Joel Parkinson Wins Billabong Pipe Masters and World Title

posted by / Photos / December 14, 2012

A flipbook with complete coverage of the Vans Triple Crown is in the works. Until then, enjoy the celebration.
Photos: Sherm






















Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, has claimed his maiden ASP World Title today at the final stop of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season, by winning the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. The Billabong Pipe Masters was also the third and final leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series.

Only Parkinson and reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater(USA), 40, were in contention for the world title heading into the final day. Parkinson needed to finish one position higher to claim the title that has eluded him for the past 12 years. With Slater’s loss to Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, in the semi-final, Parkinson’s dream became reality. Parkinson went on to beat Kerr in the final.

“Consistency paid off,” Parkinson said. “This is where I wanted to stand at the end of the year. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. I can’t describe what this feels like. I’ve had runner-ups and ups-and-downs. I’ve been to hell and back and it makes this so much sweeter. All the love from Hawaii and Australia and over the world, I can’t thank you all enough for supporting me.

“Right now, Pipe Master, World Title, it’s all surreal,” Parkinson said. “I figured it was going to be a pressure cooker like a few years ago. I knew there was nothing I could do about it. It was about what I had to do, not about what he had to do. I thought, surely he (Slater) has got to peak because he had that heat with Shane (Dorian) and I knew Kerr is a danger man for him. When Kerr got that one, I felt like I was going to physically throw up. I couldn’t control my emotions at that point.

“One day you wake up feeling good the next day you wake up feeling like a loser. This morning I felt like a Champion when I woke up. Like Andy (Irons) always said ‘I got this, huh?’ I dedicate this to my family, Dad who used to take me to contests when I was 10, my wife and my mom and kids, this is all for us,” said Parkinson.

Parkinson has been the world title bridesmaid four times (2002, 2004, 2009, 2011). His Billabong Pipe Masters victory is his 11th elite event win over the course of his career, and by clinching the ASP World Title has established himself as one of the greatest surfers of all time.

Parkinson’s 2012 ASP WCT Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 5th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 3rd
Billabong Rio Pro: 2nd
Volcom Fiji Pro: 9th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 2nd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 2nd
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 3rd
O’Neill Coldwater Classic: 5th
Billabong Pipe Masters: WINNER

Slater was reflective following his Semifinal defeat this afternoon and gracious in honoring Parkinson on stage in front of a capacity crowd at the Banzai Pipeline.

“I missed Brazil because I had a cut in my heel and couldn’t really turn,” Slater said. “I figured I’d just rest up and get focused. Probably the one that hurt the worst was Teahupo’o. I made two or three mistakes in a row and Ricardo (dos Santos) got a 9.8 with seven seconds left. I had a bad string over the last few months. It kind of fell apart after France. Portugal was a tough one and Santa Cruz, I was just real wobbly.

“For whatever reason, the momentum went in Parko’s direction. It was cool that it came down to this, it would have been cooler to have it come down to the Final. Joel’s been on tour for 10 or 11 years now and been in the hunt ever since he started. He’s an amazing surfer. He’s just the guy that makes it look easy. He can pull whatever our when he needs to,” said Slater.

Josh Kerr battled his way to a career first ASP WCT Final. The Australian suffered a heavy wipeout in his round four heat with Slater and Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, resulting in a brief trip to the hospital. After medical clearance, Kerr overcame the setback to take it all the way to the final.

“It’s been a hectic day,” Kerr said. “My first heat, I’ve been having nerve damage in my neck and my left side went numb when I fell. I had to get an x-ray and made it back for my next heat and made it through to the final. Congrats to Parko as well. I’ll be back next year and hopefully one place better.”

Kerr finishes the 2012 ASP season ranked No. 8 on the ASP WCT rankings.

Damien Hobgood (USA), 33, eliminated defending event champion Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, while attaining his best result of his season. Hobgood was a standout at both Pipeline and Backdoor, but was unable to surpass Parkinson in their Semifinals matchup, finishing equal 3rd.

“I was just thinking if I saw something that looks decent, give it a go,” Hobgood said after his Round 5 victory. “I wanted to try and build a couple of scores and I took one and was paddling out and saw Kieren (Perrow) get one. I could have given Kieren a 10 and that would have been the heat. I just tried to get some scores and not give him a bomb.”

Hobgood’s Equal 3rd place finish at Pipeline vaults him up to 16th on the 2012 ASP WCT rankings.

Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons are available at

For more information, log onto

1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17
2 – Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.83

SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.30 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.63
SF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.13 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 4.90

QF 1: Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.83 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.17
QF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.40
QF 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.00 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.17
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.73 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 18.20

Heat 1: Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.23 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 3.26
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.94 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.00
Heat 3: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.00 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.00
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.27 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.66

Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.57, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.10, Kelly Slater (USA) 8.10
Heat 4: Shane Dorian (HAW) 6.53, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.83, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 4.23

2012 ASP WCT Top 5:
1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 58,700 pts
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 55,450 pts
3 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 47,000 pts
4 – John John Florence (HAW) 44,350 pts
5 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,350 pts

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20 Responses to “Joel Parkinson Wins Billabong Pipe Masters and World Title”

  1. matt obrien says:

    hard to be stoked for joel when it seems that he didn’t really earn i. but whatever, congrats. history don’t remember the details – just the champions. shame that he had his heats “won” in the pipe masters before even paddling out. those cj/damo heats were stinky, and the final was a joke. But every contest somebody complains (like me) about the scoring and crap. Just wish the judges would have judged the actual surfing taking place. oh well, there’s always next year or WWE: that IS real right? wonder IF the Head Judge richi Pora will finally judge the surfing next year now that a title for Parko has been achieved? or is it Taj’s turn yet?

