Defending Billabong Pro champion Joel Parkinson has officially pulled out of next week’s event at Jeffreys Bay after slicing his foot badly while surfing at Snapper Rocks in Australia today.
“I just pulled into a barrel and been taken out by the foamball, and pretty well straight away I felt the board hit me,” says Joel, the current world number 8. “I knew immediately it was a serious cut. I didn’t want to look at it when I came in because I knew it wouldn’t be good.”
Joel was helped up the beach to a waiting ambulance by good friend and three-time world champion, Andy Irons (Kauai, HI) who had been surfing with him. The cut is on the underside of Joel’s right foot, just in front of his heel.
Due to fly out for South Africa, the injury will not have time to heal and as such Joel has made the decision to miss the Jeffreys Bay event, where he is the defending champion.
“It’s one of my favourite events, so I’m obviously disappointed that I won’t be there this year. After having such a long break I was really looking forward to competing again and really looking forward to just surfing J-Bay.”
While Joel will miss J-Bay, there is a six-week break until the following event, the Billabong Pro in Tahiti starting on August 23, and there are no doubts that he’ll be ready for it.