“Might Be One Or Two Years, Might Be One Or Two Events”: Joel Parkinson On Retirement

Stab loves hearing the sound of Mark Occhilupo's voice. Not sure if it's a nostalgic thing but it's just got this honest, grounded quality about it. Occ's solo radio podcast program The Occ-Cast recently kicked off with a maiden episode featuring Coolangatta top-dog and World Tour veteran Joel Parkinson. While the conversation initially revolves a little shakily around fishing and football games, a few minutes later and Parko's dropping retirement bombshells.

"Might be one or two years or might be one or two events," he says. "It takes a lot of commitment to win a title and to do what I had to do, I've done that. I really just want to get back to enjoying my surfing."

Though the inevitable is nigh, he does admit he's still enjoying the tour and believes he's not ready to slow down just yet. "I'm afraid if I don’t compete it won’t keep me as hungry and as willing to surf, to chase waves. Maybe it’ll take my foot off the gas a bit and I don’t want to do that yet. I want to still get barrelled."

Parko Snapper Juan Medina Landscape

"I’m not going to chase the QS." Photo: Juan Medina (JCM Photography)

Parko also admits he hasn't had much prep on his backhand lately, which could largely be attributed to his pre-Fijian knee blowout, which forced a withdrawal from that event. He speaks of recent plans for a Cloudbreak strike mission to warm up for the heaviest stop on tour (the window for which opens this weekend). 

“Is that intentional practice for Tahiti?” Occy asks. “Yeah," Joel replies. "I want to see how my knee goes, I’ve barely gone left. I just need a couple to get that feeling, I don’t want to dive into Teahupoo without sitting in a backhand barrel.”

Other topics included in the first of Occy’s Morning Commute Podcasts include balancing family and tour life, Coolangatta sand movements and the success of Balter Brewing. 

Tune in and drop out with Occ: