“Style is char­ac­ter.”

Tracks - - Parko - Joan Did­ion

“When I’m surf­ing for plea­sure the aim is to surf with­out glitches,” he says. “I don’t want to catch wa­ter or have wa­ter com­ing over my rails and have it neat and nice. For me it was never about go­ing the big­gest or cra­zi­est, but surf­ing hard and feel­ing sat­is­fied to fin­ish a wave where I didn’t catch and have to rec­tify a mis­take which means you were forced into a de­ci­sion.”

Parkin­son is now look­ing to evolve that ap­proach out­side of the rigid con­fines of the tour. With Parko able to fully ex­press him­self, to surf his own lines, in his own way, style wise, the next phase of ca­reer might be in­cred­i­ble.

“I’ll tell you now I’m not rid­ing a stan­dard 6’2” square­tail for a long time if ever,” he says. “I’ve been on the same boards for 20 years. I’m hop­ing I will be surf­ing bet­ter waves with a bit more free­dom next year. I’m lov­ing Foil boards, like ad­dicted, and I can ex­per­i­ment and see what hap­pens with my style. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to think about where I can go with my surf­ing.”

His style has be­come one of the sport’s tem­plates for mak­ing surf­ing time­less and clas­sic. It’s also a re­flec­tion of the man him­self. For most of us our surf­ing style rep­re­sents a deeply personal part of who we are and the way we like to be per­ceived. Joel is no dif­fer­ent.

“I agree that there’s def­i­nitely a link be­tween the way you surf in the wa­ter and the way you act on land,” he says. “I mean look at Mick, he’s pretty tech­ni­cally sound and he’s a guy who is a deep thinker who’s al­ways try­ing to be clin­i­cal and make the right de­ci­sion. I think he does the same with his surf­ing. With me I think the em­pha­sis has al­ways been on en­joy­ment. I en­joy life, I like hav­ing fun and I hope that shows in my surf­ing.”

Photo: Shields

Where Parko will be spend­ing most of his time in re­tire­ment.

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