While most of the top 32 enjoyed their 10-week break from competition with time at home or plush warm-water surf trips, current world No. 2 Joel Parkinson took his vacay in the opposite direction and decided to train for one of the world’s most grueling open ocean paddleboard races: the Molokai 2 Oahu.
“It was so good because the Hawaiian guys who won [Mikey Cote and Mitch Degues] are unbelievable paddlers, professional paddlers, and I’m just a surfer,” said Parkinson, who paddled the race with trainer Wes Berg. “One of the guys held the solo record for the race for years.”
Despite a large field of professional paddlers, the pair secured a podium finish with third place in a time of 5 hours and 49 minutes. Joel did the 32-mile race in the stock paddleboard division to benefit Surfaid. Due to heavy tradewinds and currents, the Kaiwi Channel is considered to be among the most treacherous channels in the Pacific Ocean.
Now Joel will be switching gears as he is set to compete in heat 24 of round one of the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, which begins today.
Full story here.