In an interview on cult podcast Ain’t That Swell, 2012 world champ, eighteen-year tour vet, and all-time style master Joel Parkinson has called Gabby Medina ‘the most talented surfer I’ve ever seen stand on a surfboard.’

How’s that for a claim?

This isn’t your mate out in the line-up who gets excited from time to time and throws around big calls like the lid off a fresh stubby. This is a bonafide world champ who’s not only considered one of the most talented waxheads of all time himself, but who, in the course of a long and epic career, has surfed with an insane list of guys who could easily be in contention for the same title. Occy, Kelly, Andy, Mick, Taj, Dane, John. That’s a hell of roll call. And yet Gabby tops it, according to Joel.

Now before you get all fired up and start calling bullshit on a guy who could surf rings around you with his fins backwards and his leggy on his front foot, give the thought some time to sink in. Think about the endless sessions Joel must’ve traded with Mick growing up. Think about what he must’ve witnessed from Andy and Taj on all those Billabong trips. Think about the presence of Slater looming over everything for the last twenty-five years. Parko has seen good surfing in his time. The best ever, arguably.

Of course you don’t have to agree with the man. He’s not even urging you to like Medina. But when someone of Joel’s status drops an opinion like this, you take notice.

‘It takes most of twenty (pumps) to pump around a section he can do in one,’ Parko told ATS hosts Vaughan Blakey and Jed Smith. ‘He’s amazing.’

Amen to that, Parko. And amen to you for having the figs to throw out such a call. You’ve got me psyched to drop a few of my own.

Tooheys New is the best beer I’ve ever tasted!

Give me Tom Curren over Slater any day of the year!

Ween’s ‘Your Party’ is the best piss-take ever, world without end, amen.