Photo: Checkwood

What a year it’s been so far on tour. Now that we are more than half way through the season, it’s safe to say that the level of surfing has far exceeded last year with no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, what is slowing down are some of the veterans that have become staples of the World Surf League. Already this year we saw Mick Fanning retire at Bells, and now most recently at JBay, Slater announced that next year will be his last year, AND Parko has decided to permanently hang up the jersey! What is happening?!

No more Parko? No more flawless frontside swoops? No more effortless style slicing through the wide open faces of Bells, Margies, or JBay? We know, devastating. But it’s a changing of the guard that was inevitable, and it’s time to celebrate and remember what Parko has done for the sport we all love. Here’s our 3 favorite clips of Joel Parkinson’s career thus far.

  1. Perfect 20 Heat at Keramas - 2013

Not sure if this would be a perfect 20 with today’s judging, but those tube rides were just too good. His awareness on a wave is truly second to none.

  1. Parko at Snapper
Does it get any more timeless? Parko surfing at his home break absolutely ripping. How’s that 3rd turn? That will never get old or go out of style.
  1. The 2012 World Champ
In 2012, Parko achieved what all surfers on tour dream of - winning the World Title. Although this video is a little longer, it really lets you see a side of Joel that you might not otherwise get to see. (He’s actually a lot like us - he just wants to surf good waves!)

It’s still hard to think about a contest without Parko. He’s a guy whose surfing is hard not to like. Every turn is positioned perfect and so many people looked forward to watching him in heats. Fortunately for us, the new rookies on tour, specifically Griffin Colapinto, have literally grown up emulating him, and it shows.

Parko, thank you for all the memories and inspiration. Good luck to you and your family in the future!