HOME TOWN: Gold Coast, Australia
FAVORITE SHADE: Gatti
SPONSORS: Billabong, VonZipper, Kustom & JS Industries
YEARS ON TOUR: 7
FAVORITE SPOT: Kirra, Snapper Rocks (Aus)
MAIN SHAPER: JS, from JS Industries
TRAVELLING QUIVER: Three 6'2"x18-3/8x2-1/4; 6'6"x18-3/8x2-1/4
FAVORITE SURFERS: Occy, Matt Hoy
TRAINING: Surfing, running & Cross training
FAVOURITE MUSIC: Anything from Donavan to Metallica
OTHER INTERESTS: Cars & Watching my favorite footy team play
THE JOEL PARKINSON PHENOMENON: it's incredible really.
It's amazing when you sit back and think about what Parko has already accomplished from his 26 years (nearly 27) on the planet. He's already extracted more from his young life than some people take to do in a lifetime. He's an integral part of the young Aussie posse forging names for themselves on the WCT circuit, and came painfully close to claiming a world title twice in the past four years. He headlined with his dog Trey in the Jack McCoy film, 'Free as a Dog'', released in 2006, and he's built his own home that stands high above his childhood stomping ground of Coolangatta. He and girlfriend Monica became husband and wife back in '05 and he is also the proud Dad to two young daughters named Evie and Macy.
PARKO'S TALENT RESEMBLED SOMETHING OF A CHILD PRODIGY:
A duel world junior champion, born out of the fierce Australian Junior Series of the mid to late 90's, Parko's talent was evident early on. His first major claim to fame came as a spindly 17-year-old wildcard, handing the 'CT 45 a hiding they didn't expect at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. Parko then graduated to the WCT in 2001 finishing 21st in his rookie year. 2002 saw Parko climb to second position on the 'CT and cemented his fast growing reputation as a serious title contender. Although dropping down to fifth in 2003, Parko refocused in '04 to again be within a bee's dick of poaching AI's world title. 2005 also brought about his first child, and although Parko doesn't regret missing two events to be there for the birth of baby Evie, it makes you wonder if Andy would have claimed that world title if he hadn't.
A solid start to 2006, with a 9th and a 2nd from the two Australian events, saw Parko remaining inside the top ten for the duration. Given better results in the final two contests, the Nova Schin Festival in Brazil and the Pipeline Masters, it's quite possible Parko could have wrapped up '06 inside the top three.
2007 saw Parko once again finish in the worlds top five, with a solid string of results bar one slip up at the Boost Mobile Pro in California. While he was in the hunt all year, he lacked the event wins needed to claim a world title. Perhaps the biggest thing to happen to Joel in 2007 was seeing his long time friend and competitive rival Mick Fanning win his maiden world title. He saw what was needed to reach the pinnacle. He celebrated the win with his good mate but deep down you could see the fire burning. Micks win has lit a fire under Joel and get ready, because he's coming in 09, full steam ahead.
Some people hobble through the 'CT without stepping passing the third step on the winner's stage, relying on consistency for re-qualification. Let's face it; it's a hard school with riches restricted to those who exude that bit extra. It's no fluke or coincidence that Joel has been able to match it with the elite few after diving head first into their reserved ranks as a junior. It's also worthy to note that many of his fellow competitors rate Joel year after year as one of the dangerous few capable of snatching a world title.
THE TIME IS NEAR...
Parko is an original 'Coolie kid'. Along with close mates 'Fanning' and 'Deano', he has saturated world surfing with a talent simply groomed on the long points of his home breaks. He exudes the disposition of your typically gifted individual. His casual yet rapidly explosive style displays a degree of laziness unique to any other surfer on the world scene. Out of the water Parko is merely, one of the boys. Never shy of celebrating a mate's triumph, ripping into a tin or two and always the first one reaching for an Aussie flag, he remains true to the values installed in him by the Coolangatta massive.
2009 has seen Parko off to the races with three wins in the early going of the 09 season he is poised for his first world Title. Time will tell but if you were a betting man joel would be at the top of the list.