Stab Magazine | Joel Parkinson Takes Out The Hawaiian Pro
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Joel Parkinson Takes Out The Hawaiian Pro

Joel Parkinson bashed the shit out of all those poor saps en route to victory at Haleiwa.

news // Nov 18, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Vans Triple Crown is where competitive surfing aspirations come to live and die.

That’s why, even beyond the spectre of good and sizable surf, the events at Haleiwa and Sunset bring such excitement to the QS. An entire year of travel, training, and close heats comes down to this. For every wannabe-CT surfer, the Triple Crown is do or die. As fans, that drama adds to our viewing experience, both because the surfers perform at their absolute peak and because we get to watch our favorite battlers realize their dreams of making the CT.

Today at the Hawaiian Pro, Joel Parkinson bashed the shit out of all those poor saps en route to victory at Haleiwa. His performance in the final was a masterclass in railwork and a reminder of what Parkinson, a World Champion, brought to the sport of surfing.

If he plays his cards right at Sunset, he could actually requalify via the QS, which would be pretty hilarious given his impending retirement. Additionally, given Parko’s impeccable rail and aptitude for punchy waves, it’s likely he’ll find himself towards the thinner end of the competition. We’d say he’s a shoe in for taking out the Crown, and even an off chance of all three – which used to garner a $1 million bonus back in the day. 

Beyond Parko, the surprise performer of the event was the 17-year-old Brazilian phenom, Mateus Herdy. Mateus beat Filipe Toledo in the quarters, dropped a double-reverse left for nearly nine points in the semis, and got second in the final with an excellent point total.

With this huge result, Mateus jumped from 61st on the QS to 12th in one fell swoop. He, too, could easily qualify with a result at Sunset, and would be one of many Brazilians to do so in 2018.

This year, for the first time in the history of professional surfing, Brazilians held the most spots on the Championship Tour. Next year, by the looks of things, the nation of Order and Progress will only expand upon its majority.

When asked how he felt about this by fellow WSL commentator Kaipo Guerrero, the affable Strider Wasilewski balked.

“Well… that’s a possibility. We’ll have to check the rankings to see who’s coming on and who’s falling off.”

Kaipo doubled down.

“The way it is now, it seems that for every Brazilian falling off the the CT, there are two coming on. This is what’s happening.”

Strider’s silence was telling and, I think, exemplary of many westerners’ feelings toward Brazil’s newfound surfing domination. It’s not that most Aussies and Americans are truly “racist” against The Storm, they’re just a little shocked and confused about losing their decades-long stronghold on the sport.

I’d imagine a similar thing happened in the sport of track and field, when all those Jamaican dudes and dudettes just decided to come up take over the world.

It’s shocking, and for some, apparently, unsettling. But as Kaipo said, this is what’s happening. It’s time that Aussies and Americans accept and ultimately embrace the Brazilian dominance, because they’re really fucking good at surfing, and clearly not going anywhere. Most of the Storm seem really cool too, if you just get to know them.

Let’s take a look at who else made a jump up the QS leaderboard following Haleiwa. The movers and shakers, if you will:

Say hello to Hawaii’s latest CT entrant, Seth Moniz. Photo: WSL

Seth Moniz: 4th to 2nd. Seth’s backflip-spawned success continues into the Triple Crown. If it wasn’t official before, it is now — Seth will be on Tour next year.

Ricardo Christie: 14th to 7th. Back on tour after his 2015 effort, where Ricky had a chronic case of the “Callinans” — high heat scores, close losses.

Leo Fioravanti: 11th to 8th. The 20-year-old Italian is back where he belongs. One could foresee a decades-long CT career for Leo, with a similar trajectory to Bede Durbidge’s. 

Pat Gudauskas: 37th to 14th. Pat’s had a rough year on the CT but has been downright lethal on the Q. This only his fifth QS event in 2018, and he’s already in 14th place! He could easily requalify (again) at Sunset. 

Jesse Mendes: 33th to 13th. Jesse’s also had an average year on tour – currently 29th place – but could find himself inside the top 32 again with a decent result at Sunset, or a huge result at Pipe. 

Jack FreestoneL 16th to 22nd. A surfer we’ve long believed is too good not to be on tour, but his up and down competitive results continue to hinder his CT placement. 

Reef Heazlewood: 18th to 23rd. He blew our minds last week with his punts and later edit, but might not be blowing our minds in a jersey unless he has a big result at Sunset. 

Evan Geiselman: 13th to 18th. This Florida boy has been knocking on the door for years, but he’s certainly not making it easy for himself. A big result at Sunset, which is admittedly not an ideal venue for EG’s whippy approach, will see him finally realize a deserved CT berth.

Jake Marshall: 24th to 19th. This Cardiff grom is pushing toward qualification after a quarter at Haleiwa. If it weren’t for Parko’s buzzer-beater win, Jake, who was Griffin Colapinto’s childhood sparring partner, would be even closer to an April start at Snapper. 

Deivid Silva: 6th to 4th. We don’t know much about this guy, but he’s got a solid backhand snap, can throw a mean frontside punt, and will definitely be on Tour next year. 

With just one event left on the QS, these storylines are only becoming more interesting. See you at Sunset!

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