COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Thursday, November 22, 2012) – The ASP World Title will come down to the season-ending Billabong Pipe Masters this year. It’s the first time this has happened since 2009, and even then, it wasn’t really that close of a race. This year, we have three surfers remaining: Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. It’s damn close. Everyone knows this, and at Pipeline, anything can happen. Everyone knows this too. It’s rare that you don’t have surfers in this position go to ground and out of the media limelight. However, this year has been an exception to the rule. Slater is surfing in the Vans Triple Crown in Hawaii and taking fellow ASP Top 34 surfers off to the Big Island for mid-window golfscursions. Mick and Joel are recharging in plain sight at home on the Gold Coast, and while Mick is well within striking distance of a third ASP World Title, the pressure is clearly on the current frontrunner, Parkinson. STAB Magazine recently caught up with Joel to pick his brain on all things heading into what could very well be the professional showdown of his career. This…is his story…
Stab: We’ve spoken with you a few times this year and you’ve said you’re not thinking about the title. You have got to be thinking about it by now?
Joel Parkinson: Oh, for sure, a bit more. It’s hard not to, but I try to just think more about the event coming up, like I have all year. Thinking about doing well in the event. You can’t win the contest or the title in the third round. But, the earlier rounds at Pipe are the hardest rounds. You’re up against all the local wildcards and you’re not sure how the waves are gonna be. But those guys at Pipe, they’re Pipe specialists, they know the wave inside out. You’ve gotta be wary of that. You come up against Jamie O’Brien, it’s… pretty radical.
Do the Pipe scenarios keep you up at night?
Not really. We all understand. For me, I don’t care about the points and scenarios, it’s just about the result. We all know what we’ve gotta drop. You just worry about th–
(Some commotion is audible in the car.)
Oh, I just hit a bird while I was driving! Rasta will be off me, I just hit a bird! Sorry…
Is it just as sweet winning a world title if you don’t win an event all year?
Yep. I don’t care. It’s been done a lot, f’sure. I wouldn’t care at all. The guys that are in the race have been amazing at some places, and ok at other places. I’ve been really consistent and I’ve been happy with that. If you don’t have any wins, it’s much of a muchness. Hopefully the year of consistency prevails, and not just the coupla wins and coupla ok results.
Pressure-wise, where does this decider rate compared to previous years?
I definitely think this is the most relaxed I’ve been. In ’09, when I came in with Mick, I had my ankle injury and felt like I’d just got my surfing feeling right. I only starting surfing without pain two weeks before Pipe. Surfing with pain for those few events just…
For the full JOEL PARKINSON interview, check out STAB Mag’s ‘Where’s North From Here?’
For more on Joel Parkinson, check out his ASP WCT Profile
Category: All ASP News