By Nick Carroll
A surprise new east swell at Snapper Rocks yesterday proved brutally harsh on Joel Parkinson’s World Tour plans, after Parko sliced his right foot almost clean in half in a wipeout.
Eyewitness photographer Andrew Shield said Joel had picked up some beautiful waves in the airbrushed four-foot conditions when “he took a thicker one and got caught up with his board”.
The resulting fin-impact injury was severe enough to send Parko to hospital where he underwent surgery yesterday afternoon. Andy Irons — who’d snapped a board himself on his first wave that morning — helped Joel up the beach and waited with him for the paramedics to arrive.
According to Shieldsy, word was the cut went from the foot arch all the way to the back of the heel and that the back half of the foot was “hanging on by a half inch”.
Parko’s injury busts open the draw for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, which is due to begin mid-next week. He’s a three-time past winner of the event and was in excellent form prior to the accident.
It’s strike two for the Coolie Kid musketeers, Parko, Dean Morrison and Mick Fanning: five days ago Dingo was attacked in a Coolangatta nightclub, suffering a broken cheekbone and facial lacerations.
Those with strong stomachs can see a photo of Joel’s lacerated foot here, courtesy of @joelparko on Twitter.