Gone fishing: World champ Joel Parkinson reels 'em in
A RESTED and relaxed Joel 'Parko' Parkinson has scored an impressive 18.47 in the Volcom Fiji Pro on Thursday after missing the first round due to a fishing trip.
Parko had gone fishin' off the coast of Fiji, with the surfing world champ pulling in at least one hefty spanish mackerel.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Pro was well underway, with organisers deciding the event would go ahead thanks to an improvement in surf conditions.
Parko's missed first round on Tuesday against Matt Wilkinson and Heitor Alves was not an elimination event.
Long-time surf columnist Andy McKinnon said Parko would probably not regret his fishing decision thanks to his second round win.
He loves fishing with a passion, I would say after surfing it would be his next priority.
"Having got through that, I'm sure he's not regretting it at all," McKinnon said.
"He seems to surf better when he's relaxed."
McKinnon said since Parko had walked away with the world championship, he may have lost some competitive drive.
"I guess that in a way he's starting to lose his focus a little bit."
McKinnon said Parko loved fishing and the move to miss the first round was likely not a deliberate strategy.
"I'm sure that he wouldn't admit to anyone that's his strategy," he said.
"He loves fishing with a passion, I would say after surfing it would be his next priority.
"For Joel his priorities go his family, surfing and then fishing."
But McKinnon said Parko's decision may have been spurred on by Kelly Slater's absence from the Fiji Pro.
"Kelly decided to party with his brother and so Parko decided to go fishing instead," he said.
Regardless of the exact reason Parko missed the pro, McKinnon remains a strong supporter.
"Win or lose the guy's such a champion," he said.
Kelly Slater also missed the first round of the Fiji pro, citing the birth of his nephew for his non-attendance in the competition.