The dream start to Joel's last ever full Hawaiian season - champion at Haleiwa. All photos by Ryan Miller & Trevor Moran
With Joel announcing 2018 as his swansong year on the CT, we all hoped he'd have one last chance to compete in each jewel of the Triple Crown that he's dominated so many times before. Sure enough, staring down the barrel of six weeks on the North Shore, Parko was fired up to make his mark in Hawaii. Far too good to just fade away into "retirement", whatever that looks like.
Right from his first heat at Haleiwa, Joel put on a masterclass in rail work. Power, style, and a bit more aggression than we've seen elsewhere this year. Partly because of the waves actually pushing back, partly due to the season finale looming even closer. Eventually, in one of the best four man finals you'll see, Parko outclassed the field with an 8, then a 9, and before he knew it, another worthy Hawaiian victory was in the books. Afterwards, no one said it better than Ryan Callinan, "how bloody epic is it to watch the old bloke towel everyone up!"
When Haleiwa turned on the juice, Joel matched it. Vintage Parko on finals day.
The master of not only putting bigger boards on rail, but blowing the fins in a tight little pocket too.
In case anyone needed a reminder of this guy's love for surfing... Especially in Hawaii. Throughout the event, Joel went between several FMNII round pins to his regular Monsta 8 shortboard when the swell dropped slightly for finals day. Quiver details, below (he's 6'0" / 83kg):
6'0" x 18 7/8" x 2 3/8" x 28.2L
FMNII round pin
6'1" x 18 7/8" x 2 7/16" x 29L
6'3" x 18 7/8" x 2 7/16" x 29.5L