  2. mikey says:

    @matt o’brien…wtf are you talking about? he didn’t earn it? your an idiot. who did earn it then, kelly? the guy who got a 4 in his semi? the guy who was too cool to show up to brazil? every heat i watched in the PM, parko won convincingly. how were those heats stinky? parko was behind in the semi and came back with authority in the last 5 mins. nothing shady about his title run, he won a contest when it mattered and surfed consistently well all year. maybe Kelly should actually show up for the WCT contests that his sponsor pays him for instead of thinking he can just phone it in and miss events at his leisure while everyone else is going for it and doing their job.

  3. masniffur says:


  4. matt obrien says:

    Mikey, I am talking the whole year dude. Parko did not beat Jordy at Trestles: even though the judges say he did. Didn’t beat Jeremy at Chopes: even though judges say he did. as for the Pipe Masters, CJ & Damo were grossly underscored during their Parko clashes AND Josh Kerr’s first wave was underscored in the final. That is what I am talking about. But in the end it doesn’t matter. the history of pro surfing will have Parko the 2012 World Champion. as for your Kelly not showing up for an event crap – who finished second this year again? and there are quiet a few surfers who went to EVERY event and still will be regulated to the QS next year. There goes your phone-in theory. Ask Pat G. or Yadin if showing up all year helped out their causes. I am sure they will have a different answer than “yes”. Look, Fact is Parko won the title and I don’t think he could have done it without help from the Head Judge Richi Porta. That is my opion and this is the place to share my Opinion(s). It is called a messege board and that is what it ihere for. Try reading the words I type before you challenge those words. ya dig.

  5. G says:

    Dear Matt O’Brien,
    First of all it is relegated to the QS, not “regulated to the QS”.

    …and Parko won!!!!

  6. Matt OBrien says:

    after re-reading my comments that i posted, i have to realize i am being a poor sport and cry baby (while giving bad name to crying babies). i would like to take back my negitivity and just say “congrats to Parko”. i have behaved like a jerk and am pretty ashamed about it. i let my negitive feelings get the best of me & my judgement! pretty freaking stupid of me to get so carried away like i did. it is only sport and i tried to make it something more. cheets everybody and let’s hope there is some swell for the Eddie & the Jaws comp(s)!! happy holidays…

  7. Matt OBrien says:


  8. ss says:

    Finishing no lower than 9th through out the year, shows he’s been mr consistant. The tour is a collection of competitions, not just one, so if he won the world tour with no actual wins, it doesn’t mean he is any less deserving to win, than someone who won a comp. If that was the case, would a surfer who won one competition be more deserving that a surfer who consistantly surfed well all year?

  9. Pauly Boy says:

    Was Kelly gracious in honoring Parko on stage? I never heard him actually say congratulations to Parko. The 11 time champ is still so competitive he can’t swallow how he lost his 12th. After his semi final loss he stayed out in the water for almost 45 minutes to digest it all, as if it was his first world title race. Most competitive man alive. Congrats Parko! You earned it and are one of the best surfers of all time.

  10. John says:

    the heading should be. Parko Wins Pipe Masters and World title but looses to CJ and Damo Hobgood in the Quarters and Semis. Then we would be completly honest. Fick pro sirfing. Only interested in free suring now. And i’m aussie

  11. Mike Anderson says:

    I’m a big fan of KS, but was kind of sad to read the interview. Kelly I did this, I fell off here, I hurt my foot didn’t go to brazzo land, bla bla bla… Fuck that Parko beat you Parko won. kS should have been talking about the accomplishments of the better man this year PARKO.. Full stop and I’m American..

  12. Mike Anderson says:

    I’m a big fan of KS, but was kind of sad to read the interview. Kelly I did this, I fell off here, I hurt my foot didn’t go to brazzo land, bla bla bla… Fuck that Parko beat you Parko won. kS should have been talking about the accomplishments of the better man this year PARKO.. Full stop and I’m American..

  13. Scumbag steve says:

    How much you wanna bet Taj wins next year cuz “he deserves it”. Who cares about this crap? It’s soooo fake I don’t even watch it anymore.

  14. Brad B. says:

    Don’t hear anyone saying John John. I think he will win a few titles in the near future. I usually watch the contests online, but didn’t see this. I am glad to see someone other than Slater win, and I am American.

  15. IsoceleseTriangle says:

    Even while smiling and seemingly happy for JP, I thought Kelly came across as a tad less than magnanimous on the dias in his defeat at Pipe and the and loss of the Title but, for all the positive things – and his own classiness – he has brought to the game, it easy to let it slide and chalk it up to shock, bitter disappointment and just kinda blowing that little moment.
    Joel, however, was all class in victory and in his praise of the Champ and I would bet Ke11ys eleven titles he will will do the same in ensuing interviews regarding Joels first crown.
    If it couldn’t be RKS, or one of the Twins, as an east coaster ( US ), I am extremely happy to see a class act, stone cold ripper like Joel finally, finally ! , win it all.

  16. give me sea says:

    merry X’mas and happy new years for every surfers I am Bolivian sand surfing legend

  17. yeah guy says:

    i’m a surfer… 1 tribe bros

  18. Ben says:

    Parko won it fair and square. Lots of calls went for and against him this year, but at the end of the day the right guy won. Same for Mick, same for Kelly. While we’re at it, I’m American. Congratulations to an all-time great.

  19. Ping-Pong says:

    The X Games got it right. Hopefully the surf industry will follow and boot Sal Masekela.#dumpsal

  20. airgib says:

    annoying and disrespectful in my opinion for kelly to speak about brazil, his foot and all that in this when he should be stoked for parko and honoring him instead of speaking about himself. but hey, thats slater for ya. right dude won. yeeeeee

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