of all time and one of sports greatest ambassadors? Im starting to see an Aussie insecurity trend here. Sad

  • diego

    win or lose, parko will succumb to a cloud of coke

  • Reality

    That beak looks ripe for a bag of flour.

  • mario

    If conditions are consistent enough kelly would win and if conditions are not very good probably Kelly will win too. He is the best and he deserves the number one more than anybody else.

  • ben

    Joel deserves a title for sure!! His surfings amazing and the fact he’s been runner up 4 times proves how good he is. Just needs to hold his nerve this time….. Go on mate, you wont get many more chances with John John and Medina snapping at your old heels!

  • Nick

    Kelly vs Joel is highest place wins. Kelly is clearly the favourite & Joel is the underdog. At Pipe there is a lot of luck, unless it is perfect. Joel got a perfect 20 point heat at Backdoor and can also win on the lefts, getting 2nd last year. His backhand late freefall takeoffs are as good at Kelly’s. Mick can win also. Anything can happen, with John John, Jamie O’Brien & others. Best WCT ending for while. Go Joel!

  • Mal Meninga

    Yeeewww go Joel, mate your a true blue bloody champ…QUEENSLANDER!!!!!!!!!

  • meatpie

    whoever wins its going to be an epic event…

  • the bob

    how many of these comments actually come from the stab office?more than one ledies?…no?parko will shit down their throats this december!!!!!fuck xmas im getting a parko doll of my own!!!ho ho ho

  • nostradamus

    travis logie is gonna eliminate parko

  • The Bird Parko Hit

    Hi everyone, I’m not dead. Just wounded. Should be good to go in a week or two.
    PS It was my fault, I was in a hurry.

    • birds cant type


  • Ironic

    Everyone who says Parko seems to relaxed, not hungry enough or that he’s already accepted defeat should take a look at Parko’s history. He’s always done well when he is most relaxed – his first win at Bells he was so relaxed he combo’d Andy in their semi then came in early to have a massage before the final. He’s usually had big results early and late in the year (ie before the title race gets going or after he’s already out of contention). And his 2nd year on tour, he missed several events to relax at home after his 1st child was born – then ended up getting runner up. And right from the start of this year, Parko has been saying the exact same thing – it’s not the be all and end all and his family is number one to him right now and it’s proven to be a successful attitude.

    From my perspective, Parko is back to his best mindset, after a few slightly uncharacteristic (though nonetheless highly successful) years of 100% effort and commitment. If Parko goes to Hawaii wanting nothing more than the World Title, he’ll once again see it slip away. If he goes there and surfs with the knowledge that he is already a champ regardless of World Titles, we’ll see him breeze through his heats and finally get the trophy.

    • uncle aussie

      Spoken by a true surfer stalker who obviously has waaaaay too much time on his hands. And knows bizarily way too much about this guy. Must be a Fag

  • Sam

    Parko, you sound like a down to earth lad. You’ve already got a great family,
    a low maintenance wife (low for a women i’m guessing) and the best job in the world.
    Forget about the world and just have fun at pipe, you’ll be fine.

  • b

    Why do we never see Parko clips ??

    • 4 hours later

      ’cause they’re awfully boring

  • Andy

    If KE12Y wins #12 Im going to have to boycottt he tour until he retires. In Kellys 3rd round heat at the Lane against Dusty, Kelly was over scored and Dusty was under scored. Dusty won that heat if the judges had any testicles whatsoever. They live and froth in Kellys asshole. If the judges scored that heat correclty, Joel’s requirement for a title at Pipe would be much different, much easier, a walk in the park. KE12Y needs to retire.

    • Bali Surf

      I agree, I thought Dusty beat Kelly as well.

    • fuckwit

      dont forget kelly getting robbed at bells. that win wouldve changed everything

  • Afrikaans

    I have a job to do in Hawaii , not drink cocktails and relax around the pool ??????? That statement just cost you the world title MATE. Does your JOB still pay your maid in South Africa ???????

    • parko’s maid

      what the hell are you talking about…

  • bignuts
    joel’s frontside 3 in the intro 0 still hasn’t done anything better i reckon… i know he is smooth and shit but he almost looks a bit bored by his own surfing these days… still hope he gets one though…

  • mickman

    Kelly was but now joel is just like medina will be …….the clock ticks on. May the best man win so that he can grin!!!

  • Gtzavaleta

    Too bad John John Florence is out of the title. Being local and how he surfs Pipe, it would add huge pressure, and fun for us

  • Jack

    Fark Yeah, Parko! fark yeah Kieron would go!

  • Gravy

    It’s a real travesty that someone so capable of doing airs might win a world title in 2012 without doing an air. Something needs to be rectified,

  • Captain toot

    Pity andy not there to enjoy th bag of coke after if Joel wins

  • no nick

    “His backhand late freefall takeoffs are as good at Kelly’s.”
    Nah, they aren’t. Kelly, Andy (R.I.P.) and Bruce all look natural and fluid but Joel and Mick look awkward doing that. Their final at Teahupoo doesn’t make them look any better.

  • JOB

    Joel Parkinson will be remembered for nothing , true story!

  • r. Kameina

    Sorry Parko… will try to do snaps when he should be looking for the barrel. I saw him paddle out and had to coax him into a few. He’s confused on take off and at the end of the wave WHAT TO DO.. I told him Don’t float.. .Don’t float.. He kept looking for sections. Its one foot and then reef. Ridiculous. He needs to play it safe to get through. .. Its not gonna be good. He’s a good man, but lost in terms of understanding Pipe. Aloha.

  • cornholio


  • Brian

    JOB smokes pipes now I here

  • michael

    Parko ASP World Champion 2012!! Slater lost against Dusty in the last event, that was bullshit.

  • Surfer

    No one deserves shit. Whoever wins will have really earned the fucken title from that one event alone. Champions succeed under Pressure. Remember mick Campbell and that wills dude?

    What’s up with the Agro here? Anyone that is lucky enough to surf should be fucken grateful in this truly fucked up world full of greed and fucken anger. Grow up or smoke some weed.

  • TIM

    Hopefully Parko will go over the falls like last year an save the asp a major embarrassment!

  • Dick

    You fucken Aussies still pay hommige to that cunt in England who lives a half world away. Pathetic. We wipped those English assholes back in the 1700’s. Say what you want about the US but supply more aid to other countries then the rest of the world combined. So have fun with you $50 cases of beer and you crooked tooth women. O ya fuck Dave Rostabitch the most over rated surfer in the world, take a shower you troll!! I hope Slater win another dozen titles!!

  • Right on

    “What’s up with the Agro here? Anyone that is lucky enough to surf should be fucken grateful in this truly fucked up world full of greed and fucken anger.”.

    I think this is the best comment I have ever read on stab. I actually recalled it after a surf session. Thank you Surfer.

  • Jiangsu Changyu Chemical Co., Ltd

    Awsome post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)
    Jiangsu Changyu Chemical Co., Ltd

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