As one Parko star fades, another comes to snatch the limelight!
Yesterday, the Gold Coast surfer Mitch Parkinson, who was once proclaimed (by me) as the best ten-year-old surfer in the world, won a QS event in Taiwan.
The win delivered Mitchell, who is twenty-two years old and lives on the beach at Kirra with his model girlfriend Abbie Weir, ten thousand dollars and a seeded entry into the biggest qualifying events of 2018.
As Joel, his first cousin and not his uncle as most people think, likely exits in 2019 might we see a replacement Parkinson on tour?
Oh we must ask!
Thirteen years ago, Stab claimed you were the best ten-year-old surfer in the world. And now, look at you, The King of Taiwan! Did you see that one coming?
Well, yeah, it’s great. I definitely don’t think I was the best ten-year-old in the world but to be labelled that was pretty sick. I think I’ve been underachieving my own expectations for the last two years.
Taiwan, real odd place, possibly the flash point that could drive world war three between the US and China. You like it there? Did the Taiwanese warm to you?
Ha! Well, I didn’t really think about that stuff. History, as you might’ve guessed, isn’t my game. Me and Sheldon (Simkus, whom Mitch beat in the final) stayed with a family this year and it was really cool. We ate traditional food and surfed other waves also so I had a much better experience than the last time I came. A little hit of local culture will do that.
In the last five contests you’ve had a win, a second, and three fifths. Are you on the yellow brick road to becoming a big ol WCT surfer?
I feel reignited with competing. I’ve become a lot more competitive now but I feel like I’m holding my emotions better. It’s what I want to do now.
Have you ever gone off surfing? Like, totally got the shits with it and were seriously considering something else?
I went through a crazy year this year. At the start, I was completely burnt from contest surfing I wasn’t enjoying it. I was trying to balance working to fund my surfing and going to such shitty waves I just had to stop doing it. I needed some time off. Now after about six months off I find myself really hungry for it. I’ve got a great life and I really had time to think about what I want to do with it.
What’s it like being a twenty-something in Coolangatta? Do you feel young with the world at your feet or do you feel that time is slipping away, at least to do something dramatic with surfing?
Coolangatta is a crazy place. They don’t call it the Cooly Vortex for no reason. There’s a lot of amazing surfers here that have all the ability in the world but just don’t seem to have the drive to make it. I’m only twenty-two so I know I’m still young but saying that I’ll blink and be thirty. I haven’t got any time to waste, how about we put it that way.
Joel talk to you about being a top-shelf pro? What does he tell you?
He doesn’t really say to much to me about it. Joel’s different to most on tour. I think he does better when he is just having fun. The last time he won a contest I was with him in Bali and we were just having a ball over there, not super serious just surfing a lot and enjoying it. That’s a great way to compete.