No talk of retirement for Joel Parkinson
SUPERSTAR surfer Joel Parkinson has quashed rumours of retirement from the professional circuit after emphatically declaring he was fully committed for 2017.
Parkinson said in March last year he had fallen out of love with surfing and considered joining great mate Mick Fanning on the sidelines for 2016 and had even considered retirement after a tough 2015 season.
But the 35-year-old said at Kingscliff on Friday he was committed to the tour full-time in 2017 after regaining the spark which lead him to a 2012 World Surf League world championship.
"It's full bore ahead, I can't wait,” he told the Tweed Daily News.
"I'm going to do a full year, that's as far as I'm looking at this stage.
"I don't know what's in the future, but I'm pretty keen to keep going, I definitely don't want to stop.”
Parkinson surfed only 10 WSL events last year but showed he was far from done with a third placing in the Margaret River Pro in April to go with a top 10 placing in the end-of-year world rankings.
Despite his age, he pointed to Fanning returning in 2017 and, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, 45, declaring he'd be pushing for a 12th world title in 2017 as an inspiration and proof surfers could continue at the top as veterans.
"There's a little bit of a mix on the tour now; Mick's coming back this year it looks like so that will definitely spur me along,” he said.
Parkinson said he was fit and raring to go and hinted he would push for another world title in 2017.
"There's just inklings, you know, I'm committed and I'm hungry and everything is going well,” he said.
"I'm fit and healthy, so I'll just see where it takes me.”