Joel Parkinson’s Third World Title Loss

For Joel Parkinson, Losing The World Title May Have Been Harder Than Winning It

Joel Parkinson has collapsed on the floor of his shower, sobbing. His board lies outside the door, impaled on a garden stake. It's minutes since he lost the unlosable World Title at Pipeline, the third time he's finished as the second best surfer in the world. He's poured so much of himself into this year, that right now he simply wants to pour himself down the drainpipe and disappear somewhere dark and dank and lonely. Instead, he knows that in 20 minutes, not only does he have to come outside and face his family and friends who sit stony silent outside, but in front of a million eyeballs he must carry the man who just beat him up the beach. Winning a world title was never going to be easy. Losing it to your best friend, however, would prove even harder.

To read the full feature, download the March 2010 issue of SURFER.