Parko Pipes In On The World Title Race

Manoa Drollet is one guy you don't want to draw in your heat at Teahupo‘o. Photo: ASP

According to Parko, Manoa Drollet is one guy you don't want to draw in your heat at Teahupo‘o. Photo: ASP

Injured and at home on the Gold Coast, 2009 ASP World Tour runner up Joel Parkinson sheds some insider perspective on the ASP World Title Race, and guess what? According to Parko, you don’t want to be ranked #1 heading into Tahiti. Hear that Jordy?

Jordy Smith has to step up big time in Tahiti if he wants to keep the #1 slot because flips and airs don't get the score at Chopes. Photo: ASP

Jordy Smith has to step up big time in Tahiti if he wants to keep the #1 slot because flips and airs don't get the score at Chopes. Photo: ASP

Says Parko: “Jordy’s got to number one but it’s the one time of the year you don’t want to be. The first thing I thought about when Jordy won and was that first place on the ratings was that he’s going to draw Manoa Drollet at Chopes. And Kelly went down a bit, so did Mick, so they’ll avoid Manoa.”—Joel Parkinson

Despite his recent stumble in South Africa, everyone knows you can never count out Kelly, especially with Tahiti and Lowers on the horizon. Photo: ASP

Despite his recent stumble in South Africa, everyone knows you can never count out Kelly, especially with Tahiti and Lowers on the horizon. Photo: ASP

“You can’t forget how gnarly that guy is at Teahupo’o, especially if there’s swell. Once they get to Trestles I think those guys are really going to start firing up – Mick, Kelly, Taj and Jordy are all amazing out there. From Trestles it’s heading into such a heavy stretch. As hungry as Jordy was heading into J-Bay, he’s gong to have to be just as hungry coming into Pipe in four months time if he’s going to win the title, and there’s a lot of surfing between now and then. Every one of those guys still has a good chance at winning the title and I wouldn’t even be looking at the ratings and the numbers right now. They don’t mean a lot.”—Joel Parkinson

On Andy Irons

According to Parko, AI is overdue for a finals berth. Photo: ASP

According to Parko, AI is overdue for a finals berth. Photo: ASP

“One thing that never really changes with your surfing is your ability to ride the barrel, and I reckon in Tahiti he’s going to find himself in his first final of the year, for sure. Every event this year he’s looked better and better, and if he manages to make a final somewhere soon or even wins one, then look out. He’s the kind of guy who feeds on confidence.”—Joel Parkinson

As early as it is, let’s go ahead and start throwing out names for the 2010 ASP World Champion! My guess? I’ll play it safe and say Kelly… leave your pick in the comment box below so we can look back at this post in December and say how f—kin’ smart you are!