Stab Magazine | Joel Parkinson’s Retirement Bash Was Everything The North Shore Needed
602 Views

Joel Parkinson’s Retirement Bash Was Everything The North Shore Needed

Sights and sounds from the best night of the Vans Triple Crown
 

style // Dec 14, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 6 minutes

An exclusive rager at the Billabong Pipe house, the Parko party started off with free drinks and morsels for all, served by a slew of attractive hostesses.

While those consumables appeased the masses, Ronnie Blakey took the stage and commenced what would be a night to never forget.

“We’re not just celebrating the competitor, the athlete, the man,” said Blakey. “We’re celebrating that nose, and the wonderful smile that lives in its shadow.”

 

DSCF3117

The Parkinsons, ladies and gents.

Photography

Sam Moody.

The night only got funnier from there, but first, Joel’s wife Monica took the stage and delivered a heartfelt memoriam to her big-beaked hubby. She talked about meeting Joel at 16, having a kid at 21, marrying before 25, and spending the rest of their time traveling the world together (which, Monica says, is a perk they’ll be saddened to lose upon Joel’s retirement).

Then Joel’s teenaged daughter Evie took to the stage. She was easily the best speaker of the night.

“Fifteen years ago,” Evie started, “my dad was awoken at 4 AM to a call from my mom, saying she was pregnant… Now they call me the happiest accident ever.”

Evie went on to recall a moment from 2006, when as a toddler, she was inconsolably crying on the beach at Sunset. Before paddling out to his final at the World Cup of Surfing, Joel sat with Evie in the sand and watched Dora the Explorer with her. He went on to win the event, despite having the “D-d-d-d-d-Dora” theme song stuck in his head.  

Evie then explained a moment earlier in the year when, while driving together in the car, her dad proposed the concept of retiring at the J-Bay event.

“I said no way and turned the music back up,” Evie proclaimed. 

She wanted nothing to do with her dad not continuing to bring them around the globe. Joel would eventually settle on retiring at Pipe.

Joel’s younger daughter, Macy, shared the same sentiment as her mom and sister.  

“Good luck with your new job commentating,” Macy claimed. “We’re not going anywhere.”

 

DSCF3088

Australian surfing’s most regal representative.

Photography

Sam Moody.

All the while tears trickled down Parko’s sunkissed skin.  

It was revealed by a Billabong employee that Joel specifically requested for everyone involved with the night to wear the same funky collared shirt, all but proving Evey’s earlier claims about her dad having “awful fashion sense”.

“Mom is gonna throw out those camo cargo pants that you always wear as soon as you’re not looking,” Evie hilariously proclaimed.

And so what if Parko has dad style and dad jokes? These things only him more lovable.

Kieren Perrow was next on the mic, and beyond relaying a touching message of his own, he passed along Joel’s longtime shaper, Jason Stevenson’s, retirement send-off. It was economical both in content and context. 

“Joel, I love you and you’re an inspiration,” JS said, “but now you’re paying wholesale for boards.”

The crowd roared and finally Mick Fanning took center stage. 

 

DSCF3274

Mick Fanning was never going to miss this party.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3239

Photography

Sam Moody.

“What can I say? This guy’s the best,” Fanning told the crowd about his pal Joel. “He gave me a World Title in 2009, and a Teahupo’o title in 2012. He’s a good starter, Joel, he just can’t finish.”

Mick went on to educate Joel’s daughter Evie about the truth of that 4 AM pregnancy call, which included the 21-year-olds Mick and Joel driving who-knows-where in the wee hours of the Spanish morning, and Mick nearly swerving off the road and killing them both when he heard the news.

“I was so shocked,” Mick laughed.

Finally, Mick divided the crowd with one final, homoerotic anecdote. You can watch it below.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ptDp4ba_F6A

 

Mick then closed his speech with a tear-inducing quote.

“Joel, I’m a better person just for having you in my life. Maybe I’ll get ya on The Search one day.”

DSCF3331
DSCF3335

Photography

Sam Moody.

At that point Joel, the man who this whole evening was intended for, finally took the mic. First he thanked Billabong for over 20 years of support.

“I’ll never have another sponsor,” Parko said. “[Billabong] is just who I am. Put it in my gravestone… Just keep paying me [laughs].”

He continued into more serious territory.

“I just want to say that I’m proud of myself,” Joel stated. “I take pride in what I do and what I’ve achieved. It’s not until I made this decision to retire that I’ve been able to appreciate all of that. And I feel happy that I can say this in front of you all without sounding like a big headed pig. I’m fucking proud.”

If you can even believe it’s possible, the crowd simultaneously roared and sobbed. Parko has touched so many people in this surfing community, and tonight, more than ever, it showed.

 

DSCF3545

Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, yeah, Robert Trujillo has played in some bands.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3488

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett.

Photography

Sam Moody.

Soon after the speeches, a ragtag band comprising two Metallica members, the drummer from Queens of the Stone Age, and a singer from Ugly Kid Joe took the stage. They murdered the show with hard rock hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Not even a heavy Hawaiian squall could deter the hundreds of rabid Joel-fans-turned-head-bangers, who braved the rain while chanting lyrics to Black Sabbath, ACDC, and Motorhead hits.

Parko even joined them on stage for a bit, stealing a mic to sing Hells Bells to an adoring crowd. The Champ then tried his hand at crowd surfing, which we quickly discovered Joel is much worse at than actual surfing. He fell onto their hands prong-down, which is never a good move. The crowd loved it nonetheless.  

Eventually things got fairly out of control, with a moshpit forming in front of center stage. A lot of young, drunk surfers were involved, as were Steph Gilmore and industry veterans like Sean Doherty, Jimmy Wilson, and Stab’s own Ashton Goggans, who lost his family ring in the melee but managed to find it shortly after.

 

DSCF3678

Joel Parkinson fronting The Wedding Band for “Hell’s Bells.”

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3747

While the veterans were out in full force, the next generation didn’t pass up the historic opportunity.

Photography

Sam Moody.

This “push circle” (as the Aussie girls were calling it) produced smiles all around, and despite a few beer-drenched shirts and muddy shoes, there were no serious injuries.

Except, of course, for the person who tried to enter the party via the Billabong house’s viney beach wall, who upon detection was hurled back onto the sand by a well-formed security guard. It’s at least an eight foot drop from the wall to the beach. Hopefully they’re alright.

Overall, it was remarkable how many important surfing figures were on-hand to celebrate Joel on his official send-off.

As previously mentioned, Mick Fanning was in attendance and in fine form. Steph Gilmore was on-site and looking dapper, despite her appearance in the mosh. Bruce Irons arrived late but arrived nonetheless. Shane Dorian, the Harringtons, Dingo, Herbie Fletcher, Occy, Gabriel Medina, and Eddie fucking Rothman were there to celebrate the Champ.

 

DSCF3398

Miss Stephanie Gilmore.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3421

Joel Parkinson, Bruce Irons, and Mick Fanning.

Photography

Sam Moody.

It was the best night Stab has had all Triple Crown season, and we can’t imagine anyone would have anything different to say about Parko’s retirement blowout.

Click through the gallery above, or scroll south for snapshots from the evening. This one will go down in the history books. 

 

DSCF3427

An escaped Australian Silverback named Jay Davies.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3347

Shane and Jackson Dorian.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3146

Pat Tenore and Lyndie Irons.

Photography

Sam Moody.

DSCF3652

Herbie Fletcher.

Photography

Sam Moody.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022

3:31

Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022

24:32

Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022

4:18

Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022

5:07

Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022

4:25

“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022

25:17

Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022

27:45

How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022

3:36

‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022

3:34

“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022
Advertisement