Counting down to the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii this December, it’s hard to imagine the competition without two seminal surfers: Joel “Parko” Parkinson and Kelly Slater. At the Jeffrey’s Bay competition last week, Parko announced his retirement from competitive surfing at the end of this year, while Slater will continue to surf for the next year and be retiring at the end of the 2019 season, according to Surfer Magazine.
37-year-old Joel Parkinson announced that this winter will be his final competition at the Pipeline Masters. Not because his love for surfing is fading, but he no longer cares about winning, according to a Billabong video announcing his retirement plans.
“I love everything about it, but I just have no more fire or desire to want to win,” said Parko in a Billabong video. “I just want to surf and enjoy it.”
It is clear that Parko's love for the sport trumps his inclination to win competitions in the following video featuring Parko, Mick Fanning and Mark "Occy" Occhilupo.
Slater, on the other hand, will be sticking around for another year, preparing to go out in style at next year’s Pipeline competition. The 11-time World Champion will be retiring when he is 47 years old.
“My basic plan is to get myself really healthy, get ready for April next year, and make next year be my last year,” said Slater in an interview with Surfer Magazine.
Earlier this year, Australian world champion Mick Fanning also announced his retirement from surfing. In the coming years, the world of surfing is going to enter a new era of young men and women with new and progressive styles. However, the timeless and technical foundation laid by these three world-class surfers will continue to influence the sport for decades.