Watch: Parko Announces Retirement Alongside Mick Fanning And Occy
The semi-staged official statement.
Mr. Joel Parkinson, 37 and after almost two decades on tour and a World Championship to show for it, is calling it. Jeffreys Bay, where he won his first event as a rookie so many moons ago, could not be a better place to make the announcement.
Joel just dropped the bomb on social media, at the exact same time Billabong took the above clip live. It’s a moderately awkward reenactment of Joel revealing the news to best buds Mick and Occy, via a short surf trip – that appears to be fruitful! Either way there’s loads of nostalgic moments and slinky Parkinson railwork within.
According to Joel, the competitive fire is out and this year’s Pipe Masters will be his final event.
We’ll hand it over to JP and the Instagram caption that revealed his reasoning.
“The first time I went to J-Bay was 19 years ago. I was just a kid back then.
“I’d just finished last in a contest in Reunion, turned up at J-Bay with a toothache, but then got my first glimpse of the wave and the pain went away. It was six foot and perfect from Boneyards to Impossibles, I paddled out through the keyhole, caught my first wave and that was it. I was gone. I lost my mind.
“Next thing I was standing there on stage holding the trophy, not sure what had just happened, but I knew I’d found my second home. This is where it all started for me on tour, and that’s why I wanted to be here in J-Bay to let you know that this will be my last year on tour.
“The Pipe Masters in December will be my last event.
“The fire just hasn’t been there for a while now and I never want to surf without it, so it’s time to go look for it somewhere else.
“The tour has given me so much. So many memories, so many friends, the chance for my kids to see the world, but it’s time to move on to the next chapter. That means one last lap of the tour and I can’t wait to catch up with a lot of old friends and get a few waves along the way… starting this week at J-Bay.”
The tour’s gonna look a lot less refined in the Post Parko era, but we’re looking forward to seeing more of those flawless arcs jersey-free.
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