A retrospective look at Parko’s road to victory

Joel Parkinson at Snapper Rocks Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News
Joel Parkinson at Snapper Rocks Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

JOEL 'Parko' Parkinson won his first world title just over a week ago now, cementing his place amongst surfing's greats.

Respected surf Journalist Sean Doherty has been mates with Joel since the Cooly kid was 18, and released the biography Parko and Friends in 2010.

The Daily News asked Mr Doherty about the roots of our hometown hero to find out how he ended up to be the best surfer in the world.

"His Dad Brian took him out for the first time," he said.

"He was just a bloody natural."

Mr Doherty said that despite that, Joel's biggest influence was Uncle Darryl Parkinson, a surfing legend in his own right.

"I think he'd probably say his uncle, he's a really good surfer," he said.

But regardless, Joel was meant to be on a board.

"He just makes it look too easy" quipped Mr Doherty, who joked about surfing alongside Joel these days," he said.

"I never get a wave when he's out there."

Mr Doherty also talked about Joel's finest achievement leading up to the world title.

"The triple crown, he's won stacks of them and they're highly regarded in surfing," he said.

But look at what he's done over so many years."

Mr Doherty thought Joel's win was well overdue and was happy to finally see the Aussie surfer enter the history books.

"We were all hanging pretty close in Hawaii," he said.

"I had a good feeling when I was looking at the rankings.

"And the last few years he really dug in and put in the work."

The surfing journalist talked about emotions from friends and family running high the day Joel claimed the trophy.

"He was probably less nervous then a few of us on the beach," he said.

"We were all hanging very close in Hawaii."

The moment when Joel won was easy to describe.

"I was just stoked to the eyeballs," he said.

Mr Doherty had a simple explanation on how Joel beat the odds to claim the title this year.

"I think Parko was born to be on a surfboard," he said.


Topics:  world championships

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