NewsOuterknown Fiji ProJoel Parkinson

Joel Parkinson Wants to Right a Wrong in Fiji

Parko on Fiji
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The 2012 World Champ talks about his nagging desire to get a win at one of his favorite tour stops.

Joel Parkinson has had a long, complicated relationship with the Fiji Pro. Despite a Hall of Fame career, including a World Title in 2012 and victories as wide and varied as a wildcard win at J-Bay to a Pipe Masters crown, a win at Cloudbreak has proved exasperatingly elusive. It hasn't been all lamentable circumstances, there's been a few trips to the Quarterfinals, most recently as 2015 when he scored a perfect 10 in a Round Four battle against Mick Fanning and Owen Wright. But it's easy to understand Parko's frustration. "That wave, I have a connection with it," he said, "it just hasn't been proven with the results."

Joel Parkinson of Australia placed third in Heat 7 of Round One at the Outerknown Fiji Pro in excellent Cloudbreak conditions. Parko, on the gas, driving through a deep section at Cloudbreak. WSL / Kelly Cestari

As competitive careers creep closer to their end than to their beginnings, it's only natural to look back and ponder missed opportunities. Since the inaugural event back in 1999, Cloudbreak has proven to be a tough place to win for naturalfooters, even for a surfer with superior talent and technique like Parkinson. Only Kelly Slater (four times) and Andy Irons have raised the trophy for the left-foot-forward crew.

Joel Parkinson during Round 1. Despite a Hall of Fame career, a win at the Fiji Pro has proved elusive for Parko. WSL / Kirstin

But, with only a finite number of opportunities left in his legendary time on the elite tour, he'll need to strike soon or forever ponder what might have been. For Joel, his impressions of Fiji seem bittersweet. "I've spent a lot of time there," said a reflective Parko, "I really enjoy the wave, I always feel comfortable out there." With a Round Three heat versus Jeremy Flores looming, time may be ticking down, but it's not over.

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