Hey, When’s Parko Coming Back?

posted by / News / August 3, 2010

Joel Parkinson
After the latest round of foot surgeries and a few weeks on the coach, the prognosis on Joel Parkinson’s return to surfing is…well, it’s not great. We’ll let him explain it.

Photo: Jimmicane
Words: Nathan Myers

SURFING: What’s the status on the injury.

JOEL PARKINSON: Well, the cut was real bad. But it’s really the fact that I severed through the muscle that holds the arch of my foot and the tendon behind that, the one that holds all your toes in line. So, basically, I severed through that tendon and that muscle, so my arch was split in two. That’s the part that’s gonna take a long time to heal.

The photos look like something out of a First Aid manual.

It’s not pretty. But the surgeon was stoked on how it all went. The cut is already healed real good, but the hard part is that I can’t stand on it for six weeks. That’s how long it’s gonna take to heal ‘cause I’ve severed through the muscles and tendons. It all has to bind back together before I can walk.

So, how long ‘til you’re surfing again?

The doctor said I won’t surf until the 9th of October. He says, “It’ll feel like you’re standing on needles and you won’t surf well, but you’ll be back in the water and a few months later you’ll be back to surfing without pain.” I’m really just hoping to come back for Triple Crown. If I can make it to Hawaii I’ll be stoked.

How do keep from going insane?

Ah, just day-to-day. Set new little goals every day.

You have a baby on the way, right?

Yeah, that’s one bonus. If it had come down to the title or seeing the baby be born, I was gonna go for the title. I’d come to terms with it that. But now I’m not going anywhere. That’s the one blessing. Maybe that’s my son talking to me going, “You can’t not be there.” The fact that he’s due on October 10th and the doctor says I can surf on October 9th…I’m thinking, That’s weird.

Describe the moment it happened.

I was in the barrel and the foam-ball picked me up and just as it picked me up, it pushed me forward and I just dove with it. It didn’t hit me that hard, just kinda sliced past my leg and I was like, “Whoa, that might have nicked me.” So I felt down to my foot and all four fingers just went right up into my foot, ‘cause my heel was just dangling off. And then I lifted my leg out of the water and looked at it and my heel was two inches lower. And I just went, “Fuck off!” Blood was spurting all over. I copped the next two waves on the head and got washed in, and then it was all over.

Do you think about Mick’s injury fueling his comeback to win a world title?

Yeah, I have been. The feeling of being immobile is not good. It’s like, I still have so much pain to go through before I can surf again. And I go, “Mick did it; so can I.” But fuck, after everything that happened last year, didn’t I go through enough?

Sucks to lose that momentum again.

Mate, I was feeling so good. I trained up. I was really, really fit. I almost started backing away from my training and just focusing on my heats. I couldn’t surf enough. I was like a man possessed the last few months, just trying to get a result. And then it all just went pear-shaped.

All for a reason?

All for a reason.

What’s on TV?

Watching the footy right now. Pretty much all I can do.

[Get the latest from Joel sitting on his couch, watching TV and reading fishing magazines at: http://joelparko.com/ ]

Tags: , , ,

Related Posts:

21 Responses to “Hey, When’s Parko Coming Back?”

  1. Barry says:

    ohhh, the irony of joel’s injury and footy being on the tv.

  2. Kelpy says:

    Bum deal on the foot, good luck with the rehab Parko.
    Seppo rootin for you!

  3. tony says:

    hey bro! hope you all the best ! saying hi from colombia south america

  4. Scooter says:

    Nathan…., “pare” shaped? Try ‘pear-shaped’. “You can’t be not there.” Try ‘You can’t not be there’. Who the hell is checking this drivel? Don’t you have an editor?

    Thanks for the update and all the best to Parko, but this is embarrassing. Grammar my brother.

  5. scornuelle says:

    Scooter — thanks for raising the red flag on those heinous, unacceptable transgressions against the English language and the linguistically sophisticated medium that is blogging. Edits have been made. Fifty lashes to us.

  6. Jack says:

    How’s this 4 grammer Scooter? get fark’d!

  7. Quinn says:

    This guy has the luck of a dead person. Poor Parko. I mean Poorko.

  8. Mik says:

    Joel: You will heal, and the time out will enhance the time getting back in. Thanks for being such a massive inspiration for the global surf community. Your ability to surf with full-on power, radicalness and grace has changed the face of surfing. Lopez was the Master of his era, and you are of ours. Get well, champ. (fuck, trophy or not, we all know you are!)

  9. Ben Dover says:

    Of all the guys who should have a title already and don’t (Taj!) — Joel definitely tops the list. Probably the most technically proficient surfer in the world right now, but so smooth the judges don’t even notice. Shame we have to wait another just to hope. But he’ll be back: 35 is the new 25 (and so is 15).

  10. BrokenMan says:

    Think he’ll get the injury wildcard for 2011? Uh, yeah, he can just have it right now.

  11. Kimo Davis says:

    Parko is injured, but Parko gets injured a lot. I was at Pipeline on the day that he lost his world title possibility to Mick. He full-on paddled into a twelve-foot set at Pipe and then free fell–much to the delight/amazement/worry of the spectators on the sand. That fall was captured in surf magazines, and it is when I actually gave Parko credit for the great surfer that he is. Heal up, Parko, and see you at Pipeline, brah.

  12. DaveO says:

    “So I felt down to my foot and all four fingers just went right up into my foot, ‘cause my heel was just dangling off.” …GNARLY. That’s one of the grossest injuries in surfing. Come on, guys, run the photos again.

  13. Bretto says:

    yeah bad luck mate…kick back heal up and watch the titans storm home and win a premiership,titans are on a roll..watchin the boys kickass in the finals will be fuel enough for you to go hard in the triple crown,your’e fark’n good bloke and an inspiration to many surfers around the world and at home…you always say ”how are ya” when i see you out in the surf..i’m an ol skool kirra boy hittin my peak kirra 88-95,get well soon mate

  14. Knuckles S-Africa says:

    Hang in there Joel, It all be worth it when hold the laaitie for the first time for his/her first minute in our World.

    Speedy recovery buddy.!!

  15. Obermeyer says:

    Just like Mick. Get injured=come back stronger. 2011 will be JPs year.

  16. Tubz says:

    faaark.. I’ve been following parko for a few years and sympathise for the run of poor luck he has had.
    but seeing his optimism in the set backs he has had makes me push to go that limit in my training.
    Though my training is very different, being a diver, but none-the-less his words are all the more inspirational.
    Thanks for being a bull terrior parko.. you help me to go that extra mile too.

    PS can you proof read my piece “scooter”?

  17. Bob says:

    Enjoy your family,, 2011 is yours,, all the best for the baby to come

  18. kawika kaneshiro says:


  19. oahu mike says:

    he would rather surf than see his son’s birth?!

    WHAT A LOSER!!!!!

  20. 808surfer says:

    Best of luck to your recovery! Heal up and catch a wave for your newborn.

  21. bill sauce says:

    Parko rules

Leave a Reply