Easy Like Sunday Morning
Joel Parkinson wins the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing
By Travis Ferré
A day ago Joel Parkinson was in Waikiki. While most surfers on the North Shore chased mammoth waves at Waimea and beyond, Joel was at Duke’s sipping something cold and tandem surfing with his wife on her birthday. There was music. And laughs. Andy and Taj were there with their ladies too. He looked casual and calm. He looked happy.
Fast forward to today. Joel is at Sunset Beach on the North Shore. In the final of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing. He again looks casual and calm. Happy even. After a few tubes, a mammoth carve and an unsuccessful, but impressive alley-oop on a 7’6,” he was the winner, for the third time in his career, of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset. By lunchtime he’d put himself in the lead for the Triple Crown of Surfing. Simple as that. And he did it by winning a heat you’ll only see in Hawaii.
Thanks to the prestige of the Triple Crown — Joel edged out a methodical and precise Mick Fanning, a determined and absolutely on fire Sunny Garcia (who opened the heat with a 9) and the World Tour’s most recent addition Dusty Payne — a match up that left something for everyone.
After Sunny opened up with a 9, the shifty Sunset lineup played games with everyone. Mick had a couple of opportunities but was clipped by chandeliering tubes. Dusty was lost at sea, but probably so relieved he’d qualifed that it didn’t matter. And Sunny had the pressure on, only needing a small score at the end. Joel then showcased his nonchalant style at Sunset. The “no worries” approach that’s given him the most sought after style in modern surfing. The one that keeps contest commentators chirping through lulls, “He makes it look so easy,” they reiterate.
And it’s this approach that Parko will be taking into Pipe Masters (waiting period begins Tuesday) and what may very well lead him to his first-ever World Title. While Mick is obviously doing everything right. Eating. Training. Surfing perfectly. It’s Parko’s barbecue casual demeanor that’s winning heats. And he’s enjoying ever minute of it. And with a few perfect west swells stacked up after this Eddie swell, the Triple Crown and the World Title will be decided in very epic fashion. Check back here all week as Nick Carrol prepares to take you deep into both camps as they prepare for the final showdown of this Triple Crown season.