His Hawaiian swan song kicks off in the best possible way.
Other than the point breaks of his beloved Gold Coast, Hawaii is the place that allows Joel Parkinson’s surfing to truly shine. He’s nailed three back to back Triple Crown titles, won the World Cup of Surfing at Sunset three times and is a Pipe Master. Now Parko can add one more trophy to his Hawaiian cabinet after taking out the 2018 Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa (the second time he’s won it).
Parko wound back the clock yesterday, letting his rail sing on the junky Haleiwa bowl and taking down all challengers with his stylish brand of power surfing.
He looked light, happy and vital. A far cry from the disinterested Parko who’s seemingly been going through the motions for much of 2018. Perhaps it’s the fact he’s coming into Hawaii with no pressure, intent on nothing more than having a good time during his last stint on the rock as a member of the tour? Perhaps it’s because he’s got the band back together with Luke Egan for his last ever Hawaiian campaign? Whatever it is, it’s working.
Heading into the World Cup of Surfing at Sunset, a pet event for Joel, there’s a real possibility he could bookend his career with a fourth Triple Crown title. Whatever happens we’ll be cheering him on regardless.
The other big news from the event came in the lithe form of 17-year-old Brazilian fly-boy Mateus Herdy. His theatric wave gymnastics saw him come from nowhere to finish runner-up and jump to 12th spot on the QS rankings, well within striking distance of the tour should he do well at Sunset. It also appears Mateus’ claim game is as strong as his act above the lip. He finished each wave like a figure skater bowing to his adoring fans, blowing kisses and shaping hearts with his hands. If the kid does make the tour, Jordy might have his work cut out for him to retain the title of best claims on tour.
Speaking of the tour, we now have a few surfers officially confirmed for 2018. This includes Ricardo Christie, Seth Moniz, Ryan Callinan, Peterson Crisanto and Deivid Silva. The rest will fall into place as the dust settles from Sunset.