Joel Parkinson Wins ASP World Title and Pipe Masters
“I finally f++king won!” Sometimes, a t-shirt nails it. And Kustom’s victory shirt for Parko summed up the combination of relief and joy on the beach today. After 12 years battling out on tour, including four-runner-up finishes and three Triple Crown titles, Joel Parkinson finally f++king won the world title - and the Pipe Masters to boot.
About time, too.
“Over the last 12 years, people have seen how much he puts into his surfing and his family and his life; Parko really deserved it,” Mick Fanning said just after Kerrzy took down Slater in the semis, giving Joel the title. “Today was incredible. First it was in Kelly’s court, he had to perform.
Then it swung back. And then it swung back. A lot of times, the title comes down to one heat, but the back-and-forth was electric. And even though they didn’t surf against each other, Parko and Kelly were battling each other emotionally.”
A Parko/Kelly final would’ve been Hollywood material, but the scriptwriter must’ve not taken into account Josh Kerr, who bounced back from a R4 injury to take down the 11-time world champ in what turned out to be a slow semifinal.
“I felt like physically I was gonna be sick after Kerr’s first wave (a 9.2), like ‘could this really happen?’” Parko said of the Kerr/Slater semi. “And then it felt like time started going backwards. I can’t believe it’s actually happened — it feels very surreal.”
While the seconds ticked off and Kelly holding a 4.9 heat total - and only needing an 8-something - Parko’s camp at the Billabong house paced and whistled, started jumping up and down and hugging and clapping as the buzzer sounded. He was chaired up the beach in what was arguably the longest, soft-sand chair in ASP history.