Aussie surfer Joel Parkinson says that he has no plans to abandon the World Surfing Tour. He plans to continue on, despite the departures of Bede Durbridge and Josh Kerr.
The recent Pipeline Masters in Hawaii was the last World Tour event for Kerr and Durbridge.
Durbridge is going to continue his involvement with the sport; however, he will be drier as he takes on the role of guiding Australia in its first Olympic surfing venture.
Parkinson does not seem interested in flying the Aussie flag the 2020 Tokyo Games, but he did indicate that some sort of involvement was not out of the question. "I think our team will be better served with some young, fresh legs,'' the former world champion said.
We always thought that it was lungs that were very important for surfing, but Parkinson is right in that powering a surfboard through churning waves does require extraordinary lower body strength.
Parkinson was compelled to watch in Hawaii, as he was unable to make it past the quarterfinals, which is the same fate that sent Australian Julian Wilson to the beach.
The world surfing crown went to John John Florence of Hawaii. He did not win the Pipeline Masters, but he was far enough in front that when Brazil’s Gabriel Medina lost his quarterfinal against France’s Jeremy Flores. Flores then took the Pipeline master event against Florence in the finals. Flores wound up taking the number two position in the world.
Florence was the champion last year and this year’s win makes him the first male surfer to win back-to-back titles since Kelly Slater in 2012.
Mick Fanning has yet to divulge his plans for 2018, but as for Parkinson, "I'm surfing on for sure,'' Parkinson said from Hawaii. "It's going to be a really big year next year with the wave pool and everything. I'm really excited.''