Three contests in and who would have thought Kelly Slater would be out of the running and Joel Parkinson has won 2 out of the first 3 contests. Joel is sitting on a 682 point lead over fellow country man Taj Burrow and a 792 point lead over third place Mick Fanning. With Joel sitting in the lead this early the question has to be asked if he can keep the fire going and in my humble opinion I would have to say yes. This could ultimately be Joel’s year and there are many reasons for this. However, if my first prediction does go up in flames my second prediction is that an Aussie will win the world title this year. They, being the three mates at the top of the list, have been surfing really well in all events this year so far.
Joel is sitting in the best position possible going into the next 4 events on the tour. Three out of the next four Joel has won in previous years and those would be Jeffery’s Bay, Lowers, and finally Southern France. All are very rippable waves and Joel knows how to surf all of them very well. With this being Joel’s strong leg of the tour coming up, it was good he got the jump he had in the beginning because he can let people try to catch him on waves he is comfortable on. Joel has been so close to winning a world title a few times and must be hungry as every especially with the 2 huge wins and no Kelly Slater to conclude the title run 3 or 4 stops early this year.
The reason this year on tour is going to be fun to watch is because three very good friends are going to be at the top and pushing each other to new levels. The heats with Joel Taj and Mick are all must see heat especially since they are all regular foot surfers and 2 of those waves are really good rights. Mick won Jeffery’s Bay his title year and Taj was in that final with him as well as getting very far at Lowers every year. Another huge surprise was seeing Taj in the final in Tahiti this year. This was a big push for Taj because he generally does not do very well in this event so it was a huge confidence booster. However Mick and Taj are looking up at a surfer in Joel who is on a fire and will need to be beaten because I do not feel like Joel is going to lose this for himself this year. Mark the tape, Joel Parkinson will win his first world title in 2009.
Aaron Moss is The Extreme Scene's official intern, and does a fine job doing it.