Growing up across the street from Parko and stumbling through our adolescent years in the same group of friends, I found Joel to be an explosive character both in and out of the water. I still remember the first time i wandered across the street with Dingo to check out Joel's new pad (Joel had just moved to Kirra Hill from Moffats Beach on the Sunshine Coast). Parko's room was full of brand new boards and a vast array of clothing and life size Polypropylene posters of him ripping the bag; from where i stood as a young aspirer to the surfing world, Joel was destined for great things and one had only to watch him surf a heat in a club round to understand this.
When our good mate Sean Fanning (who was also working for my dad at the time), passed away i saw a change in Joel Parkinson, i saw a big change in all of us Coolangatta rascals. We all became a little more appreciative of this thing called life (well I most certainly did). A party that i hosted in my mum and dad's beachfront unit shortly after Shaun's passing comes to my mind: Joel had just recieved a brand new custom quiver, but due to the confusion, mixed emotions and intoxicated pain that we all felt at the passing of our close friend we all decided at Joels lead to jump up and down on His freshly posca penned board which just took one of the lads over 2 hours to paint a figment of Joels immagination on the bottom of (Joel as an italian chef). Anyways Joel never got the pleasure of riding that board for obvious reasons, but im well sure that he has had plenty since then.
As time goes on we all grow up, get families of our own and go our different ways, but from where i sit Joel's talent as a surfer has ever increased, Parko is great to watch and his laid back aggresion on a wave never ceases to amaze me. Watch for yourself below and you will know exactly what i am talking about... Enjoy the show :)
Below is a photo of all us Cooly boys at Micks house before our Kirra boardriders presentation, Joel had just moved to town. I'm the kid down the front (left of Dean Morrison) with the frown on his face as my mate on the far left (Joel Pitchers) had just died my hair green. Grommet hood... Too Funny!!!