Joel Parkinson: from injured to crowned

Joel Parkinson has returned in great shape to pro surfing contests by winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro, in Haleiwa. The Australian surfer, 29, recovered from a six-month injury and defeated Joel Centeio (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS) and Heath Joske (AUS) to claim the first jewel of the Hawaii.

Parkinson was the only athlete to score a perfect 10, during the entire event.

"It has been a pretty up and down year emotionally," said Parkinson. "I cut my foot and I was out of action for six months, I didn't surf for three months and I didn't compete for six months. Then I had a baby son so we had some joy, and then Andy (Irons) passed. It's been one of those years with one good thing then one bad thing. The year is almost over, we'll get through it and I'm trying to make amends with all good things that can happen from here to December.

"Riding a wave is always one of those things that, no matter what happens in or around your life, you can still ride a wave and forget everything.

Joel Centeio, the defending champion, got the second place while Wilson took third and Joske fourth in the final heat.

Only 11 head-high waves were surfed but the first competition is done. Surfers now head to Sunset Beach, just seven miles from Haleiwa, for the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing.

Final of the Reef Hawaiian Pro:

1ST - Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00; $20,000
2ND - Joel Centeio (HAW) 7.04; $10,000
3RD - Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.86; $5,100
4TH - Heath Joske (AUS) 3.14, $4,900

Kelly Slater: smile, you're on CNN

Kelly Slater has exchanged a few ideas with CNN's national correspondent Jason Carroll. The 10-time world surfing champion kicked off the interview explaining why he is still in physical form with 38 years old.

Slater says getting married and having kids was a choice of many surfers in the Tour and that probably changes everybody's life a bit.

But he has other thoughts on is remarkable achievement. "I think I found what I'm probably best at. I'm getting the essence of what is it to be in the ocean and ride a wave. I also enter in a focus zone, concentrating in what I'm doing", reveals the Floridian.

"In competition you have to be mentally prepared for anything that can happen, good or bad. You have to be able to see things ahead of time. I spend a lot of time trying to be prepared for all type of scenarios and not letting them bring you down or build you up too much to where you feel invincible. I try not to let emotions rule your physical ability".

Kelly Slater's interview with CNN ended with his own concept of surfing.

"We have our own lifestyle, our own culture. It's not a mainstream culture, it's a lifestyle choice for hardcore surfers who love to surf. Whatever they do for work is basically about making money so they can live their lifestyle by the beach". CNN calls him "the greatest athlete you've never heard of". Excuse me?

Mick Fanning: he wants to conquer Hawaii

Surfers are going wild at the Reef Hawaiian Pro. After Parko's pumping day, two-time world champion Mick Fanning decided to ring the bell by scoring high in the round of 64.

As the competition enters the last 32 surfers, the flags are being raised. There are 15 Australians, six Hawaii surfers, four Brazilians, two Californians and one surfer apiece from Florida, New Zealand, Tahiti, France, and the Canary Islands.

Fanning had a really incredible day beating Alex Smith, Raoni Monteiro and Pablo Paulino with 9.37 and 8.17 (17.54 total) waves. "I shifted all of my focus to the Triple Crown and this year I really just want to win an event here in a Hawaii" says Fanning. "Watching Joel yesterday go absolutely nuts, coming back after being out for so long, kind of inspired me a fair bit.

Read more ...