By the start of 2012, Joel Parkinson had been one of the stars of the world tour for 11 consecutive seasons. He had won ten elite world title events, including victories at iconic waves like Sunset Beach, Bells Beach and his home break of Snapper Rocks, and he’d finished in the top five on eight occasions, including four runners-up spots. He'd also won the Hawaiian Triple Crown three times and eight additional ASP tour events. However, there was an item missing from his CV - the World Championship. That all changed In December 2012, when he overcame challenges from best mate Mick Fanning, reigning world champion Kelly Slater and Josh Kerr to win the Billabong Pipeline Masters. It was his only world title event victory of the year and gave him the overall title by a narrow margin from Slater. Parko was born on 10th April 1981 in the small town of Nambour on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. He started surfing as a youngster with his father's board, and first made his mark on the world stage when, as a wildcard, he came from nowhere to dismantle many of the world’s best surfers at the 1999 Billabong MSF Pro at Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa. He was just 18 at the time. He has been described as surfing’s ‘smoothest ever operator’ and he is certainly one of the most naturally gifted surfers in the world. His pure, hypnotic style is admired by both grommets and experienced pros alike - Parko is the surfer’s surfer, the one everybody wants to surf like.
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