Parko puts on era-defining performance at the Burleigh Single Fin Festival.
Joel Parkinson has added to his legacy as one of the greatest surfers of the modern era by winning the Burleigh Single Fin Festival in untouchable form over the weekend. Riding a classic Al Byrne-shaped Hot Stuff six-channel, the 2012 world champ not only claimed victory in his first time competing in the iconic event, but did it with a performance some are calling one of the greatest seen on a single fin out at the point.
Veteran Gold Coast surf photographer Luke Sorensen was on hand to capture the spectacle, and like the majority of those who witnessed Parko’s surfing on the day, believes it was a performance that’s not likely to be forgotten in a hurry.
‘There was already a buzz in the air with Joel opting to compete this year, but what he did out there in the semi and the final just blew away everyone's expectations,’ says Sorensen. ‘I don't think anyone has seen that kind of single-fin surfing on the point since Joe Engel. Parko was utterly in control of that old Al Byrne board and pushed it on rail into uncharted territory. I've seen a lot of surfing at Burleigh over the decades, but that electric semifinal hack he pulled will go down in surfing folklore as one of those moves that just bent people's minds - the whole point erupted! Not only did he win the thing, and win it convincingly, he outstripped a competition draw boasting some of the finest retro surfers in Australia, if not the whole world.’
Celebrating its twentieth year in 2017, the Burleigh Single Fin Festival is an event that’s gone from strength to strength, and with its focus on classic lines and a halcyon days-style of competition, it has consistently attracted some of the country’s best surfers, including Mick Fanning, Dave Rastovich, Gary ‘Kong’ Elkerton, Margo and Bede Durbidge.
With his victory over the weekend, Parko not only adds his name to the celebrated list of past event winners, but to that very elite echelon of surfers—like Curren and Kelly—who’ve proven themselves to be among the greatest on any type of wave or piece of equipment.