Gold Coast surfing legend Joel Parkinson has officially retired from professional surfing.
The former world champion, who announced his retirement earlier this year, ended his 17-year surfing career at the Pipe Masters in Hawaii on Monday after being eliminated in the fourth round.
Speaking to reporters following the heat, an emotional Parko said he was extremely proud of his professional surfing career.
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“It’s been an honour and, you know, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, it’s awesome,” he said
The 37-year-old revealed he was now looking forward to spending time with his family and just being able to go for a surf.
“The tour has so many hills and valleys, emotional rollercoasters, and like any professional sport it’s just the way it rolls and it’s nice to get to the end of it and finally just run on an even keel for a while and enjoy my time at home and enjoy my family, and come back to Hawaii and just come for a surf,” he said.
“I guess Kelly Slater is one of the last of our generation and he’s still going, for sure it will be pretty emotional, once he goes, for our generation, and surfing’s in good hands now with the next generation.”
— World Surf League (@wsl) December 17, 2018
Dozens of fans and fellow surfers have since taken to social media to send their well wishes to the surfing great.
“Congratulations @joelparko not only one of my best friends but my hero,” fellow Gold Coaster Mick Fanning wrote.
“So proud of everything you’ve done and honoured to share so much time with ya! #onyaparko”
What a ride it's been.
— Billabong (@billabong1973) December 17, 2018
Congrats #joelparkinson on an incredible career 👏👏
179 CT events 🏄 – 1️⃣7️⃣th most all time
Only the 9th 🇦🇺 to win a #WSL World Title 🏆
1️⃣2️⃣ CT 🥇 – 11th most all-time
— The Breakdown (@TheBreakdownAU) December 17, 2018