Joel's little cuz backs up Volcom Pro semi with best-video prize…
Little Mitch Parkinson, cousin of Joel, ain’t so small anymore. Thirteen years since Stab anointed him as the “best 10-year-old surfer in the world” Mitch has…turned on.
Won a QS in Taiwan last year; made the semi’s of the Volcom Pipe Pro a week or so ago.
And, last night in Newcastle, Mitch won the Oakley Battle Clips II.
It was my first event as surf media. Didn’t have an invite, just pointed to a name of the list and waltzed in. It ain’t Studio 54, if you get my drift.
The winner gets twenty gees cash and five gees of Nikon gear. Second, third and fourth leave empty-handed and heart broken. Brent ‘Midget Magic’ Dorrington took out last year’s event and used the money to finance his newborn. Prams, cots, clothes etc. It all adds up.
This year, the final four field was Nick Vasicek, Luke Hynd, Soli Bailey and Mitch Parkinson. Only two were in attendance, Soli and Mitch. Each surrounded by their entourages at opposite ends of the room, a rivalry that’s been brewing for years.
The winner was chosen thus: Bede Durbidge’s vote counted for a third, Oakley rider Connor O’Leary’s vote counted for a third and the public vote counted for the final third.
Bede and Connor’s was a split. Over 350,000 votes came in for the final (only one vote per IP address). Twenty thousand votes separated first and second.
Soli’s clip had butt-dragging barrels, a few hacks and a couple of air reverses. Mitch’s was a parade of full-rotors, barrels, a couple of backhand slaps and a crowd pleasing slow-mo, muscle popping wrap around cutback.
BeachGrit: Mitch! This time last year you’d thrown your toys in the air and you were looking for a job. Now you’re winning or hitting the final in everything you touch. What’s changed?
I needed a break. I’d been pushed and prodded into this pro-surfing thing since I was six years old. Last year I needed to break away and do my own thing. I went out, got a bit loose, got my head together and figured out my way of doing things. My girl, Abbie, has really helped me get my shit together and drive me. And I’ve put together a great new team around me. From management to now working with my best mate to shape my boards, Jye Gudenswager from Gen4.
If you’re so good, why don’t you have a sponsor?
Ha! I feel like winning this amount of cash is like a one-year Oakley and Nikon contract! I’ve got Gen4 as my board sponsor of course, and being able to head that team up and work so hands on with the shaping has helped heaps. But we’re talking to a few companies out there right now… fuck I sure hope this helps get the ball over the line. But I just really want to sign up with a brand that I’m into, not just ’cause they’re slinging cheques.
Where’s this twenty-grand going?
No bar tabs or any of that shit this time. When the money hits my account I’m booking my flights and accomm for Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, USA, and hopefully a bit of the Europe leg. Anything to help with my qualification travel this year.
You wanna qualify? Not just be a will-fly-for-cash freesurfer?
I actually really love competing. And the tour gives you a chance to ride the some of the best waves in the world with just a couple of others guys in the water. I had a bit of this in the Volcolm Pipe Pro. The best was after my semi-final. Kaiborg wouldn’t let anyone else out in the water before the final. So it was just me and Alvarro sitting out there for almost half an hour scoring perfect eight-to-ten-foot Pipe. And you can do strike trips in between comps to get the film edits out there. I want the best of both worlds.
Watch Mitch’s award-winning short here.