Joel Parkinson retires from pro surfing

July 2, 2018 | Surfing
Joel Parkinson: his latest CT win was the 2013 Oakley Bali Pro | Photo: Cestari/WSL

Joel Parkinson announced he will retire from professional surfing after the end of the season.

The Australian regular-footer will be surfing his last heat on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) at the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters, in Hawaii.

"The fire just hasn't been there for a while now, and I never want to surf without it, so it's time to go look for it somewhere else," stated Parkinson.

"The tour has given me so much. So many memories, so many friends, the chance for my kids to see the world, but it's time to move on to the next chapter."

The announcement comes as Joel Parkinson prepares for the Corona Open J-Bay, in South Africa. The 37-year-old athlete visited Jeffreys Bay for the first time 19 years ago.

"It was six foot and perfect from Boneyards to Impossibles, I paddled out through the keyhole, caught my first wave and that was it. I was gone. I lost my mind," added Parkinson.

Joel Parkinson was born on April 10, 1981, in Nambour, Queensland. "Parko" won 12 elite events and finished runner-up to the world title four times (2002, 2004, 2009, and 2011).

"I was a prick of a competitor when I was younger. Arrogant, cocky. But, in saying that, that's the thing that makes a great competitor," Parkinson concludes.

"I love when I see young kids come on and they've got a bit of a swagger, and they've got their chest out when they walk down the beach. I love that. I think it's awesome. It's the way to improve yourself. To be better in a competitive environment. But it does get old after a long time."

"Parko" spent 18 years on the Dream Tour. He won two events at J-Bay in 1999 and 2009. Joel is a father of three children - Evie, Mahli, and Macy. He can be seen in "Free as a Dog," his biopic.