A year out from retirement, Joel Parkinson is definitely not missing the feel of a twitchy, high-performance blade under his feet. “I think I’ve had about one hour of surfing on a regular shortboard,” he happily confesses. “There’s just too many good boards out there to try and JS has been doing me twin fins and asyms’ and all kinds of different things… I’ll step it up on a performance shortboard if the waves are on, but if it’s three-foot onshore I’m not interested.” The competitive urge, it seems, has been replaced by the more fundamental principle of surfing for pleasure. “I haven’t had a bad surf since I retired…” he insists. “I mean I’ve had bad surfs, but I’ve still come away thinking how much fun is this? I’ve just really been enjoying my surfing…”

While his surfing ambitions may have skewed towards more intrinsic motivations, Joel still has an eclectic array of projects to keep him busy. At the time of writing, he is preparing to go on the road with Mark Howard from the Howie Games Podcast series, for a tour of live talk shows, which will later be released as podcasts. Howie has chewed the fat with everyone from tennis legend, Boris Becker, to gold medallist, Sally Pearson, and has a reputation for inducing both tears and laughter from his interviewees. After years of dealing with the media, Joel seems undaunted by the idea of plundering his memories in front of a live audience. He also obviously places much faith in Howie’s ability to direct the discussion. “He’s just such a good conversationalist,” enthuses Parko, who is well known for his love of a bit of banter.

Liberated from the constraints of the WSL, it's likely that Joel will use the talk show as a platform to divulge all the gritty details of his competitive career, covering everything from his rivalries with Kelly and Mick Fanning to the jubilation of his world title win. It's been a long and colourful career and Joel has plenty of material to draw upon to make his sit down with Howie an entertaining and insightful event.   

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Dates: Parko and Howie's Live Chat Show  

SYDNEY   TUES NOV 26 2019   METRO THEATRE – now on sale

NEWCASTLE   WED NOV 27 2019   NEX – now on sale

GOLD COAST   THUR MAR 26 2020   - on sale soon

GEELONG   THUR APR 16 2020  - on sale soon