Stab Magazine | The World’s Most Stylish Surfer Diversifies His Quiver

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The World’s Most Stylish Surfer Diversifies His Quiver

Joel Parkinson is ready for the Four Seasons Champions Trophy.

style // Aug 7, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve swooned over the surfing of Mr Joel Parkinson for the best part of two decades.

It’s often hard to avoid hyperbole (especially when titling web stories), but labelling him as the most stylish surfer of the three-finned age is, in our opinion, undebatable. Joel’s one of those surfers who could ride anything (if you close your eyes and visualise, it’s not a stretch to imagine him perched on the beak of an old mal at First Point Noosa in a pair of 16” trunks), and now that he’s free of the shackles of competitive surfing, he can. 

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A fresh, eclectic quiver and a berth on the floating Four Seasons in the Maldives? Retirement never looked so good. (Click through to order your own diverse, yet hi-fi, quiver)

One of the wonderful things about competitive retirement, and one that happens to align with diversifying the quiver, is the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy, far and away the world’s most decadent surf contest. The format’s simple: three categories – thrusters, twins, single fins – and the best overall performer takes the cheese. The 2019 instalment is just about to begin, and for the first time Joel’s name is on the roster. You’d be a brave punter to wager against the 2012 World Champ taking it out, especially when you leaf through his custom JS quiver.

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Joel slides the coping on a twin: everything in its right place.

Reports suggest that Joel’s ridden his Black Baron twin more than any other craft this year. While we eagerly await the day when Joel heads south to join former sparring partner Rasta for a screaming Lennox Head twin fin collab session (seriously, this needs to happen), this footage of Joel swooping on a twin on a frosty Tasmanian point has us excited at the prospect of him in trunks on a perfect Maldivian right pass.

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Modern take on a classic.

If they run the single fin category when it’s clean and tubular then we’re in for a genuine spectacle. Joel won the annual Burleigh Single Fin Festival for the second time earlier this year but that was on, for want of a better term, “an old heapa.” Classic singles look beautiful hanging on the wall, but surfboard design has come far since Rabbit, MP and the gang were duelling leash-less on the Gold Coast points. Joel’s modern take – 5’10” x 19 1/2”  x 2’7/16”, 30.1 litres – is going to allow him to push the performance capabilities of the category, while still allowing all the beautiful in-between moments that singles allow, when piloted correctly. If you’re not excited by the prospect then you don’t genuinely love surfing.

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Can we please get a petition going that if (when) Joel wins the Champions Trophy he has to attend cocktail hour on the Four Seasons Explorer dressed exactly like this? (Photo by Zak Bush).

The Surfing Champions Trophy is on the cusp of starting, and despite the opulent distractions, Joel sounds fired up for the W at the place he went on his first-ever trip as a sponsored surfer, 21 years ago. “The Maldives is one of my favourite surf spots as a holiday destination; they don’t get more amazing for a surfer and their family,” Joel told his shaper and close mate JS before he left. “Now my kids are older we’re making this contest into a family project. I’m coming to win the Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy to show them Dad can still mix it with the best of them.” A fired up Dad is not to be underestimated.

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Insert Joel on a twinnie here.

Gorge on the highlights from last year, and keep your eyes fixed here and here for the start of the 2019 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy.

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