Stab Magazine | Joel Parkinson Wins the 2012 Billabong Pro, Pipeline

Joel Parkinson Wins the 2012 Billabong Pro, Pipeline

After one of the biggest days in professional surfing, literally and figuratively, Joel Parkinson takes the World Title, as well as the Billabong Pipe Masters… By Craig Jarvis Is it fair to call it the greatest surfing event in the world? Is that just superlative adjectival pandering? Is pro surfing even that important? These are […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

After one of the biggest days in professional surfing, literally and figuratively, Joel Parkinson takes the World Title, as well as the Billabong Pipe Masters…

By Craig Jarvis

Is it fair to call it the greatest surfing event in the world? Is that just superlative adjectival pandering? Is pro surfing even that important? These are questions that are totally and utterly irrelevant when you witness a Pipe Masters event going at full speed in seriously dangerous waves. It’s not airs and flips and rotes and slides. It’s commitment and bravery and courage and bottom turns. And world champions. And bikinis. And a few drunk cretins. And a Pipeline Master.

The first heat.

After much watching, contemplating and muttering, the first heat was sent into thick and chunky Pipe and within minutes it was total gangbusters. Slater got piped on his first wave and got pinched, Gabby was totally dominant and showing serious commitment and strange confidence and Pipe prowess, while Kerrzy was showing absolute hunger and almost desperation to muscle his way through the windy pits. Within seconds the heat turned into a total tubefest, a wonderful conglomeration of tube riding wizardry, and a cross section of all generations from young to middling to the ‘experienced’ (old).

Kerr pulled into one froth monster Backdoor tube, slammed hard and tore his shoulder, already damaged from a recent skateboard accident. It was off to hospital for a scan, where he received an all clear. Slater snapped a board amongst the pits, and Gabby pulled into a sick barrel and connected Slater’s broken board as he was exiting the barrel.

Something that was kinda interesting first thing in the morning was to witness pockets of spectators, fans, and industry people clapping softy whenever Slater came unstuck. It’s akin to booing, and not really ideal for the sportsmanship that our sport hopes to aspire to, but it seemed that the #goparko contingent was feeling all-powerful.

The heat of the day.

Without wishing to detract from Joel’s incredible performance today, the heat of the day was a confrontation between two bald Americans, as Kelly and Shane-O had the knives out, so to speak, in their quarters. I had Dorian ahead in the Backdoor tube-fest of the week, as did many others around me (I was in the ‘Bong house at the time) but Slater edged his good mate out by the smallest of margins (18.73 to 18.20) and the race continued.


Dane Reynolds’ godhead status in this event came to a grinding halt against CJ, with Reynolds actually giving CJ one of his scoring waves, a tight little Backdoor double barrel. Dane had impressed massively so far, but his contest surfing resurgence came to a grinding halt against the twin.

Strange Days.

Slater vs Miguel Pupo looked like a one-way ride before the surfers had even hit the rip-washed waters. Kelly was hungry, and fighting for his 12th crown, while Pupo was the veritable dark horse, the clichéd underdog, the metaphoric grasshopper, and a cat in a sack. Slaters’ dominance radiated before the heat started, like the bright sun bouncing off a bald mans skull. He went mad. He caught a 9.57 off the siren, and followed it up with a 9.70 and the door was closed to Pupo within four minutes, despite the fact that Pupo got one sick airdrop backhand pit. Kid’s got some braves. Onliner haters were screaming that he was underscored, but he didn’t have a backup wave any way, and haters are going to hate. Yo.


Things then went pointy quite quick. Parko came up against CJ in the quarters. CJ paddled for a piece of shit, backed out and gave priority to Parko, who responded by paddling for another shit one and giving priority straight back to CJ.

…The heat ticks down to 10 minutes. Joel catches a Backdoor runner, gets clamped and escapes, CJ gets a left, gets clamped and escapes. Joel gets another piece of shit that clamps and the beach goes mad. Scores go back and forth and back again and CJ is left hurting for a 7.5 and gets a Backdoor pit and gets clamped and doesn’t escape and it’s over and the race continues for Parko…

Yades’ day.

It’s a big one and Yadin paddles hard and nearly wobbles off at the bottom of a big wind-swept monster Backdoor wall, but he gets into a stand-up tube and rides across the reef and comes out and gets a 10 and the world goes mad, but he doesn’t get a backup and Kerrzy beats him and he doesn’t qualify for the 2013 world tour. The end.


Joel’s performance in the semi showed that he knew he was going to win. He could do no wrong as he took out Dooma with a 9.13 and an 8.17. “When I woke up this morning I knew it was going to be my day,” said Parko after this heat, and he surfed with utter confidence, no faltering.


Slater had peaked against Dorian. He had strength left, but he seemed to have lost his magic as he pulled into a bunch of closeout right and barrels and ended up with a score of 4.90. Josh wins the heat, Joel is the world champion, and it’s all over and it’s also just begun. No need to crap on about how much Joel deserved it and how much effort and years he’d put into this moment. He is the new, stoked world champion.

“It’s great for Joel and it’s great for the sport. Maybe it means that I’ll even get a dividend from Billabong sometime soon,” someone said.

It’s a Billabong Pipeline Masters Kerrzy / Parko final, but the moment has already happened, the day has already peaked. Parko wins, gets his first contest victory for the year along with his title, and people start celebrating. Hard.


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