For those of you who don’t know, Joel Parkinson has one of the best personal sites out there of any professional surfer. It’s constantly updated, has some really insightful content into his world, and gives us webheads something to do with our time during the day (check it out at joelparko.com).
That being said, Parko took home a big victory yesterday at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach (check the full wrap-up of that here). With the victory the 2008 Vans Triple Crown champ also takes the current Triple Crown lead. And heading into the big showdown at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Joel looks pretty comfortable.
And you’ve also got Mick Fanning, who took third at Sunset on Sunday. He himself also has a pretty rad website (check it out at mickfanning.com.au) and is looking fully concentrated on taking the World Title.
Anyways, here’s an interview with Parko after his victory on Sunday courtesy his website and Sean Doherty. And a bonus video from Mick’s website discussing the big showdown. Who do you think will win? Let us know below and vote. Head here to see our picks and full Pipe Masters preview.
Your day didn't start out so good, eh?
Yeah, I was down the beach where I do my little warm up out the front of Freddy P’s place, and I've felt all this mud sticking to my feet. I've reached down and wiped it off and just smelt it and gone, you are kidding me! It was dog shit. Then without thinking I've wiped my foot on my other leg to get it off and wiped my hands on my boardies. So I paddled out for my first heat covered in dogshit. They say it's good luck if a bird shits on you, and it must work with dogs as well cause I ended up winning.
So I paddled out for my first heat covered in dogshit.
That's your third win at Sunset; you obviously have something going on with the place.
I really love surfing that wave. I remember when I first came here when I was 14 and 15, I surfed Sunset all the time. It was pretty well the only wave I surfed.
As focused as you probably are on Pipe and the world title, you'd imagine Mick's going through the same thing. It didn't surprise you he made the final today with ya.
Not at all. It didn't surprise me that Mick made the final. He was ripping in his quarter and semi, but Sunset has a habit of not letting you have three good heats in a row, and that caught up with him in the final.
The win places you pretty well for another shot at the Triple Crown. Are you even thinking about that with the world title on the line as well?
For sure. Coming here I was thinking… like, I love the Triple Crown, but I was using the first two events at Haleiwa and Sunset to get the wheels moving, to get into a good routine and a good rhythm with the place, all to get ready for Pipe. It's a bonus, the win, and a bonus to lead the Triple Crown, but it's still all about Pipe. It's all part of something bigger.
You came over with the goal of surfing as much as you could in the lead-up to Pipe. How's your program been going?
I've been surfing heaps; surfing heaps and training. I haven't had the family here with me so I've been trying to keep myself so occupied by staying in the water. As soon as I get bored I start missing the kids, so I don't let myself get bored. I just go surfing. I've been paddling out at Pipe or Off The Wall and just hoping to get one or two good ones a session. To me, that's a good session. If you go out for an hour and get one or two cherries, you've had a good time. You only need two waves in a heat, so I try and keep my surfs short and sweet and not too draining. Keep them intense and try and get the two best waves I can. Plus I just want to keep familiarizing myself with the place. You can never learn too much about Pipe.
There's a lot on the line and it's getting pretty close. You look remarkably calm.
I don't know why. I really don't. I feel like the closer it's getting the more I suck it in and the more relaxed I'm getting. I'm sure the time will come when my blood will start to boil, but for now I'm in a good frame of mind, I'm really relaxed and I'm just concentrating on surfing and what's happening in the ocean. I'm not going to win the title on land. Monica got here a few days ago and she looks at me and goes, "All you do is stare at the waves." I'm like, "I just love seeing the different moods it gets in. I get hypnotized by it."
There's never going to be any bad blood between us. We're always going to be mates.
How you sleeping at night?
I'm sleeping like a baby. I don't know why. I figure there's no point in stressing about what's out of my control, and all I can do is make the best of what I've got.
How's your neighbor going?
We've had our moments, but it's been pretty good. Mick and I run into each other and it's funny. Me and Andy went for a nice romantic walk down the beach the other morning. We walk out the front door and down onto the sand and look across and Mick is doing exactly the same three doors away. We just look at each other, the Three Stooges on the beach. I was just laughing. There's never going to be any bad blood between us. We're always going to be mates.
What's it going to take to win Pipe?
It's not like I'm going to approach it any differently than any other event I've surfed this year. I've just got to stay calm and relaxed and quietly confident in my ability. It's two waves a heat. For me I like to keep it real simple; I just worry about myself, the waves, and my surroundings. I've just got to be really aware of how the ocean moves over here, so that's what I'm thinking of more than anything. In Hawaii if you can beat the ocean in your heat your chances of winning the heat are so much higher.
Has it been good having Andy in the house with you considering he's been in your position before, having to basically win Pipe to win the title?
Yeah, we've been training and surfing a lot, but he's letting me do my own thing. Plus I've been trying to give him some space the last few days.
For the full interview, head to joelparko.com.