2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson, 37, has announced his retirement from the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
Parkinson will surf the remaining CT events of the year (excluding the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal) and retire from full-time competition after his final heat at the world renowned Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons this December.
“I’ve decided this will be my final year on Tour,” said Parkinson. “I’m all finished at Pipe as there’s no better place than Pipeline.
I’ve had so many great memories there. So many great wins there. I’ve decided this is it. This is my last time around the globe on this Tour. It brings tears to my eyes a little bit saying it aloud.”
“I just really am at a point where I enjoy my surfing, and I must say, I enjoyed wearing a jersey for a long time, but that part of surfing to me is not as strong as what it was.
I don’t think I have the fierceness in my blood. Doesn’t boil from putting a jersey on. My blood boils for surfing good waves now.
“I’ll really miss the friendships. But I always thought, I’ll always be lucky after retirement that there’s a Tour stop in my backyard. So at least once a year, I’ll get to come down and see all the familiar faces, friends and family.
And I’m excited to go back to some of these places when I don’t have to put a jersey on or there’s not an event on. I can’t wait to go to JBay when the event’s not on.”
The legendary surfer from the Gold Coast of Australia will hang up his competitive jersey after 18 years on the elite tour, 12 prestigious CT wins, and, of course, his illustrious World Title victory in 2012.
Parkinson’s iconic style not only cemented his legacy in the history books but has influenced and inspired the next generation of surfers around the world.
Parkinson announces his retirement on the opening day of the Corona Open JBay, where he is the two-time event winner (1999, 2009).