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by Dan [April 30, 2009]

INTERVIEW WITH SURFER JOEL PARKINSONxsession's Dan Linsell was fortunate enough to catch up with Joel Parkinson (Parko) before he flies out for the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.

Parko is currently ranked No. 1 on the ASP World Tour after winning the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast and the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. He finished 4th overall last year and is definitely one of the favourites to take  out the title this year.

Listen to the interview here or read the transcript below:

[xsession] First of all Iíd like to congratulate you on this yearís results so far. Two wins from two events! Youíre on fire! How are you feeling going into the next round, the Billabong Pro in Tahiti?

[JP] Iím fine I canít wait, Iím excited. I leave on Sunday and itís probably one of the most exciting events of the year so Iím no different.

[xsession] Itís great to see the Aussies are doing so well so far this year! Is there any rivalry between yourself and Mick Fanning?

[JP] [laughs] No ... not really ... On a competition level there is but we grew up together and were in the same class at school and everything so our friendship is a lot stronger than the competition is Ö but thereís definitely a fierce rivalry there.

[xsession] In the eyes of many people, like myself, you are living the dream lifestyle. How do you keep it real and not lose focus on your goals?

[JP] Well Ö the party scene is pretty hard to do with two young girls Ö my life is pretty much taken up by them, I guess you could say and thatís pretty much how I keep it real.

[xsession] Youíve obviously seen a lot of guys lose focus and get too involved (in the party scene)?

[JP] Yeah itís like everything, the more you put into it the more time you should have away from it. Youíve got to have a release. I just had a week in Fiji with my family and just got to relax, it was great!

[xsession] When you were growing up, did you have a backup career in case your surfing career didnít take off?

[JP] I did, I had a few different things. I used to wash dishes which probably wasnít going to go too far. My Dad was a builder so that would have been another option. I always wanted to be a Chef to tell you the truth Ö but I never got there.

[xsession] Do you get in the kitchen much these days?

[JP] No, I married an Italian.

[xsession] Surfing has obviously evolved a lot in the past 20 years. Where do you see it 20 years in the future? What will be the ďHang TenĒ manoeuvre of the future?

[JP] I think wave pools! Not sure what sort of manoeuvres guys will be doing but I definitely think wave pools is where it will be going.

[xsession] I suppose you can control all the conditions then

[JP] Yeah mother nature wonít play such a role, it will be more the surfer.

[xsession] Surfers are renowned for their lingo. Whatís your favourite catch phrase at the moment?

[JP] [laughs] I donít know. Iím not a big lingo surfer Ö how about 'yeeeeew'! [laughs]

[xsession] Iíve been watching Entourage lately and his agent (Ari) always says 'Boom' so thatís what Iím saying at the moment.

[JP] Ö or ďgoldĒ Ö I love that show

[xsession] Do you do any other action sports for fun?

[JP] Not really .. Iím  a big fisherman. Sony have given me this new Handycam and Iíve been trying to get some good fishing footage. I spent 4 days on a boat fishing in Fiji and I caught nothing so I have nothing to show on my Handycam so just filmed the kids.

[xsession] Have you tried kite surfing?

[JP] I tried it once with a trainer kite on the beach and I broke the kite after about 10 minutes. It was pretty hard, you know, keeping it between 10 Oíclock and 2 Oíclock, in that range. Iím good on the water but Iím not good on the wind thing.

[xsession] What about snowboarding?

[JP] I try to get a trip in every year, usually in January. Iíve been about 5 Januarys in a row. Iíve done Canada a couple of times and the States a few times.

[xsession] One last question mate: Whoís your favourite action hero?

[JP] My favourite action hero Ö Astro Boy was when I was a kid.

[xsession] Good Answer!

[JP] Thanks

[xsession] Thanks for your time and all the best for the rest of the year!